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Middle East


US office overseeing fight against ISIS gets reprieve

A plan initiated by Rex Tillerson before he was fired as secretary of state in March would have folded the office of the special envoy to the global coalition into the department’s counterterrorism bureau as early as spring.


Reports: Islamic State surrendering in Syria's capital

The capture of the southern neighborhoods would bring the entire capital under government control for the first time since the war began in 2011.


Detained Saudi women driving campaigners branded traitors

Rights activists say all those detained had worked in some capacity on women’s rights issues, with five of those detained among the most prominent and outspoken women’s rights campaigners in the country.

Analysis

Oman, ‘Switzerland of the Persian Gulf,’ feels the strain of a troubled region

Surrounded by grey rocky mountains and the blue Sea of Oman, the city of Muscat feels like an oasis of calm in a region afflicted by a deepening sectarian conflict. Omanis slip into the nearest mosque to pray, not caring whether it's run by Ibadis, Shiites or Sunnis. Civil service and military jobs are open for all. And any skepticism expressed about their coexistence is considered offensive.


White House pushes ahead with Mideast peace plan

The Trump administration is aiming to roll out its much-hyped but long-delayed Middle East peace plan next month amid signs it may further alienate the Palestinians by slashing millions of dollars in funding for humanitarian and development projects in the West Bank and Gaza.


8 killed in blasts at cricket match in eastern Afghanistan

The attack happened as players and hundreds of spectators gathered for a nighttime tournament during the holy month of Ramadan.



Gaza border protests resume as UN calls for inquiry

Palestinians resumed their fiery protests at Gaza's border with Israel on Friday as a U.N. human rights body criticized Israel for the "disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force" that killed at least 59 Palestinians earlier this week. Israel condemned the resolution by the U.N. Human Rights Council as biased.


Monitor: 11 killed in blasts inside Syria weapons warehouse

Blasts set off by an explosion at a weapons warehouse in central Syria killed 11 people and wounded dozens Friday, a war monitor said, amid soaring tensions between regional archenemies Israel and Iran.


Turkey urges Muslim nations to stand with Palestinians

Turkey has called on Muslim nations to stand with Palestinians and to work to stop countries joining the United States in relocating their Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

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