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AP PHOTOS: Editor selections from the Middle East

AP PHOTOS: A selection of our favorite photographs from the Middle East this past week

FILE -  In this Sunday, April 5, 2015 photo, Ethiopian Orthodox Christian women pray at Deir El Sultan outside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, tradi...
FILE - In this Sunday, April 5, 2015 file photo, Christian worshipers pray in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, traditionally believed by many to be t...
FILE - In this Thursday, April 2, 2014 file photo, a Christian worshipper prays during the Washing of the Feet ceremony at the Church of the Holy Sepu...
FILE - In this Wednesday, April 1, 2015 file photo, ultra-Orthodox Jewish men dip a basket with kitchen items into boiling water to cleanse them in pr...
FILE - In this Friday, April 3, 2015 file photo, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man stumbles as he burns leavened items in final preparation for the Passove...
FILE -  In this Saturday, April 4, 2015 file photo, Yemenis search for survivors in the rubble of houses destroyed by Saudi-led airstrikes in a villag...
FILE - In this Saturday, April 4, 2015 file photo, Yemenis stand amid the rubble of houses destroyed by Saudi-led airstrikes in a village near Sanaa, ...
FILE - In this Thursday, April 2, 2015 file photo, a Yemeni man loads his belongings into the back of a truck in Sanaa, Yemen. People in the capital h...
FILE - In this Wednesday, April 1, 2015 file photo, Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, carry their weapons as they march to protest against Saudi-led ai...
FILE - In this Friday, April 3, 2015 file photo, an Iraqi soldier plays his guitar atop his armored vehicle on the main road between Baghdad and Tikri...
FILE - In this Monday, March 30, 2015 file photo, an Iraqi officer shouts orders as they attack Islamic State extremists  Tikrit, 80 miles (130 kilome...
FILE - In this Sunday, March 31, 2015 file photo, Iraqi security forces launch rockets against Islamic State extremist positions in Tikrit, 80 miles (...
FILE - In this Monday, March 30, 2015 file photo, Iraqi security forces attack Islamic State extremists as they take up positions next to the bodies o...

The Week In Mideast Photos Photo Gallery

FILE - In this Sunday, April 5, 2015 photo, Ethiopian Orthodox Christian women pray at Deir El Sultan outside the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, tradi...

The Week In Mideast Photos

FILE - In this Sunday, April 5, 2015 file photo, Christian worshipers pray in the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, traditionally believed by many to be t...

The Week In Mideast Photos

FILE - In this Thursday, April 2, 2014 file photo, a Christian worshipper prays during the Washing of the Feet ceremony at the Church of the Holy Sepu...

The Week In Mideast Photos

FILE - In this Wednesday, April 1, 2015 file photo, ultra-Orthodox Jewish men dip a basket with kitchen items into boiling water to cleanse them in pr...

The Week In Mideast Photos

FILE - In this Friday, April 3, 2015 file photo, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish man stumbles as he burns leavened items in final preparation for the Passove...

The Week In Mideast Photos Photo Gallery

FILE - In this Saturday, April 4, 2015 file photo, Yemenis search for survivors in the rubble of houses destroyed by Saudi-led airstrikes in a villag...

The Week In Mideast Photos

FILE - In this Saturday, April 4, 2015 file photo, Yemenis stand amid the rubble of houses destroyed by Saudi-led airstrikes in a village near Sanaa, ...

The Week In Mideast Photos

FILE - In this Thursday, April 2, 2015 file photo, a Yemeni man loads his belongings into the back of a truck in Sanaa, Yemen. People in the capital h...

The Week In Mideast Photos Photo Gallery

FILE - In this Wednesday, April 1, 2015 file photo, Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, carry their weapons as they march to protest against Saudi-led ai...

The Week In Mideast Photos

FILE - In this Friday, April 3, 2015 file photo, an Iraqi soldier plays his guitar atop his armored vehicle on the main road between Baghdad and Tikri...

The Week In Mideast Photos

FILE - In this Monday, March 30, 2015 file photo, an Iraqi officer shouts orders as they attack Islamic State extremists Tikrit, 80 miles (130 kilome...

The Week In Mideast Photos

FILE - In this Sunday, March 31, 2015 file photo, Iraqi security forces launch rockets against Islamic State extremist positions in Tikrit, 80 miles (...

The Week In Mideast Photos

FILE - In this Monday, March 30, 2015 file photo, Iraqi security forces attack Islamic State extremists as they take up positions next to the bodies o...

In the Middle East this week, a coalition of Iraqi security forces, Shiite militias and Iranian advisers backed by U.S.-led airstrikes dislodged the Islamic State group from the Saddam Hussein's hometown of Tikrit.

Iraqi authorities called the rout of the extremists a "magnificent victory," but it marked the third time Tikrit has become a battlefield since the U.S. military seized it from Iraqi forces in 2003. Associated Press photographer Khalid Mohammed, embedded with Iraqi troops during this battle, captured images of intense street fighting, jubilant Iraqi forces celebrating their victory and subsequent looting, the reality of the brutal and seemingly endless war gripping the country.

Now, Iraq faces the challenge of winning over its marginalized Sunni population, which largely welcomed the militants' advance over their own anger at the Shiite-led government in Baghdad. A battle for Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, likely looms ahead.

Elsewhere in the region, a Saudi-led coalition continued airstrikes against Shiite Houthi rebels in Yemen as Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi expressed a willingness to send his ground troops into the country. It immediately recalled Egypt's 1965 intervention in Yemen, which saw the country lose about half of its 70,000-troop force.

In Syria, the al-Qaida-affiliated Nusra Front took control of the strategically important provincial capital of Idlib from government forces, a move that could threaten the land route between the capital, Damascus, and the besieged northern Syrian city of Aleppo. If the rebels manage to cut off the Damascus-Aleppo highway, it would be a serious blow to the forces of embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad.

And finally, Iran and world powers announced a framework agreement over the Islamic Republic's contested nuclear program. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif returned to Tehran to a hero's welcome. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continued to lead criticism of the deal struck due in large part to the U.S., his country's main backer.

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Associated Press photographers and photo editors on Twitter: http://apne.ws/15Oo6jo

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Dusan Vranic, the AP's chief photographer for Israel and the Palestinian territories, curated this gallery in Jerusalem. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/DusanVranic.


Updated : 2021-09-16 23:57 GMT+08:00