Middle East

Voters line up to cast their ballots in the Iraqi Kurdistan region's independence referendum on Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, in a suburb of the region's capital of Irbil.<br>Chad Garland/Stars and Stripes

Iraqi Kurds vote in independence referendum despite mounting external pressure

A hazy, overcast Monday could be a historic one for many Iraqi Kurds’ long-held dream of statehood, as citizens voted in a referendum on independence from Iraq.

Palestinian kills 3 Israelis in settlement near Jerusalem

A Palestinian attacker opened fire early Tuesday at the entrance to a settlement outside Jerusalem, killing three Israeli security men and critically wounding a fourth, Israeli police and medical services said, in one of the deadliest attacks in a two-year spate of violence.

Contractors accuse Iraq of shake downs to force tax payments

American military contractors operating in Iraq are accusing Baghdad of employing strong-arm tactics to make them pay exorbitant income taxes, a practice they've warned the Trump administration is hampering the fight against Islamic State extremists.


The Syrian war is far from over, but the endgame is already playing out

Six years after the eruption of the armed rebellion aimed at toppling President Bashar Assad, the Syrian war is limping toward a conclusion — one that leaves many questions unanswered and many battles still to be fought, but a resolution of sorts nonetheless.

Iraqi Kurds vote in referendum on independence from Baghdad

Iraqi Kurds were casting ballots on Monday in Iraq's Kurdish region and disputed territories on whether to support independence from Baghdad in a historic but non-binding vote that has raised regional tensions and fears of instability.

Monitor: Airstrikes in Syria's Aleppo despite ceasefire

Airstrikes have targeted rural Aleppo in northern Syria Sunday for the first time in months since a cease-fire took hold in the province, killing one, activists and a war monitoring group said.

Palestinian leader tries to put Trump on notice with warning

Overshadowed by last week's showdown between the U.S. and North Korea, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas issued an ominous warning in his address to the United Nations: With hopes running out for an independent Palestinian state, the Palestinian leader said he may have no choice but to seek a single, binational state with Israel.

Iranian Guard drills near Iraq ahead of Kurdish referendum

The Guard, a paramilitary force answerable only to Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, said on its website that airborne and missile units would take part in the exercise.

Suicide bomber strikes convoy in Afghan capital, wounds 3

Elsewhere in Afghanistan, the Taliban killed a district police chief in the southern Helmand province.

Iraq seeks other nations' help to build a nuclear reactor

Iraq's foreign minister is asking nuclear countries for help building an atomic reactor for peaceful purposes, saying the country has a right to use atomic power peacefully.

Saudi Arabia says it shot down ballistic missile from Yemen

Saudi Arabia says it shot down a ballistic missile fired by Shiite rebels and their allies in Yemen during the kingdom's National Day.

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