Yemen's warring factions met Thursday in Sweden for talks that could be a step toward ending the 4-year-old conflict. The United Nations-backed meeting in the Swedish city of Rimbo is the first in two years between the Saudi-backed government and the Iran-backed Houthi rebels. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports these new talks are taking place amid international outrage about a growing humanitarian crisis in Yemen.
As Iraq marks the first anniversary of its victory over Islamic State, tensions are rising in the terrorist group's former strongholds as attacks continue and security forces conduct near-daily operations. Locals fear the militants hiding in the deserts and mountains are emboldened by recent killings, and warn the group's resurgence is likely if sectarian tensions and economic disparity are not addressed. VOA's Heather Murdock has this report from Mosul and the surrounding countryside in Iraq.