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Turkey expands deployment of troops to Syria’s Idlib

Turkey’s army is expanding its deployment in Syria’s militant-held Idlib province despite the Damascus government’s call for an “immediate and unconditional” pullout of Turkish troops, militants and witnesses say. They said Sunday Turkish bulldozers were working non-stop, digging fortifications and erecting observation posts. A new deployment of Turkish armored vehicles and ...

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Iraqi govt.: PKK presence in Kirkuk amounts to declaration of war

The Iraqi government has accused authorities of the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) of bringing militants from Turkey’s outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) to the disputed oil province of Kirkuk, saying it considered the move as a “declaration of war.” Iraq’s National Security Council, headed by Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, said in a statement on Sunday ...

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Syria condemns US president for refusal to certify Iran’s nuclear deal

Syria’s Foreign Ministry has denounced US President Donald Trump’s provocative stance on Iran’s 2015 nuclear agreement and the fresh array of sanctions he promised to impose on the Islamic Republic, saying the American president’s refusal to certify the landmark deal proves that Washington’s attitude toward international security and stability cannot be trusted. ...

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Kurdish leaders reject Baghdad’s demand to cancel referendum results

Kurdish leaders have dismissed the Iraqi government’s demand that the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) annul the results of last month’s independence referendum in the semi-autonomous Kurdistan region. During a meeting between KRG President Massoud Barzani, Iraqi President Fuad Masum and Hero Ibrahim Ahmed, the widow of deceased former Iraqi President ...

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UNICEF says future of 4.5 Yemeni schoolchildren at stake

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has warned that the future of up to 4.5 million schoolchildren in the war-torn Yemen is uncertain as thousands of teachers refuse to attend classes for not receiving their salaries during the past year. “The future of 4.5 million students hangs in ...

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Daesh terrorists quit Raqqah under US-backed deal

The US-backed alliance of militants, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), says last Daesh terrorists have been evacuated from their one-time bastion of Raqqah as part of an agreement.   “Last night, the final batch of fighters (who had agreed to leave) left the city,” SDF spokesman Mostafa Bali said on Sunday, not clarifying where ...

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Russian defense minister to visit Israel ‘soon’: Paper

Russia’s defense minister is to travel to Israel soon, with Iran and Syria expected to take center stage in talks between the two sides, the Israeli daily Ha’aretz reports. Sergei Shoigu would be visiting later in the week to meet with Israeli minister for military affairs Avigdor Lieberman and Prime Minister Benjamin ...

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UAE planned to attack Qatar with US-trained mercs: Ex-official

Qatar’s former deputy prime minister says the United Arab Emirates planned a military invasion of Qatar with thousands of US-trained mercenaries, but it failed to secure Washington’s support. Abdullah bin Hamad al-Attiyah told the Spanish daily ABC earlier this week that the UAE hired a “Blackwater-linked” private security contractor to ...

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