1. Gulenists use hate speech against Shiites, Iranians
    In the ongoing row between Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and Gulenists entrenched in the state, a major Gulenist accusation against AKP leaders is that they are pro-Iranian and even Iranian agents. Fethullah Gulen’s chilly attitude toward Iran and Shiites is well-known in Turkey. While supposedly seeking rapprochement with Christians and Jews in interfaith dialogue, Gulen has never reached out to the Shiites, the other major sect of Islam.
  2. An Indian hand in Saudi Arabia-Iran reconciliation?
    Are regional rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia heading for a rapprochement? Is there an Indian hand in this? Talk on the possible development in the Gulf swirled in the diplomatic and strategic circles as India played host to Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia and Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif during the same week last month.
  3. Tunisia ends state of emergency after 3 years
    TUNIS, Tunisia — Tunisia’s president on Thursday lifted the state of emergency that has been in place since the outbreak of a popular revolution three years ago, and a top military chief said soldiers stationed in some of the country’s most sensitive areas will return to their barracks.
  4. NATO airstrike kills 5 Afghan soldiers
    KABUL — A NATO airstrike Thursday killed at least five Afghan soldiers in one of the most devastating incidents of friendly fire in the 12-year history of the war in Afghanistan.
  5. UP Sunni leader gunned down in Baghdad
    BAREILLY: In perhaps the first such attack of its kind, a Sunni cleric and scholar from India, Sheikh Osaidul Haq Qadiri, was gunned down by militants in strife-torn Bagdad on Tuesday. His father and younger brother, who were following him in a separate car, escaped the attack.
  6. Syrian airstrikes target Arsal’s outskirts
    BEIRUT: Syria launched a series of airstrikes targeting remote areas in the Bekaa Valley border town of Arsal Wednesday, a security source told The Daily Star.
  7. In Southern Iraq, Archeological Riches Rivaling Ur Await Discovery
    BAGHDAD, Iraq – 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.
  8. Separate bombings in Iraq kill at least 20
    Series of bombings on Thursday struck commercial areas in central Iraq, killing at least 20 civilians and wounding about 60, authorities said.
  9. Iraqi police arrest ISIL ‘postman’ in Diyala
    According to al-Shemari, a special police team arrested the man as he was delivering messages to and from ISIL members near the city of Baqubah.