1. Syria to return bodies of 3 more Lebanese fighters
    BEIRUT: Damascus will hand over Saturday the bodies of three more Lebanese fighters who were killed by regime forces in the Syrian town of Tal Kalakh, Foreign Minister Adnan Mansour said Friday.
  2. Russia won’t try to persuade Syria’s Assad to quit – Lavrov
    (Reuters) – Russia refuses to act as an intermediary trying to talk Syrian President Bashar al-Assad into fleeing, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in comments released on Friday.
  3. Hunger sharpens misery in Syria’s Aleppo
    RESIDENTS of Aleppo have suffered through months of brutal urban warfare and now face a humanitarian crisis with a lack of food and fuel as the Syrian winter sets in.
  4. Iraq raises its game to compete with Saudi Arabia
    Iraq is sharpening a push to sell its swelling crude output and sit at oil’s top table with Saudi Arabia, sweetening terms for contract buyers next year, its customers say.
  5. Syria: Foreign meddling act of aggression
    NEW YORK, Dec. 21 (UPI) — Foreign support for violence in Syria “is tantamount to a military attack” on the country, a Syrian diplomat at the United Nations said.
  6. Iraqi finance minister bodyguards arrested
    Nine bodyguards for Iraq’s finance minister have been arrested, Abdul Sattar al-Berqdar, a spokesman for the Supreme Judicial Council, told Iraqi state TV on Friday.
  7. At the receiving end of fanaticism
    As chilling as the killing of Shias by Pakistani terrorists, who want them to be declared non-Muslims, is the general acceptance of sectarian violence
  8. Iran six-point plan irks Syria opposition
    The foreign-backed Syrian National Coalition has expressed anger with Iran’s six-point peace plan aimed at solving the unrest in Syria.
  9. Sunni-Shiite barriers stall Bahrain’s Arab Spring
    Political and religious divides between Sunnis and Shiites have relegated local Arab Spring protests to little more than a memory in Bahrain. But some are trying to bridge the differences.
  10. Russia deflects idea of UN peacekeepers for Syria
    A senior Russian diplomat is dismissing the idea of a U.N. peacekeeping mission to Syria, saying it would be impossible as fighting rages in the Arab state.