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Erdogan: we will ‘strangle’ U.S.-backed force in Syria “before it’s even born”

Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan threatened on Monday to “strangle” a planned 30,000-strong U.S.-backed force in Syria “before it’s even born,” as Washington’s backing for Kurdish fighters drove a wedge into relations with one of its main Middle East allies. The United States announced its support on Sunday for plans for a “border force” to defend territory held by U.S.-backed, …

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Syria’s Assad names new defense and other ministers: state TV

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Monday issued a decree appointing new ministers for defense, industry and information, state television reported. He appointed General Ali Abdullah Ayoub as defense minister, Mohammed Mazen Ali Yousef as industry minister and Imad Abullah Sarah as information minister, state television reported, citing the decree. Ayoub, …

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Russia Moves Forward with Syrian Naval Base

On Monday, the Russian parliament began its review of an agreement to expand Russia’s naval logistics base in Syria into a fully developed naval station, with two extra piers and the capacity for up to 11 vessels at a time. The newly remodeled base at Tartus would also be equipped …

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North Korea and Syria are growing closer: That’s bad news for the US

Closer ties between two of the world’s most acute political powder kegs — North Korea and Syria — are fanning fears of deeper cooperation on missile technology and chemical weapons. The longstanding bilateral relationship, which stretches back to the late 1960s, has prospered this year even as both countries face international sanctions. Syrian minister …

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Turkish military vehicles enter Syria’s Idlib – sources

Turkish military vehicles crossed the Syrian border into Idlib on Sunday, a local resident and a local rebel said, after Ankara announced an operation by rebel groups in the area, which is controlled by rival jihadist alliance Tahrir al-Sham. Both sources said the vehicles travelled under escort from Tahrir al-Sham, …

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Syrian army advances against ISIS in Aleppo province

THE LEVANT NEWS -The Syrian army and allied forces captured the last major town held by Islamic State in Aleppo province on Sunday, state media and a war monitoring group said. State-run news agency SANA said army units made strategic gains in the rural east of the province. The Syrian …

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Chemical weapons experts in Turkey to investigate

By Anthony Deutsch | AMSTERDAM — Global chemical weapons investigators have gone to Turkey to collect samples as part of an inquiry into an alleged chemical weapons attack in neighbouring Syria last week that killed 87 people. The fact-finding mission was sent by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical …

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