Sunday, 13 Jun 2021

Middle East

Find breaking news, top stories and features from Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Iran, Kuwait, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

A Path of Forgiveness After Unimaginable Loss in Iraq

ERBIL, Iraq — Basim Razzo’s apartment in the Iraqi Kurdish city of Erbil is pristine, with none of the clutter of most family homes. The spotless kitchen cupboards hold cans of Maxwell House coffee, a brand he and his wife Mayada became fond of when they lived in the United States in the 1980s. In […]

Egypt eyes Gaza reconstruction to boost regional clout

CAIRO (AFP) – Egypt is banking on a US$500 million (S$661 million) Gaza reconstruction project to shore up its influence in the Middle East, capitalising on clout it garnered by brokering a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi pledged the cash injection to rebuild the Gaza Strip after it was left in […]

Yemen's unique 'dragon's blood' island under threat

SOCOTRA, YEMEN (AFP) – Centuries-old umbrella-shaped dragon’s blood trees line the rugged peaks of Yemen’s Socotra – a flagship symbol of the Indian Ocean archipelago’s extraordinary biodiversity, but also a bleak warning of environmental crisis. Forests of these ancient trees are being decimated by increasingly intense storms, while replacement saplings are gobbled by proliferating goat […]

US lawsuit casts spotlight on 'disappeared' Saudi royal

RIYADH (AFP) – A US-based lawsuit against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman centred on a Caribbean oil refinery, but unexpectedly highlighted something else – the disappearance of his main rival. Former crown prince Mohammed bin Nayef (MBN), unseated as heir to the throne by his cousin Prince Mohammed in 2017, has not been seen […]

‘Fear and Vigilance’: Israel’s Ultra-Orthodox Face a Fall from Power

JERUSALEM — Still reeling from bearing the brunt of Israel’s coronavirus pandemic, then a deadly stampede at a religious festival, Israel’s ultra-Orthodox Jews now face the prospect of losing the power they have wielded in government — a setback that could relax some of the strictures on life in Israel. The heterogeneous coalition that is […]

Jordanian police attacked; witnesses cite anger over banned lawmaker

AMMAN (REUTERS) – There were “armed attacks on security forces” on the outskirts of the Jordanian capital of Amman on Saturday (June 5), the state media reported, citing the Interior Ministry, and witnesses told Reuters the attacks were triggered by tribal supporters of a lawmaker who was banned from Parliament. The lawmaker, Mr Osama al […]

UN Security Council urges Yemen oil tanker access

UNITED NATIONS, UNITED STATES (AFP) – The United Nations Security Council called on Houthi rebels to allow inspectors to visit a long-abandoned fuel tanker off Yemen “without further delay” Thursday (June 3). The 15-member council held a special meeting on FSO Safer at the request of Britain after the rebels said an agreement to allow […]

Yemen fuel tanker could 'explode at any moment': Greenpeace

DUBAI (AFP) – Greenpeace warned on Thursday (June 3) that a long-abandoned fuel tanker off war-torn Yemen’s coast could “explode at any moment”, urging UN action to prevent a catastrophic Red Sea oil spill. The 45-year-old fuel vessel FSO Safer has 1.1 million barrels of crude on board, and has been abandoned near Yemen’s western […]

Right-wing lawmakers face intense pressure to reject the opposition coalition.

Sitting in her office in Parliament on Wednesday afternoon, Idit Silman, a hard-right lawmaker, flicked through hundreds of recent text messages from unknown numbers. Some were laced with abusive language. Some warned she was going to hell. All of them demanded that her party abandon coalition negotiations with an alliance of centrist, leftist and right-wing […]

Would a new government mean a profound shift for Israel?

Naftali Bennett, who leads a small right-wing party, and Yair Lapid, the centrist leader of the Israeli opposition, have joined forces to try to form a diverse coalition to unseat Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s longest-serving prime minister. Spanning Israel’s fractious political spectrum from left to right, and relying on the support of a small Arab, Islamist […]