Middle East

Smoke rises above rebel-held areas of the city of Daraa during reported airstrikes by Syrian regime forces, July 5, 2018.
Syrian government forces appear to have consolidated control over a handful of villages in the region of Daraa, near Jordan, in an apparent bid to reopen the Nasib border crossing, an economic lifeline for Damascus. Media reports say Syrian government forces now control a border checkpoint with Jordan "for the first time in three years."Opposition analyst Rami Abdel Rahman, who heads the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, claimed in an interview Thursday with the…
Default Author Profile
Thu, 07/05/2018 - 14:35
FILE - This photo provided by Nabaa Media, a Syrian opposition media outlet, shows people in their vehicles fleeing from Daraa, southern Syria, June 28, 2018.
The Syrian government on Tuesday called on refugees to return, saying it had successfully cleared large areas of "terrorists.'' The rare appeal reflected the government's growing confidence after more than seven years of war. While officials usually appeal to Syrians abroad to return during television appearances and interviews, this was the first formal appeal broadcast on official media.Syrian government forces, with crucial support from Russia and Iran, recently…
ILE - In this April 4, 2018 file photo, a U.S. soldier sits on his armored vehicle on a road leading to the tense front line  in Manbij, Syria.
It is important for the U.S. to remain involved in Syria and continue its support of local allied groups, Republican U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham stated during a visit this week to northern Syria.Graham, of South Carolina, accompanied by a fellow member of the Armed Services Committee, Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, and U.S. Army Major General Jamie Jarrard, toured the town of Manbij on Monday and met with local officials to discuss stability in the region…
Default Author Profile
Tue, 07/03/2018 - 18:25
Destruction is seen around the Udai hospital following airstrikes on the town of Saraqeb in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib, Jan. 29, 2018. Syrian troops had been advancing on Idlib as part of a fierce offensive launched in late December with
Turkey is warning Damascus not to take action against the opposition-held region of Idlib in response to Syria's efforts against rebels in Daraa, where the Syrian government is attempting to control the last remaining opposition-controlled enclaves.A senior adviser to Turkey's president, speaking to VOA on condition of anonymity, declared Ankara would not stand by if Damascus moved on Idlib. "Idlib is a red line for us. As you know, we have our forces deployed there," said the…
Default Author Profile
Tue, 07/03/2018 - 15:50
Yemenis inspect the damage caused by a Saudi-led air strike on a cholera treatment centrer supported by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in the Abs region of Yemen on June 11, 2018.
U.N. Executive Director Henrietta Fore warns Yemen is on the brink of an abyss as the country’s devastating conflict pushes its economy, health, education, water and sanitation systems to the point of collapse. Fore has just returned from a four-day visit to Aden and Sanaa.Yemen — which the U.N. calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis — is likely to get even worse. The United Nations reports 22 million people are in need of assistance, and half of…
Default Author Profile
Tue, 07/03/2018 - 11:38
Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif is interviewed by The Associated Press, in New York, Tuesday, April 24, 2018. Zarif is warning the Trump administration that pulling out from the Iran nuclear deal would undermine talks with North Korea by
Foreign ministers from Iran and the four world powers that still want to be a part of the nuclear agreement they signed in 2015 are set to hold talks Friday on how to maintain the deal following the withdrawal of the United States.Iranian state media reported Tuesday that Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif would meet in Vienna with his counterparts from Britain, China, France, Russia and Germany.Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is also traveling to Switzerland and…
Default Author Profile
Tue, 07/03/2018 - 07:44
Des militaires et une auto-blindée déployés après une attaque-kamikaze dans la région de Gao, dans le centre-nord du Mali, 1er juillet 2018. (VOA/ Sidi Elhabib Maiga)
Islamist militants have been a major problem in Mali since at least 2012, when armed jihadists briefly took over the northern half of the country. But not all the young men who join armed groups in the region — including Islamist ones — are motivated simply by religion. According to researchers, many join armed groups for reasons that are practical, which if addressed could provide some solutions to conflict.The threat from armed Islamist groups in the vast Sahel…
Default Author Profile
Tue, 07/03/2018 - 07:24