World Bulletin / News Desk
Saudi Arabia said on Thursday it had expelled three people working at Syria's consulate in Jeddah, a new sign of ill feeling between the countries as Riyadh backs rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad's government in Damascus.
"The steps were taken based on the public interest as their conduct ... was incompatible with the consular duties associated with their work," said a Foreign Ministry statement carried by state media, without giving further details.
The conservative kingdom, which this week is hosting Islam's annual haj pilgrimage in Mecca, closed its embassy in Damascus in March, a month after expelling Syria's ambassador to Riyadh.
Saudi Arabia has only granted haj visas to Syrians applying at consulates in neighbouring countries, instead of working with the government in Damascus to allocate visas to pilgrims.
Riyadh has led Arab efforts to isolate Assad's government, condemning its violent suppression of the uprising in August last year before orchestrating Arab League moves to impose sanctions.
It has supported the rebels with money and logistics and called for them to be armed.
Syria and its ally Shi'ite Muslim Iran have accused Saudi Arabia and other Sunni states in the region of fuelling the bloodshed by their backing of the rebels.
Sources say no clashes were reported in Latakia’s northern countryside and Eastern Ghouta since Friday
A fresh offensive with a rebel coalition has fought against the Assad regime overnight in Aleppo
The police raid provokes a firestorm from journalists, who stage a sit-in amid calls for sacking the interior minister
''The target date for the transition is first of August,' Kerry says
'Participants will meet... on Wednesday in a plenary session to follow up with the agreed agenda,' UN envoy says
Kurdish peshmerga forces and Hashd al-Shaabi militiamen had recaptured Bashir village from ISIL last week
'Aleppo is burning and it is crucial that we focus on this top priority issue,' British envoy says
UN panel says 'the use of solitary confinement in Israeli jails has doubled between 2012 and 2014,' with the number of people held in isolation jumping from 390 to 755 over the period
Ahrar al-Sham’s deputy leader says group has blocked Moscow’s aims in Syria
Israeli customs officials say chemicals could be used to make long-range rockets
Both Kerry and Lavrov have "agreed on new measures to be taken by Moscow and Washington", to stop the onslaught in Syria
Iran's Minister for Industry, Mining and Trade has said that as part of expanding economic relations, entry into the auto industry will be a win win for both countries
Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed has met both government and rebel delegations in a bid to find a swift resolution to the dispute over the rebels' seizure of the Al-Amaliqa base despite an April 11 ceasefire
Raqqa in Syria has been targeted in another strike however there is no word on was behind the attacks
Criticism follows raids on labor union building in Cairo and arrest of journalists
Conversation follows US, Russia agreement on new short-term truce for parts in Syria