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William J. Burns Named Next Carnegie President

THE LEVANT – Ambassador William J. Burns, U.S. deputy secretary of state, will be Carnegie’s ninth president in its 105-year history. Jessica T. Mathews will step down after 18 years in the post. The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace announced today that the Honorable William J. Burns, U.S. deputy secretary …

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New York City doctor diagnosed with Ebola

Source: Mic – A doctor who had recently returned to the U.S. from treating Ebola patients in Guineatested positive for the virus on Thursday, becoming the city’s first diagnosed case. A second test will be conducted by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to confirm the initial test. The doctor, Craig Spencer, was rushed to Bellevue …

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US pressing Turkey to join anti-IS coalition

THE LEVANT – The United States is pushing Turkey to join the fight against Islamic militants, amid frustration and wariness in both governments heightened by Ankara’s unease at helping besieged Kurdish communities. Retired US general John Allen, and the US pointman on Iraq, Brett McGurk, will Thursday begin two days …

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Obama team wanted US out of Iraq, says Panetta

THE LEVANT – Former Pentagon chief Leon Panetta has denounced the White House in a new memoir, accusing President Barack Obama’s top aides of undercutting efforts to secure a deal in 2011 that could have kept US troops in Iraq. Retaining a small US force would have helped contain sectarian …

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US boots on the ground in Iraq

THE LEVANT – The White House and the US military scrambled to play down a suggestion by the nation’s top officer that deploying ground forces in Iraq to fight Islamic State jihadists was an option. General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff and President Barack Obama’s …

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Russia blasts Obama over intervention in Syria

THE LEVANT – Russia became the third nation to criticize the Obama administration on Thursday, following President Barack Obama’s announcement that he plans to expand a campaign of bombing against the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) to include targets inside Syria. Iranian and Syrian officials slammed the …

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Obama says ready to strike ISIL in Syria

THE LEVANT – US President Barack Obama on Wednesday ordered a “relentless” war against the Islamic State, including air strikes in Syria and expanded operations in Iraq to “destroy” the marauding jihadist army. Obama — who hoped to go down in history for ending wars, not starting an open-ended escalation …

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ISIL is not invincible says US expert

THE LEVANT – “ISIL is not invincible,” said National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) Director Matthew Olsen, referring to the extremist organization (known also as ISIS and Islamic State) currently in control of large areas of both Syria and Iraq, during an event sponsored by the Intelligence Project at Brookings. Yet, said Olsen, the group …

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Obama says will not be bullied by ISIL

THE LEVANT –  President Barack Obama said Wednesday that the United States will not be intimidated by Islamic State militants after the beheading of a second American journalist and will build a coalition to “degrade and destroy” the group. Obama still did not give a timeline for deciding on a …

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US delivers military aid to Lebanon

THE LEVANT –  The United States has delivered its first emergency shipment of weapons to Lebanon, officials said Friday, to help bolster military forces as part of a broader regional response to combat the growing threat posed by Islamic extremists. The delivery is in response to a request by the …

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We will do what we want in Syria

THE LEVANT – The U.S. State Department’s Spokeswoman, Jen Psaki, affirmed that the United States will under no circumstances seek approval from the Syrian Government to conduct airstrikes in Syria.’ “We’re not going to ask for permission from the Syrian regime.”  – Jen Psaki Psaki’s comments come one day after the …

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United States to send more aid to Iraq

THE LEVANT – The Obama administration is considering launching a humanitarian relief operation for Shiite Turkmen in northern Iraq who have been under siege for weeks by Islamic State militants, U.S. defense officials said Wednesday. The mission, if it went forward, would be the second recent U.S. military humanitarian intervention …

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What’s a US President to do?

THE LEVANT – At the heart of President Barack Obama’s quandary over the Islamic State militants is their haven in Syria. The president may continue helping Iraqi forces try to reverse the group’s land grabs in northern Iraq by providing more arms and American military advisers and by using U.S. …

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US worries about Iran alleged military activities

THE LEVANT – A classified assessment by the US Pentagon has claimed that Iran is increasing its military capabilities, exercisesand buildup of weapons in and near the Strait of Hormuz According to the summary, a copy of which was obtained by Bloomberg News, the Iranian government “has adjusted some of its …

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