Middle East | Corax

Middle East

Middle East

Turkey is building a wall along its border with Iran to prevent a new refugee flow, a 5 km section of the 3 metre-high wall is under construction and Turkey is aiming to build a 295 km-long wall on its Iranian border, beefed up by barbed wires and trenches

Hard-line Chief Justice Ebrahim Raisi wins Iran presidential election in landslide victory amid lowest turnout in the Islamic Republic's history after a panel under the watch of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei disqualifies Raisi's strongest competition

Yamina leader Naftali Bennett and Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid reach deal to form new governing coalition consisting of partners that span the Israeli political spectrum, ending the record-setting 12-year rule of Benjamin Netanyahu, the agreement still needs to be approved by the Knesset

Requests for permits to carry a weapon spike in Israel after the riots in Lod and Ramla, normally, 270 applications are made weekly, but between May 10 and May 16, 1,926 were received, all Israeli citizens can apply for a license to carry a firearm once they reach the eligible age

Israel Defence Forces announce it killed five senior Hamas leaders in targeted strikes, the dead include head of Hamas military intelligence security department and head of the military intelligence counterespionage department, adding "looks like our intel was better"

Israeli police in night-time clashes with thousands of rock-hurling Palestinians at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque on Friday amid potential eviction of Palestinians from homes on land claimed by Jewish settlers, leaving 205 Palestinians and 17 Israeli officers injured

Egypt prepares move to new capital this summer, the unnamed New Administrative Capital is located 45 km from the Nile on virgin land, designed to operate with smart technology and expected to house at least 6 million residents when finished

Iraqi security forces kills ISIS terrorist commander Abu Yaser al-Issawi, who claimed to be the leader of the group in Iraq and its deputy caliph, according to Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi

Saudi Arabia officially bans Turkish products, the Saudi government has been reported to contact individual businesses and order them not to trade with Turkish companies or buy any products made in Turkey, it has also launched a campaign to discourage its citizens from travelling to Turkey

Lebanon’s Prime Minister Hassan Diab set to announce the resignation of his government after the explosion in Beirut which killed at least 163 people and has stirred public outrage and spurred a string of ministers to step down

At least 10 dead and hundreds wounded in a massive explosion at Beirut's port, General Abbas Ibrahim said it appears the explosion was caused by highly explosive material confiscated years ago stored in a warehouse

Southern Yemen separatists Southern Transitional Council announces having seized government facilities and military bases on the main island of Socotra, Yemen's President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi condemns the action as a full-fledged coup, Socotra governor Ramzi Mahroos accuses coalition leaders Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates of turning a blind eye

Benjamin Netanyahu corruption trial where he faces bribery, fraud and breach of trust charges in three cases opens on Sunday, becoming first serving Israeli prime minister to face criminal prosecution

Egyptian military in North Sinai kills 21 jihadi terrorists planning attacks later in May, the Armed Forces says 126 terrorists have been killed earlier this month in 22 raids and 12 operations in Central and North Sinai

19 Iranian sailors killed and 15 wounded when Iranian frigate Jamaran accidentally strikes support ship Konarak with a missile during an exercise in the Gulf of Oman

UAE-backed Yemeni separatists Southern Transitional Council declare state of emergency and say they will self-govern southern provinces, the Saudi-backed government says the move violates the November Riyadh agreement where the respective sides were to join a new national cabinet and place all forces under governmental control

Saudi Arabia declares national ceasefire in Yemen after five years of war, the Houthis did not immediately respond to the announcement, Yemeni government officials living in Riyadh is said to have accepted the ceasefire

Afghanistan to release 1,500 Taliban prisoners in coming days to pave way for peace talks, plans releasing additional 5,000 prisoners over 20 weeks if the talks make progress, demands written guarantee from all released Jihadists that they not return to the battlefield, according to Reuters

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan files 164,000 USD lawsuit against opposition MP Engin Özkoç (CHP) for "impudent remarks", Özkoç called Erdoğan dishonorable and a traitor for referring to a dead Turkish soldier as a "head" and accused the president of being responsible for the massacre of millions of Muslims in Syria, investigation regarding insulting the president also launched by the Ankara Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office where Özkoç risks four years in prison

Iran has tripled enriched uranium stockpile since November in breach of nuclear deal, refuses to answer questions regarding three locations where possibly nuclear material is stored or nuclear-related activities is undertaken without declaring it to international observers, according to IAEA

Turkish court approves Minister of Treasury and Finance Berat Albayrak's request for ban on reporting about the ban on reporting about his property purchases along the planned shipping canal project Kanal İstanbul, the President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan son-in law purchased 13 hectares of farmland in 2012 and the land is listed as residential zones in the mega project

Palestinians prefer Israeli employers over Palestinian ones due to higher salaries, better benefits, more extensive legal protection and absence of gender or religious discrimination

Up to 90% of the 11 million saplings planted in more than 2,000 sites in Turkey during National Forestation Day last November are dead according to the country's agriculture and forestry trade union – the ministry of agriculture and forestry denies the claim and says 95% of the saplings are healthy and growing, union head Şükrü Durmuş says the number is untrue as the normal success rate is about 70% and here the planting was done at the wrong time and not by experts

Afghan forces kill 51 Taliban during 24 hours of combined ground attacks and air strikes in nine provinces, 13 terrorists wounded and six arrested, the Taliban respond by killing 18 security force members and capturing large weapons cache in two attacks against checkpoints, escalation reported to signal renewed deadlock in peace talks

Israel to build network of seismic and acoustic sensors buried in the ground along Lebanese frontier to detect cross-border tunnel building, a year after Israeli military destroyed a series of infiltration tunnels dug by Hezbollah

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei defends Revolutionary Guards in his first Friday prayers sermon in eight years, tells worshippers to take fight beyond Iran’s borders while footage from anti government demonstrations show protesters being beaten

Iraqi special forces apprehend notorious Daesh mufti Shifa Al-Nima, decreed Mosque of Prophet Yunus seat of apostasy, issued fatwas calling for the destruction of Mosul cultural heritage

Iranian anti-regime protests enter third day after Tehran admits it shot down passenger jet, with celebrities including film director Masoud Kimiai and singer Alireza Assar turning on regime and two state TV hosts quit over false reporting on crash

Iran's only female Olympic medalist defects, 21-year-old taekwondo athletee Kimia Alizadeh writes she's been used as a propaganda tool and is one of country's millions of oppressed women – has emigrated to the Netherlands and hopes to compete at 2020 Tokyo Olympics under different flag, according to Isma news agency

Israeli police officers impersonating Palestine technicians assaulted by teenagers in the illegal Jewish settlement Bat Ayin, RT reports recent uptick in anti-Palestinian violence in the region, officers only sustained light injuries

The US embassy in Baghdad urges all American citizens to depart Iraq forthwith

Iran restricts mobile internet access in several provinces, Iranian news agency reports, ahead of new protests expected to kick off on Thursday following calls for demonstrations on social media, unrest in November led to 1,500 people being killed in less than two weeks

Israel will see an unprecedented third general election within a year on March 2 after failing to establish a new government, comes as talks between Benjamin Netanyahu and his centrist rival Benny Gantz broke down ahead of deadline

39,8% of educated Saudis consanguineously married, usually with first cousin, equally common on all education levels but more common for people with family history of such marriages

Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi announces his resignation after Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani urged lawmakers to reconsider support for the government, comes after more than 60 people were shot dead by security forces on Thursday

Tens of thousands Algerian protesters across the country demand presidential election canceled until old ruling guard step aside and army quit politics, 41st consecutive weekly protest in movement which made army jail top officials as well as force former president Abdelaziz Bouteflika to quit in April

Reports of at least 30 people killed in Iranian Kermanshah province this week as Iranian troops and members of elite Revolutionary Guards helped police quell protests, with over 100 people killed nationwide, Iran blames anti-revolutionary groups and US intelligence services

Israeli aircraft struck dozens of Iranian and Syrian targets in Syria in response to rockets fired by Iranian force in Syria, local reports said loud explosions were heard in Damaskus, all four Iranian rockets said to have been intercepted by Israel

Israeli air strike kills senior commander of militant group Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) in Gaza, Benjamin Netanyahu says Abu al-Ata was a ticking bomb who was planning to carry out attacks on the country, PIJ responds by firing 150 rockets at Israel

Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri resigns following two weeks of protests initially triggered by plans to tax WhatsApp calls, protests have led to closure of banks, schools and universities, Hariri says he has reached a dead end

Benjamin Netanyahu ends effort to form government, hands mandate back to President Reuven Rivlin, rival Benny Gantz of Blue and White alliance to attempt to create majority coalition

Turkey pressed its military offensive against Kurdish fighters in northeast Syria, shelling towns and bombing targets in operation forcing over 60,000 to flee their homes, at least 23 Kurdish fighters and eight civilians reported killed

British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero which was detained by Iran for 10 weeks docks in Dubai, the remaining 16 crew received medical checks before traveling home to their families

Iran seizes another tanker in Straits of Hormuz for allegedly attempting to smuggle 250,000 liters of diesel fuel into United Arab Emirates, crew of 11 reportedly been arrested by Iranian authorities, second such seizure this month after boat was detained and its 12 Filipino crew members arrested on September 7

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"