en-world-middleeast

Kurds see chance to advance their cause in ruins of Islamic State

2017-06-24 European News Comments Off on Kurds see chance to advance their cause in ruins of Islamic State
As what remains of Islamic State crumbles, the would-be victors have started circling. In Mosul, Iraqi forces have begun preparing for peace in the city where the now-encircled marauders took root three years ago. Across the border in Raqqa, with five of its neighbourhoods under their control, Kurdish forces are contemplating what comes next for Read More

Qatar blockade exposes rifts in Trump administration’s ‘peculiar’ foreign policy

2017-06-24 European News Comments Off on Qatar blockade exposes rifts in Trump administration’s ‘peculiar’ foreign policy
The crisis created by the ultimatum delivered to Qatar by the Saudi-led Gulf coalition has been deepened by mixed messages from Washington. While Donald Trump has declared himself wholeheartedly behind the blockade on Qatar, the state and defense departments have been sharply critical of the move, in private and in public. The defence secretary, James Read More

Al-Jazeera: the Qatar broadcaster at centre of diplomatic crisis

2017-06-24 European News Comments Off on Al-Jazeera: the Qatar broadcaster at centre of diplomatic crisis
Al-Jazeera, the Qatar-based broadcaster that has found itself at the centre of the Gulf diplomatic crisis, was launched in 1996, and has since grown to become the most-watched TV channel in the Arab world. It claims to broadcast to more than 310m households in more than 100 countries. The company employs more than 3,000 people Read More

Saudi security foils terror plot targeting Mecca Grand Mosque

2017-06-24 European News Comments Off on Saudi security foils terror plot targeting Mecca Grand Mosque
Saudi security forces foiled a terror plot targeting the Grand Mosque in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, exchanging gunfire with one of the suspects who blew himself up inside a home on Friday, Saudi Arabia’s interior ministry said. Five people, including a woman, were arrested in security operations in Mecca, the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya news Read More

Kushner arrives in Israel tasked with progressing Trump’s ‘ultimate deal’

2017-06-23 European News Comments Off on Kushner arrives in Israel tasked with progressing Trump’s ‘ultimate deal’
Donald Trump’s son-in-law and chief Middle East adviser, Jared Kushner, has arrived in Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territories for a whistlestop visit aimed at restarting the long-dormant Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. Kushner’s carefully managed visit – conducted far from media scrutiny and lasting less than a day – comes amid scant indication of any imminent Read More

As Syria’s war enters its endgame, the risk of a US-Russia conflict escalates

2017-06-23 European News Comments Off on As Syria’s war enters its endgame, the risk of a US-Russia conflict escalates
Not for the first time there are dire warnings of a direct US-Russia confrontation in Syria that could escalate, in the worst case, into a third world war. What is going on has echoes of the proxy conflicts fought by the superpowers during the latter stages of the cold war, but with added elements of Read More

Russia cancels talks after US imposes new sanctions over Ukraine conflict

2017-06-23 European News Comments Off on Russia cancels talks after US imposes new sanctions over Ukraine conflict
Russia has canceled a planned round of talks with the US in protest at new sanctions imposed this week over Moscow’s military intervention in Ukraine. The deputy foreign minister, Sergei Ryabkov, denounced the new sanctions, which expanded the list of individuals and organisations targeted by the US treasury, as the responsibility of “avid Russophobes” in Read More

Australia to resume air combat missions over Syria

2017-06-23 European News Comments Off on Australia to resume air combat missions over Syria
Australia will resume air combat missions over Syria after the Australian Defence Force lifted a temporary suspension initially sparked by Russian threats to shoot down coalition planes. The defence department declared the suspension on Tuesday after Russia threatened to shoot down any plane from the US-led coalition they spotted flying west of the Euphrates river. Read More

Saudi crown prince’s ascendancy gives hope of reform – but it may be premature

2017-06-23 European News Comments Off on Saudi crown prince’s ascendancy gives hope of reform – but it may be premature
On the streets of Riyadh, in its shopping malls and public spaces, Saudi Arabia’s religious police had long been a foreboding presence. They could reach into private lives at will, with powers that few could challenge, enforcing an ultra-conservative brand of Islam as a dogma for society. For people who had lived in fear of Read More

Rift between Iran’s ayatollah and re-elected president widens

2017-06-23 European News Comments Off on Rift between Iran’s ayatollah and re-elected president widens
Tensions are mounting between Iran’s supreme leader and the country’s president after the latter’s landslide victory in last month’s election. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, 78, has sharpened his criticism of the reformist president, Hassan Rouhani, including humiliating him in a meeting of the country’s most senior officials. A hardliner keen to preserve his legacy, Khamenei is Read More