Middle East

Iraqis inch closer to Mosul video

A newly displaced boy cries as he sits at the school at Debaga Camp on the outskirts of Erbil, Iraq.

With patriotic music blaring from loudspeakers Iraqi forces fight their way inside two villages next to Isis-controlled city.

Iraq bans alcohol in surprise move

The country's Christian minority plans to appeal the ban.

Sneaky law change, with a $29,500 fine for anyone caught drinking, takes politicians by surprise after they pass it.

Children engaged to marry

Omar and Gharam are engaged to be married.

Omar is 12. His fiancee, Gharam, is 11. At a family celebration in Egypt it was announced the pair would marry.

Like Christmas dinner with your boss

Palestinians from neaby villages visit the home of the mayor of the Jewish settlement of Efrat in the West Bank.

They shared brownies and coffee, and took selfies to celebrate the holidays. It was a first: Some are Israeli, others Palestinians.

Aussie soccer coach kidnapped

A man identified as Craig McAllister in a photo published by the Yemen Post newspaper.

He'd been working as a kids' football coach in Yemen before he was kidnapped, now captors have demanded a ransom.

Residents used as human shields video

Iraqi security forces advance in Qayara, south of Mosul, to attack Islamic State militants in Mosul, Iraq.

Mosul residents say IS fighters using civilians as human shields as Iraqi and Kurdish forces close in.

Saudi prince executed

Most people executed in Saudi Arabia are beheaded with a sword.

Saudi prince executed for murder in a rare example of a ruling family member subjected to death penalty.

Secret Afghan Taliban peace talks

An Afghan policeman stands guard outside the Sakhi Shrine after an overnight attack in Kabul, Afghanistan.

Two Taliban officials say the militant movement held secret peace talks with Afghan government in Qatar.

Battle for Mosul begins video

More than 80,000 troops are involved, including engineers and logistical support.

Biggest Middle Eastern showdown since the Iraq war begins as 1.8m civilians hunker down.

Isis loses 'doomsday' village

A rebel fighter takes away a flag that belonged to Islamic State militants.

Syrian rebels capture Dabiq, where the terrorist group promised a final, apocalyptic battle with the West.

No breakthrough on Syria video

Talks in Switzerland end with no new path to peace as food, fuel and medicine runs out in Aleppo.

Talks in Switzerland end with no new path to peace as food, fuel and medicine runs out in Aleppo.

Heartbroken man takes own life

A viewer pleaded with the man not to go through with it.

Man in Turkey whose girlfriend left him pulls the trigger on himself in a Facebook Live stream.

NZ seeks middle ground on Syria video

More than 250,000 people are trapped under siege in eastern Aleppo.

NZ releases a paper to broker middle ground after two resolutions on ending attacks in Aleppo fail.

Aleppo air strikes kill 25

A front loader operates at a market hit by air strikes in Aleppo's rebel-held al-Fardous district, Syria.

Air strikes on rebel-held areas in Aleppo as Syrian government and Russia try to capture city.

Shi'ite worshippers killed

Afghan Shi'ite Muslim men mourn over the grave of a victim who was killed in Tuesday's attack at the Sakhi Shrine in ...

Bomb targeting Shi'ite worshippers in northern Afghanistan kills at least 14 civilians.

Aleppo air strikes kill 20 video

Smoke rises from airstrikes near Azaz city, northern Aleppo countryside, Syria.

School among areas targeted by latest air strikes, as Aleppo death toll continues to rise.

Isis dehumanising women

Around 350 members of Iraq's Yazidi community have been released from captivity by Islamic State, although their ...

"Women exist to be married and have children ... Women survive; they do not live," captured Isis fighter says.

Hoisting aid to trapped Syrians

Syrian refugees receive aid packages at Al Zaatari refugee camp in the Jordanian city of Mafraq, near the border with Syria.

Refugees caught in no-man's land can get aid - but by crane, says Jordan.

Teen flirts online, gets jailed

Abu Sin, a young man in Saudi Arabia, chats to Christina Crockett, a 21-year-old in California.

It seemed like a innocent, if goofy, flirtation, but the authorities didn't think so.

Syrian war crimes inquiry sought video

A boy walks past damaged buildings in the northern Syrian rebel-held town of al-Waqf in Aleppo.

International Criminal Court may be asked to prosecute Russia and Syria, after UN Security Council veto.

The suicide bombing school

An Islamic State propaganda video shows a teacher sitting in front of a classroom children. "These small bodies are ...

For the children of Isis, target practice starts at 6. By the time they're teens, they're ready.

Deported MP back in NZ video

Green MP Marama Davidson was met at Auckland Airport by a contingent of family, friends, Green Party members and other ...

Deported Green MP praises "courageous" women who took part in Gaza protest.

Birdsong, not bombs

Khaled Al Jouja, his wife Aisha Kobbaji, and their three children, Hamida Al Jouja 10yrs (Middle), Suleiman Al Jouja ...

Six months into their new life, two Syrian families talk about peace and opportunity in their adopted country.

Detained MP 'safe and well'

Green MP Marama Davidson made this video ahead of her detention by Israeli forces.

Green MP detained on protest boat by Israeli forces after "Gaza stunt" will return to NZ soon.

Flotilla became 'ship of fools'

Marama Davidson, seen here during a protest against asset sales, breached Israel's sovereignty for no purpose, according ...

OPINION: When a NZ MP openly violates international law in a media stunt, it reflects badly upon that politician.

Aleppo - gone by Christmas?

Smoke rises from Bustan al-Basha neighborhood of Aleppo, Syria.

UN envoy for Syria is in no doubt about Aleppo's future in next 2 months if things don't change.

MP's detention 'less-than-perfect'

Green Party MP Marama Davidson left New Zealand last month to join a "peace flotilla" heading to Gaza.

A Green MP's participation in a Gaza peace flotilla went against official advice, the PM says.

Boy pulled from Syria rubble video

Acccording to reports this boy's family were killed in the airstrike.

His parents were killed in an airstrike but this youngster miraculously survived in the contested city of Aleppo.

Fancy a holiday to Aleppo? video

The Syrian Ministry of Tourism used a drone to show life goes on in non-ravaged Aleppo.

Syrian tourism ministry has just released a promo video - showing a green city bustling with traffic.

'Rich NZ's poor attitude'

A Syrian refugee, who is stuck between the Jordanian and Syrian borders, cries and holds her child as she waits to cross ...

New Zealand should be taking more than three times the number of refugees, Amnesty NZ says.

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