1. Egypt’s Sinai problem escalates as President Sisi cracks down
    A deadly and sophisticated attack by an ISIL affiliate in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on Wednesday and early signs of an escalated security crackdown by President Abdel Fatteh El Sisi have experts warning that more violence is just around the corner in the Middle East’s most populous country.
  2. Syrian Islamist insurgents launch battle to seize government-held Aleppo
    BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian insurgents led by Islamist groups began a major offensive to gain full control of the divided northern city of Aleppo, a monitor and rebels said on Thursday.
  3. Syria urges people to enlist as army ranks depleted
    Damascus (AFP) – With the Syrian army’s ranks depleted by casualties and rampant draft-dodging, a new campaign in the war-torn country is urging citizens to enlist.
  4. Iran’s Nod to IAEA Monitor Rights Sets Path for Nuclear Deal
    Iran said it recognizes the right of United Nations monitors to seek visits to sensitive sites and question nuclear officials, meeting one requirement for the accord diplomats are seeking to conclude in the next few days.
  5. Senior Islamic State leader killed in U.S.-led coalition strike
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. military said on Thursday a coalition airstrike in Syria killed a senior Islamic State leader who helped fundraise, secure arms and transport fighters for the militant group.
  6. Report: Saudi king censors TV host, pro-Muslim Brotherhood scholar and orders their trial
    DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – A government-linked Saudi news website says that King Salman has ordered an investigation and trial against a pro-Muslim Brotherhood scholar and a television host after an episode that was critical of King Abdullah’s policies toward the outlawed Islamist group.
  7. Video shows Syria rebel group executing 18 IS fighters
    Beirut (AFP) – A Syrian rebel group operating around Damascus has executed 18 alleged members of the Islamic State group in a video mimicking the extremist organisation’s own productions.
  8. Iraq Christians train to recapture homes from IS
    Baghdad (AFP) – With wooden crosses around their necks and others tattooed on their arms, several dozen Iraqi Christians are training to recapture their homes overrun by the Islamic State jihadist group.
  9. Islamic State-supporting bomber wanted to tear Kuwait apart, but country stands united after blast
    KUWAIT CITY – An Islamic State sympathizer’s deadly bombing in a packed Kuwaiti mosque last week was designed to fit an all-too-familiar pattern: extremists attack Shiites to stoke sectarian hatred and then proclaim themselves the defenders of Sunnis against those they denounce as heretics.
  10. Madrassas derecognised as schools in BJP-ruled Maharashtra
    The move is being defended by the Devendra Fadnavis government as a means to bring madrassa students into mainstream formal education.