1. Swiss envoy says: invest in Iran, Middle East’s ‘pole of stability’
    Switzerland’s ambassador on Thursday called Iran a “pole of stability” in the Middle East and urged companies to make the most of a lucrative market about to re-open after years of crippling sanctions.
  2. Islamic State takes new ground near Turkish border
    Islamic State has seized new territory from Syrian rebels in northern Syria, advancing in an area where Turkey and the United States are planning to open a new front against the group in coordination with insurgents on the ground.
  3. Coalition poised to retake capital, but Yemen risks grow
    Weeks after seizing Yemen’s southern port, Aden, members of a Saudi-led military coalition and the local fighters it supports say they are poised to oust Iranian-allied Houthi forces from the capital Sanaa.
  4. U.S. confirms Islamic State computer expert killed in air strike
    The U.S. military confirmed on Friday that a British hacker who was one of the Islamic State movement’s top computer experts and active in encouraging people abroad to carry out “lone wolf” attacks was killed in Syria by a U.S. air strike.
  5. U.S. says committed to transition away from Syria’s Assad
    The U.S. State Department on Friday repeated its commitment to a political transition “away from” Syrian President Bashar al-Assad after a U.S. special envoy held talks in Moscow on how to end Syria’s more than four-year civil war.
  6. U.S. asks Uzbekistan to join anti-Islamic State coalition
    The United States said on Thursday it had asked Uzbekistan to join the multinational coalition it leads against Islamic State, saying Central Asia’s most populous state was free to choose a way of contributing to the fight against the militant group.
  7. 12 mn Syrians have fled their homes since conflict began: UN
    BEIRUT (Lebanon) (AFP) – Syria’s four-and-a-half year conflict has driven half of the country’s people to flee their homes, with the number of those who have left the country approaching 20 percent of the pre-war population.
  8. Kurdish forces free seven villages in Iraq: officials
    Washington (AFP) – Western-backed Kurdish fighters freed seven villages from the clasps of the Islamic State group in northern Iraq in recent days, the US-led coalition battling the jihadists.
  9. US envoy to Syria visits Moscow in fresh diplomatic push
    Moscow (AFP) – Russia on Friday hosted the newly appointed US special envoy for Syria as world powers intensify efforts to end the four-year civil war raging in the country.