Russia Claims Air Force Has Not Hit Civilian Targets in Syria

MOSCOW, Dec 27 – Russian air forces have not hit civilian targets since they started a bombing campaign in Syria nearly three months ago, a senior Russian officer said in an interview with Rossiya 24 television. London-based rights group Amnesty International said this week that Russia’s bombing of Syria had killed many civilians and could

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Saudi Arabia Intercepts Ballistic Missile from Yemen

DUBAI, Dec 27 – Saudi Arabia said it intercepted a Scud ballistic missile fired from Yemen on Saturday, according to a statement on the Saudi state news agency SPA, an attack which threatens a fragile ceasefire ahead of renewed U.N.-backed peace talks next month. “Saudi Air Defense Forces intercepted at about 11 P.M. yesterday a

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How Pakistan’s Military Helped Revive Talks with India

By Mehreen Zahra-Malik ISLAMABAD, Dec 27 – The quiet involvement of Pakistan’s powerful military in its foreign policy this year paved the way for reviving a stalled dialogue with India, officials said, a thaw leading to the first visit to Pakistan by an Indian premier in almost 12 years. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s surprise

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Bangladesh Police Raid Militant Hideout, Explosives Found

DHAKA, Dec 27 – Police said on Sunday they had detained three suspected members of a banned militant group and found a sniper rifle, ammunition, explosives and military suits in a hideout in southeastern Bangladesh. The raid came days after police busted a militant hideout in the capital Dhaka as security forces stepped up a

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Daesh “Gets Tougher” in Face of Air Strikes

BAGHDAD, Dec 27 – A new message purporting to come from the leader of Daesh said air strikes by Russia and a U.S.-led coalition had failed to weaken the group. “Be confident that God will grant victory to those who worship him, and hear the good news that our state is doing well. The more

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Israeli Forces Fatally Shoot Two Palestinians

JERUSALEM, Dec 27 – Israeli security forces said they shot dead two Palestinian assailants on Saturday in separate incidents in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank, as 12 weeks of heightened violence showed no sign of abating. Since the start of October, Israeli forces or armed civilians have killed at least 128 Palestinians, 79 of

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Militants Kill 10 Tuareg Rebels in Mali

BAMAKO, Dec 26 – Islamist fighters killed 10 Tuareg rebels in two attacks near northern Mali’s border with Algeria this week in a growing wave of violence, Tuareg officials said on Saturday. Six fighters from the National Movement for the Liberation of Azawad, northern Mali’s largest Tuareg rebel group, were killed on Thursday when Islamist

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Christmas Day Bushfire Guts Australia Homes

By Christopher McCall MELBOURNE, Dec 26 – More than 100 homes burned down in a leading Australian tourist area in bushfires on Christmas Day and the situation remained dangerous on Saturday, as officials predicted more blazes to come later in the hot southern summer. While around 500 firefighters and 13 firefighting aircraft battled the flames

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Iraqi Troops Close in on Daesh Redoubt in Ramadi

By Ahmed Rasheed BAGHDAD, Dec 26 – Iraqi troops have pushed deeper into the heart of the last remaining district held by Daesh in the city of Ramadi, despite being slowed by bombs and booby traps, army spokesmen said on Saturday. Recapturing Ramadi, which fell to the militants in May, would be one of the most

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Evacuation of Syrian Daesh Fighters Delayed

BEIRUT, Dec 26 – A U.N.-sponsored deal to evacuate more than 2,000 Daesh fighters and other militants from rebel-held parts of south Damascus has been delayed, a monitor of the war said on Saturday, after a rebel commander was killed. Coaches has been due to give the fighters safe passage to Raqqa, the de facto capital

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