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-10-22 16:42Tillerson woos Gulf allies in push to undercut IranTop US diplomat Rex Tillerson pursued efforts to curb Tehran's influence in talks with his country's Gulf allies Sunday, demanding that Iran pare down its involvement in Iraq as the fight against the Islamic State group draws to a close.The question of Iranian influence in the region -- including in Iraq and Qatar -- is at the centre of Tillerson's visit to Riyadh and Doha, which comes just weeks after President Donald Trump refused to certify the Iran nuclear deal and declared an aggressive new strategy against Tehran.
-10-22 15:53In Syria region under regime siege, children die of hungerOnly a trickle of humanitarian aid ever reaches this rebel-held region east of Damascus, under a tight blockade by Assad regime forces since 2013.Eastern Ghouta is one of four "de-escalation zones" set up in May under a deal between backers of rival sides in Syria's devastating six-year war.
-10-22 10:01Palestinian wrote 'Good morning' on Facebook – was arrested by Israeli policePolice only confirmed that a Palestinian had been mistakenly arrested then released following suspicions of incitement, but a report in Haaretz newspaper provided further details.According to the report, which police would neither confirm nor deny, the Palestinian man posted a picture of himself leaning against a bulldozer at the Israeli settlement of Beitar Ilit, where he works, in the occupied West Bank.
-10-20 11:16Kurdish disarray highlights Iraq army's newfound prowessThe speed with which Iraqi troops this week overwhelmed Kurdish forces in oil-rich Kirkuk, days after ousting the Islamic State group, marks a radical change in the balance of power, analysts say.For 14 years since the US-led invasion, the Kurds had taken advantage of the weakness of the federal army to slowly chip away at territory they had long claimed outside their autonomous region in northern Iraq.
-10-08 06:50Morocco's Istiqlal party elects new leaderMorocco's oldest political party Istiqlal has elected former finance minister Nizar Baraka as its new leader, the party said on its website.On Saturday, Baraka won 924 votes, largely beating his predecessor as head of the party Hamid Chabat, who secured 234 votes.
-10-08 02:22Trump says will not move US embassy to Jerusalem for now"I wanna give that a shot before I even think about moving the embassy to Jerusalem," Trump said on former governor Mike Huckabee's TV show, referring to efforts to forge a peace between the two sides that has eluded career diplomats for decades."We're gonna make a decision in the not too distant future," Trump said, but for now, the peace push comes first.
-10-07 17:23Row breaks out in Iraq over Kurdish flag on Talabani coffinA row has broken out over the use of the Kurdish flag rather than Iraq's colours at former president Jalal Talabani's funeral, at a time of Iraqi-Kurdish tensions.Social media is abuzz with chatter over the choice of flag at Friday's funeral in Sulaimaniyah, Talabani's fiefdom in the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq.
-10-06 17:15Israel to ease holiday restrictions for PalestiniansOn Tuesday, the army said crossings from the West Bank and Gaza into Israel would be closed to Palestinians for 11 days until midnight on October 14.But on Friday they decided those with pre-existing work permits would be allowed in "according to the needs of the market", an army spokeswoman told AFP.
-10-06 01:56ISIS: Defeating the virtual caliphateThe jihadist propaganda machine will continue to exist in hidden corners of the dark web, inciting sympathisers to action, they say."Defeating ISIL on the physical battlefield is not enough," General Joseph Votel, the top commander for US military forces in the Middle East, warned in a paper earlier this year.
-10-01 10:22Israel denies Turkish claim of involvement in Kurd voteIsraeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday denied Turkish claims of covert involvement in Iraqi Kurdistan's recent independence vote, reiterating however his "sympathy" for the Kurdish people.On Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Israel's intelligence agency played a role in the September 25 referendum, citing as proof the waving of Israeli flags during celebrations for the overwhelming "yes" victory.