Saudi Arabia to lift ban on internet calls

Saudi Arabia to lift ban on internet calls

Image copyright AFP Image caption The Saudi authorities said they had blocked VoIP apps in 2013 in order to “protect society” Saudi Arabia is lifting a ban on voice and video calling apps such as WhatsApp and Skype, in a move aimed at boosting productivity and economic growth. The ministry of communications said access to […]

Iraqi forces ‘attack last IS bastion on Syria border’

Iraqi forces ‘attack last IS bastion on Syria border’

Image copyright AFP Image caption Iraqi forces announced they had recaptured the town of Akashat, south-west of Ana, last week Iraqi forces are reported to have launched an operation to recapture the last stronghold of so-called Islamic State in the country’s western desert. A military source told the BBC that soldiers, Anbar provincial police and […]

Iraqi Kurdish referendum must be suspended – Iraqi PM

Iraqi Kurdish referendum must be suspended – Iraqi PM

Image copyright EPA Image caption Marches in support of the vote took place in Irbil last week Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has formally demanded the suspension of next week’s referendum on Kurdish independence. The Supreme Court also ordered that the poll must be postponed until questions over its legality were addressed. Despite global opposition, […]

Hamas says it is ready to hold first elections since 2006

Hamas says it is ready to hold first elections since 2006

Image copyright AFP Image caption Hamas praised mediation efforts by Egypt The Palestinian militant group Hamas says it is ready to dissolve the committee that rules Gaza and hold a general election for the first time since 2006. It also said it was aiming for more talks with rivals Fatah as it aims to end […]

Hamas seeks new talks with rivals Fatah

Hamas seeks new talks with rivals Fatah

Image copyright AFP Image caption Hamas praised mediation efforts by Egypt The Palestinian militant group Hamas says it is aiming for talks with rivals Fatah as it aims to end their decade-long feud. In a statement, it said it would dissolve the committee that rules Gaza and seek elections. After violent clashes between the two […]

Kurdish MPs say yes to independence referendum

Kurdish MPs say yes to independence referendum

Image copyright AFP The Iraqi Kurdish parliament has voted to back a planned referendum in the face of opposition from across the globe. The Kurdistan Regional Government, sitting for the first time in two years, backed the 25 September vote on Friday. Iraq’s central government rejected the referendum as unconstitutional on Tuesday. Iran, Turkey and […]

Syria war: Turkey, Russia, Iran agree Idlib ‘ceasefire’ zone

Syria war: Turkey, Russia, Iran agree Idlib ‘ceasefire’ zone

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Idlib has long been a stronghold of rebels and jihadist groups Powers backing rival sides in the Syrian war have agreed on the latest in a series of so-called “de-escalation zones”, aimed at calming fighting. Turkey, which opposes the Syrian government, and Syria’s allies Russia and Iran reached a deal […]

Trump: Iran breaking spirit of nuclear deal

Trump: Iran breaking spirit of nuclear deal

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Donald Trump at the White House, after a visit to hurricane-hit Florida US president Donald Trump has said Iran is keeping to the spirit of the 2015 nuclear deal “atrociously”. The deal – between Iran, the US, and other world powers, including China and Russia – was designed to […]

Tunisian women free to marry non-Muslims

Tunisian women free to marry non-Muslims

Image copyright AFP Image caption Tunisian women have been campaigning for greater rights Tunisia has overturned a law that banned women from marrying non-Muslims. A spokeswoman for President Beji Caid Essebsi made the announcement and congratulated women on gaining “the freedom to choose one’s spouse”. Until now, a non-Muslim man who wished to marry a […]

Iraq: At least 60 die in twin attacks near Nasiriya

Iraq: At least 60 die in twin attacks near Nasiriya

Image copyright nasiriyah.org Image caption The attack has been claimed by so-called Islamic State At least 60 people have been killed in two attacks in southern Iraq, police and health officials say. A suicide bomber detonated a vest and gunmen opened fire inside a restaurant near Nasiriya, capital of Dhiqar province, security sources said. Soon […]