Middle East

Most recent Middle East blogs and columns

  • European foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamad Javad Zarif, from left, arrive to address the media after closed-door nuclear talks in Vienna, Austria, Wednesday, April 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

    UN Reports Iran Reduces Stock of Most-Enriched Uranium

    VIENNA—Iran has converted most of a nuclear stockpile that it could have turned quickly into weapons-grade uranium into less volatile forms as part of a... Read more

  • In this Friday, April 11, 2014 photo, masked anti-government gunmen hold their weapons in combat position in Fallujah, 65 kilometers (40 miles) west of Baghdad, Iraq. Al-Qaida-linked fighters and their allies seized the city of Fallujah and parts of the Anbar provincial capital Ramadi in late December after authorities dismantled a protest camp. Like the camp in the northern Iraqi town of Hawija whose dismantlement in April sparked violent clashes and set off the current upsurge in killing, the Anbar camp was set up by Sunnis angry at what they consider second-class treatment by the Shiite-led government. (AP Photo)

    Bomber, Gunmen Attack Iraq Military Base, Kill 10 Soldiers

    BAGHDAD—Militants launched a brazen attack on a military base in a restive area in northern Iraq on Thursday, killing at least 10 soldiers and wounding... Read more

  • Israel Arrests Arab Journalist Over Lebanon Visit

    JERUSALEM— Israel’s Shin Bet intelligence service said on Thursday that it has detained a young Israeli Arab journalist for traveling to Lebanon, which Israel considers... Read more

  • Female Afghan Lawmaker Wounded in Shooting Attack

    KABUL, Afghanistan— A female Afghan lawmaker was wounded in a shooting that her sister called a political attack, but which the government on Wednesday described... Read more

  • In this Friday, April 11, 2014 photo, masked anti-government gunmen hold their weapons in combat position in Fallujah, 65 kilometers (40 miles) west of Baghdad, Iraq. Al-Qaida-linked fighters and their allies seized the city of Fallujah and parts of the Anbar provincial capital Ramadi in late December after authorities dismantled a protest camp. Like the camp in the northern Iraqi town of Hawija whose dismantlement in April sparked violent clashes and set off the current upsurge in killing, the Anbar camp was set up by Sunnis angry at what they consider second-class treatment by the Shiite-led government. (AP Photo)

    Iraq: Abu Ghraib Prison Closure Not Permanent

    BAGHDAD— An Iraqi Justice Ministry official said Wednesday that this week’s closure of the infamous Abu Ghraib prison west of Baghdad is temporary and that... Read more

  • This photo provided by the anti-government activist group Aleppo Media Center (AMC), which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows a Syrian man carrying the body of a child killed by a government forces airstrike in the Al-Ansari neighborhood, in Aleppo, Syria, Tuesday, April 15, 2014. (AP Photo/Aleppo Media Center, AMC)

    Army: Jordan Air Force Strikes Cars Near Syria

    AMMAN, Jordan— Jordan’s army says the country’s air force has attacked cars that were at the kingdom’s border with neighboring Syria. An army statement says... Read more

  • FILE - This Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013 file photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows a general view of Maaloula village, northeast of the capital Damascus, Syria. Syrian government troops seized two villages, one of them an ancient Christian hamlet, north of Damascus on Monday, April 14, 2014 as part of the military's relentless offensive along the rugged frontier with Lebanon, state media and activists said. (AP Photo/SANA, File)

    Mortars Kill 1 Child, Wound Dozens in Damascus

    DAMASCUS, Syria— Two mortar rounds landed near schools in predominantly Christian districts of the Syrian capital Tuesday, killing one child and wounding 41 other people,... Read more

  • An Israeli soldier stands guard near the scene of a shooting near  the Tarqumiya checkpoint, near the West Bank city of Hebron, Monday, April 14, 2014. Police say assailants opened fire on an Israeli vehicle in the West Bank, killing one person and wounding two. (AP Photo/Gil Yohanan) ISRAEL OUT

    Hamas Praises Deadly West Bank Shooting

    JERUSALEM— The prime minister of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip has praised an attack that killed an Israeli in the West Bank. Speaking Tuesday in Gaza,... Read more

  • In this June 16, 2009, file photo, men sit in crowded cells in a jail in central Baghdad, Iraq. Iraqi officials outraged by the abuse of prisoners at the U.S.-run Abu Ghraib prison are dealing with a prison scandal of their own as allegations continue to surface about years of torture and mistreatment inside Iraq's own lockups. (AP Photo/Karim Kadim, File)

    Iraq Closes Notorious Prison Over Security Issues

    BAGHDAD— Iraq’s justice minister says authorities have closed down a notorious prison west of Baghdad over security concerns. Hassan al-Shimmari said Tuesday that 2,400 inmates... Read more

  • A Syrian forces tank arrives to take position during clashes with Syrian rebels, near the town of Rankous, Syria, April 13, 2014. (AP Photo/SANA)

    Three Hezbollah TV Journalists Killed in Syria

    BEIRUT—Hezbollah-owned Al-Manar TV says three of its journalists have been killed after they came under attack in the Syrian town of Maaloula. The station says... Read more

  • FILE - This Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013 file photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows a general view of Maaloula village, northeast of the capital Damascus, Syria. Syrian government troops seized two villages, one of them an ancient Christian hamlet, north of Damascus on Monday, April 14, 2014 as part of the military's relentless offensive along the rugged frontier with Lebanon, state media and activists said. (AP Photo/SANA, File)

    Syrian Forces Take 2 Villages Near Lebanese Border

    DAMASCUS, Syria— Syrian government troops seized two villages, one of them an ancient Christian hamlet, north of Damascus on Monday, as part of the military’s... Read more

  • Spain's King Juan Carlos, second left, with Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber, second right, UAE Minister of State, and head of Masdar, an Abu Dhabi company specializing in clean technology, renewable energy, and sustainable development, arrive at the UAE - Spain Economic Forum at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Monday, April 14, 2014. King Juan Carlos of Spain has begun a visit to the United Arab Emirates by telling the oil-rich nation it is at the top of his country’s political and economic agenda. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili)

    Spain Eyes Stronger Economic Ties With UAE Visit

    ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates— King Juan Carlos of Spain has begun a visit to the United Arab Emirates by telling the oil-rich nation that... Read more

  • Afghan presidential candidate Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai speaks during a press conference, in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, April 13, 2014.  Two clear front-runners emerged in Afghanistan's presidential election Sunday as partial results showed a tight race between President Hamid Karzai's closest rival in the last vote and a former World Bank official. With 10 percent of the ballots counted, Abdullah Abdullah, who came in second in the disputed 2009 election, had 41.9 percent, followed by Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai with 37.6 percent. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)

    Abdullah, Ghani Lead in Partial Afghan Vote Tally

    KABUL, Afghanistan—Two clear front-runners emerged in Afghanistan’s presidential election as partial results released Sunday showed a tight race that increasingly appears destined for a runoff... Read more

  • In this Thursday, April 10, 2014 photo, Palestinian students listen to a lesson in the Faculty of Medicine at the Al-Quds University in the West Bank village of Abu Dis, near Jerusalem. Dozens of Palestinian doctors who graduated from Al-Quds University, a school that has a foothold in east Jerusalem, are caught in the political battle between Israel and the Palestinians over the city’s eastern sector. Israel has refused to recognize the university’s graduates -- a move that could amount to acknowledging the Palestinian claims to east Jerusalem as their capital. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

    Palestinian Doctors Caught in Fight Over Jerusalem

    ABU DIS, West Bank— Since graduating from a local medical school nine years ago, Basel Nassar has been barred from serving his community in east... Read more

  • This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrian President Bashar Assad, left, speaking during a meeting with teachers and higher education students from Damascus University, in Damascus, Syria, Sunday, April 13, 2014. Assad said that there is a "turning point" in the crisis on the military front and with the continuous achievements of the army in the war against "terrorism." (AP Photo/SANA)

    US Looking Into Syria Toxic Gas Reports

    BEIRUT—The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations said Sunday that reports of a poison gas attack in a rural village north of Damascus were so... Read more

  • In this March 18, 2014 photo, Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a town hall meeting at the State Department. The Obama administration on Wednesday vented its anger at public insults and criticism of President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry by Israel's defense minister. The State Department said Kerry called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to protest recent remarks by Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon, who had accused the Obama administration of being weak on Iran and questioned its commitment to Israel's security. Previously, Yaalon has criticized Kerry personally for being unrealistic and naive in trying to forge an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

    Israeli Peace Negotiator Offers Optimism on Talks

    JERUSALEM—Israel’s chief peace negotiator on Sunday accused a hard-line faction of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s increasingly unwieldy coalition government of undermining her efforts, while Jewish... Read more

  • An Afghan elections worker notes the serial numbers of ballot boxes at a warehouse Independent Elections Commission in Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, April 6, 2014. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini)

    Partial Results Show Tight Race in Afghan Election

    KABUL, Afghanistan— Partial results in Afghanistan’s crucial presidential election show a tight race between ex-foreign minister Abdullah Abdullah and former finance minister Ashraf Ghani. Abdullah... Read more

  • FILE - In Tuesday April 20, 2010 file photo, an Emirates airline passenger jet taxis on the tarmac at Dubai International airport in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Officials say the Mideast’s busiest airport in Dubai will undergo a major runway overhaul starting next month that will see more than a dozen airlines shift flights to another airport in the city. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, File)

    Mideast’s Busiest Air Hub Plans Runway Overhaul

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates— Officials say Dubai airport, the Mideast’s busiest, will undergo a major runway overhaul starting next month that will see more than... Read more

  • Afghan election workers carry out of a ballot box from a truck at the warehouse of the Independent Elections Commission in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Monday, April 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan)

    Nearly 1,900 Fraud Complaints in Afghan Election

    KABUL, Afghanistan— An Afghan official says nearly 1,900 complaints of fraud in this month’s presidential election are being investigated but the number is lower than... Read more

  • UAE Ambassador to Iraq Abdullah al-Shihy, right, attends the meeting of Arab economic, finance, and trade ministers as part of Arab League Summit in Baghdad, Iraq, Tuesday, March 27, 2012.  . (AP Photo/Ali Haider, Pool)

    UAE Unveils New Law in Wider Push for Job Creation

    ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates— The United Arab Emirates is finalizing a new law to boost entrepreneurship with broad incentives as part of a wider... Read more


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