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  • Kurds push into Sinjar; Iraqis battle for airport

    Iraqi Kurdish forces gather on the roof of their makeshift base, as they look upon areas held by Islamic State militants outside of Mosul, less than 4 kilometers (2.5 miles) from the newly liberated village of Kasr Reej, Iraq, Friday, Dec. 19, 2014. Sporadic clashes between Iraqi Kurdish fighters and Islamic State extremists, as well as other logistics problems, are delaying the evacuation of the last Yazidis still trapped on Sinjar mountain, an Iraqi lawmaker said Friday. (AP Photo/Zana Ahmed)SINJAR, Iraq (AP) — Iraqi Kurdish fighters, backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes against the Islamic State group, pushed their way Sunday into the town of Sinjar, captured by the Sunni militants last summer.


  • Egyptian jailed for 10 years for spying for Israel

    In February 2011, two Iranian warships entered the Mediterranean through the Suez Canal for the first time since the Islamic revolution of 1979, prompting Israel to put its navy on high alertCairo (AFP) - An Egyptian court has jailed a Suez Canal shipping services manager for 10 years on charges of spying for Israel about naval movements through the strategic waterway, state media reported.


  • Jordan hangs 11 men after eight-year death penalty moratorium

    Jordan executed 11 men convicted of murder by hanging on Sunday, the interior ministry said, as it ended an informal eight-year moratorium on the death penaltyJordan executed 11 men convicted of murder by hanging on Sunday, the interior ministry said, as it ended an informal eight-year moratorium on the death penalty. Authorities said the men were all Jordanians convicted on murder charges in 2005 and 2006. Jordan's last previous executions were in June 2006 and 122 people have since been sentenced to death. Interior Minister Hussein Majali suggested recently that the moratorium might end, saying there was a "major debate" in Jordan on the death penalty and that "the public believes that the rise in crime has been the result of the non-application" of capital punishment.


  • Saudi says security forces kill four militants in Shi'ite village
    DOHA (Reuters) - Security forces killed four militants in eastern Saudi Arabia on Saturday in a raid on a hideout used by gunmen who killed a policeman in the area last week, the interior ministry said. The shootout was the deadliest incident in recent years in Awamiya, a village that has been the focal point of unrest among Saudi Shi'ite Muslims since mass protests in early 2011 calling for an end to discrimination and for democratic reforms in the absolute Sunni monarchy. ...
  • Exclusive: Iran's support for Syria tested by oil price drop

    Syria's President Bashar al-Assad speaks during an interview with French magazine Paris Match,in DamascusBy Suleiman Al-Khalidi AMMAN (Reuters) - Syrian businessmen and trade officials say they are worried the economic lifeline provided by Iran is under strain from plunging oil prices, despite public messages of support from Syria's strongest regional ally. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has relied on oil-producing Iran to help him fight insurgents in a nearly four-year-old civil war and also prop up a currency under pressure. “If it had not been for Iranian support we could not have survived the crisis," a senior Syrian trade official said from Damascus, requesting anonymity. ...


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