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Sky News EXCLUSIVE: Inside ISIS Terror Weapons Lab

THE LEVANT NEWS — Experts describe the footage obtained by Sky News of a “jihadi technical college” as an intelligence gold mine.   By Stuart Ramsay, Sky News Chief Correspondent Terror group Islamic State is employing scientists and weapons experts to train jihadists to carry out sophisticated “spectacular” attacks in …

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Army hammers militant posts on e. Lebanon border

THE LEVANT NEWS — BEIRUT: The Lebanese Army Tuesday pounded militant positions on the outskirts of the northeast Lebanon border town of Ras Baalbek. The state-run National News Agency reported that the Tuesday morning shelling came from the nearby village of Marabda in the northern Bekaa Valley. No casualties were …

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Lebanon’s ‘shortsighted’ policy harms Syrians: HRW

THE LEVANT NEWS — BEIRUT: Lebanon’s entry restrictions for Syrian nationals are preventing many refugees from renewing their residency permits and putting them at enormous risk, Human Rights Watch said in a report Tuesday. “Lebanon’s shortsighted policies are setting the stage for a potentially explosive situation,” deputy Middle East director …

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Aid convoys depart for besieged Syrian town, villages

THE LEVANT NEWS — BEIRUT: Aid convoys headed for a besieged Syrian town where thousands are trapped and the United Nations says people are reported to have died of starvation. Trucks headed for Madaya, near the Lebanese border, and two villages in the northwest of the country on Monday, the …

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Iran won’t let Saudi fuel Syria crisis: Zarif

THE LEVANT NEWS — Iran says it will not allow Saudi Arabia’s provocations to adversely affect ongoing efforts aimed at resolving the crisis in Syria. “What we are [currently] witnessing in the arena of regional developments is Saudi Arabia’s agitating approach,” Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif told the visiting …

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ISIS militant executes own mother in Raqqa

THE LEVANT NEWS — An Islamic State(ISIS) militant carried out a public “execution” of his mother because she asked him to leave the group, activists say. Ali Saqr, 21, killed his mother, Lena al-Qasem, 45, outside the post office in Raqqa, Syria, eyewitnesses said. Raqqa has served as IS’ de …

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Syrian army kills several ISIS militants in Homs

THE LEVANT NEWS — The Syrian army has struck heavy blows to the Takfiri “JIHADI” militants in the central province of Homs, leaving a group of them dead and injured. Field sources told Syria’s official news agency, SANA, on Friday that the army and its allied forces engaged in fierce …

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Rain, wind destroy refugee tents in north Lebanon

THE LEVANT NEWS — TRIPOLI, Lebanon/BEIRUT: Heavy rainfall flooded hundreds of Syrian refugee tents in north Lebanon Friday, as stormy weather destroyed property and blocked roads in other parts of the country. Strong winds that reached up 80 km/h in the northern district of Akkar also damaged tents across an …

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Turkey discovers bodies of 21 refugees

THE LEVANT NEWS — Authorities in Turkey say the remains of 21 refugees, including a number of children, have been discovered in two separate coastal areas in the country. Security officials said Tuesday 11 bodies were found on the shoreline in the southwestern Turkish district of Ayvalik, while the remaining …

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Turkey detains 9 ‘ISIS suspects’ near Syria border

THE LEVANT NEWS — A Turkish news agency says nine foreign nationals suspected of being members of ISIS were detained Monday as they tried to enter the country illegally from Syria. Citing local authorities, the Dogan news agency reports that the suspects were detained in Turkey’s southern province of Kilis, …

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Why Isis fights

Jihadi fighters in Iraq and Syria reveal the apocalyptic motivations of the militant movement that has hijacked the Syrian uprising – and transformed the Middle East THE LEVANT NEWS – By Martin Chulov for THE GUARDIAN — For more than a century, Dabiq was one of northern Syria’s forsaken villages, …

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Syria army makes fresh gains against rebels

THE LEVANT NEWS — The Syrian army has retaken several areas from terrorist groups in the Arab country gripped by foreign-backed militancy for more than four years. On Tuesday, Syrian army soldiers, backed by fighters from allied popular defense groups, gained control over the town of Burj al-Qasab, located in …

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US encouraged coup againt Assad in 2011: WSJ

THE LEVANT NEWS — WASHINGTON: U.S. officials held secret communications with members of President Bashar Assad’s government to try to limit violence in Syria, and explored ways to encourage a military coup in 2011 as the civil war got under way, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. American intelligence officials …

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Families of ISIS fighters to leave south Damascus in UN deal

BEIRUT: Hundreds of families of ISIS militants and some wounded fighters are expected to leave rebel-held areas in southern Damascus under a U.N.-brokered deal, activists said on Thursday. Rami Abdulraham, head of the U.K.-based Observatory for Human Rights, said safe passage would be given from the Palestinian refugee camp of …

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Syrian government ready to join UN talks to end conflict

THE LEVANT NEWS — A close adviser to Syrian President Bashar Assad said Wednesday Damascus was ready to join U.N.-sponsored peace talks with its position bolstered by both Russian backing and the West’s retreat from a hardline anti-Assad approach. Bouthaina Shaaban said her government approved of U.N. resolutions passed last …

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Lebanon: Hostage families warn of escalation

THE LEVANT NEWS — BEIRUT: Families of the nine Lebanese soldiers still being held captive by ISIS have warned of escalatory measures in order to pressure the government into negotiating for their release, a relative of one of the soldiers said Wednesday. “Our aim is to see the return of …

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Syrian army makes strategic gains in north

THE LEVANT NEWS — The Syrian army, backed by Russian airstrikes, captured a rebel stronghold in the northern province of Aleppo Sunday, as rescue workers and residents said suspect Russian warplanes killed scores of people in the center of rebel-held city of Idlib. State news agency SANA said that army …

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Hezbollah vows to avenge Kuntar

THE LEVANT NEWS — BY Hussein Dakroub for The Daily Star –The killing of Hezbollah commander Samir Kuntar in an Israeli airstrike near Damascus will likely trigger a Hezbollah retaliation against the Jewish state, security sources said Sunday, in a tit-for-tat development that could ignite hostilities in the volatile border …

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