1. Top Iraq Shiite Cleric Calls for Protection of Army Families
    BAGHDAD — Iraq’s top Shiite cleric on Friday called on the government in Baghdad to do more to protect the families of Iraqi forces fighting the Islamic State group, saying they are an “easy prey” for extremists bent on revenge attacks.
  2. Iraq Kurds condemn Turkish air strikes on PKK
    Arbil (Iraq) (AFP) – The leadership of Iraqi Kurdistan on Saturday condemned Turkish air strikes against positions of PKK Kurdish rebels in its autonomous region in the north of Iraq.
  3. Kurds ‘gain ground in Syria’s Hasakeh’ in IS fightback
    Beirut (AFP) – Kurdish militia have expanded their control over portions of a major Syrian city in their fightback against the Islamic State group, to the detriment of government forces there, a monitor said Saturday.
  4. U.S.-led coalition stages 31 air strikes on Islamic State: statement
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and its allies targeted Islamic State militants with 22 air strikes in Iraq on Friday and nine in Syria, the Command Joint Task Force said on Saturday.
  5. Saudi Arabia Having to Borrow Billions – Could Be Bankrupt by End of the Decade
    Over the past year, Saudi Arabia – once among the richest nations on the planet – has wound up having to sell some $4 billion in bonds.
  6. Bahrain recalls its Iran envoy over ‘hostile comments’
    Dubai (AFP) – Bahrain has decided to recall its ambassador to Tehran in protest at “hostile” comments by Iranian leaders, the official BNA news agency reported on Saturday.
  7. Britain lifts Iran travel warning
    London (AFP) – Britain lifted an official warning against all but essential travel to Iran on Saturday, citing “decreased hostility” in the wake of a landmark nuclear deal.
  8. Things Are About to Get a Lot Hotter for ISIS
    The United States may have more than doubled its capacity to conduct air strikes on ISIS strongholds in Syria without committing a single new plane or soldier to the fight.
  9. Thousands take to streets of Sanaa in support of Huthi rebels
    On Friday, thousands of supporters of the Shiite Huthi rebels took to the streets of Yemen’s capital Sanaa, which is still in rebel hands, to protest against air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition.