Syria safe zones: Fighting ‘eases’ as plan takes effect

Image copyright AFP Image caption Syria’s war has devastated the country since it erupted in 2011 Fighting has eased in parts of Syria where a Russian-led initiative to halt the country’s six-year war took effect from midnight, activists say. The deal unveiled by Russia on Thursday to set up four “de-escalation zones” is backed by […]

Syria: Safe zones plan comes into force

Image copyright AFP Image caption Violence has continued unabated in places despite the declared ceasefire A deal unveiled by Russia’s military to set up safe zones in Syria has come into force. The accord on four zones was reached at Thursday’s talks in Kazakhstan between Russia and Iran which back Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Turkey, […]

Syria government ‘producing chemical weapons at research facilities’

Media captionAbo Rabeea says he is still suffering from the suspected chemical weapons strike in Khan Sheikhoun Syria’s government is continuing to make chemical weapons in violation of a 2013 deal to eliminate them, a Western intelligence agency has told the BBC. A document says chemical and biological munitions are produced at three main sites […]

Mosul battle: Iraqis open up new front to retake city from IS

Image copyright AFP Image caption A soldier guards the entrance of a building on the front line in Mosul’s Old City Iraqi security forces say they have opened a new front in the operation against so-called Islamic State (IS) militants in north-western Mosul. Troops from the army’s 9th Division and the police’s Rapid Response Force […]

Syria war: Putin says ‘safe zones’ have international support

Image copyright AFP Image caption The Russia-backed plan calls for a ceasefire Russia, the US, Turkey, Iran and Syria are close to agreeing the establishment of “safe zones” in Syria aimed at ensuring the viability of a ceasefire, Vladimir Putin says. The Russian president said they would amount to no-fly zones. Mr Putin said his […]

Iran miners killed trying to save trapped colleagues

Image copyright Reuters Image caption The explosion is believed to have happened during a change of shift at the mine The bodies of at least 21 miners trying to help colleagues trapped after an explosion in a coal mine in northern Iran have been recovered, state media has reported. A local official in the area […]

Egyptian Saad Mohammed creates 700 metre Koran by hand

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Saad Mohammed has spent three years creating his scroll An Egyptian school drop-out is hoping to make history after spending three years painstakingly creating what he believes to be the world’s largest Koran. Saad Mohammed’s intricately decorated, hand-drawn scroll is 700 metres long (2,296ft) – which means, when it is […]

Trump and Abbas to discuss peace efforts at first talks

Image copyright AFP Image caption The talks with Mahmoud Abbas will help the US assess whether peace talks have any chance US President Donald Trump is to hold talks with the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, at the White House. The meeting is part of an attempt to revive the Middle East peace process. Mr Abbas […]

Iran Golestan mine explosion: More than 50 trapped

Iran Golestan mine explosion: More than 50 trapped

More than 50 miners are trapped after an explosion in a coal mine in Iran, state media reports say. It happened at the Zemestan-Yurt mine in Golestan province in the north. Two people are reported to have died and 25 others are wounded. One emergency services spokesman said that 16 people had managed to escape. […]

Only one in four Middle East men backs equality, study suggests

Media captionThe patriarchy works for a “very small” minority in the Middle East, Shereen El Feki tells BBC World TV Only one in four men in the Arab region supports equality for women in some areas, and most still believe a woman’s primary role is at home, a survey suggests. Interviews in Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco […]