Why a hostage-taker in Lebanon was hailed as a national hero

The gunman, named by authorities as Bassam al-Sheikh Hussein, is one of the millions in Lebanon whose lifesavings dissipated in the country’s devastating economic crisis that began in October 2019. Videos posted to social media showed Hussein nervously pacing around the bank in denim shorts and sandals, his hostages trying to reason with him. “Give … Read more

Trump’s shadow looms over last ditch effort to revive Iran nuclear deal

Marandi said that in order for Iran to sign up to the updated deal, the IAEA’s censure “has to be closed once and for all.” Iran dismissed the IAEA motion as “politicized,” and responded by removing surveillance cameras at key sites in response — a move that deprived negotiators of up-to-date information on the country’s … Read more

Iran nuclear deal: Final text to revive agreement is ready, says EU’s Josep Borrell

“What can be negotiated has been negotiated, and it’s now in a final text. However, behind every technical issue and every paragraph lies a political decision that needs to be taken in the capitals. If these answers are positive, then we can sign this deal,” Borrell tweeted. Iran and the US are indirectly negotiating the … Read more

Why Hamas stayed out of the latest Gaza conflict

A ceasefire between Israel and the PIJ over Gaza that went into effect at 11:30 pm local time (4:30 pm ET) Sunday appeared to be holding almost 24 hours later. The conflict led to the death of at least 44 militants and civilians in Gaza, according to information from the Palestinian Ministry of Health. Fifteen … Read more

Israeli airstrikes kill senior lslamic Jihad leader

Islamic Jihad said in a statement that one of its senior leaders, Tayseer Al Jabari, had been killed in an Israeli strike. He was a commander in the Quds Brigade, the armed wing of Islamic Jihad, the group said, and a member of its Military Council. The Palestinian health ministry said at least 10 people … Read more

Taliban claim they weren’t aware al Qaeda chief was living in Kabul

“The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has no information about Ayman al-Zawahiri’s arrival and stay in Kabul,” the Taliban said in a statement Thursday. “The leadership of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan has instructed the investigative and intelligence agencies to conduct a comprehensive and serious investigation into the various aspects of the incident,” the Taliban added. … Read more

Beirut’s port blast two years on: An open wound festers as authorities try to close the case

It was 6:07 pm. Thousands of lives were upgraded and the Lebanese capital — no stranger to disaster — was transformed into a hellscape. Much like the broken clocks, the catastrophe appears to have been suspended in time. Thursday marks two years since the port explosion. Yet the city’s hardest hit, eastern neighborhoods still bear … Read more

What’s behind Iraq’s explosive political crisis?

In a show of strength, supporters of Shiite cleric Sadr last week twice stormed Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone — which houses government buildings and Western embassies — and on Sunday staged a long sit-in inside parliament. While Sadr’s supporters are rallying against the nomination of a new prime minister, these protests also represent a … Read more

Iran flooding and mudslides leave at least 69 people dead

Nezhad Jahani, the senior official at the organization, said at least 45 people are still missing in Tehran and three other provinces following the recent floods, which damaged at least 20,000 residential homes. More than 20 provinces, including the Tehran province, have been affected by the floods that were caused by heavy rainfall, semi-official Fars … Read more

Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan has unfinished business in Syria

Pledged almost two months ago yet awaiting what analysts say is probably a green light from Moscow, the operation raises questions about Turkey’s ultimate plans for Syria. Erdogan says he wants to initiate his fourth operation in the country’s north since 2016, targeting a zone which includes the two key towns of Manbij and Tel … Read more