Middle East

Protesters block a street with burning tires after the Yemeni rial plunged against foreign currencies, in Aden, Yemen, Sept. 2, 2018.
Yemen's government says it is giving civil servants and pensioners pay raises, after protests against the country's woeful economy nearly paralyzed a major port city Sunday.Officials have not said when the raises would take effect or how much they will be.Demonstrations against the economy in the port of Aden continued Monday. Many shops were closed, and some people burned tires in the streets.Some of the marchers demanded to be paid in dollars, accusing senior…
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Mon, 09/03/2018 - 21:15
People check the damaged after a rocket hit a camp for displaced people during the fight between rival armed groups in Tripoli, Libya, Sept. 2, 2018.
Facebook has been blocked in the Libyan capital of Tripoli and other cities, residents said on Monday as fighting between rival groups raged.Facebook is the main platform for news in Libya with officials, ministries and armed groups that effectively control the country posting statements there.The blockage started at noon, angry users wrote on Twitter. Several Libya residents confirmed they could not access Facebook.Tripoli has been shaken by more than…
The head of United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) Pierre Kraehenbuehl speaks during an interview with The Associated Press in Jerusalem, Aug. 23, 2018.
The chief of the United Nations agency that helps Palestinian refugees is promising continued aid for Palestinians, even as the United States says it is ending its financial contribution to the agency.In the letter late Saturday, Pierre Krahenbuhl, commissioner-general of the U.N. Relief and Works Agency, said the U.S. decision "will only strengthen our resolve."  He said, "The funding decision of an individual member state - albeit our historically most generous and…
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Sun, 09/02/2018 - 02:07
Mourners carry coffins during a funeral of people, mainly children, killed in a Saudi-led coalition air strike on a bus in northern Yemen, in Saada, Yemen August 13, 2018.
A Saudi-led coalition in Yemen said Saturday it accepted that an air attack last month that killed dozens of people, including children traveling on a bus, was unjustified and pledged to hold accountable anyone who contributed to the error.The rare concession follows mounting international pressure, including from allies, to do more to limit civilian casualties in a 3-1/2 year civil war that has killed more than 10,000 people and pushed the already impoverished country to the…
FILE - The Syrian Democratic Council meets in Tabqa, Syria, July 16, 2018.
The Kurdish led Syrian Democratic Council (SDC), a political wing of the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), reportedly is in preliminary discussions with Damascus to ensure the future government in Syria is inclusive and represents all sects of Syrian society, including ethnic Kurds.One key subject the SDC is said to be focusing on during the discussions is a proclamation named Decree 107, which Syrian President Bashar al-Assad issued in 2011, months after the…
Nisan Ahmado
Sat, 09/01/2018 - 19:20
A damaged car is seen during clashes between rival factions in Tripoli, Libya, Aug. 30, 2018.
Arab media reported Saturday that warring militias in the Libyan capital had agreed to a cease-fire, but it was unclear whether it would hold for long.Clashes were reported overnight in Tripoli, and its only functioning airport was closed after rockets hit the area Friday.Militia fighters from several warring brigades fired multiple rounds of ammunition into the air around the Yarmouk military camp, scene of bitter fighting in recent days. Control of the camp changed…
Edward Yeranian
Sat, 09/01/2018 - 16:17
Palestinians receive food aid at a U.N. warehouse in the Shati refugee camp, Gaza City, Jan. 14, 2018.
The Trump administration has cut funding to the U.N. agency that helps Palestinian refugees, calling the organization “irredeemably flawed.”The U.S. State Department ended decades of support to the organization Friday, saying “the administration has carefully reviewed the issue and determined that the United States will not make additional contributions to UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency).”Chris Gunness, a UNRWA spokesman, said his…
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Fri, 08/31/2018 - 18:17
Iranian First Lieutenant Fariborz Karamizand of Iran's Intelligence and Public Security Police, who recently deserted his post and fled Iran, speaks to VOA's Kurdish Service via Skype from an undisclosed location, Aug. 30, 2018.
An Iranian police officer has deserted his post and fled Iran, saying his life was in danger for refusing orders to suppress anti-government protests that have swept the country this year.Fariborz Karamizand, a member of Iran’s ethnic Kurdish minority, spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service on Thursday. In an exclusive Skype video interview, he said he had deserted his Tehran-based position as a three…
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Fri, 08/31/2018 - 12:44
Libyans gather at the site of where a mortar shell landed in the capital Tripoli, Aug. 30, 2018.
U.N. and international aid agencies are working to move refugees and migrants out of harm's way in Libya as local militia and tribal leaders, vying for control of the capital, clash for a fifth day.Libyan authorities report 30 people, many of them civilians, have been killed and 96 wounded during the fighting. The charity Doctors Without Borders warns that the lives of local residents, as well as 8,000 refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants, are at risk.
Lisa Schlein
Fri, 08/31/2018 - 12:30
Ensign Sean Standard and Logistics Specialist 2nd Class Ray Sanders take inventory of a cache of more than 1,000 AK-47 automatic rifles in the hangar bay of the guided-missile destroyer USS Jason Dunham, seized from a traditional dow in the Gulf of A
The U.S. Navy says it has interrupted a weapons smuggling operation in the Gulf of Aden, amid the ongoing war in Yemen.
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Fri, 08/31/2018 - 05:27
FILE -International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) headquarters is pictured in Vienna, Austria.
Iran has remained within the main restrictions on its nuclear activities imposed by a 2015 deal with major powers, a confidential report by the U.N. atomic watchdog indicated Thursday.In its second quarterly report since President Donald Trump announced in May that the United States would quit the accord and reimpose sanctions, the International Atomic Energy Agency said Iran had stayed within the caps on uranium enrichment levels, enriched…
Yemeni men inspect damage at a factory allegedly targeted by Saudi-led coalition airstrikes in the Red Sea town of Hodeidah, July 27, 2018.
The U.N. refugee agency reports it is scaling up its operation in Yemen to meet the urgent protection needs of thousands of Yemenis displaced by fighting in the strategic port city of Hodeidah. More than 300,000 people have fled their homes since the Saudi-led coalition began its military offensive in June to capture the Houthi-held port city of Hodeidah.So far, U.N. and international pressure has prevented an all-out attack on the port itself, a situation that most…
Lisa Schlein
Thu, 08/30/2018 - 14:58
UN Special Envoy of the Secretary-General on Syria Staffan de Mistura addresses the media during a conference 'Supporting the future of Syria and the region' at the EU Council in Brussels on April 25, 2018.
U.N. envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura warned Thursday of a "perfect storm" building in northwestern Syria while expressing special concern for the civilians living in the Idlib area where Syrian forces backed by Russia are expected to launch an assault to clear the last major stronghold under opposition control."We are worried about any hurried escalation," de Mistura told reporters in Geneva. WATCH: UN Envoy Warns Against Use of Chemical Weapons in…
Margaret Besheer
Thu, 08/30/2018 - 09:31

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