A fresh spasm of violence Wednesday along contested terrain between Israel and Lebanon looks ominously like the scenario that sparked the 2006 war between the two bitter adversaries, raising the prospect of another major conflict in the heart of the Middle East.
The mother of a Japanese hostage believed to be in the hands of Islamic extremists made an emotional appeal for her son’s life Wednesday, hours before a deadline set by his captors was to expire.
Kurdish fighters in the Syrian border town of Kobani appeared poised Monday to deal a decisive defeat to Islamic State militants after months of street clashes and U.S. aerial bombardment, signaling a major setback for the extremist group.
A video distributed Saturday on the Internet showed what appears to be a Japanese hostage saying that a fellow Japanese captive had been executed and outlining a new militant demand for his release.
Thousands of Yemenis took to the streets of the capital and other cities Saturday to protest what many called an illegal takeover of the government by Houthi rebels.
The bodies of three more Lebanese soldiers were discovered Saturday in a battlefield near the Syrian border, bringing to eight the number killed in the latest clashes with Syrian Islamist rebels, authorities said.
In Iran, Saudi Arabia’s longtime rival for influence in the Middle East, there is little expectation that King Abdullah’s death will alter the deep enmity that has helped fuel hostilities and proxy battles throughout the region, including in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Yemen and Bahrain.
Yemen faced a dangerous power vacuum Friday as supporters and opponents of Houthi rebels who have seized control of the capital took to the streets.