Middle East and North Africa

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Israel strikes arms depot near Syrian capital's airport - sources

AMMAN/BEIRUT Syrian rebel and intelligence sources said Israel struck an arms supply hub on Thursday operated by the Lebanese Hezbollah group near Damascus airport where weapons from Tehran are regularly sent by commercial and military cargo planes.

Civilian casualties decline slightly in Afghanistan - U.N. report

KABUL Civilians casualties caused by the war in Afghanistan declined slightly in the first three months of 2017, the United Nations said on Thursday, a rare drop that officials attributed mostly to residents fleeing areas of fighting.

World, South Asia 10:28am IST

Trump gives Pentagon power to reset Iraq, Syria troop limits

WASHINGTON President Donald Trump has given the military the authority to reset a confusing system of troop limits in Iraq and Syria that critics said allowed the White House to micro-manage battlefield decisions and ultimately obscured the real number of U.S. forces.

World, Syria, Iraq 6:21am IST

Israel seeks U.S. backing to avert permanent Iran foothold in Syria

WASHINGTON Israel is seeking an "understanding" with the Trump administration that Iran must not be allowed to establish a permanent military foothold in Syria, Israel's intelligence minister told Reuters on Wednesday.

World, Syria, Israel 2:53am IST

Turkish army, Kurdish militia exchange fire across Syria border

ISTANBUL Turkey's military outposts on the border with Syria came under fire from Kurdish militia across the frontier, the army said on Wednesday, a day after Turkish warplanes bombed groups in northeastern Syria and Iraq affiliated to the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).

World, Syria 12:10am IST

EU lawmakers call for suspension of Turkey accession talks

BRUSSELS Leading European Union lawmakers called on Wednesday for a formal halt to Turkey's long-stalled EU membership talks, citing President Tayyip Erdogan's plans to assume much greater powers after a referendum this month backed a constitutional overhaul.

26 Apr 2017

French intelligence says Assad forces carried out sarin attack

PARIS French intelligence has concluded that forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad carried out a sarin nerve gas attack on April 4 in northern Syria and that Assad or members of his inner circle ordered the strike, a declassified report showed. | Video

World, Syria 26 Apr 2017

Mosul businesses start reconstruction without waiting for final IS defeat

MOSUL, Iraq Some businessmen in Mosul have begun rebuilding their shattered premises without waiting for financial support from the cash-strapped Iraqi government or for the final defeat of Islamic State in the city. | Video

World, Top News, Iraq 26 Apr 2017

Israel's "Checkpoint Q": a daily hurdle for Palestinians

QALANDIYA, West Bank To one side loom towers manned by Israeli soldiers who keep watch from behind bulletproof glass. To the other stand concrete walls charred by fire bombs, pitted with bullet holes and scrawled with Palestinian graffiti. In between, barriers and steel fences block traffic or corral vehicles and pedestrians.

World, Israel 26 Apr 2017

Russia says U.S. missile strike on Syria was a threat to its forces

MOSCOW Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu complained on Wednesday that a U.S. missile strike on a Syrian air base earlier this month had posed a threat to Russian troops and was forcing Moscow to take extra measures to protect them.

World, Top News, Syria 26 Apr 2017

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