Middle East Political News
Iraqi forces recaptured most of eastern Mosul in a 3-month old U.S.-backed offensive to drive Islamic State out of its last major stronghold in the country.
Russia, Assad set the new diplomatic effort in motion after Syrian rebels suffered major defeat last month by losing control of districts of eastern Aleppo.
Some 70 countries on Sunday reaffirmed that only a two-state solution could resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and warned they would not recognize any unilateral steps by either side that could prejudge negotiations.
Iraqi special forces drove Islamic State militants in Mosul University campus while elite police units took over large areas along the Tigris river.
“We are waiting to see if it happens. If it does, it will not help peace and we hope it does not happen,” Palestinian President Mahmoud told reporters.
The army and the Lebanese Shi’ite Muslim militia Hezbollah gained complete control of the town of Baseimah, taking them close to Ain al-Fija where the water springs are located.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards look set to entrench their power and shift the country to more hardline, isolationist policies for years to come.
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas will visit Paris “in the coming weeks” for bilateral talks, an official at the French president’s office said.
Some 570,000 Israelis now live in the Israeli-occupied West Bank and in East Jerusalem, together home to more than 2.6 million Palestinians.
Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun, ally Iranian-backed Lebanese Shi’ite group Hezbollah, visited Saudi Arabia to mend relations with Sunni Muslim monarchy.
United Nations said civilian casualties had streamed into nearby hospitals in the last two weeks as fighting intensified in the jihadist militia’s last major stronghold in Iraq.
Assad: “Who will be there from the other side? Will it be a real Syrian opposition? If they want to discuss this point they must discuss the constitution.
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, under police investigation for suspected corruption, was caught on tape negotiating mutual benefits with arch-foe.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said air strikes began on Sunday morning, after a lull since Saturday morning during which a new round of negotiations over repairs took place.
Former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani died in hospital in Tehran where he was taken after suffering a heart attack on Sunday.
Saudi Arabia Prince Mohammed bin Salman said he believed only a small percentage of the kingdom’s clerics were too dogmatic to be reasoned with.
The Yemeni detainees were identified as Mohammed Rajab Sadiq Abu Ghanem, Salem Ahmed Hadi bin Kanad, Abdullah Yehya Yousef al-Shibli and Mohammed Bawazir.
JORDAN POLITICS: Jordanian Official Warns Trump of ‘Catastrophic’ Repercussions Moving US Embassy in Tel Aviv to Occupied Jerusalem
Information Minister Mohammed Momani said that such a move would be a “red line” for Jordan and would “inflame the Islamic and Arab streets.”
In Damascus, Ali Haidar, national reconciliation minister, said the state could not allow Idlib to remain in insurgent hands indefinitely.
Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called for a pardon for a soldier convicted of manslaughter for killing a wounded Palestinian attacker.