Middle East News

  • Senators: More US special ops troops may be needed in Yemen

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Two influential senators are calling on President Barack Obama to send more U.S. special operations forces to hotspots around the Middle East.

    Associated Press47 mins ago
  • Japan stunned by video claiming death of 1 of 2 IS hostages

    TOKYO (AP) — From the prime minister to ordinary people, Japanese were shocked Sunday at a video purportedly showing one of two Japanese hostages of the extremist Islamic State group had been killed.

    Associated Press
  • Obama: Counterterrorism operations in Yemen not affected

    NEW DELHI (AP) — President Barack Obama defended his counterterrorism strategy in tumultuous Yemen Sunday, saying efforts to root out a dangerous al-Qaida affiliate there would not be affected by the political vacuum in the country.

    Associated Press
  • Failed Iraq woman bomber wanted by IS in Japan hostage case

    Sajida al-Rishawi, whose release is demanded by the Islamic State jihadist group that claimed the murder of a Japanese hostage, is a would-be Iraqi female suicide bomber on death row in Jordan. Rishawi was sentenced to death in 2006 for triple hotel bomb attacks in Amman that killed 60 people on…

    AFP
  • Pope: Christian unity means no competing for faithful

    ROME (AP) — Pope Francis has laid out his formula for fostering Christian unity: resist competing for souls and make concrete gestures of acceptance and dialogue.

    Associated Press
  • Iran foreign minister: Outreach to Saudi Arabia 'necessary'

    TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's foreign minister says his outreach to regional rival Saudi Arabia after the death of the kingdom's ruler was "necessary."

    Associated Press
  • Japan condemns IS execution, demands remaining hostage release

    By Linda Sieg and Kiyoshi Takenaka TOKYO (Reuters) - Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday called the killing of a Japanese captive by Islamic State militants "outrageous" and again demanded the group release a second Japanese national they are holding. Abe, speaking to public broadcaster…

    Reuters
  • Obama, Japan's Abe discuss apparent IS execution: White House

    NEW DELHI (Reuters) - President Barack Obama phoned Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Sunday from New Delhi to offer condolences for the apparent killing of a Japanese citizen by Islamic State militants, the White House said. Obama thanked Abe for the humanitarian aid that Japan has provided to…

    Reuters
  • Father of Japanese hostage reported killed still hopeful

    TOKYO (AP) — The father of the Japanese hostage purportedly shown in a video as having been killed by Islamic State militants is hoping against hope his son could still be alive.

    Associated Press
  • Obama to cut short India trip to pay call on Saudi Arabia

    RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, Germany (AP) — President Barack Obama will shorten his trip to India and divert to Saudi Arabia, paying respects after the death of King Abdullah and meeting with the oil-rich nation's new monarch, the White House said Saturday.

    Associated Press
  • Obama, Cameron condemn Japan hostage 'murder'

    US President Barack Obama strongly condemned the killing of one of two Japanese hostages by the Islamic State group, announced in a video that has not yet been officially authenticated. Obama's comments, echoed Saturday by British Prime Minister David Cameron who condemned the group's "murderous…

    AFP
  • Tributes to Saudi King spark rights criticism in Britain

    As world leaders flew to Saudi Arabia to mark the death of King Abdullah, several prominent British politicians criticized the deference shown to the leader of a country accused of having a poor human rights record. Human rights campaigners and politicians from different parties questioned why the…

    Reuters
  • Exclusive: Some counter-terrorism efforts in Yemen frozen for now - U.S. officials

    By Mark Hosenball and Phil Stewart WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States has halted some counter-terrorism operations against al Qaeda militants in Yemen following a takeover of the country by Iran-backed Houthi rebels, U.S. officials said on Friday. The collapse of the U.S.-backed government…

    Reuters
  • First U.S. troops head to Middle East to train Syrian opposition

    By David Alexander and Phil Stewart WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has ordered the first group of about 100 U.S. troops to head to the Middle East in the next few days to establish training sites for Syrian opposition fighters battling Islamic State militants, the Pentagon…

    Reuters
  • Challenges on multiple fronts likely to test new Saudi king

    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia's new monarch inherits the throne at a moment when the oil-rich kingdom is being buffeted by a plunge in the value of its most valuable commodity, growing challenges by activists at home and deepening turmoil on its borders that stands to benefit…

    Associated Press
  • New generation enters line to Saudi throne as king mourned

    RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — As Saudi Arabia mourned its late ruler, King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud quickly set the course for the monarchy's future Friday by naming a second-in-line to the throne from the next generation of princes for the first time.

    Associated Press
  • World leaders react to death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah

    Comments from world leaders in response to the death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah, who died early Friday in Riyadh.

    Associated Press