The Daily Star : Middle East (113)

Indications that 9 foreigners abducted in Libya in 2015 are dead: Austria

Austria said Wednesday it had some evidence that nine foreign oilfield workers abducted by Islamist militants in Libya in 2015 were killed the same year, though it was still trying to verify the information.

Moody's: Egypt economy still recovering from 2011 uprising

An international credit rating agency says Egypt's economy has started to improve but has yet to recover from the 2011 uprising and the years of unrest that followed.

Turkey to consider sanctions over Kurdish independence vote

Turkey will consider imposing sanctions on Kurdish northern Iraq over its planned independence referendum, President Tayyip Erdogan was cited by state-run Anadolu news agency as saying.

Hamas member dies in Gaza tunnel incident

A Hamas member died in an incident in a tunnel in Gaza, the movement said Tuesday, the third such death in five days.

Militants launch wide attack near Hama

Militants launched an offensive against government-held parts of northwestern Syria near Hama Tuesday in their biggest attack there since March, triggering airstrikes on rebel territory.

Turkey's Erdogan says Kurdish independence vote risks regional crisis

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey Tuesday said a Kurdish independence referendum in northern Iraq could lead to fresh conflicts in the Middle East.

3 dead in Iraq restaurant attack claimed by Daesh

Two suicide bombers killed at least three people and wounded 34 Tuesday in an Iraqi restaurant frequented by militiamen battling Daesh security sources said, in an attack claimed by Daesh.

US will forfeit trust if exits nuclear deal: Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned Tuesday that the United States would forfeit the trust of the international community if it abandons a nuclear accord with Tehran.

Turkish warplanes kill three Kurdish militants in northern Iraq: army

Turkish warplanes struck Kurdish militant targets in northern Iraq Tuesday, killing three militants, the military said, as part of a widening campaign against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party .

Britain, Saudi Arabia sign military cooperation deal: state media

Britain and Saudi Arabia signed a framework deal on military and security cooperation, Saudi state news agency SPA said Tuesday, redoubling efforts to counter Iran in the Gulf region and defeat Daesh .

Hamas asks Abbas to lift Gaza sanctions

Hamas called on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas Tuesday to respond to the disbanding of its shadow government in the Gaza Strip by ending his sanctions on the impoverished enclave.

Turkey confirms intelligence officers captured in Iraq: minister

A Turkish minister appeared to confirm for the first time that two Turkish intelligence officers have been captured in northern Iraq, saying the government was not in direct talks with the Kurdish militant PKK group to bring them back.

Iraqi forces seize village in one of last Daesh bastions

Iraqi security forces and paramilitary units Tuesday seized a village in one of the last pockets of territory controlled by Daesh in the vast western province of Anbar, bordering Syria.

Egypt says it will host 'reorganization' of Libyan army

Egypt said Tuesday it will host the "reorganization" of Libya's army, currently an eastern-based force led by Gen. Khalifa Haftar.

Fuel shortage in Libya after fighters close pipeline

Libyans queued in long lines outside petrol stations in Tripoli Tuesday after fighters forced the closure of a fuel pipeline to the city.

Qatar, Kuwait stop renewing visas for North Korean workers

North Korean workers will start leaving Qatar and Kuwait after the Gulf Arab states said they would stop renewing visas, cutting off a source of foreign income for Pyongyang after U.N. Security Council sanctions and pressure from the United States

Coalition accuses Yemen rebels of hindering food imports

The Saudi-led military coalition fighting on the side of Yemen's government on Tuesday accused Iran-backed rebels of delaying vital food and other imports through a major Red Sea port

Egypt's Sisi, Israel's Netanyahu meet for first time in public

Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have met for the first time in public in what Egypt said was part of an effort to revive the Middle East peace process

Israel intercepts drone headed toward Golan Heights

The Israeli military says it has shot down a drone that attempted to enter the airspace above the Golan Heights

Police deploy in Iraqi oil city Kirkuk after deadly clash

Police deployed in the northern Iraqi oil city of Kirkuk to prevent any outbreak of ethnic violence ahead of an independence referendum strongly opposed by the central Baghdad government and Western and regional powers

Militants attack Syrian govt areas near Hama

Extremists launched an offensive against government-held areas of northwestern Syria near Hama on Tuesday in their biggest attack in the area since March, triggering heavy air strikes on rebel-held areas, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said

Militants attack Syrian-government areas near Hama

The Syrian army and its allies early Tuesday morning fended off a large-scale attack by Jabhat al-Nusra and affiliates.

Trump says giving Mideast peace 'an absolute go'

U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday he believed we really have a chance to make peace between Palestine and Israel as he met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

More Syria troops cross Euphrates, close to U.S.-backed forces

Syrian troops crossed to the eastern side of the Euphrates River in Deir al-Zor Monday, state media and an activist group reported, increasing their presence in an area where U.S.-backed forces have also advanced.

Iraq top court orders suspension of Kurdish independence vote

Iraq's top court Monday temporarily suspended the northern Kurdish region's referendum on independence that's due next week.

Iraqi Kurds push ahead with vote to pressure Baghdad

Iraq's Kurds are planning to vote on their independence in a Sept. 25 referendum, but the poll is more of a tool to pressure Baghdad than a step toward real secession, observers say.

Foreign Daesh families in Iraq moved to new site

About 1,400 foreign wives and children of suspected Daesh militants have been moved to a new site north of Mosul, Iraqi authorities confirmed Monday, dismissing the concerns of aid organizations, who were not warned about the move.

Kurds: One stateless people across four countries

The Kurds, a non-Arab ethnic group, number between 25 and 35 million people who are spread across four countries but without a state of their own.

Saudi Arabia trains first women air traffic controllers

Saudi Arabia will train women to work as air traffic controllers, state media reported, as the kingdom seeks to create more jobs for women as part of a reform push to wean the economy off oil.

France warns against Kurdish independence vote

France's top diplomat on Monday urged Iraq's autonomous Kurdish region to cancel next week's planned independence vote, warning that now is not the time to go it alone.

Hundreds to jail, but Egyptian court acquits Irish student in mass trial

An Egyptian court sentenced hundreds to jail for murder and illegally protesting on Monday after a mass trial criticized by rights groups

Syria war crimes investigator blasts impunity in farewell speech

Outgoing Syria war crimes investigator Carla Del Ponte said on Monday she had quit her post out of frustration over "total impunity", in a fiery farewell speech

'Ridiculous' if Trump doesn't back 2-state solution: Palestinian official

A senior Palestinian official said Monday it would be "utterly ridiculous" if Donald Trump did not commit to the two-state solution, ahead of a meeting between the US president and Mahmoud Abbas

WHO urges Yemen to accept vaccines as cholera crisis deepens

The World Health Organization on Monday urged Yemen to approve cholera vaccinations it has offered to help contain an epidemic that could affect nearly a million people by year's end

US and Iran argue over inspections at nuclear watchdog meeting

The United States and Iran quarreled over how Tehran's nuclear activities should be policed at a meeting of the U.N. nuclear watchdog on Monday, in a row sparked last month by Washington's call for wider inspections.

Iraq set to expel 500 wives of Daesh extremists

Iraq moved 500 wives of Daesh extremists to a detention center in preparation to deport them after they were captured along with 800 children, a councillor said Monday

Turkey summons German ambassador as tensions mount

BERLIN, Sept 18 - Turkey summoned Germany's ambassador to its foreign ministry on Monday, Berlin said, amid a mounting row between the two NATO powers.

Turkey puts on trial 31 staff from pro-Gulen daily

Thirty-one former employees of a now shuttered Turkish newspaper that had backed the US-based Islamic preacher Fethullah Gulen went on trial Monday charged with links to the failed 2016 coup.

Iran says US seeking to undermine nuclear deal

Iran's nuclear chief on Monday accused the United States of seeking to undermine a landmark 2015 deal with major powers, calling on the UN watchdog to resist Washington's "unacceptable demands".

Syrian troops battling Daesh advance toward US-backed force

Syrian troops battling Daesh crossed to the eastern bank of the Euphrates River in Deir al-Zor on Monday, securing their hold on the eastern city but threatening a potential standoff with U.S.-backed forces operating nearby

Syrian army crosses to eastern bank of Euphrates in key city

Opposition activists say Syrian government troops battling Daesh have crossed to the eastern bank of the Euphrates River in Deir al-Zor for the first time since they broke a siege on parts of the eastern city earlier this month

Iraq supreme court orders suspension of Kurdistan referendum

Iraq's supreme court on Monday ordered the suspension of a September 25 referendum on the independence of Iraqi Kurdistan, to examine whether such a poll would be constitutional

UN says 2 Americans unjustly held in Iran part of a pattern

A United Nations panel says two Iranian-Americans serving 10-year prison sentences on spying charges in Iran should be immediately freed and paid restitution

Turkey sends tanks, equipment to Syria border

Turkey sent 80 military vehicles including tanks to its southwestern border with Syria, the state-run Anadolu news agency said Sunday.

Hamas 'ready' to hand Gaza to unity govt

Hamas has agreed to dissolve the administration that runs Gaza, it said Sunday, a major step toward handing control of the enclave to a Palestinian unity government after a decade of bitter rivalry with President Mahmoud Abbas.

Iraq to use force if Kurdish vote turns violent

Iraq is prepared to intervene militarily if the Kurdish region's planned independence referendum results in violence, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi told the Associated Press in an interview.

Iran warns Iraq Kurds independence means end to border deals

Tehran, Sept 17, 2017 - Iran warned on Sunday that independence for Iraqi Kurdistan would mean an end to all border and security arrangements with the regional government.

Qatar agrees to buy 24 jet fighters from the UK

Qatar signed an agreement Sunday to buy 24 Typhoon fighter jets from Britain, a second major defense deal signed by Doha during its lengthening diplomatic dispute with its neighbors.

Tunisia Islamist party says municipal polls postponed

The head of Tunisia's Islamist Ennahda party on Sunday said the country's first post-revolution municipal polls due in December would be postponed, probably until March next year.

Libya trafficker's militia in deadly clash with security forces

A Libyan militia led by a former people trafficker clashed Sunday with security forces at a checkpoint in the western city of Sabratha, leaving one dead, a security official said.