Aug 5, 2014

Iran says it gave missile technology to Hamas

Hamas is able to fire missiles into Israel because Tehran provided weapons technology to the militant group to defend itself against Israeli attacks, a senior Iranian official said Monday. The secretary of the Expediency Discernment Council, Mohsen Rezaei, was quoted by Al-Alam, the Arabic ...

An Iraq in peril struggles to hold together

Aug 1, 2014

An Iraq in peril struggles to hold together

Salman Khaled has already lived through Baghdad’s sectarian disintegration; with Iraq now splintering into Shiite, Sunni Arab and Kurdish regions, he says this time the survival of the country is at stake. “Things are really tense and it could get worse,” said the 23-year-old ...

Islamic State militants destroy historic mosque in Mosul

Jul 28, 2014

Islamic State militants destroy historic mosque in Mosul

Islamic State militants blew up a mosque and shrine dating back to the 14th century in Mosul on Sunday, local residents said — the latest casualty in a week that has seen half a dozen of the Iraqi city’s most revered holy places destroyed. ...

Jul 28, 2014

As U.S. kicks off crude exports, Iran casts a shadow in Asia

The United States faces an awkward rival in its first attempts in 40 years to export crude oil — Iran. Iran, whose economy has been throttled by Western sanctions that have halved its crude shipments, is now selling higher quality and cheaper oil to ...

Jul 28, 2014

Iran's Zarif steps up Gaza diplomacy, offers aid

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif conducted a hefty round of telephone diplomacy late Sunday to rally support and humanitarian aid for Palestinians in the besieged Gaza Strip. He spoke with U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton and regional ...

Jul 25, 2014

Group divorced from reality: top Turkish cleric

The declaration of a so-called caliphate by Islamist militants in Iraq lacks legitimacy and their death threats to Christians are a danger to civilization, Turkey’s top cleric, the successor to the last caliph’s most senior imam, said. The Islamic State last month declared its ...

Jul 25, 2014

'Caliphate' tours big business for jihadists

Known for kidnapping, public stonings, lashings and executions, the Islamic State is now expanding into tourism, taking jihadists on honeymoon and civilians to visit other parts of its so-called caliphate. Running twice-weekly tours from the Syrian city of Raqqa to Iraq’s Anbar, Islamic State ...

Islamic State crushes, coerces opposition

Jul 25, 2014

Islamic State crushes, coerces opposition

Using its own version of soft and hard power, the Islamic State is crushing resistance across northern Iraq so successfully that its promise to march on Baghdad may no longer be unrealistic bravado. While conventional states try to win hearts and minds abroad before ...

Jul 25, 2014

Washington Post says correspondent probably in Iranian custody

The Washington Post said Thursday that its Tehran correspondent, Jason Rezaian, appeared to have been detained in Iran with his wife and two freelance photojournalists. The daily said it had “credible reports” of the detention, saying it was unclear who detained them or why. ...

Jul 20, 2014

Islamic State group claims responsibility for Baghdad bombings

The Islamic State extremist group has claimed responsibility for four bombings in Baghdad that were among a string of attacks Saturday that left at least 27 people dead. The group said in a statement posted online late Saturday that two of the attacks were ...