In pictures: A look back at 2017's top stories

FRANCE 24 takes a look back at 2017 in 17 pictures.

From Istanbul to Barcelona, jihadists carry out global terror campaign

The year began with an attack on a crowded Istanbul nightclub about an hour after midnight on New Year’s Day. Thirty-nine people were killed in the bloodbath, which was claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group. The jihadist group claimed responsibility for several deadly attacks in 2017: in Barcelona, London, Manchester and several in the Sinai.

Women march against culture of harassment

More than 1 million protesters took part in a Women’s March in Washington and around the US on January 21 in a massive show of protest on the first full day of the Trump administration. Protesters rallied worldwide in solidarity with American women.

Venezuela crisis deepens

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro tightened his grip on power despite mass street demonstrations and international criticism. More than 100 protesters were killed after the Supreme Tribunal of Justice dissolved the opposition-led National Assembly on March 29.

Turkey’s Erdogan gets sweeping new powers

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claimed victory in an April 16 referendum that granted him sweeping new powers. The controversial vote came amid a major purge of tens of thousands of academics, judges and members of the security forces accused of backing a 2016 coup attempt.

Rohingya exodus

More than 650,000 Rohingya Muslims poured over the Myanmar border into Bangladesh after ethnic violence flared in late August. The UN labelled Myanmar's brutal crackdown on its Muslim minority a case of “ethnic cleansing”.

MBS, Saudi Arabia’s new strongman

Mohammed bin Salman, or MBS as he’s known in Saudi Arabia, became the kingdom’s most influential figure after being elevated in June to the position of crown prince. So far the new heir has presided over rising tensions with Iran, intervention in Yemen, a diplomatic crisis with Qatar and the arrests of several Saudi princes in what has been called a "corruption sweep".

Towards total war on the Korean peninsula?

President Donald Trump warned in September that the US could “totally destroy” North Korea, matching North Korea’s belligerent rhetoric as Pyongyang proceeded to carry out at least 20 missile tests.

US white power rally turns deadly

One person was killed and more than 19 others were injured in Charlottesville on August 12 after a car plowed through a group demonstrating against a white supremacist rally. The incident underscored the re-emergence of white supremacy and “alt-right” groups in the United States.

Harvey, Irma, Jose, Katia…

Ten hurricanes ripped through the Atlantic this year, including Category 5 Hurricane Irma in September, which thrashed the south of the US, the Caribbean, and the French islands of Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy.

Iraq crushes the Kurds’ dream of independence

The independence referendum organised by Iraq’s Kurdish regional government on September 25 turned into a disaster after Baghdad sent troops to reassert authority in disputed territories, including Kirkuk’s strategic oil fields.

Spain faces Catalan separatist crisis

Catalonia's drive for independence led to a controversial independence referendum on October 1st that plunged Spain into its biggest political crisis for decades. The constitutional dispute is likely to continue in 2018 after pro-independence parties won a narrow majority in a key Catalan election on December 21.

IS group loses Syrian and Iraqi strongholds

After losing Mosul in July, the Islamic State group was driven from its Syrian “capital” of Raqqa on October 17. The jihadist group has lost most of the territory it held straddling the Iraqi-Syrian border.

Russia helps Assad stay in power

The Russian military intervention in the Syrian civil war in 2015 produced significant gains for Damascus, helping Bashar al-Assad’s forces gain the upper hand in several disputed territories. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a withdrawal of Russian forces in December after succeeding in shoring up the regime of his long-time ally.

Outrage over Libyan migrant slave auctions

CNN footage of migrants being auctioned off as slaves in Libya triggered outrage and worldwide calls for investigation. Thousands of migrants, mostly from West Africa, are being held in camps in Libya, hoping to reach Europe.

Mugabe steps down

Robert Mugabe stepped down as Zimbabwe's president in November after 37 years of autocratic rule, succumbing to the pressure of imminent impeachment. His resignation sparked jubilant celebrations in the capital Harare.

Trump’s Jerusalem announcement ignites protests

Trump’s declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel ignited widespread protests in Palestinian Territories and across Muslim countries. Several close US allies also condemned the move, warning that it could deal a final blow to long-stalled peace efforts.

Yemen, the forgotten war

The war in Yemen reached the 1,000-day mark in December. The United Nations says Yemen is the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with about 8 million people on the brink of famine, a cholera epidemic that has infected a million people, and economic collapse in what was already one of the Arab world's poorest countries.