BEIRUT - Air strikes by U.S.-led forces have killed 553 Islamist fighters and 32 civilians during a month-long campaign in Syria, a monitoring group which tracks the violence said on Thursday.
BEIJING - China wants to have closer military ties with Iran, the Chinese defence minister told the visiting head of the Iranian navy on Thursday, state media reported, reaffirming diplomatic links despite controversy over Iran's nuclear plans.
QUETTA Pakistan - Eight Shi'ite members of Pakistan's ethnic Hazara minority were killed and one wounded on Thursday, when gunmen opened fire on a bus in the volatile province of Baluchistan, police said.
JERUSALEM - An Israeli baby died and eight other people were hurt when a Palestinian man slammed his car into pedestrians at a Jerusalem light railway stop, then police shot the driver as he fled, police and a hospital official said.
ARBIL Iraq/MURSITPINAR Turkey - Iraqi Kurdish lawmakers approved a plan on Wednesday to send fighters to the Syrian town of Kobani to relieve fellow Kurds under attack by Islamic State militants, marking the semi-autonomous region's first military foray into Syria's war.
DUBAI - A Saudi court has sentenced 17 people, four of them women, to prison terms of up to 30 years in two separate cases, one of which involving an al Qaeda plot to attack U.S. soldiers in Qatar and Kuwait, the state news agency SPA said.
SANAA - Sunni Al Qaeda militants and Shi'ite Muslim rebels have fought a bloody battle in central Yemen, tribal sources said on Wednesday, amid fears of worsening sectarian tension in the impoverished Arabian country.
HAMMAM SOUSSE Tunisia - Blaring music and flags fill the hall where Tunisia's Initiative Party is warming up to test its chances in the second free election since the 2011 "Arab Spring" uprising that ousted autocrat Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.
BAGHDAD - Coalition air strikes killed around 25 Islamic State fighters on Wednesday near the northern Iraqi city of Baiji, residents told Reuters.
DUBAI - Iranian President Hassan Rouhani came out on Wednesday against a parliamentary bill to empower vigilantes who enforce Islamic morals, strongly re-asserting a moderate agenda that had taken a back seat since his election last year.