Norliahani Abdul Basir

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Under the black flag of al-Qaeda, the Syrian city ruled by gangs of extremists

The black flag of al-Qaeda flies high over Raqqa’s main square in front of the smart new governor’s palace, its former occupant last seen in their prison. Their fighters, clad also in black, patrol the streets, or set up positions behind sandbags.<p>The Islamists smashed up one of the two shops that …

A Small Farming Town Becomes Ground Zero In Syria's War

Qusair is a sleepy farming town not far from my hometown. I passed through it many times as a child and never imagined it would one day make international headlines as the focal point of Syria's civil war.<p>I wish it had remained a quiet place defined by the many agricultural fields of wheat and …

Syrian civil war has become three-way conflict, says al-Qaeda's leader

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has urged jihadists fighting in Syria to unite and fight for the establishment of an anti-US government, stating the civil war had become a three-way conflict.<p>In a newly-released audio message posted on Islamist websites, Zawahiri said: "Unite, listen and agree …

Israel reacts angrily to Austria's withdrawal from Golan Heights

Israel has reacted angrily to Austria's decision to withdraw its peacekeeping forces from the Golan Heights, saying the move has undermined the …

Trouble flares on Israel's quiet border

The withdrawal of the Austrian contingent from the UN peacekeeping force on the Golan will very likely render the force itself untenable. At 380 …