Middle East

Istanbul nightclub attacker says was directed by Islamic State: report

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - An Uzbek gunman who killed 39 people in an Istanbul nightclub on New Year's Day told police he had to change target at the last minute to avoid heavy security and acted with direct orders from Islamic State in Syria, a newspaper said on Wednesday.<p>The gunman, named by the …

Istanbul

Trump’s Middle East policies will be driven by his instincts and loose relationship with reality

When Donald J Trump enters the Oval Office on Friday, he’ll find an in-tray bulging with briefs about burning Middle East issues that need his urgent attention. My guess is he won’t read any of them. Because the one thing we know with absolute certainty about Trump’s policymaking process is that it …

Israel

Syrian government rejects Qatari, Saudi role in talks: report

BEIRUT (Reuters) - The participation of Saudi Arabia and Qatar in Syria talks will be discussed once they stop backing militancy, Syria's deputy foreign minister was quoted as saying on Wednesday, appearing to reject their attendance at forthcoming peace talks.<p>"Once Qatar and Saudi Arabia halt …

Syria

Should the U.S. still carry a ‘big stick’?

To the extent that President-elect Donald Trump has articulated a coherent view of foreign affairs, it appears to be that the United States needs to reject most policies of the post-1945 period. NATO is a bad bargain; nuclear proliferation is a good thing; Russian President Vladimir Putin is an …

World Politics

Iraqi army announces recapture of east Mosul

The Iraqi army has announced the "liberation" of east Mosul, following the collapse of Islamic State defences on the left bank of the Tigris River.<p>Isolated Islamic State fighters reportedly holding out in a few north-eastern districts would be “cleaned up,” said Brigadier General Sami Al Aradi of …

Islamic State (ISIS)

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard makes unannounced trip to Syria

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), who has charged the Obama administration with funneling money to the Islamic State and al-Qaeda-linked groups in Syria, visited Damascus this week on what her office called a “fact-finding trip . . . to promote and work for peace.”<p>Gabbard’s office, which did not …

Syria

Libya Military Leader Talks Billions In Russia Arms Deals

General Khalifa Haftar, commander in the Libyan National Army (LNA), leaves after a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow, …

Russia

Russia, Turkish in joint airstrikes on IS in northern Syria

MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian military says it has teamed up with Turkey to conduct joint airstrikes against an Islamic State group's stronghold in northern Syria.<p>Lt. Gen. Sergei Rudskoi of the military's General Staff said nine Russian warplanes and eight Turkish jets have taken part in the strikes on …

Syria

Iran's Zarif wants cooperation with Saudi over Syria and Yemen

Iran and Saudi Arabia should be able to work together to help end conflicts in Syria and Yemen, after successfully cooperating over Lebanon last year, Iran's foreign minister said.<p>"I do not see any reason why Iran and Saudi Arabia should have hostile policies towards each other. We can in fact work …

Iran

Syria conflict: Russia and Turkey 'in first joint air strikes on IS'

<b>Russian and Turkish jets have carried out their first joint strikes on so-called Islamic State (IS) inside Syria, the Russian defence ministry says.</b><p>IS was targeted in the suburbs of the town of al-Bab, Aleppo province, where Turkey suffered heavy casualties last month battling the group on the …

Syria

Egypt puts soccer star Aboutrika on no-fly, terror list

Egyptian authorities have added one of the country's all-time greatest soccer players to a terror watch and no-fly list, over accusations he helped …

Egypt

25 incredible new attractions opening in 2017

1. The revamped V&A, London<p>The London landmark, which this month received a new director (former Labour MP and shadow education minister Tristram Hunt), will also get the largest architectural revamp of its 100-year history, with a new courtyard entrance and underground gallery forming part of the …

Dubai

Burj Khalifa Gatehouses

Each of the six gatehouses is unique, with its own function and identity, including the main hotel entrance, the main residential entrance, the hotel entrance, a taxi stand, the office annex entrance and the truck service entrance. Stylistically the gatehouses’ curving lines relate to the …

Burj Khalifa

Russia says joins forces with Turkey to bomb Syria militants

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Russian Defence Ministry said on Wednesday Russian war planes had joined forces with Turkish jets to target Islamic State militants holding the town of al-Bab around 40 km (25 miles) northeast of Aleppo.<p>Lieutenant-General Sergei Rudskoi, a senior Russian Defence Ministry …

Syria

The United States and Turkey Can’t Agree on Iraq and Syria

Turkish and U.S. military leaders face each other across a table in September 2016. Pentagon photoAnkara pursues its own goals and civilians are …

Turkey

Obama’s Biggest Mistake

Many believe the devastation in Syria is the worst blemish on the outgoing president’s record. A Syrian American reflects on Barack Obama’s decision …

Syria

Carpets for Kings: Six Masterpieces of Iranian Weaving

This exhibition will feature six small Iranian carpets of the 16th and 17th centuries that have recently been conserved by the Department of Textile …

Iran

A Conversation with Bernard-Henri Lévy

<i>BERNARD-HENRI LÉVY, or BHL as he’s known in France, is that rare bird, a public intellectual who is also a crusader. He campaigned for Bangladesh</i> …

Anti-Semitism

IMF Says Egyptian Pound at ‘Genuine Equilibrium’ After Float - Bloomberg

Egypt has created a “well-functioning" currency market which is reflected in the pound’s current exchange rate, the International Monetary Fund said, …

Egypt

Obama's Shameful Legacy

There was a time, early in Barack Obama’s presidency, when it was considered outrageous to worry out loud that the new president might treat enemies …

Al-Qaeda

Studying at the Bahai secret university

<b>The largest non-Muslim minority in Iran, the Bahais, are persecuted in many ways - one being that they are forbidden from attending university. Some study in secret, but for those who want to do a postgraduate degree the only solution is to leave their country and study abroad.</b><p>"I remember my father …

Iran

Dozens die in Mali base suicide bombing

In northern Mali, 35 people have been killed in a suicide-bomb attack near a military camp in Gao housing government soldiers. Some 11,000 UN Minusma peace keeper are also stationed there.<p>A suicide bomber on Wednesday detonated a vehicle laden with explosives in front of a military base in Mali's …

Terrorism

Turkey: Hundreds being sought over Bylock app

Turkish prosecutors have issued arrest warrants for 243 members of the military in 54 provinces across the country.<p>The state-run news agency Anadolu says it is part of the inquiry into last July’s failed coup.<p>Why are they being sought? Anadolu says they are suspected of using Bylock, the messaging …

Turkey

Why bridges are key to liberating ISIS stronghold Mosul

American-backed forces are nearing the halfway point in their operation to liberate the ISIS stronghold of Mosul. Key to unlocking the rest of the Iraqi city are its five bridges.<p>The northern Iraq city is divided between east and west by the Tigris river which runs through its center.<p>Iraqi …

Islamic State (ISIS)

European Tour has first-tee entrance songs and range music at Abu Dhabi this week

The UL International Crown offered a fun wrinkle at last's year event, with the teams arriving to the first tee via entrance music. Which made us jokingly wonder what jams our favorite males golfers would select if given the choice. It looks like that wish has become reality.<p>This week at the Abu …

Golf

Airbus Did What Boeing Couldn't

Order mix has become more realistic.<p>Financing is still a hurdle for Boeing.<p>Congress and incoming president likely to give Boeing and Iran a tough …

Iran

In northern Aleppo, children return to school used as Islamic State prison

AL-RAI, Syria (Reuters) - Sifting through ripped up textbooks and writing on broken whiteboards, Syrian children returned this week to a dilapidated small-town school that was used by Islamic State militants as a prison for more than two years.<p>With no chairs or desks, around 250 children huddled in …

Syria

Putin, Merkel and Hollande discuss Ukraine, Syria - Kremlin

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian President Vladimir Putin, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel discussed peacemaking efforts in Ukraine and Syria during a conference call on Wednesday, a Kremlin statement said.<p>It said Putin informed his counterparts about preparations …

Russia

Trump Victory Slows Business Investment in Iran

Small and midsize companies are rethinking or delaying entry to Iran following the election of Donald Trump, a break from their bigger counterparts which have struck recent deals despite concerns of fresh sanctions.<p>Anubhav Singh, the head of global sales and marketing at South African …

Iran

Map shows Middle East based on who actually holds territory

From Geopolitical Futures via Joshua Landis. Seems rough on details. If Islamic State gets wee satellites down in Yemen, you'd think the Sinai …

Imperialism