Latest Middle East News

FILE- in this Wednesday, Nov. 13, 2019, file photo, Afghan security personnel gather at the site of a car bomb attack in Kabul, Afghanistan. Afghanistan will need vast amounts of foreign funding to keep its government afloat through 2024, a U.S. agency said Thursday, even as foreign donors are increasingly angry over the cost of debilitating corruption and the U.S. seeks a peace deal with Taliban to withdraw its troops. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, File)

US: Taliban's 'reduction of violence' deal to start tonight

Feb. 21, 2020 8:20 AM EST

ISLAMABAD (AP) — The countdown to the signing of a peace agreement between the Taliban and the United States to end the 18 years of war in Afghanistan will begin on Friday night, when the seven-day “reduction of violence" promised by the Taliban will go into effect, a senior U.S. State Department...

Turkish backed rebel fighters fire heavy machine gun near the village of Neirab in Idlib province, Syria, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. Two Turkish soldiers were killed Thursday by an airstrike in northwestern Syria, according to Turkey's Defense Ministry, following a large-scale attack by Ankara-backed opposition forces that targeted Syrian government troops. (AP Photo/Ghaith Alsayed)

Erdogan phones 2 European leaders, wants end to Idlib push

Feb. 21, 2020 8:17 AM EST

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkey's president spoke with two European leaders by phone Friday and called for an end to a Syrian government offensive on the last rebel stronghold in the country that has displaced hundreds of thousands of people. Recep Tayyip Erdogan's joint telephone call with the heads of...

Voters with face masks fill out their ballots in the parliamentary elections at a polling station in Tehran, Iran, Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. Iranians began voting for a new parliament Friday, with turnout seen as a key measure of support for Iran's leadership as sanctions weigh on the economy and isolate the country diplomatically. Also looming over the election is the threat of the new coronavirus, which has been confirmed in five people in Iran this week, including two elderly citizens who died in the city of Qom. Concerns over the spread of the virus, which originated in central China, prompted authorities in Iran to close all schools and Shiite seminaries in Qom. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Iran reports 2 more deaths, 13 new cases of new coronavirus

Feb. 21, 2020 7:54 AM EST

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian health authorities on Friday reported two more deaths from the new virus that emerged in China and said the fatalities were from among 13 new confirmed cases of the virus in Iran. The report by the semiofficial Mehr news agency came as Iranians voted in nationwide parliamentary...

A worker wearing protective gears sprays disinfectant as a precaution against the coronavirus at a subway station in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. South Korea on Friday declared a

New virus has infected more than 76,000 people globally

Feb. 21, 2020 7:47 AM EST

A viral outbreak that began in China has infected more than 76,000 people globally. The World Health Organization has named the illness COVID-19, referring to its origin late last year and the coronavirus that causes it. The latest figures reported by each government's health authority as of Friday in Beijing:...

A voter casts his ballot in the parliamentary elections in a polling station in Tehran, Iran, Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. Iranians began voting for a new parliament Friday, with turnout seen as a key measure of support for Iran's leadership as sanctions weigh on the economy and isolate the country diplomatically. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Iran votes in parliament elections that favor conservatives

Feb. 21, 2020 7:43 AM EST

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranians voted for a new parliament Friday, with turnout seen as a key measure of support for Iran's leadership as sanctions weigh on the economy and U.S. pressure isolates the country diplomatically. The disqualification of more than 7,000 potential candidates, most of them reformists...

A photographer takes photos near the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship anchored at a port in Yokohama, near Tokyo, Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. Passengers tested negative for COVID-19 started disembarking since Wednesday. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Israel says cruise passenger flown home from Japan has virus

Feb. 21, 2020 7:24 AM EST

JERUSALEM (AP) — One of the 11 Israelis who were flown home after being quarantined on a cruise ship in Japan has tested positive for the new virus that emerged in China late last year, the first case to be reported inside Israel, the Health Ministry said Friday. The Israeli cruise ship passengers, who had...

Iran reports 2 more deaths from the new virus that emerged in China, says they were from among 13 new confirmed cases

Feb. 21, 2020 6:10 AM EST
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran reports 2 more deaths from the new virus that emerged in China, says they were from among 13 new confirmed cases.
An official in protective suits measure the temperature of the foreign passengers disembarked from the quarantined Diamond Princess cruise ship before boarding to buses at a port in Yokohama, near Tokyo, Friday, Feb. 21, 2020. Passengers tested negative for COVID-19 started disembarking since Wednesday. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)

Japan to let off last healthy cruise travelers, isolate rest

Feb. 21, 2020 2:08 AM EST

TOKYO (AP) — Japan's health minister said the last cruise ship passengers who tested negative for a new virus will leave the Diamond Princess on Friday after a much-criticized quarantine of the vessel ended. The ship docked at a Yokohama port has the most COVID-19 cases outside of China, with 634 confirmed...

Iran's state TV says polls have opened for a new parliament as some 7,000 candidates run for the 290-seat house

Feb. 20, 2020 11:40 PM EST
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran's state TV says polls have opened for a new parliament as some 7,000 candidates run for the 290-seat house.
People place candles and flowers at a monument on the market place during a mourning for the victims of the shooting in Hanau, Germany, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020. A 43-year-old German man shot and killed nine people at several locations in a Frankfurt suburb overnight in attacks that appear to have been motivated by far-right beliefs, officials said Thursday. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner)

Paranoia, racism: German killer drew on conspiracy tropes

Feb. 20, 2020 9:35 PM EST

BERLIN (AP) — He mixed extreme paranoia about secret state surveillance with far-right conspiracy tropes, misogyny and racist vitriol. The gunman who killed nine people in the Frankfurt suburb of Hanau left behind a 24-page rambling screed calling for the “complete extermination” of races...