Middle East

FILE - A boy stands before an Islamic jihad flag. Concern is growing in Germany and other countries that the Islamic State group, now largely weakened, has been recruiting children to carry on their jihadist legacy.
"Put on a thick jacket,” the 18-year-old son of Albanian immigrants instructed the 12-year-old German-Iraqi boy over the Internet on how to carry out a Christmas market attack last year in the Rhineland town of Ludwigshafen.“Then go behind a hut and light and run,” he advised.Fortunately, the crude nail-bomb device failed to work and the 12-year-old was arrested by police in December trying for a second time to pull off an attack, this time outside…
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Fri, 02/02/2018 - 12:27
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis speaks at the Pentagon, May 19, 2017.
The U.S. has no evidence that the Syrian government recently has used deadly sarin nerve gas on its citizens but is looking into reports of its alleged use from people on the ground, U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis said Friday.“We’re looking for evidence of it since clearly we are dealing with the [Bashar al-]Assad regime that has used denial and deceit to hide their outlawed actions,” Mattis told reporters at the Pentagon.Syria has denied using…
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Fri, 02/02/2018 - 11:31
Reporters hurry up what looks to be a berm with views of mountainsides controlled by apposing militaries on Feb. 1, 2018 in Marin, Syria. (H.Murdock/VOA)
As our white armored bus rumbles across the Turkish border into Syria, the roads become muddy as journalists snap pictures of the war-torn countryside. This bus, and the one in front of us, is packed.  We are on a tour arranged by the Turkish government of the outskirts of Afrin, where their forces have been fighting Kurdish forces for nearly two weeks. The bus drivers are Syrian policemen, who currently live in refugee camps.When we arrive at our first stop, the…
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Thu, 02/01/2018 - 18:17
Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi listens at the opening ceremony of the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Jan. 28, 2018.
Seven years ago, thousands of Egyptians took to the streets in protest against the government led by President Hosni Mubarak. When Mubarak was forced out of office, and democratic elections put the country’s first civilian leader in decades in office, there was hope for lasting political change.This week, however, Egypt’s current president sternly warned the opposition that he won’t tolerate their plans to organize a boycott of national elections, after…
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Thu, 02/01/2018 - 15:46
A man stands next to destroyed and damaged buildings in Sabri, a central Benghazi district, Libya, Aug. 15, 2017.
Armed groups, some linked with prominent Libyan commander Khalifa Haftar, are preventing thousands of displaced families from returning to the eastern city of Benghazi, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report published on Thursday.Groups affiliated to Haftar's Libyan National Army (LNA) have seized property from displaced families, and tortured, abducted or…
Hassan Fahd al Raja, holding a bucket, helps his siblings drain water out of their family's tent, which is part of a refugee camp in Lebanon's Bekaa valley. (Photo: John Owens for VOA)
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Freezing temperatures and rain mean added suffering and for some - death
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Thu, 02/01/2018 - 07:45
This frame grab from video shows fighters loyal to the separatist so-called Southern Transitional Council, backed by the United Arab Emirates, near the presidential palace, in Aden, Yemen, Jan. 30, 2018.
Southern Yemeni separatists control large chunks of the southern interim capital of Aden and continue to lay siege to the presidential palace. Amateur video shown Wednesday on Arab TV showed forces loyal to internationally recognized President Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi moving troops from the coastal port of Mukha to the southern capital of Aden to reinforce garrisons that remain loyal to the government.Southern separatists captured large parts of Aden over the past 72…
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Wed, 01/31/2018 - 21:57