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Islamic State attacks Kurds during Turkish offensive

Turkey intensified its air and artillery strikes in northeast Syria on Friday in an offensive against Kurdish militia that has raised the prospect of a humanitarian disaster and questions about U.S. President Donald Trump’s policy in the region. The Kurds, who recaptured swathes of northeastern Syria from Islamic State with …

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Car bomb rocks Kurdish held city in Syria

A car bomb in the Syrian city of Qamishli on Friday killed at least three civilians and wounded nine more, the internal security forces of the Kurdish-led administration said. Rescue workers were still searching for dead and wounded in the wreckage, the security forces said in a statement. The statement …

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Turkish towns hit on border as army advances into Syria

Turkey stepped up its air and artillery strikes on Kurdish militia in northeast Syria on Friday, escalating an offensive that has drawn warnings of humanitarian catastrophe and turned Republican lawmakers against U.S. President Donald Trump. The incursion, launched after Trump withdrew U.S. troops who had been fighting alongside Kurdish forces …

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US sanctions bill pending against Turkey

A leading U.S. Republican senator said he plans to introduce a package of “devastating” sanctions to hit Turkey over its military operation in northeast Syria, expressing concerns over the fate of Kurds in the area. Senator Lindsey Graham, usually a vocal ally to President Donald Trump, has repeatedly criticized Trump’s …

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Turkey advances into Syrian territory

Turkey launched a military operation against Kurdish fighters in northeast Syria on Wednesday just days after U.S. troops pulled back from the area, with air strikes and artillery hitting YPG militia positions around the border town of Ras al Ain. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, announcing the start of the action, …

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Turkey launches early strike on Syria

The Turkish military carried out strikes targeting the Syrian-Iraqi border overnight to prevent Kurdish forces using the route to reinforce northeast Syria, as Ankara prepares to launch an offensive there, two Turkish officials told Reuters on Tuesday. Turkey says it has finalised preparations for a military push into northeast Syria, …

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US vacates northeast Syria for Turks

The United States began pulling troops back from the northeast Syria border on Monday, opening the way for a Turkish strike on Kurdish-led forces long allied to Washington, in a move U.S. President Donald Trump hailed as a bid to quit “endless wars”. The major policy shift, which hands Turkey …

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Trump says backing Syria Kurds uneconomical

U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday defended a decision to withdraw U.S. troops from northern Syria, saying it was too costly to keep supporting U.S-allied, Kurdish-led forces in the region fighting Islamic State militants. “The Kurds fought with us, but were paid massive amounts of money and equipment to do …

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Turkey now ready to move into northeat Syria

Turkey will mount a military operation in northeast Syria, it said on Saturday, after accusing Washington of not doing enough to expel Syrian Kurdish fighters from its border. The air and ground operation east of the Euphrates river in Syria could start at any time, President Tayyip Erdogan said. The …

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Syrian FM calls for withdrawal of US and Turkish forces

Syria’s Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem on Saturday demanded an immediate withdrawal of all U.S. and Turkish troops from his country and warned that Syrian government forces had the right to take countermeasures if they refused. The United States has around 1,000 troops in Syria tackling Islamic State militants. Turkey has …

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Iraq to reopen borders with Syria

Iraq’s Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has approved the reopening on Monday of the Qaim border-crossing with Syria, state news agency INA said, the latest sign of normalization between Baghdad and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government. The crossing will be reopened for travelers and trade, INA reported on Friday, citing …

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Russia rumoured to be expanding Syria airbase

Russia is expanding its Hmeimim air base in Syria and rebuilding a second landing strip to allow the facility to serve more aircraft, Russian news agencies cited an unnamed Defence Ministry official as saying on Thursday. The ministry has also set up new buildings to house aircraft at the site …

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Turkey ready for Syrian border operation

Turkey is ready to act on its southern border with Syria, President Tayyip Erdogan said, after warning that it could take unilateral steps if the U.S. does not establish a “safe zone” in northeast Syria this month. “Our preparations along our borders are complete,” Erdogan told reporters in Istanbul on …

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Syrian grain production recovering, FOA

Syria’s wheat and barley crops this year improved helped by favorable rainfall and better overall security but food security remains a challenge, a joint report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Program (WFP) said on Thursday. Wheat production for the 2019 season was …

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Banned Iranian tanker headed to Lebanon

Turkey said on Friday that an Iranian tanker at the center of a confrontation between Washington and Tehran was headed to Lebanon after changing course several times, although Beirut said it was not informed of the plan. According to Refinitiv tracking data, the Adrian Darya, formerly called Grace 1, made …

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Russia-Turkey concord on situation in Idlib

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that he and his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan have outlined additional joint measures aimed at rooting out “terrorists” in Syria’s Idlib area. “Together with Turkey’s president we have outlined additional joint steps to neutralize the terrorists’ nests in Idlib and normalize the situation …

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Turkish soldiers killed in Syria, clashing with Kurds

Three Turkish soldiers were killed in a clash with Kurdish militants in southeast Turkey near the borders with Syria and Iraq, the local governor’s office said on Thursday. Three militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) were “neutralized” in the fighting, the Sirnak governor’s office said in a written …

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Turkish convey hit in Syria

Air strikes hit positions near a Turkish convoy which was stuck at a highway in northwest Syria after crossing into Idlib province on Monday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. The British-based war monitoring group said one fighter from a Turkey-backed faction accompanying the convoy was killed and others …

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Carb bomb explodes in Kurdish area in Syria

A car bomb killed one member of a security force and wounded two others in the Kurdish-controlled city of Qamishli in northeastern Syria on Sunday, the security force said. Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack which it said had killed six members of a Kurdish militant group. The car …

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Turkish drones headed to Syria

Turkish drones have started operating in northern Syria where Washington and Ankara have agreed to create a safe zone, Turkey’s Defence Ministry said on Wednesday. Turkey and the United States agreed last week to set up a joint operations center regarding the safe zone to be established in northern Syria. …

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Gibraltar now thinking of releasing Iran tanker

Gibraltar said on Tuesday it was seeking to de-escalate issues arising with Iran since the detention of the Grace 1 tanker. British Royal Marines seized the Iranian oil tanker on July 4 off the coast of the British Mediterranean territory of Gibraltar on suspicion of violating EU sanctions by taking …

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Russia planes help Syria counter rebel attack

Russia’s air force helped the Syrian army to repel attacks carried out by militants in the Idlib province on Sunday, TASS news agency reported on Monday, citing a senior defense ministry official. Militants carried out two attacks on Syrian government forces’ positions using tanks and armored vehicles on July 28, …

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