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Syrian information minister Omran Zoabi said today the Syrian people have decided president Bashar al-Assad should be nominated for another term and would pressure him to stand in elections this year. The comments were the strongest indication yet that Dr Assad intends to extend his rule and are sure to anger opposition politicians and fighters. Photograph: Khaled al-Hariri/Reuters

Syria has moved the first batch of chemical weapon materials out of the country after transporting it from two sites to the port city of Latakia and o(...)

Tribal fighters gesture after deploying themselves on the streets of Ramadi yesterday. In a statement on state television, Iraq’s prime minister Nuri al-Maliki called on tribal leaders to drive out militants who last week seized key towns in the desert leading to the Syrian border. Photograph: Ali al-Mashhadani/Reuters

Iraq’s prime minister has appealed to the residents of the besieged city of Falluja to expel al-Qaeda-linked insurgents, who have seized control of(...)

Mourners carry the coffin of a soldier, who was killed during clashes in Falluja, at his funeral in Najaf, 160 km  south of Baghdad today. Photograph: Reuters

Iraq’s prime minister urged people in the besieged city of Falluja today to drive out al Qaeda-linked insurgents to pre-empt a military offensive tha(...)

Tribal fighters who have been deployed on to the streets patrol in the city of Falluja yesterday. Photograph:  Reuters

The Iraqi military tried to dislodge al-Qaeda militants in Sunni-dominated Anbar province yesterday, unleashing air strikes and besieging the regio(...)

US secretary of state John Kerry boards his plane at Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv yesterday. His comments today hint at a thawing of relations between the US and Iran. Photograph: Reuters

US secretary of state John Kerry said today Iran could play a role on the sidelines of Syrian peace talks, the first sign he might accept some partici(...)

A  local council building destroyed by gunmen in Fallujah yesterday. Photograph: EPA/MOHAMMED JALIL

Al-Qaeda-linked militants now held control of much of the Iraqi city of Fallujah and other nearby towns and have seized military equipment provided by(...)

Majid al-Majid, a Saudi citizen, was detained in Lebanon late last month and had been held at a secret location

The leader of an al-Qaeda linked group that has conducted attacks across the Middle East before shifting its focus to Syria’s civil war has died in cu(...)

Fighters of al-Qaeda linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant carry their weapons during a parade at the Syrian town of Tel Abyad, near the border with Turkey January 2nd. The Al-Qaeda-linked organisation has exploited the unrest in Iraq by moving into  byattacking police stations and looting weapons depots. Photograph: Yaser Al-Khodor/Reuters

Baghdad’s forcible detention of a Sunni lawmaker and brutal dispersal of a Sunni protest sit-in at the city of Ramadi has sparked a tribal revolt i(...)

Lebanese policemen seal off the area after a car bomb exploded in a southern suburb of Beirut, Lebanon, today. Photograph: Nabil Mounzer/EPA

A car bomb killed at least five people in Hizbullah’s stronghold in southern Beirut today, the latest in a series of deadly attacks on Shia and Sunni (...)

 People needed to develop “a deep culture of fostering peace and reconciliation and coming together in the realis
ation that we need each other”, Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin said today. Photograph: Eric Luke/The Irish Times

Ireland’s international peacekeepers were warmly praised by the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin Diarmuid Martin this morning as he recalled that “the ch(...)

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