Middle East

Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani and his main political rival held dual inaugurations as they both sought to claim rights to lead the nation, despite intense U.S. intervention aimed at averting the rift.

Russia and Turkey have agreed to a cease-fire in northwestern Syria, where intense fighting has triggered a humanitarian catastrophe and brought the nuclear power and the NATO member closer to direct war.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s party won the most parliamentary seats in Israel’s national election Monday but his right-wing bloc fell short of a majority, leaving no clear winner and raising the specter of a fourth election in just over a year.

Thousands of people from Middle East conflict zones are rushing through Turkey toward neighboring Greece after Turkey said it would no longer stop the four million refugees living on its soil from trying to enter the EU.

Exit polls for Israel’s third national election in less than a year suggested that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was leading challenger Benny Gantz and close to securing a majority in Israel’s parliament.

Israelis went to the polls in their third national election in less than a year, as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sought to fend off a challenge from his main rival Benny Gantz. But voters fear that Monday’s ballot could end in yet another deadlock.

Iraq’s prime minister-designate withdrew his candidacy for the position, saying he faced obstruction from some political factions over reforms, deepening political turmoil in the country as it faces a growing coronavirus challenge.

Iranian authorities have seized millions of medical supplies being hoarded by black-market traders, an effort to alleviate their own shortfall as they fight to contain the world’s second-deadliest national coronavirus outbreak.

Iran’s health ministry said Saturday that 593 patients had tested positive for coronavirus. Nine more people in Iran have died from the illness, bringing the total number of fatalities in the country to 43, according to the health ministry.

At least 33 Turkish soldiers were killed in northwestern Syria on Thursday, Turkish officials said, plunging Turkey deeper into the crisis in its war-ravaged neighboring country amid the Syrian regime’s Russian-backed military offensive to reclaim the last rebel stronghold.

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