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Death toll in IS-claimed Baghdad twin suicide bombing rises to 70

BAGHDAD -UNS : Islamic State claimed responsibility for suicide bombings that killed at least 70 people and wounded over 100 others on Sunday in Baghdad’s Sadr City district. Two police sources said the assailants were suicide bombers riding motorcycles through a crowded mobile phone market. …

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Russia reports Syria ceasefire breaches by Turkey, rebels

MOSCOW -UNS : Russia said on Sunday that a fragile ceasefire in Syria had been breached nine times over the past 24 hours including by Turkey but that the deal was mostly holding. The defence ministry said violations were committed by moderate rebels as well …

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More than 150 people killed in IS blasts in Syria as US, Russia push truce

SAYYIDA ZAINAB: A string of suicide bombings near a Shia shrine outside Syria’s capital and in Homs claimed by the militant Islamic State (IS) group killed more than 150 people Sunday, as Washington and Moscow worked to secure a ceasefire. Near Damascus, a car bombing …

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Syrian hospital strikes kill 50, cast doubt on ceasefire hopes

BEIRUT (AFP) – Hopes for a ceasefire in Syria were fading on Tuesday, after dozens were killed in air strikes on hospitals. France branded the killings as war crimes and Syria’s president said implementing a truce would prove “difficult”. The United Nations said nearly 50 …

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9 dead in airstrike: Turkey continues shelling at Kurds, defies international calls

BEIRUT -UNS :Suspected Russian air strikes hit a hospital supported by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) in Syria on Monday, killing nine people including a child, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. “A building that housed a hospital supported by MSF was destroyed on Monday …

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Saudi Arabia confirms will send deployment to Turkey base

CAIRO: Saudi Arabia confirmed late on Saturday it would send aircraft to Nato-member Turkey’s Incirlik air base for the fight against the militant Islamic State (IS) group. Brigadier General Ahmed al-Assiri told pan-Arab Al Arabiya television that the kingdom was committed to stepping up the …

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UN probe zeroes in on five Syria chem weapons cases

UNITED NATIONS (AFP) – A UN investigative team has zeroed in on five potential cases of serious chemical weapons use in Syria but has yet to identify the perpetrators, according to its first report released Friday. The Joint Investigative Mechanism was established by the UN …

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Iraq retakes areas around Ramadi, opens road to Baghdad

BAGHDAD (AFP) – Iraq said Tuesday that its forces have completely retaken areas surrounding Ramadi from the Islamic State group and reopened the road linking the city to Baghdad. Iraq announced in late December the recapture of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province west of …

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Syria peace talks in peril before they even start

GENEVA (AFP) – The future of the biggest push to date to end Syria’s brutal civil war looked highly uncertain Sunday with the main opposition group threatening to walk away before planned peace talks even begin in earnest. Representatives from the umbrella body for mainstream …

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Saudis, Iran stand firm; big powers for restraint

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia rallied regional allies to its side in a growing diplomatic row with Iran on Monday, deepening a split across the Middle East following the execution of a Shia scholar in Riyadh. Bahrain and Sudan cut all ties with Iran, following Riyadh’s example. …

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