Main headlines

September 13, 2014

Relations have been tense between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas leaders, and Abbas' failure to include Hamas representatives in the ICC decision could make things worse. (AFP/File)
12:47 GMT

Palestinian President Mahmoud reportedly blocked at attempt at prosecution in the International Criminal Court for Israeli war crimes committed during the Gaza siege that began in July.

Lebanon's FM Gebran Bassil said Kerry's stance on Iranian involvement should be reconsidered, and that Lebanon would not be part of an "international axis against another international axis." (AFP/File)
11:21 GMT

Amid comments by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry that Iran's support of the Assad regime made its involvement in the anti-IS alliance inappropriate, Lebanon's Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil said a global alliance against the group must work with all countries, including Iran.

Syrian government forces took hold of the town of Helfaya Friday, a central town known for frequent shifts between government and rebel control. (AFP/File)
08:40 GMT

Syrian troops captured the central town of Helfaya Friday after clashes. The Hama-province town is a key location for the regime because of large number of Christian and Alawite communities living in the area, many of whom have started to fear an insurgency from Sunni extremist fighters among the rebels.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has continuously dismissed claims of a plot to set up a Palestinian state in the Sinai Peninsula, an idea the media picked up after a conversation between Abbas and Egyptian President Abd al-Sisi. (AFP/File)
05:00 GMT

Amid international media accusations, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas denies plotting a Palestinian state in the the Sinai Peninsula with Egyptian President Abd al-Fattah al-Sisi.

September 12, 2014

Lebanese troops will receive arms and other military equipment from Washington to help fight the looming threat of insurgency by the IS. (AFP/File)
19:00 GMT

U.S. ambassador David Hale said Friday the U.S. would provide weapons and other equipment needed to help fend off threats Islamic State insurgency in Lebanon.

Kerry met with members of the Gulf Cooperation Council in Jeddah Thursday, where he garnered wide support for U.S.-led campaign against IS militants in Iraq and Syria. (AFP/File)
14:54 GMT

During a meeting with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Thursday in Jeddah, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry found support among more than 10 Arab nations for the U.S.-led campaign against the IS.

The UN peacekeepers were released on Thursday, a process Qatar said it played a heavy hand in facilitating. (AFP/File)
13:38 GMT

The Qatari government said Thursday it played a role in negotiating the release 45 Un peacekeepers held hostage by Syrian Islamist group Nusra Front for the last two weeks.

Syriac leaders say Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea showed willingness to help facilitate host of Iraqi Christians in Lebanon. (AFP/File)
11:09 GMT

Syriac leaders met with Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea hoping to secure a save haven in Lebanon for Iraqi Christians fleeing the Islamic State.

Despite doubts in Parliament, British Prime Minister David Cameron said joining U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria is still a possibility for Britain. (AFP/File)
08:27 GMT

After Uk Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said earlier this week the UK would not participate in U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria, British Prime Minister David Cameron is urging MPs to reconsider.

A delegation of Eastern church patriarchs in Lebanon met with Obama Thursday to discuss safety from the IS for Christians across the Middle East. (AFP/File)
06:58 GMT

Maronite Patriarch Beshara Rai said Thursday U.S. President Barack Obama would help shield Lebanon from regional turmoil.

Washington is planning a military campaign against IS extremists in Syria. (AFP/File)
05:00 GMT

U.S. allies like Britain and Germany have expressed opposition to join America's planned military campaign against Islamic State militants in Syria.

September 11, 2014

Kurdish troops are on the front lines of the battle against IS. (AFP/File)
18:04 GMT

Islamic State militants have kidnapped 20 people from a town in Kirkuk.

Turkey is reluctant to take a stronger role in the coalition against IS militants in fear of aggravating a hostage situation. (AFP/File)
15:12 GMT

The Turkish government said Thursday that it will not allow a U.S.-led coalition to use its air bases to launch attacks on Islamic State militants in Iraq.

Nearly three years after the fall of Gaddafi, Libya is still grappling with rising insecurity. (AFP/File)
14:09 GMT

Militants have killed five soldiers in Benghazi as fighting continues across multiple Libyan cities.

The announcement was made hours before U.S. President Barack Obama is scheduled to deliver a speech about his strategy in Iraq. (AFP/File)
13:04 GMT

The French government announced Wednesday that it is prepared to join a U.S.-led coalition to launch air strikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq.