Middle East

Middle East Alignments: Open Questions

A rebel fighter calls on his comrades during clashes with regime forces in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on Oct. 31, 2014. Syria accused Turkey on Oct. 30, of a 'flagrant violation' of its sovereignty, as Ankara allowed Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters and opposition rebels to cross its border to battle jihadists. (Karam Al-Masri/AFP/Getty Images)
A rebel fighter calls on his comrades during clashes with regime forces in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on Oct. 31, 2014. Syria accused Turkey on Oct. 30, of a 'flagrant violation' of its sovereignty, as Ankara allowed Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga fighters and opposition rebels to cross its border to battle jihadists. (Karam Al-Masri/AFP/Getty Images)

The Syrian crisis and, before it, the Arab uprisings in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen, and Bahrain have exposed fault lines not only within the region,...

  • Cars are set on fire as Palestinians clash with Israeli border police after Moatez Higazi was shot in east Jerusalem Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014. Israeli police shot and killed Higazi, who was suspected of trying to kill a hard-line Jewish activist in Jerusalem, an incident that quickly sparked clashes between masked stone throwers and Israeli riot police, threatening to further enflame the already high tensions in the city. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

    Israel Closes Jerusalem Holy Site After Shooting

    JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel closed all access to Jerusalem’s most sensitive religious site on Thursday, a rare move that ratcheted up already heightened tensions following... Read more

  • In this June 16, 2014 file photo, demonstrators chant pro-Islamic State group slogans as they carry the group's flags in front of the provincial government headquarters in Mosul, 225 miles (360 kilometers) northwest of Baghdad. (AP Photo, File)

    Human Rights Watch Says Islamic State Militants Murdered 600 Iraq Prisoners

    BAGHDAD—Militants from the Islamic State carried out a mass killing of hundreds of Iraqi prison inmates when they seized the country’s second-largest city of Mosul... Read more

  • Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom talks during a news conference Thursday Oct. 30, 2014, at the government building Rosenbad, in Stockholm, after Sweden's new government officially recognized a Palestinian state. Wallstrom said the Scandinavian country had decided on the move because the criteria of international law required for such recognition had been fulfilled, "There is a territory, a people and government," she told reporters in Stockholm. (AP Photo/Annika af Klercker) SWEDEN OUT

    Sweden Recognizes Palestinian State; Israel Upset

    STOCKHOLM—Sweden on Thursday became the biggest Western European country to recognize a Palestinian state, prompting a strong protest from Israel, which swiftly withdrew its ambassador... Read more

  • Dozens of Kurdish peshmerga fighters drive through Arbil after leaving a base in northern Iraq on Oct. 28, 2014, on their way to the battleground Syrian town of Kobani. 'Forty vehicles carrying machineguns and weapons and artillery with 80 of the peshmerga forces will head to Dohuk (province) and then cross the border today,' a Kurdish officer told AFP. A further 72 will fly to Turkey the following day, the officer said. The town on the Turkish border has become a crucial front in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) group, which overran large parts of Iraq in June and also holds significant territory in Syria. (Safin Hamed/AFP/Getty Images)

    Small Iraqi Peshmerga Force Enters Syrian Town

    SURUC, Turkey—A vanguard force of Iraqi peshmerga troops entered the embattled Syrian border town of Kobani from Turkey on Thursday, part of a larger group... Read more

  • People cheer a group of Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga troops as they arrive in Mardin, southeastern Turkey, Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014. The peshmergas are on their way to Syria to help Syrian Kurds fighting Islamic State group militants in the embattled border town of Kobani or Ayn al-Arab. (AP Photo)

    Peshmerga Troops Cheered by Fellow Kurds in Turkey

    SURUC, Turkey—Iraqi peshmerga troops were cheered Wednesday by fellow Kurds in southeastern Turkey as the fighters slowly made their way toward the Syrian Kurdish border townof Kobani to try to... Read more

  • Rescue workers use pipes to pump water out of the mine after underground waters flooded a section of the Has Sekerler mine in the town of Ermenek, some 500 kilometers (300 miles) south of Ankara, close to Turkey’s Mediterranean coast, early Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014. Surging water trapped at least 18 workers Tuesday in the coal mine, officials and reports said - an event likely to raise even more concerns about the nation's poor workplace safety standards. Initial reports said flooding inside the coal mine near caused a cave-in, but subsequent reports workers were trapped by the water. (AP Photo/Depo Photos)

    Rescuers Work to Save 18 Trapped Turkish Miners

    ISTANBUL—Rescue workers have been pumping water out of a coal mine in southern Turkey all night as relatives wait anxiously nearby after surging waters trapped... Read more

  • In this image taken from video, a convoy of military vehicles and buses carrying peshmerga forces leave Sanliurfa International Airport in Sanliurfa Province, Turkey, Wednesday, Oct. 29, 2014. The group of Iraqi Kurdish peshmerga troops are headed to Syria to help in the fight against Islamic State militants.  (AP Photo/APTN)

    Syrian Rebels Enter Kurdish Town From Turkey

    MURSITPINAR, Turkey— Syrian activists and Kurdish officials say a small group of Syrian rebels have entered the embattled border town of Kobani to help Kurdish... Read more

  • Iran's President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a news conference in New York on Friday, Sept. 26, 2014. In his wide-ranging speech to the U.N. General Assembly on Thursday, Rouhani warned that Islamic terrorists were creating chaos in the Mideast to destroy civilization and generate anti-Muslim hatred, saying they wanted to create "a fertile ground for further intervention of foreign forces in our region." He also said a nuclear agreement was possible before the November deadline if the West wants a deal and shows flexibility. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

    Iran Assembly Rejects Rouhani Nominee for Minister

    TEHRAN, Iran— Iran’s conservative-dominated parliament has dismissed President Hassan Rouhani’s nominee for the post of science minister, arguing that the candidate isn’t fully committed to... Read more

  • The horizon is seen through a telescopic rifle belonging to a Kurdish Peshmerga sniper on the front line in the Gwer district, 40 kilometres south of Arbil, the capital of the Kurdish autonomous region in northern Iraq, on Sept. 15, 2014. (J.M. Lopez/AFP/Getty Images)

    Iraqi Kurdish Fighters to Head to Syria

    IRBIL, Iraq—Dozens of Iraq’s Kurdish peshmerga fighters will fly to Turkey on Tuesday and from there cross into the Syrian border town of Kobani to... Read more

  • A Palestinian collects wood from the rubble of his destroyed home in Shijaiyah neighborhood of Gaza City in the northern Gaza Strip, Sunday, Oct. 12, 2014. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

    Egypt Plans Buffer Zone Along Gaza Border

    EL-ARISH, Egypt—Egyptian security officials say authorities have ordered residents living along the country’s eastern border with the Gaza Strip to evacuate so they can demolish... Read more

  • Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai, right, walks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping after inspecting a guard of honor during a welcome ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

    New Afghanistan President Seeking Money From China

    BEIJING—Afghanistan’s new president began a visit to Beijing on Tuesday seeking Chinese help in rebuilding his country and promoting regional stability. Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai received... Read more

  • Kurdish children sit at a window in Suruc, on the Turkish side of the border with Syria, across from the Syrian town of Kobani, Monday, Oct. 27, 2014. Kobani, also known as Ayn Arab, and its surrounding areas, has been under assault by extremists of the Islamic State group since mid-September and is being defended by Kurdish fighters. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

    Kobani Kurd Refugees Find Haven at Nearby Turkish Villages

    ALANYURT, Turkey—Just eight families used to inhabit this small hamlet jutting into no-man’s land on the Turkish-Syrian border, eking out a living from the land,... Read more

  • 23 Workers Reported Trapped in Collapsed Turkey Coal Mine

    ANKARA, Turkey—Turkey’s state-run television says a coal mine in southern Turkey has collapsed, trapping 23 workers inside. TRT television says the tragedy occurred Tuesday in... Read more

  • Vehicles move towards the skyline of Dubai with the world's tallest building, Burj Khalifa, then under construction in the background, Jan. 20, 2008. The United Arab Emirates, already home to the world’s tallest tower, is now reaching for the stars, with plans to send the first Arab spaceship to Mars in 2021. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, File)

    Macy’s to Head Overseas With Branch in Abu Dhabi

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates— The Middle East will be getting the world’s first Macy’s department store outside the United States, and just for good measure,... Read more

  • Iraqi Shiite men who have volunteered to join government forces and militias in the fight against jihadists from the Islamic State group, take part in a training session in the central city of Hillah on Oct. 18, 2014. The Islamic State group led a sweeping offensive in June that overran much of Iraq's Sunni Arab heartland. (Haidar Hamdani/AFP/Getty Images)

    Australian Teenager Features in Second IS Video

    CANBERRA, Australia— An Australian teenage runaway, dubbed the Ginger Jihadist by the media, has been featured in a second Islamic State propaganda video. Australian media... Read more

  • Iranian Reyhaneh Jabbari (C) sits while attending her trial in a court in Tehran, Iran, on Dec. 15, 2008. Jabbari was hanged on Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014, who was convicted of murdering a man she said was trying to rape her, the official IRNA news agency reported. (AP Photo/Golara Sajjadian)

    UN Investigator, Banned by Iran, Not Fazed

    UNITED NATIONS— The United Nations special investigator on Iran is not fazed by a senior official’s announcement that he is banned from the country, saying... Read more