US: military talks with Moscow tied to Syria political path
Middle East

US: military talks with Moscow tied to Syria political path

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Ash Carter is still unsure of Russia’s military intentions in Syria but intends no further conversations unless Moscow agrees to participate in talks aimed at a political solution to the civil war, Carter’s spokesman said Tuesday. Spokesman Peter Cook said Carter delivered that message to Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu … Continue reading

Democrats defeat latest GOP effort on Iran nuclear deal
International News / Middle East / National / U.S. News

Democrats defeat latest GOP effort on Iran nuclear deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — A last-ditch GOP attempt to derail the Iran nuclear deal failed in the Senate Thursday, and defeated Republicans said they would move on and leave the fight against the Iran accord to the next president. Senators voted 53-44 to block a measure preventing the Obama administration from lifting sanctions against Iran unless … Continue reading

Iraq’s top cleric demands real steps in fighting corruption
International News / Middle East

Iraq’s top cleric demands real steps in fighting corruption

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq’s top Shiite cleric said on Friday the government must start hunting the “big heads” as part of its anti-corruption drive, calling for “convincing and assuring steps” as proof of the government’s seriousness in implementing its highly-touted reform plan. Last month, Iraq’s Shiite-led government announced a package of reforms following large rallies … Continue reading

22 Emirati troops in Saudi-led coalition killed in Yemen
International News / Middle East

22 Emirati troops in Saudi-led coalition killed in Yemen

SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Twenty-two members of the United Arab Emirates’ military were killed while taking part in Saudi-led operations in Yemen against Shiite rebels known as Houthis, the official news agency WAM said Friday, the largest single loss for the Gulf nation’s military to date in the war. Pro-government Yemeni security officials said the … Continue reading

Senate Dems get 34th vote to hand Obama victory on Iran deal
International News / Middle East / U.S. News

Senate Dems get 34th vote to hand Obama victory on Iran deal

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats have rallied the 34 votes they need to keep the Iran nuclear deal alive in Congress, handing President Barack Obama a major foreign policy victory. Sen. Barbara Mikulski of Maryland became the crucial 34th vote Wednesday morning, declaring the agreement is the best way to curb Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Congress … Continue reading

Syrian official: Amount of damage at Palmyra temple unclear
International News / Middle East

Syrian official: Amount of damage at Palmyra temple unclear

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — A Syrian official in charge of antiquities said Monday his government has not been able to determine how much damage an explosion near the ancient Temple of Bel caused the ancient structure in the militant-controlled city of Palmyra. Activists, including a Palmyra resident, said an Islamic State bombing extensively damaged the … Continue reading

Iraq’s top cleric says government must genuinely seek change
International News / Middle East

Iraq’s top cleric says government must genuinely seek change

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq’s top Shiite cleric said on Friday the government must show it was seeking genuine change to combat corruption and improve services and not just introduce temporary measures to placate the embattled nation. In a message delivered by a representative in a Friday sermon, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani also cautioned protesters who … Continue reading