Middle East | Corax

Middle East

Middle East

Two major Saudi Arabia oil facilities set alight by drone attacks, the fires at the state-owned oil processing plants in Abqaiq and Khurais are said to be under control

Benjamin Netanyahu promises to annex all settlements in the West Bank if reelected, says the Trump peace plan offers a historic opportunity

Iran sends a destroyer and a helicopter carrier to Gulf of Aden and Sea of Oman to provide its ships with security in international waters, move comes amid increased tensions with US and UK warships operating in and around the Persian Gulf

Australia sends frigate and spy plane to Strait of Hormuz in the name of national security and economic interests, previously only UK and Israel have volunteered to join US-led flotilla

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas fires all advisers amid financial crisis in the West Bank where most of its employees has had salaries cut by half to keep the government afloat, move comes following Israel's decision in February to withhold USD 10 million a month in tax transfers corresponding to what Palestinian Authorities pay prisoners in Israeli jails or their families

Palestinian Authority bans LGBTQ group Al-Qaws from operating in the West Bank, police spokesman calls such activities "harmful to the higher values and ideals of Palestinian society" and unrelated to Palestinian traditions and customs

American and British military posturing in Persian Gulf undermines regional security, Iranian Revolutionary Guard's navy says, suggests Iran form coalition with neighboring states to guarantee security in the Gulf

Suicide bomber kills 63 people and injures 180 at wedding hall in Kabul, in area mostly populated by Shia Muslims, ISIS terrorists claim responsibility for the bombing

Iran advise Israel to stay clear of US-led flotilla in Persian Gulf, waring it could spark a war, Tehran vows to protect its sovereignty in Strait of Hormuz, accusing US of enforcing its unilateral oil sanctions through military pressure after political extortion has failed

Yemeni southern port city of Aden seized by UAE-backed separatists Southern Transitional Council, Saudi-led coalition intervenes in support of Yemeni government

Turkish government destroys 301,878 books from schools and libraries for alleged links to Muslim cleric Fethullah Gülen who is accused of instigating the attempted military coup of 2016, math book banned for featuring Gülen’s initials in question reading "from point F to point G" and 1.8 million textbooks destroyed and reprinted for containing "Pennsylvania" which is where he lives

14 dead and 145 wounded from Taliban car bomb at security checkpoint in Kabul shortly after the extremist group and US reported progress on negotiating an end to Afghanistan’s nearly 18-year war – Afghans fear what would happen if the 20,000 foreign troops leave, but presidential spokesman Sediq Seddiqi says security forces are strong enough to protect the population

Hassan Rouhani promises to release British-flagged vessel Stena Impero if UK release the Iranian tanker in Gibraltar, praises professional job by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps in seizing the ship, points out protecting Strait of Hormuz and Persian Gulf lies on Iran’s shoulders mainly and says it’s not the others’ business

All 23 crew on British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero are safe and well, vessel’s operator Stena Bulk says after speaking to them by telephone, hoping to see more positive progress from Iranian authorities, Britain describes seizure as piracy and calls for European-led naval mission to ensure safe shipping through Strait of Hormuz

Turkey goes through with purchase of Russian-made S-400 air defence system despite pressure from Washington, making threats of unwinding Turkey from F-35 program

Israel Education Minister Rabbi Rafi Peretz calls massive scale of assimilation among world Jews "a second Holocaust", in US before 1970 only 17% of Jews married a non-Jewish person, in 2005 the figure was 58%, Jewish state does not allow intermarriage between religious communities, but recognizes civic marriage between Jews and non-Jews if performed in other countries

Recep Tayyip Erdogan's party AKP concede the re-run of Istanbul mayoral election, opposition party candidate Ekrem Imamoglu wins 54% of the vote after his surprise victory in March was annulled following AK party's complaint of irregularities

Benjamin Netanyahu unveils new settlement Trump Heights in Golan Heights, honours Trump as US is first country to recognise Israeli sovereignty over territory annexed in 1981

Three French citizens sentenced to death in Iraq for joining ISIS terrorists, they were captured in Syria by US-backed force and transferred to Iraq in February

Saudi Arabia sources say internationally renowned Sheikh Salman al-Odah, Sunni preacher Awad al-Qarni and broadcaster Ali al-Omari to be execute after Ramadan, all viewed as progressive and had massive followings online, held on multiple charges of terrorism

17 injured in explosion targeting tourist bus carrying 25 South Africans near Giza pyramids in Egypt, perpetrators not yet known but Islamist militants have attacked tourists in Egypt in the past

Exxon Mobil evacuates all foreign staff from Iraqi oilfield, evacuation is precautionary and temporary measure and there is no indication of any danger, says chief of Iraq’s state-owned South Oil Company Ihsan Abdul Jabbar

Escalation in Gaza Strip as Hamas and Islamic Jihad fires more than 250 rockets into Israel, who hits back with tank shelling and air strikes at Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets

Children of women raped by ISIS terrorists will not be accepted into Yazidi community, only children born of two Yazidi parents recognised as belonging to the sect once numbered about 500,000 people, group's faith leaders say

Poles in Pruchnik hang, beat and burn effigy resembling stereotypical Jew representing Judas in Good Friday ritual, Robert Singer, CEO of World Jewish Congress, says in statement Jews are deeply disturbed by ghastly revival of medieval anti-Semitism that led to unimaginable violence and suffering

Vida Movahed sentenced to one year in prison but pardoned by Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei, was found guilty of encouraging public corruption after removing her hijab in 2017, authorities detained 29 women on similar charges in 2018

Saudi Arabia arrests eight people in bid to silence supporters of 11 women's rights advocates standing trial for campaigning for women's right to drive and an end to system of mandatory male guardianship, two of those detained hold both US and Saudi passports

US grants Iraq 90-day waiver exempting it from sanctions against Iran, allowing Baghdad to keep importing Iranian gas that is critical for power production

Israel's Supreme Court disqualifies leader of Jewish Power party, Michael Ben-Ari, from next month's elections over his comments about Israeli Arabs, meanwhile Arab parties critical of the Israeli state previously banned from contesting the 9 April poll reinstated

Ikea in Israel sued for gender discrimination over catalogue that doesn't depict women, Orthodox Jewish woman Hannah Katsman's suit alleges the lack of images connotes "women have no value", the catalogue was specially created for Israel's ultra-Orthodox community but the company states it does not live up to their standards

Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett claims Trump and Netanyahu will unveil plans for Palestinian state, the plan involves using 90% of the West Bank territory and dividing the city of Jerusalem, Netanyahu denies the plan exists as Bennett advises it will be released after upcoming election

Forensic investigators discover former ISIS mass grave near Raqqa holding estimated 3,500 bodies, the largest of nine mass graves yet found in agricultural communities of northern city, grave sites include men and women as well as foreigners such as missing Americans

Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of harboring "the board of directors of al-Qaida" whilst Iran claim Saudi Arabia and Pakistan coordinated the bombing killing 27 personnel of the Iranian Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, meanwhile Saudi Arabia and Pakistan sign bilateral investment projects worth USD 20 billion in the energy sector, Saudi crown prince orders release of 2,100 of about 3,000 Pakistanis being detained in Saudi jails

Authorities in Tehran announce ban on public dog-walking and dog-driving, dogs are viewed as "unclean" by religious authorities and are recognized as pro-Western symbols following 1979 revolution

Israel museum removes sculpture depicting Ronald McDonald as crucified Jesus after violent clashes between police and members of the country’s Arab Christian minority, the artwork was due to go on display in Haifa for several months

Aging Iranian B-707 cargo plane crashes off runway at Fath airport killing 15 onboard, ongoing US sanctions have made it difficult for Iran to purchase new aircraft and spare parts

Israeli Medical Association threatens to ban any doctors performing "gay conversion therapy", the practice is believed to cure the mental illness of homosexuality but risks creating anxiety and depression, religious authorities and political organizations stand opposed to the ban despite lack of evidence

National Security Advisor John Bolton says US forces could stay in Syria for years, claims 2,000 US troops will remain until ISIS completely defeated, seeks guarantee Turkey will not attack Kurdish populations

Mass grave discovered in Libya with remains of 34 Ethiopian Christians shot and beheaded by ISIS terrorists in 2015

Syrian army deploys forces near Manbij in northern Syria after Kurdish YPG militia urged Damascus to protect the town from the threat of a Turkish offensive, President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. forces has alarmed the Kurdish-led fighters

Turkey fines two opposition TV channels over on-air comments which allegedly insulted President Erdoğan and encouraged civil disobedience, a Halk TV talk show and the prime news program on Fox TV suspended temporarily

Israel’s government announces early elections, will be on 9 April pending vote in the Knesset, polls show Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party on course to win most seats

Saudi King Salman's brother Prince Talal bin Abdulaziz dies at 87, held several positions in Saudi Arabia and headed the UN body Arab Gulf Fund for Development

The U.S. begins withdrawing its forces from Syria as it winds up its campaign to retake territory held by ISIS, group down to last 1 percent of area it once held

Iraqi religious leaders have lay the cornerstone to rebuild Mosul’s landmark al-Nuri mosque, was blown up by the ISIS terrorists as Iraqi forces defeated them in 2017, construction expected to take five years

At least nine dead and 47 injured in high-speed train crash in Ankara, the train carrying 206 passengers collided with a locomotive and then an overpass at the Marşandiz railway station

UNHCR claims 250,000 Syrian refugees may return to homeland in 2019, estimated 5.6 million Syrian refugees remain in neighboring countries with 1 million children born abroad, problems with identity verification and property documentation slowing pace of repatriation

Qatari government seeks to build airport in the Gaza Strip, pledges to Israel that all flights would depart and arrive through Doha for security purposes, former international airport built in 1998 and destroyed in 2000 Second Intifada

Israel launches operation to destroy Hizbollah tunnels from Lebanon, confident to neutralise the threat of tunnels dug by Hamas and other terrorists by building vast underground barrier around the Gaza Strip

British Gavin Ford, host of one of the most popular Libanese radio shows, found dead in his home in Beit Mery, police suspects murder

Russia carries out air strikes on rebels in Syrian Idlib claiming they are responsible for chlorine gas attack in government-held city of Aleppo, leader of insurgent fraction denies involvement

An estimated 85,000 children under age 5 have died of malnourishment in Yemen conflict since 2015, UN compiled-data suggests another 14 million people are at direct risk of famine as food imports decline

CIA contradicts Saudi government story about death of Jamal Khashoggi, claims it has evidence the murder was directed by Saudi Crown Prince including intercepted phone calls

Turkish newspaper reports death of Jamal Khashoggi murder suspect via car accident in Riyadh, Mashal Saad al-Bostani was a 31-year-old Saudi Royal Air Forces lieutenant who was surveilled entering the Istanbul consulate prior to Khashoggi's disappearance

UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura plans to step down from post held since July 2014, cites personal reasons and claims he will stand by his responsibilities until he leaves

Disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi leads to economic disruption and investment conference cancellations in Saudi Arabia, Saudi King Salman denies knowledge of the event as President Trump theorizes "rogue killers"

Jordanian-Syrian border station at Nassib reopened to traffic of goods and people, the transit point had been closed since 2015 due to Syrian Civil War and resulted in billions of dollars of lost trade

Turkish government requests permission to search Saudi consulate in Ankara following disappearance of journalist, Turkish ministers believe dissident Jamal Khashoggi was deliberately murdered while retrieving personal documents

Egypt sentences 75 to death and more than 600 to jail terms for pro-Muslim Brotherhood protest, the Rabaa Adawiya square square incident in Cairo led to the deaths of nearly 800 protesters and 8 members of the security forces in 2013, rights groups called the decision an mockery of justice while the Egyptian state claims it is fighting an active Islamist insurgency

Turkish military forces kill "most wanted" member of Kurdistan Workers' Party in northern province of Gumushane, Baris Oner was designated red in the color-coded terrorism watchlist and carried codename of "Turk Tarik"

Turkish government apprehends two suspects after early morning drive-by shooting at US Embassy in Ankara, the suspects appear to be be common criminals with histories known to the police, Turkish government issues statements condemning the attacks as US government ratchets up pressure and sanctions over detention of Pastor Andrew Brunson

Delegation from Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces seeks recognition of political autonomy in meeting with Syrian government, Kurdish YPG militia seized the opportunity in 2011 uprising to capture more territory for itself rather than seeking to topple the Assad government

Saudi coalition airstrike in Yemen hits schoolbus killing at least 29 children amongst numerous other dead and wounded, Yemen the site of 258 verified Saudi airstrikes in the month of June one third of which hit residential areas, ongoing war in Yemen considered the globe's worst humanitarian crisis according to numerous international organizations

Construction of Ihsu dam in southern Turkey necessitates physical relocation of 800-year-old Artukulu Haman bathhouse to cultural park located on higher ground, 1500-ton structure being moved 3km via 256-wheeled specialty device along with 6 other monuments representative of the area alongside Tigris River which has been continuously inhabited for over 10000 years

72-year-old Syrian woman saves four grandchildren from IS terrorists by killing two terrorists with her AK-47 as they tried to storm her rural home, held her ground despite being shot in stomach until Syrian army showed up

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas says they "view the prisoners and the martyrs as planets and stars in the skies of the Palestinian struggle", and that the last penny would go to them if needed, stipends in question amount to USD 330 million representing about 7% of 2018 budget

Australia withholds financial aid to the Palestinian Authority due to its funding of terrorists through "pay to slay" program, "declaration of war" according to PA officials

Turkey completes construction of 764 km wall along Syrian border, wall replacing previous fences is two meters wide and three meters high topped with one-meter-high razor wire, six provinces now completely sealed off

Protests in Jordan for third night in row, unrest in response to tax hikes and austerity measures, king Abdullah calls for compromise from all sides

Court in Algerian city of Béjaïa sentences blogger Marzouk Touati to ten years in prison and USD 430 fine for communicating with Israel and inciting civil disobedience in January 2017 during political protests, Attorney General of Béjaïa Judiciary Council asked for life sentence

Egypt's top administrative court orders one month YouTube block over "Innocence of Muslims", a low-budget 13-minute video denigrating Prophet Muhammad first uploaded in 2012, ruling considered final and cannot be appealed

Saad al-Hariri once again designated as Lebanon's next prime minister after vote in parliament, resigned in November fearing for his safety, post of prime minister is reserved for Sunni Muslim in country's sectarian power sharing system

Syrian army restores control over all areas surrounding Damascus after recapturing al-Hajar al-Aswad district and Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp from IS terrorists

Israel's ambassador to Turkey declared persona non grata filmed by invited journalists while being denied access to VIP lounge and bodily searched at Istanbul airport, Israel responds by inviting press to film Turkish diplomat who was asked for documents by security guard while arriving at Israeli Foreign Ministry

Iraq catches five "most wanted" IS terrorist commanders, leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi not among captured

Sausan Alkassem selected as judge in Haifa District Labor Court, fist female Druze judge in Israel

US cancels financial support to White Helmets in Syria which is helping population in areas controlled by Islamists, will make group lose third of overall funding

Benjamin Netanyahu claims to have evidence of secret Iranian nuclear weapons program which Tehran dismisses as propaganda, comes two weeks before Trump administration will decide on deal with Iran

Missile attacks targeting outposts close to Aleppo and Hama in Syria kill 26 pro-government fighters, mostly Iranians, according to Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, speculation that strikes were carried out by Israel

Saudi airstrike in northwestern Yemen kills at least 20 people attending wedding and wounds another 30, incident will be fully investigated according to spokesman for Saudi-led coalition

Top-ranking Houthi political leader Saleh al-Samad killed last week in Saudi-led airstrike in Yemen

Saudi security forces say shot down amateur drone near royal palace in Riyadh according to orders and instructions, amateur footage shows loud gunfire lasting at least 30 seconds

US-Israeli actress Nathalie Portman refuses to receive Genesis award in Israel in protest against IDF killing 36 Palestinians during riots at Gaza border

EU parliament adopts legislation preventing aid to Palestinian Authority if funds used for education to hatred, determines EU funded classes must reflect peace, liberty, tolerance and non-discrimination, Israeli research institute CEO comments that it's strange to transfer EUR 3 billion over ten years without real attempts to ensure education in line with European values

Selfies, popcorn and red carpet as AMC Cinema Riyadh shows Black Panther to Saudi celebrities, Islamic kingdom's first cinema in 30 years housed in converted concert hall, at least one princess attended

Robert Fisk visits Douma in Syria and finds no evidence of gas attack, is told by Syrian doctor Assim Rahaibani that infamous video is authentic but injuries were caused by dust clouds that came into basements and cellars where people lived, suffering from oxygen loss they arrived at clinic when someone shouted "Gas!" and panic began

Pentagon's claim that missile strike against Syria set back chemical weapons program for years exaggerated according to defense analysts, sulfur mustard and sarin gas easy to reproduce and stockpiles likely spread around many locations

Eight Egyptian soldiers and 14 jihadists killed after suicide bombers and gunmen armed with grenades attacked army base around dawn, attack took place hours after state of emergency extended for fourth time since last year, soldiers killed by four militants detonating explosive belts

One Palestinian killed and hundreds injured as protests at Gaza border continue for third consecutive Friday, dozens of Israeli flags and photos of Benjamin Netanyahu, Donald Trump and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman burned

Syrian government now in full control of eastern Ghouta as Douma falls, according to Russian defense ministry

Russia reserves right to shoot down US missiles fired at Syria and destroy launch sites, according to Moscow's envoy to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin

Saudi Arabia signs agreement with Paris Opera for it to help set up national orchestra and opera in country's second city Jeddah, deal made as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visits France

Israeli F-15 jets attack air base in Homs in central Syria with ballistic missiles according to Russian news agency Interfax, Israel does not comment on incident, Syrian media initially blamed US for assault

Patrick Cockburn: Many Palestinians have died in recent Gaza protests but Israel has to large extent escaped criticism, if Syrian government had acted in same way Western leaders would have denounced Assad as butcher

White Helmets claims Syrian army has dropped nerve agent on Douma in Eastern Ghouta and publishes images of civilians who allegedly were killed, Syrian government denies allegations which have not been verified

Twelve civilians killed in Saudi airstrike in coastal city of Hodeidah in western Yemen, Houthi rebels later target Saudi Arabia’s southern border area with missile

Most of eastern Ghouta now under Syrian government control according to army source, military operations continue in city of Douma which is controlled by Jaish al-Islam

At least ten Palestinians killed and hundreds injured in large clashes with Israeli troops at Gaza border, Palestinian rioters throw firebombs and rocks according to Israel's military

Turkish military enters Iraq's Sinjar region according to President Erdoğan, Iraqi security forces refute claim and say border is still under control

Seven ballistic missiles fired from Yemen toward targets in Saudi Arabia, all of them intercepted as explosions are heard across Riyadh, debris rains down in some neighborhoods