Middle East

Syria conflict: Rebels agree to attend Astana peace talks

Syrian rebel groups have confirmed that they will attend peace talks with the government in Kazakhstan next week. A leader of Jaysh al-Islam, Mohammed Alloush, said he would head the rebel delegation and aim to end the “crimes” of the

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Guantanamo Bay: Oman receives 10 released inmates

Oman says it has received 10 prisoners released from the US military detention centre at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. The foreign ministry said it had responded to a request from the US and acted “out of consideration for the men’s

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Israeli soldiers ‘caught in Hamas online honey trap’

Israel’s military says it has uncovered a scam by Hamas militants to spy on its soldiers by hacking their mobile phones after posing as women on social media. Members of the Palestinian group found the soldiers online, then tried to

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UAE confirms five officials killed in Afghan attack

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has confirmed that five of its officials were killed in a bomb attack in Kandahar in southern Afghanistan. They died in blasts at the governor of Kandahar’s guesthouse on Tuesday, where at least six others

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Iran finally receives Haj invite from Saudi Arabia

London [UK], Jan. 11 : Iran has said that it has finally received an official invitation from Saudi Arabia for its pilgrims to attend this year’s Haj. There was no official Iranian delegation at last year’s Haj after Saudi Arabia

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Syrian war: Assad says Aleppo bombing was justified

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said the bombing of eastern Aleppo, which his forces recaptured from rebels last month, was justified. “This is the price sometimes, but at the end, the people are liberated from the terrorists,” he told French

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IS conflict: Iraq car bomb kills 11 in Baghdad

A car bomb in Iraq has struck a market in eastern Baghdad, killing at least 11 people and injuring dozens more. Interior ministry spokesman Saad Maan was quoted as saying a security guard fired on a suspicious vehicle and the

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Syria conflict: Bomb kills dozens in Azaz on Turkish border

At least 45 people have been killed in a car bomb blast in the rebel-held Syrian town of Azaz, near the Turkish border, reports say. The explosion occurred outside a courthouse in the town, some just 7km (four miles) from

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Mosul battle: Iraqi troops ‘take key district’ from IS

Iraqi forces have made fresh progress in the battle against so-called Islamic State (IS) in Mosul, reportedly taking a key district in the city’s east. Elite troops captured al-Muthana following night-time fighting, an army spokesman said, putting them in a

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Syria conflict: Russia ‘starts to reduce forces’

Russia is starting to withdraw forces from Syria and its aircraft carrier group will be the first to leave, the Russian armed forces chief says. The announcement comes days after Russia and Turkey negotiated a ceasefire in Syria which is

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IS conflict: Iraqi forces launch offensive near Syria border

The Iraqi military says it has launched a new offensive aimed at re-capturing western towns near the Syrian border from the jihadist group Islamic State. The operation will involve army and federal police units, along with tribal fighters. Their main

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Israel police arrest two over threats to judges in Elor Azaria case

Police in Israel have arrested two people accused of inciting violence against judges who convicted a young soldier of manslaughter for shooting dead a wounded Palestinian attacker. The military court’s decision to convict Sgt Elor Azaria on Wednesday has sharply

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Israeli PM Netanyahu backs pardon for manslaughter soldier

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called for a pardon for a soldier convicted of manslaughter for killing a wounded Palestinian. Elor Azaria, 19 at the time, shot Abdul Fatah al-Sharif, 21, in the head while he was lying immobile

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Israeli soldier Elor Azaria convicted over Hebron death

An Israeli soldier filmed shooting dead a wounded Palestinian attacker after he had been disarmed of a knife has been convicted of manslaughter. Sgt Elor Azaria, 20, shot Abdul Fatah al-Sharif, 21, in the head while he was lying immobile

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Syria war: Air strikes kill 25 jihadists in Idlib province, monitors say

Air strikes in northern Syria have killed at least 25 members of a prominent jihadist group, including senior figures, monitors say. The UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says it is not clear who carried out the attack against the

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