A Saudi Arabian court has jailed 13 men, handing down sentences from one to 10 years, for aiding and financing conflicts abroad, conspiring inside Saudi Arabia and harbouring wanted suspects, state news agency SPA reports.
Syrian government troops have seized two towns, one of them an ancient Christian hamlet north of Damascus, as part of the military's offensive along the frontier with Lebanon, state media and activists say.
Middle Eastern nations increased their military expenditure by billions of dollars last year, with Saudi Arabia's budget now the fourth largest in the world, according to figures from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
Israeli soldiers and police have hurled stun grenades at Palestinian worshippers after entering the holy Haram al-Sharif compound in Jerusalem.
Syrian state television and rebel forces have traded accusations over a poison gas attack that reportedly caused "suffocation and poisoning" of residents.
Syrian jet fighters are reported to have launched a fierce offensive against a string of opposition strongholds, including Kafr Zita, a village north of Damascus that was recently hit by an alleged poisonous gas attack.
A car bombing in a commercial area of a northern Iraqi city has killed at least 10 people, while a separate bombing in the north has left six more dead, Iraqi officials say.
Syrian rebels have advanced in Aleppo, killing scores of troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.
Opposition fighters stormed the Ramouseh district in an attempt to cut the government's supply route between the city's international airport and a large army base, the reporter said on Saturday.
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|F. William Engdahl|