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Syria war

Next UN Syria summit slotted for 25 November

A U.N. envoy concluded an opening round of talks on the political future of Syria on Friday meant to bring political reconciliation after 8-1/2 years of war, saying they went better than expected and would reconvene later this month. Acknowledging that discussions were sometimes “very painful” Geir Pedersen said the …

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ISIS Somali branch support new leader

Somalia’s Islamic State affiliate, one of the most important outposts of the militant group, swore allegiance in a statement on Sunday to the new leader named by the organization following the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Somalia’s Province posted pictures on Telegram of around a dozen fighters standing among trees, …

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US still eyeing Syrian oilfields

The United States is committed to reinforcing its military position in Syria with additional assets to prevent oilfields from being taken over by remnants of the Islamic State militant group or others, a U.S. defense official said on Thursday. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, did not disclose what …

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Russia says Kurds in retreat from Turkey border

Kurdish forces have begun withdrawing from areas near the Turkish frontier in Syria, Russia’s deputy foreign minister was quoted as saying on Thursday, following a deal between Moscow and Ankara that ended Turkey’s cross-border military offensive. Under Tuesday’s accord, sealed by presidents Vladimir Putin and Tayyip Erdogan in the Russian …

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US forces making way to Iraq from Syria

United States troops have crossed into Iraq from Syria through the Sahela border crossing in the northern province of Dohuk, Reuters witnesses said on Monday. An Iraqi Kurdish security source also told Reuters that U.S. troops had crossed into the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq. About 30 trailers and Hummers …

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Ceasefre reigns in Tutkish onslaught in syria

A fragile ceasefire was holding along Turkey’s border with Syria on Saturday, two days after President Tayyip Erdogan agreed the truce to allow Kurdish forces time to pull back from Ankara’s cross-border assault. Erdogan agreed the truce during talks in Ankara on Thursday with U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence on stemming …

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Pompeo on assurance mission to Israel

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo underscored U.S.-Israeli efforts to counter Iran in talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, in an apparent attempt to ease concerns in Israel that Tehran could exploit a U.S. military pullback in Syria. Pompeo and Netanyahu met in Jerusalem hours after Turkey agreed with …

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Turkey’s goals of its invasion of North Syria

Dr. Haytham Mouzahem, head of Beirut Centre for Middle East Studies talks to International Affairs Review on the current situation in Syria and the Turkish military operations and the implications for the region.   Please walk us through what is happening right now in north east Syria. Turkey has been invading areas …

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NATO chief defends Turkey’s Syria incursion

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Monday defended his stance on Turkey’s military operation against Kurdish militants in northeastern Syria, saying that the military alliance should not lose its unity in the fight against Islamic State. Splits in the military alliance have emerged after NATO member Turkey began its offensive …

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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 rebels okay Turkish plans for their country

Turkey-backed Syrian rebels pledged on Friday to back a potential cross-border offensive that Ankara has threatened to mount against Kurdish fighters in northeast Syria. Ankara and Washington have agreed to set up a zone in northeast Syria along the border with Turkey, which wants to expel the Syrian Kurdish YPG …

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Seized British tanker finally heading home

The British-flagged Stena Impero tanker left Iran’s Bandar Abbas port on Friday and was heading for Dubai so the crew could be repatriated, the owner said, after the ship was detained in July by Iranian forces during a row with Britain. The Stena Impero was seized by Iran’s Revolutionary Guards …

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Tahrir al-Sham shoots down Syrian warplane

Rebels shot down a Syrian warplane in the opposition stronghold of Idlib province on Wednesday as Russian-backed government forces closed in on a strategically important town. The Syrian state news agency SANA said the warplane had been hit by an anti-aircraft missile fired by militants while on a mission “to …

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32 killed in bombing of beseiged Syrian city

Air strikes on a popular market and residential neighborhoods killed at least 32 people and wounded dozens on Monday in an attack on one of the main opposition-held cities in northwestern Syria, rescuers and residents said. The raids, believed to be carried out by either Syrian or Russian jets, targeted …

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Iran could seize British tankers in response

A senior commander in Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards warned on Friday that it would be Tehran’s “duty” to seize a British oil tanker if an Iranian tanker detained in Gibraltar was not immediately released. British Royal Marines seized the supertanker Grace 1 on Thursday for trying to take oil to …

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British navy interdict supertanker headed to Syria

British Royal Marines and officials in Gibraltar have detained the supertanker Grace 1 suspected of carrying crude oil to Syria, in breach of European Union sanctions, the government of Gibraltar said. In a statement the government said it had reasonable grounds to believe that the Grace 1 was carrying its …

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Syrian air defences repel rebel drones

Syrian air defenses in the Hmeimim air base thwarted projectiles and drones fired by militant groups, Syrian state TV said on Saturday. Militant groups fired projectiles at the Hmeimim air base in the Jableh area and at the Al Qardahah area near the Syrian coastal city of Latakia, killing one …

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Syrian army advancing against rebels

The Syrian army has made a small advance into the rebels’ last major stronghold in Syria, a pro-government newspaper and a war monitor reported on Tuesday, after massive bombardments that began late last month. Al-Watan daily said the army had captured the villages of al-Janabara and Tel Othman, where rebels …

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Idlib assault in the offing, says Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday he did not rule out Syrian forces, backed by Russian air power, launching a full-scale assault on militants in Syria’s Idlib province, but that such an operation was unpractical for now. Russia, one of the Syrian government’s staunchest allies, and Turkey brokered a …

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Assad in Iran for first time since civil war

Syrian President Bashar al Assad made his first public visit to his closest regional ally Iran since the start of Syria’s war in 2011, meeting Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei in Tehran on Monday and championing their alliance, state media reported. Syrian and Iranian state television showed footage of Assad …

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Think Tanks Activity Summary

The Foreign Policy Research Institute thinks that the American policy to withdraw from Syria is too fast.  They conclude, “With the clock ticking towards April, the United States is running out of time to reach agreement with Turkey and the SDF. Moreover, it will soon become quite apparent that U.S. …

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