Middle East

  • Syria hotspot enjoys lull with UN monitors present
    1227754_h_425_pd_1_mxw_620 2012-04-22 21:18:02 UTC
    BEIRUT (AP) — The deployment of U.N. truce monitors brought a lull in shelling of the Syrian opposition stronghold of Homs for a second day Sunday while President Bashar Assad's troops kept up heavy attacks on other areas where observers were not ...
  • UN observers tour rebel-held town in Syria
    848299 2012-04-22 15:47:42 UTC
    BEIRUT (AP) — U.N. cease-fire monitors toured a rebel-held town in central Syria Sunday with army defectors, while government troops pounded a Damascus suburb with artillery and heavy machine guns, activists said. The shelling in Douma highligh...
  • UN monitors visit Syria opposition stronghold
    120421_syria_protest_660 2012-04-21 21:30:32 UTC
    BEIRUT (AP) — Five unarmed U.N. truce monitors toured the battered city at the heart of the Syrian uprising on foot Saturday, encountering unusually calm streets after weeks of shelling as a throng of residents clamored for foreign military help t...
  • Syrians ask UN monitors in Homs for intervention
    628x471-1 2012-04-21 14:24:31 UTC
    BEIRUT (AP) — A group of U.N. cease-fire observers toured a rebel-held neighborhood in the central city of Homs Saturday as residents chanted loudly for a military intervention to protect them from President Bashar Assad's regime forces. Fighti...
  • Europe, Russia propose rival resolutions on Syria
    Untitled 2012-04-21 05:31:41 UTC
    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — European nations and Russia proposed rival U.N. resolutions Friday morning, both calling for expanding the number of U.N. cease-fire monitors in Syria from 30 to 300 but disagreeing on possible sanctions and on how quickly th...
  • Syrian forces fire on anti-regime protesters
    4f91a4a5761ee.image 2012-04-20 18:43:24 UTC
    BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian troops fired tear gas and bullets on thousands of protesters who spilled out of mosques after noon prayers Friday, activists said. State media reported that bombs and shootings killed 17 soldiers as the latest diplomatic effor...
  • Tiny Gulf islands rekindle big Arab-Iran dispute
    18475277 2012-04-20 01:32:39 UTC
    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — There would seem to be enough points of tension to keep Iran and its Gulf Arab rivals fully occupied: Tehran's nuclear program, accusations of Iranian meddling in Bahrain's uprising, Iranian threats to block Gulf oil shipping l...
  • Russia ‘cooperative’ on Syria – Pentagon chief
    Untitled 2012-04-20 01:01:23 UTC
    Russia has started interacting with the United States and other countries on the Syria issue, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Thursday, RIA Novosti reported. "At this point, Russia has been cooperative" in negotiating a ceasefire de...
  • Clinton urges tougher UN pressure on Syria
    Untitled 2012-04-19 22:53:11 UTC
    PARIS (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called Thursday for the U.N. Security Council to adopt an arms embargo and other tough measures against Syria to try to halt 13 months of bloodshed, but she acknowledged such diplomatic a...
  • "Friends of Syria say Annan plan is last hope
    Web-syria2_1390844cl-8 2012-04-19 18:02:11 UTC
    PARIS (Reuters) - The "Friends of Syria" coalition meeting in Paris on Thursday called a U.N.-backed peace plan the "last hope" to resolve the crisis and said they would do all they could to help it succeed, according to draft conclusions obtained...
  • Iran open for IAEA talks, no word on Parchin: diplomats
    1109-nuclear_iran_iaea.jpg_full_600 2012-04-19 17:53:55 UTC
    VIENNA (Reuters) - Iran says it is ready to resume talks with the U.N. nuclear watchdog two months after their last meeting ended in failure, but still appears to be stonewalling a request for access to a key military site, Western diplomats said ...
  • Syria hasn't fully complied with Annan peace plan: U.N. chief
    Default 2012-04-19 05:49:57 UTC
    UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Syria has not fully complied with a U.N.-backed peace plan for the country and has yet to send a "clear signal" about its commitment to ending more than a year of violence, the U.N. chief told the Security Council in a l...
  • US aircraft carriers not allowed to stop in areas designated by Iran
    Iran_major 2012-04-19 04:21:02 UTC
    The commander of the Iranian Armed Forces said on Wednesday that Iran has notified the two U.S. aircraft carriers deployed in the Persian Gulf that they are not allowed to stop in certain areas of the Persian Gulf designated by Iranian naval force...
  • U.S. says Syria at turning point, stresses pressure
    Addbd_120321055152-hillary-clinton-afghan-foreign-minister-march-21-story-top 2012-04-18 18:23:12 UTC
    BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Syria is at a turning point where the violence must stop or the United States will find ways to increase pressure on the Damascus government, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said on Wednesday. Clinton gave no deta...
  • Exclusive: Bolivia poised to de-flag Iranian ships
    640x392_14434_208683 2012-04-18 17:49:38 UTC
    DUBAI (Reuters) - Bolivia is poised to strike fifteen vessels linked to the Islamic Republic of Iran Shipping Lines off its shipping register just weeks after IRISL found Bolivian replacements for their Maltese and Cypriot flags. IRISL, its man...
  • Oil buyers cut more Iran imports due to sanctions
    640x392_16028_159541 2012-04-18 17:16:25 UTC
    TOKYO/LONDON (Reuters) - Japan will slash crude purchases from Iran in April, and European and Taiwanese customers will also take less, industry sources told Reuters on Wednesday, adding to signs Western sanctions are curbing sales from OPEC's sec...
  • Arab ministers urge Syria to open up to U.N. monitors
    Annan 2012-04-17 23:41:25 UTC
    DOHA (Reuters) - Arab League ministers met U.N.-Arab special envoy Kofi Annan on Tuesday and pressed Syria to cooperate fully with his peace mission, first by providing unfettered access to ceasefire monitors. A six-day-old truce has held in so...
  • U.N. sees need for more Syria observers, aircraft
    Lebanese_pm_hariri_is_being_held_hostage_by_saudi_arabia 2012-04-18 01:16:07 UTC
    BEIRUT (Reuters) - A United Nations mission to oversee an end to violence in Syria may need to bring in its own aircraft and deploy more troops to ensure that a firm ceasefire takes hold throughout the country, U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon s...
  • Afghan Taliban says rehearsed attack for two months
    R-1 2012-04-17 05:30:43 UTC
    KABUL (Reuters) - The insurgents who mounted weekend attacks in central Kabul and other parts of Afghanistan carefully rehearsed for months, even building small military-style models and pre-positioning weapons, a Taliban spokesman said on Monday....
  • Karzai says NATO failed as 18-hour Kabul attack ends
    Wor-afganistan-suicide 2012-04-17 01:46:31 UTC
    KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan President Hamid Karzai said on Monday that a coordinated Taliban attack on Kabul showed a "failure" by Afghan intelligence and especially by NATO, while Washington signaled the Haqqani group of militants was responsible. ...
  • Algeria offers own brand of "Arab Spring" for vote
    Algeria 2012-04-15 21:34:28 UTC
    ALGIERS (Reuters) - Algeria on Sunday launched the campaign for a parliamentary election that the ruling elite, in power for 50 years, hopes will soak up the pressure for change that has been building since the "Arab Spring" revolts in neighboring...
  • Taliban attack Afghanistan in "spring offensive"
    Photo_1334514714571-9-0 2012-04-15 20:37:26 UTC
    KABUL (Reuters) - Heavy explosions, rockets and gunfire rattled Kabul on Sunday as Afghanistan's Taliban launched a "spring offensive" with multiple attacks targeting Western embassies, the NATO force's headquarters and the parliament building. ...
  • Corrected-Beyond monitors, world deeply divided on Syria
    Picture 2012-04-15 07:05:55 UTC
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - With a cease-fire barely holding and the deployment of unarmed foreign observers expected to ease but not end months of violence, world powers are still struggling to find a longer-term strategy for Syria. After heavy dip...
  • Israel moves to thwart pro-Palestinian fly-in
    640x392_56849_207767 2012-04-15 02:23:52 UTC
    JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel moved to block an influx of pro-Palestinian activists planning to visit the occupied West Bank, drafting a letter from the Prime Minister's Office suggesting they focus instead on "real problems" in the Middle East, of...
  • Iran, big powers agree - to keep talking
    Screen_shot_2012-04-13_at_9.05.55_am 2012-04-15 01:48:45 UTC
    ISTANBUL (Reuters) - After a year of sanctions and saber-rattling over Iran's nuclear program, negotiators from Tehran and six world powers finally resumed talks and found at least enough common ground to agree to meet again next month. With th...