Yemen's Houthis launch missile toward Saudi holy city
RIYADH Yemen's Houthi militia launched a ballistic missile toward Mecca on Thursday, the Saudi-led coalition intervening in Yemen's civil war said on Saudi state news agency SPA.
BEIRUT The United Nations and Syria said on Saturday that negotiations between Damascus and the U.N. chemical weapons investigator were "productive", but did not say if his team would be allowed to probe allegations that such weapons had been used in the country's civil war.
Ake Sellstrom's full team has not been allowed into Syria due to diplomatic wrangling over access. His mission this week was to prepare the ground for an investigation.
Sellstrom met Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem, and a joint U.N.-Syrian statement said "discussions were thorough and productive and led to an agreement on the way forward." It did not say if the agreement included access for Sellstrom's team.
Damascus has so far refused to let U.N. investigators go anywhere except Khan al-Assal in Aleppo province, where Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's government and its ally Russia say rebels used chemical weapons in March.
The United States said last month it had proof that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons against fighters trying to overthrow Assad.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has insisted that his team be permitted to visit at least one other location, the city of Homs, site of an alleged chemical attack by government forces in December 2012.
Both sides deny using chemical weapons in a war which the U.N. says has killed 100,000 people.
(Reporting by Oliver Holmes; Editing by Mark Trevelyan)
SOUTH OF MOSUL, Iraq The Iraqi army was trying on Thursday to reach a town south of Mosul where Islamic State has reportedly executed dozens to deter the population against any attempt to support the U.S.-led offensive on the jihadists' last major city stronghold in Iraq.
COLOGNE, Germany Hani Salam escaped civil war in Syria and survived the journey from Egypt to Europe. But when he saw men with bushy long beards at a mosque near his current home in Cologne last November, he was worried.