Middle East

Rebel fighters pray beside the al-Sayyad hill bordering the town of Morek in the northern countryside of Hama

Khalil Ashawi/Reuters

Rebel fighters pray beside the al-Sayyad hill bordering the town of Morek in the northern countryside of Hama in Syria

Bahraini protesters wearing gas masks, look on during clashes with police after a demonstration against the arrest of Sheikh Ali Salman (portrait), head of the Shiite opposition movement Al-Wefaq, in Salman's home village of Bilad al-Qadeem, on the outskirts of the capital Manama.

Mohammed Al-Shaikh/AFP/Getty Images

Bahraini protesters wearing gas masks, look on during clashes with police after a demonstration against the arrest of Sheikh Ali Salman (portrait), head of the Shia opposition movement Al-Wefaq, in Salman’s home village of Bilad al-Qadeem, on the outskirts of the capital Manama.

A Kurdish fighter smiles as he drives a car in the center of the Syrian border town of Kobane, known as Ain al-Arab, on January 28, 2015. Kurdish forces recaptured the strategic town on the Turkish frontier on January 26 in a symbolic blow for the jihadists who have seized swathes of territory in a brutal onslaught across Syria and Iraq.

Bulent Kilic/AFP

A Kurdish fighter smiles as he drives a car in the centre of the Syrian border town of Kobani, known as Ain al-Arab, on Wednesday. Kurdish forces recaptured the strategic town on the Turkish frontier on Tuesday in a symbolic blow for the jihadists who have seized swathes of territory in a brutal onslaught across Syria and Iraq

A Palestinian draped in a Palestinian flag stands next to burning tyres during a protest against the decision by the main U.N. aid agency to suspend payments to tens of thousands of Palestinians for repairs to their homes damaged in last summer's war, outside the headquarters of the United Nations Special Coordinator in Gaza City January 28, 2015. Dozens of Palestinians, whose homes were destroyed and damaged in the summer war, attacked the office of the United Nations Special Coordinator in Gaza, to protest the decision by a key United Nations organisation to suspend its cash aid to them. Some burnt tyres outside the gate while others tried to storm in through climbing the outer walls. Some hurled stones into the headquarters.

  © Mohammed Salem/Reuters

A Palestinian draped in a Palestinian flag stands next to burning tyres during a protest against the decision by the main U.N. aid agency to suspend payments to tens of thousands of Palestinians for repairs to their homes damaged in last summer’s war, outside the headquarters of the United Nations Special Coordinator in Gaza City

Saudi commandos guard the front of Erga Palace as U.S. President Barack Obama arrives to meet with Saudi Arabia's King Salman in Riyadh January 27, 2015. Obama sought to cement ties with Saudi Arabia as he came to pay his respects on Tuesday after the death of King Abdullah, a trip that underscores the importance of a U.S.-Saudi alliance that extends beyond oil interests to regional security. REUTERS/Jim Bourg

Jim Bourg/Reuters

Saudi commandos guard the front of Erga Palace in Riyadh as Barack Obama, the US president, arrives to meet Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Tuesday

Mourners gather around the grave of Saudi King Abdullah following his burial in Riyadh January 23, 2015.  Saudi King Salman pledged on Friday to maintain existing energy and foreign policies then quickly moved to appoint younger men as his heirs, settling the succession for years to come by naming a deputy crown prince from his dynasty's next generation. King Abdullah, who died early on Friday after a short illness, was buried in an unmarked grave in keeping with local religious traditions. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser (SAUDI ARABIA - Tags: ROYALS OBITUARY POLITICS)

Faisal Al Nasser/Reuters

Mourners gather around the grave of Saudi King Abdullah following his burial in Riyadh. Saudi King Salman pledged on Friday to maintain existing energy and foreign policies then quickly moved to appoint younger men as his heirs, settling the succession for years to come by naming a deputy crown prince from his dynasty’s next generation. King Abdullah, who died early on Friday after a short illness, was buried in an unmarked grave in keeping with local religious traditions. 

Palestinian boys attend Friday prayers as they sit at the remains of a house that witnesses said was destroyed by Israeli shelling during a 50-day war last summer, in the Shejaia neighbourhood east of Gaza City January 23, 2015.

Suhaib Salem/Reuters

Palestinian boys attend Friday prayers as they sit at the remains of a house that witnesses said was destroyed by Israeli shelling during a 50-day war last summer, in the Shejaia neighbourhood east of Gaza City

Iranian mourners walk in the funeral procession in Tehran

Atta Kenare/AFP

Iranian mourners at a funeral procession in Tehran for Brigadier General Mohammad Ali Allahdadi, a commander in the Islamic republic’s Revolutionary Guards, who was killed in an Israeli air strike in Syria. 

Members of Libyan pro-government forces, who are backed by the locals, sit together during clashes with the Shura Council of Libyan Revolutionaries in Benghazi...Members of Libyan pro-government forces, who are backed by the locals, sit together during clashes with the Shura Council of Libyan Revolutionaries in the streets of Benghazi January 19, 2015. The Shura Council of Libyan Revolutionaries is an alliance of former anti-Gaddafi rebels who have joined forces with Islamist group Ansar al-Sharia

Esam Omran Al-Fetori/Reuters

Members of Libyan pro-government forces, who are backed by the locals, sit together during clashes with the Shura Council of Libyan Revolutionaries in the streets of Benghazi. The council is an alliance of former anti-Gaddafi rebels who have joined forces with Islamist group Ansar al-Sharia

An Israeli soldier from the Golani brigade takes part in training near the city of Katzrin in the Golan Heights January 19, 2015. An Israeli helicopter strike in Syria killed a commander from Lebanon's Hezbollah and the son of the group's late military leader Imad Moughniyah, Hezbollah said, in a major blow that could lead to reprisal attacks.The strike hit a convoy carrying Jihad Moughniyah and commander Mohamad Issa, known as Abu Issa, in the province of Quneitra, near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, killing six Hezbollah members in all, a statement from the group said.

Baz Ratner/Reuters

An Israeli soldier from the Golani brigade takes part in training near the city of Katzrin in the Golan Heights on Monday

Palestinians are pictured through a gate as they perform Friday prayers at the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and southern Gaza Strip January 16, 2015, to demand that Egyptian authorities open the crossing.  Egypt shut Rafah crossing, Gaza's main window to the outside world, over violence with Islamist militants in Egypt's adjacent Sinai region last October. Since then, it opened the crossing for a few days to allow thousands of Palestinians get in and out of Gaza Strip.

Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters

Palestinians pictured through a gate as they perform Friday prayers at the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and southern Gaza Strip to demand that Egyptian authorities open the crossing

A Molotov cocktail which was thrown by protesters explodes on a riot police armoured personnel carrier at a highway in the village of Sitra, south of Manama, January 9, 2015. Several demonstrations calling for the release of Sheikh Ali Salman, head of the al-Wefaq Islamic Society, and resulting in clashes with riot police, were held across the country, local media reported. Ali Salman was arrested on December 28, 2014. Salman's lawyer Abdulla al-Shamlawi told Reuters he had been formally charged by the public prosecutor with inciting a change of government by force, inciting hatred of a segment of society, inciting others to break the law and publicly insulting the Interior Ministry. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed (BAHRAIN - Tags: POLITICS CRIME LAW)

Hamad Mohammed/Reuters

A Molotov cocktail which was thrown by protesters explodes on a riot police armoured personnel carrier at a highway in the village of Sitra, south of Manama, Bahrain. Several demonstrations calling for the release of Sheikh Ali Salman, head of the al-Wefaq Islamic Society. Clashes with riot police took place across the country, local media reported. Ali Salman was arrested on December 28, 2014. Salman’s lawyer Abdulla al-Shamlawi told Reuters he had been formally charged by the public prosecutor with inciting a change of government by force, inciting hatred of a segment of society, inciting others to break the law and publicly insulting the Interior Ministry.

Troops of the Interior Ministry march in a parade during a ceremony marking Iraqi Police Day's 93rd anniversary at a police academy in Baghdad January 8, 2015.

Ahmed Saad/Reuters

Troops of the Interior Ministry march in a parade during a ceremony marking Iraqi Police Day’s 93rd anniversary at a police academy in Baghdad on Thursday

Syrians carry water as they walk on a road  near their refugee camp, at Ber-Elias village, in Bekaa valley, east Lebanon, Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015. Snow fell in the Middle East as a powerful winter storm swept through the region, killing several Syrian refugees in Lebanon and forcing thousands of others who have fled their country civil war to huddle for warmth in refugee camps.

Hussein Malla/AP

Syrians carry water as they walk on a road near their refugee camp, at Ber-Elias village, in Bekaa valley, east Lebanon. Snow fell in the Middle East as a powerful winter storm swept through the region, killing several Syrian refugees in Lebanon and forcing thousands of others who have fled their country civil war to huddle for warmth in refugee camps

Palestinian children look out through a hole covered with a blanket in their family house, that witnesses said was damaged by Israeli shelling during a 50-day war last summer, in the east of Gaza City January 7, 2015. Heavy rains and near-freezing temperatures in the approaching storm threatened to deepen the misery in the Gaza Strip, where streets are still strewn with wreckage from a 50-day war with Israel last summer, thousands live in U.N. shelters and damaged homes and the power is on only six hours a day.  REUTERS/Suhaib Salem (GAZA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)

Suhaib Salem/Reuters

Palestinian children look out through a hole covered with a blanket in their family house, that witnesses said was damaged by Israeli shelling during a 50-day war last summer, in the east of Gaza City. Heavy rains and near-freezing temperatures in the approaching storm threatened to deepen the misery in the Gaza Strip, where streets are still strewn with wreckage from a 50-day war with Israel last summer, thousands live in U.N. shelters and damaged homes and the power is on only six hours a day. 

Kids play on man-made sand hill to block high waves ahead of the upcoming storm in Tel Aviv's beach front, Israel, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015. Wind gusts up to 38 Knots and waves up to 9 meters, or 29 feet, hit along the coastline of Israel on Tuesday. Wintry weather is striking across the Middle East, bringing cold weather to Syrian refugees in Lebanon and a blanketing sandstorm in Cairo. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

Oded Balilty/AP

Kids play on man-made sand hill to block high waves ahead of the upcoming storm in Tel Aviv’s beach front, Israel. Wind gusts up to 38 Knots and waves up to 9 meters, or 29 feet, hit along the coastline of Israel on Tuesday. Wintry weather is striking across the Middle East, bringing cold weather to Syrian refugees in Lebanon and a blanketing sandstorm in Cairo. 

A Syrian girl eats a sandwich as others fill water containers at a refugee camp in Deir Zannoun village, Bekaa valley, Lebanon, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015

Hussein Malla/AP

A Syrian girl eats a sandwich as others fill water containers at a refugee camp in Deir Zannoun village, Bekaa valley, Lebanon, today.

Women present their passports as they ask for permits to cross into Egypt at the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the southern Gaza Strip December 23, 2014. Egypt opened the Rafah border crossing on Sunday for incoming passengers from the Gaza Strip for the first time in almost two months, Palestinian and Egyptian officials said. Rafah is the only major crossing between impoverished Gaza, home to 1.8 million Palestinians, and the outside world that does not border Israel, which blockades the strip and allows passage mainly on humanitarian grounds.

Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters

Women present their passports as they ask for permits to cross into Egypt at the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the southern Gaza Strip. Egypt opened the Rafah border crossing on Sunday for incoming passengers from the Gaza Strip for the first time in almost two months

Palestinian boy, hoping to cross into Egypt with his family, stands behind a fence as he waits at the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the southern Gaza Strip...A Palestinian boy, hoping to cross into Egypt with his family, stands behind a fence as he waits at the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the southern Gaza Strip December 22, 2014. Egypt opened the Rafah border crossing on Sunday for incoming passengers from the Gaza Strip for the first time in almost two months, Palestinian and Egyptian officials said. Rafah is the only major crossing between impoverished Gaza, home to 1.8 million Palestinians, and the outside world that does not border Israel, which blockades the strip and allows passage mainly on humanitarian grounds. REUTERS/Ibraheem Abu Mustafa (GAZA - Tags: POLITICS SOCIETY IMMIGRATION)

Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters

A Palestinian boy, hoping to cross into Egypt with his family, stands behind a fence as he waits at the Rafah crossing between Egypt and the southern Gaza Strip. Egypt opened the Rafah border crossing on Sunday for incoming passengers from the Gaza Strip for the first time in almost two months. 

A man dressed as Santa Claus walks on the wall of the Old City in Jerusalem Monday, Dec. 22, 2014. (AP Photo/Dusan Vranic)

Dusan Vranic/AP

A man dressed as Santa Claus walks along the wall of the Old City in Jerusalem, Israel