Says Islamic State had recently boosted its numbers in the Qalamoun area with the aim of securing crossborder territory to support its Syrian operations.
Assad makes rare trip to embattled Damascus district; Former Lebanese prime minister Omar Karami dies; Egypt court orders retrial for three Al-Jazeera English journalists.
Two young women seen in online video sitting in black robes and veils, appealing to the government to secure their release.
Saudi Arabia beheads 83 people in 2014, the most in years; U.S. releases five Guantanamo prisoners, sends them to Kazakhstan.
The U.S. fears that the new Yemeni regime will stop working with them in the fight against Al-Qaida, since the Houthis have taken over the military power centers.
AU troops are bolstering Somalia's weak government against an insurgency from the Al-Qaida-linked organization.
Six-year moratorium on executions lifted after Taliban gunmen storm army-run school and kill 148 people.
The Guardian reports talks with the spiritual leaders of ISIS aimed at releasing the killed hostage began in mid-October and ran for several weeks with the knowledge of the FBI.
More attacks resembling the Peshawar siege are expected as the coalition prepares to leave Afghanistan.
Since 2001, Pakistan has been gripped by an internal war with the Taliban and other radical groups that has killed tens of thousands of civilians and security personnel.