Middle East

A boy plays on an abandoned Soviet tank on a side of a highway east from Kabul, Afghanistan, on Feb. 22, 2020, the first day of a declared period of reduced violence in the country. Afghanistan in the month afterward saw a surge in violence.<br>J.P. Lawrence / Stars and Stripes

US pitches power-sharing plan to speed up Afghan peace process

The letter to Afghan President Ashraf Ghani states that the U.S. is still considering whether to withdraw its remaining 2,500 troops by May 1 under the terms of a deal struck last year between the Trump administration and the Taliban.

As US mulls Afghan exit, activist sees long fight for women

Afghanistan is second only to Yemen as the worst place in the world to be a woman, according to the 2019 Women, Peace and Security Index.

Defense secretary puts Iran on notice after Iraq rocket attack

“We’re still developing the intelligence” on the latest attack, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in his first network interview as defense chief. Iran should know “that we’re going to defend our troops."

Pakistan: Police kill five suspected separatists in southwest

The raid came hours after insurgents killed a sailor and wounded two others in an attack on a Pakistani Navy vehicle in Baluchistan.

B-52s again fly over Mideast in US military warning to Iran

The military did not directly mention Iran in its statement, saying the flight was to "deter aggression and reassure partners and allies of the U.S. military's commitment to security in the region."

After whirlwind historic visit, Pope leaving Iraq for Rome

Pope Francis on Monday wrapped up his historic whirlwind tour of Iraq that sought to bring hope to the country's marginalized Christian minority with a message of coexistence, forgiveness and peace.

Houthis strike Saudi oil giant's facilities in kingdom's east

Yemen's Houthi rebels said Sunday that they hit an Aramco oil facility in eastern Saudi Arabia, the first time the group has reached the company's facilities in that area.

middle east bureau

With less US support, Afghanistan elite forces struggle to roll back Taliban advances

Taliban militants have mounted a violent, months-long campaign to expand influence across the country as the United States has withdrawn troops, closed bases and halted offensive operations against the militants in keeping with a peace deal it signed a year ago.

Saudi-led coalition strikes Yemen's rebel-held capital

The Houthi-run al-Masirah satellite TV channel reported at least seven airstrikes on the Yemeni capital.

Report: Blinken offers plan to bolster Afghan peace process

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is proposing a series of steps to help jumpstart Afghanistan's stalled peace process between the government and Taliban.

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