Military tries to oust rebels near capital
Syria's military was mounting what opposition activists said was the largest incursion in months on a rebellious suburb of Damascus on Monday, in an effort to drive back rebel forces that have taken up positions within miles of the center of the capital. At least three people were killed in the fighting in the suburb, Daraya, southwest of Damascus, which was a focal point for the protest movement early in the uprising against President Bashar Assad and later became a stronghold for fighters trying to topple him. In one of the deadliest episodes of the war, hundreds of people, including many civilians, were killed in August when the military stormed Daraya in an operation using troops and attack helicopters.
Dozens killed in series of attacks
At least three dozen people were killed in a string of attacks Monday in Iraq, the police said, signaling a bloody end to a year of rising ethnic, political and sectarian troubles that showed little sign of easing. While violence has been less frequent and widespread in Iraq than it was at the height of the insurgency, rebels have continued to strike at a variety of targets, with the apparent intent of exploiting sectarian and cultural divides.
Naval exercise tests missiles
Iranian forces fired what military officers said was a new generation of surface-to-air missiles Monday during a naval exercise that focused on striking hypothetical unmanned aircraft and vessels in international waters to the south of the country, Iranian media reported. The missiles were fired on the fourth day of a six-day naval exercise that started Friday.
Texas: The state can cut off funding to Planned Parenthood's family planning programs for poor women, a state judge ruled Monday, requiring thousands to find new doctors for their annual exams.