Capture of IS chief’s ex-wife a coup for fragile Lebanon

By: VENETIA RAINEY Beirut, Lebanon – There is no longer any point in saying Lebanon is “on the brink”. The tiny Mediterranean country has been described as such for years, and it has proven itself more than able to soldier on – with help from the international community. These last few days have shown the […]

Jihadi hostage-taking: Could it get out of control in Lebanon?

By Nicholas Blanford While the world has been transfixed – and horrified – by the gruesome and chilling hostage dramas played out in the Middle East these past months, Lebanon has been gripped by its own increasingly convoluted kidnapping crisis. The lives of some 26 Lebanese soldiers and policemen hang in the balance as the […]

Lebanon confirms holding Baghdadi’s ex wife , daughter

DNA tests confirm Lebanon is holding the young daughter of Islamic State (IS) leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the country’s interior minister says. Nohad Machnouk told Lebanon’s MTV television that the child’s mother, who is also in custody, was now believed to be one of Baghdadi’s ex-wives. On Tuesday, Lebanese security officials said they had detained […]

Lebanon insists that detained woman is IS chief’s wife, rejects Iraqi claim , update

Iraq’s Interior Ministry said on Wednesday that a woman detained by Lebanese authorities was not the wife of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, but the sister of a man convicted of bombings in southern Iraq. Security officials in Lebanon had said on Tuesday the Lebanese army had detained a wife and daughter of Baghdadi’s […]

Iranian jets strike Islamic State targets in Iraq, U.S. official

Iranian aircraft conducted strikes against Islamic State positions in eastern Iraq last weekend, expanding Tehran’s role as a close ally of Iraq’s Shiite-led government. “We do think they did do some airstrikes at targets in Iraq,” said a senior U.S. defense official, who added that “several” Iranian planes were involved. Although Iran has conducted surveillance […]

Gunmen ambush Lebanese army patrol killing 7 soldiers, updates

Militants ambushed a Lebanese army patrol near the border with Syria on Tuesday, killing six Lebanese soldiers and wounding one, a Lebanese security official said. The attack occurred in a remote region of Ras Baalbek in eastern Lebanon and was followed by fierce clashes between the two sides, said the official, speaking on condition of […]

Hezbollah chief and former Iraqi PM met in Lebanon

Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah and Iraq’s Vice President Nouri al-Maliki met recently in Beirut and reportedly expressed their confidence in a statement ( issued by hezbollah ) that the people and governments of the region would defeat the terrorist Islamic State group. Such groups and “their destructive plans don’t have a future in any country […]

Lebanon detains wife and daughter of Islamic State chief

The Lebanese army detained a wife and daughter of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as they crossed from Syria nine daysLebanese army detained a wife and daughter of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as they crossed from Syria , security officials said on Tuesday, in a setback to the group as it comes […]

1.7m Syrian refugees face food crisis as UN funds dry up

More than 1.7 million Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt are facing a disastrous and hungry winter after a funding crisis forced the UN’s World Food Programme to suspend food vouchers to hundreds of thousands forced into exile by the conflict. Since the war began in March 2011, the WFP has brought […]