World Bulletin/News Desk
Lebanon's army said on Friday it was stepping up security at religious sites and other public places over the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday after a spate of kidnappings in Beirut and protests which blocked the airport road.
"Army units started taking exceptional security measures in the vicinity of religious places, main roads, shopping areas and tourist attractions," the army said in a statement.
A Lebanese Shi'ite clan kidnapped 20 Syrians and a Turkish businessman this week, saying it was holding them to secure the release of a relative captured by Syrian rebels in Damascus.
Sectarian tensions are already running high in Lebanon over the uprising in neighbouring Syria, where mainly Sunni Muslim rebels are seeking to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad, whose Alawite sect is an offshoot of Shi'ite Islam.
Eleven Shi'ite Lebanese men have been held in northern Syria by Syrian rebels for more than three months. Families of the captives burned tyres and blocked the Beirut airport road on Wednesday night after reports that some of their relatives had been wounded in a government air strike.
Following a defence ministers meeting in Brussels, US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter has said that NATO is considering joining the US-led coalition against ISIL
Army targets Nusra Front positions near Lebanese town of Arsal near border with Syria, local security source tells Anadolu Agency
An armored security vehicle struck a bomb near northern Sinai Peninsula's Sheikh Zuweid city
Relations between Israel, European Union back on track, Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman says
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, has said that Saudi Arabia will be sending aircraft to Incirlik to fight ISIL.
High Negotiations Committee calls for regime, Russia to demonstrate commitment on ground
Turkish foreign minister says Russian bombs killed 16 civilians morning after Munich agreement
‘We need to see an end to the support for Assad that, frankly, is only exacerbating the situation,’ says State Dept.
The main battle is about cutting the road between Aleppo and Turkey,' Syrian president says
UAE special operations forces would help train and advise as well as arm anti-ISIL forces in Syria and local partners in Iraq
'The project of a temporary truce to halt hostilities will be examined with the rebel factions on the ground,' a leading member of the High Negotiations Committee says
Kuwait will sign a deal next week to buy Eurofighter jets, Kuwait's state news agency KUNA said on Thursday, citing the defence minister.
UN aid chief tells Saudi envoy that relief organizations were 'delivering life-saving assistance as per internationally recognized principles and will continue to do so'
Syrian Center for Policy Research data dwarfs last UN casualty figures
Peace talks had collapsed however a plan is now under way to resolve the war in Syria
The first ever formal meeting is scheduled to be held in March