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Betsy Hiel

Arab League gets serious on terrorism

By Betsy Hiel
CAIRO — The continuing disintegration of Middle Eastern nations preoccupied Arab kings, emirs and presidents meeting this weekend in the Egyptian resort of Sharm El ...

Long conflict predicted as Arab states mull joint force

By Tribune-Review
CAIRO – While Arab leaders here debate the formation of a joint military force, some analysts are mindful of its riskiness. As evidence, they point to the Saudi-led coalition attacking Iranian-backed rebels who overthrew Yemen’s government. Past wars in Yemen — ...

Saudi-led attacks seen as escalating violence in Yemen

By Betsy Hiel
CAIRO — Saudi Arabia-led attacks on Iran-backed Yemeni rebels will escalate a long-running war between competing regional spheres of influence, experts say. But it could ...

Pentathlete adds points to Olympics bid by finishing second in World Cup

By Betsy Hiel
CAIRO — In the early 1900s, an ancient Greek sport was recast to mimic the experience of a 19th-century cavalryman behind enemy lines. And so the ...

Egyptian Christians pretend to be Muslim to survive ISIS attack in Libya

By Betsy Hiel
ZAWIYA, Egypt — Hani Mahrouf awakened at 2:30 in the morning when fists pounded on the door of his housing  compound in Sirte, Libya. It ...

Egypt’s fighter jets attack ISIS in Libya

By Betsy Hiel
CAIRO — Egyptian fighter jets hit ISIS targets in Libya, but analysts say that will not reverse an “extremely worrying trend” across the region. Warplanes struck ...

Quick demise of ISIS terrorist group unlikely, experts say

By Betsy Hiel
The latest savagery by the Islamist army known as ISIS — burning to death captured Jordanian fighter pilot Moaz al-Kaseasbeh — prompts new concerns about ...

Egypt’s churches charred to shells

By Betsy Hiel
DELGA, Egypt – Two downed electrical towers, two armored personnel carriers, and stacks of old tires form an improvised gate to this impoverished Upper Egypt ...

Egypt’s beleaguered tourism industry bounces back

By Betsy Hiel
GIZA, Egypt — In front of the Giza Plateau’s Great Pyramids and Sphinx, tourists ride colorfully decorated camels or horses led by Egyptian boys. Tour buses ...

Jihadi threat mounts in Egypt

By Betsy Hiel
CAIRO — Just days before Halloween, the U.S. Embassy emailed a security alert to Americans in Egypt. An Islamist website had called for attacks on U.S. ...

Syrian border town emerges as pivot point in Islamic State fight

By Betsy Hiel
CAIRO — An obscure spot on Syria’s border with Turkey has become a place where American interests or Islamist ambitions could die. Kobani, a city of ...

ISIS jihadis lure Arab youths to fight against Western forces

By Betsy Hiel
CAIRO — In the heady weeks following Egypt’s 2011 revolution, Ahmed Abdullah became more politically engaged. Abdullah, 23, joined the Islamist-based Labor Party. Like many activists, ...

Autonomy a matter of time, Kurds say

By Betsy Hiel
IRBIL, Iraq — Narrow alleys snake around Qaysari Bazaar in the shadow of an ancient citadel. People shop here for everything, from traditional Kurdish clothing ...

Sectarian divisions haunt Iraq refugees

By Betsy Hiel
DOHUK, Iraq – Inside a school in this northern Kurdish province, Mohamed Yousef recalls the day when ISIS entered the city of Sinjar. “First, they went ...

Kurds fight ISIS to a standstill, but say they lack modern weapons

By Betsy Hiel
MAKTAB KHALED, Iraq — Kurdish soldier Said Tahseen stands atop a sandbagged mound at a checkpoint south of the oil city of Kirkuk. He points ...

U.S. airstrikes help Kurds take back control of Mosul Dam

By Betsy Hiel
BADRIYA, Iraq — Waves of U.S. airstrikes around a vital dam in northern Iraq helped Iraqi forces to seize it from Islamist terrorists on Monday. Iraqi ...

U.S. next bull’s-eye for ISIS terrorists, Kurds say

By Betsy Hiel
KHABAT, Iraq — A Kurdish soldier looks through binoculars at the village of Hassan Sham, two miles down this dusty plain, where ISIS fighters are ...

Yazidi exodus ‘a crisis on top of crisis’

By Betsy Hiel
FISHKHABOUR, Iraq – On foot or crammed into pickup trucks, minibuses and cars, traumatized Yazidis with sunburned faces crossed a small pontoon bridge here on ...

Iraqi refugees ‘left everything’ in fleeing from brutal ISIS onslaught

By Betsy Hiel
IRBIL, Iraq — Riyan Edward’s family of seven gathered at the Syrian Orthodox Church of the Mother of Light, sheltering from 108-degree heat. In June, they ...

Kurds from Iran, Turkey join battle against ISIS

By Betsy Hiel
On the outskirts of Irbil, 50 Iranian Kurdish fighters — known as peshmerga, “those who face death” — waved their weapons and Kurdish flags. “Long ...

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