BEIRUT (AP) -- Once a vibrant, religiously mixed community, Syria's eastern city of Raqqa is now a shell of its former self, terrorized by hard-line militants who have turned it into the nucleus of their vision for the Islamic caliphate they hope one day to establish in Syria and Iraq.
By Kendall M. Stempel
(Reuters) -- A Turkish court ordered the release of former general Ilker Basbug from a life sentence on Friday, adding to uncertainty over the fate of court cases trying coup plots against Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan.
By Salah Nasrawi
Iraq's Shia-led government has drafted a family law for the country's Shia majority that feminist activists and rights groups say will impose an Iranian-style theocracy, violate women's rights and sow further divisions in a nation that is already sharply split on sectarian lines.
By Adel Fakhir
BAGHDAD -- Iraq's southern Dhi Qar province is "a global museum of antiquities," dotted with hundreds of unexcavated ancient cities whose archeological treasures could rival those of the great Sumerian capital of Ur, experts say.
By Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi
While much attention is given to Sunni militant groups operating in Iraq on account of the overall revived insurgency, there is little interest in Shi'a groups with armed wings.
By Rajeev Agarwal and Divya Malhotra
Amidst political instability, violence, economic disequilibrium and social chaos, Iraq is gearing up for the general elections on April 30, 2014. This will be the first parliamentary election after the US withdrawal from Iraq in 2011 and the third since the fall of Saddam Hussein.
By Jamie Crawford
(CNN) -- High levels of sectarianism, carnage and the overall grinding nature of Syria's civil war continue to make that country a top destination for extremists, a top U.S. official said.
By Raja Abdulrahim
Syrian rebels in the northern city of Aleppo are waging fierce clashes against government forces in an attempt to prevent opposition neighborhoods from falling under siege.
Beirut (AFP) -- Negotiators have lost contact with a group of nuns kidnapped from a Syrian town last year after their captors moved them, a source told AFP on Thursday.