Politics

Assad Says He is Ready For Syria Truce if ‘Terrorists’ Do Not Exploit It

BEIRUT/MADRID, Feb 21 – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Saturday he was ready for a ceasefire, on condition “terrorists” did not use a lull in fighting to their advantage and that countries backing insurgents halted support for them. His comments were made as the Syrian opposition said it had agreed to the “possibility” of

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Saudi Arabia Halts $3bn Package to Lebanese Army, Security Aid

DUBAI, Feb 20 – Saudi Arabia said on Friday it suspended a $3 billion aid package for the Lebanese army in what a official called a response to Beirut’s failure to condemn attacks on Saudi diplomatic missions in Iran. Saudi Arabia was enraged when Iranians, protesting against the kingdom’s execution of a Shiite Muslim cleric, raided its missions last month –

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Turkey Blames Kurdish Militants for Ankara Bomb, Vows Response

By Ercan Gurses and Humeyra Pamuk ANKARA/ISTANBUL, Feb 18 – Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu blamed a Syrian Kurdish militia fighter working with Kurdish militants inside Turkey for a suicide car bombing that killed 28 people in the capital Ankara, and he vowed retaliation in both Syria and Iraq. A car laden with explosives detonated

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New Poll Shows Trump Leads Republican Race

By Chris Kahn NEW YORK, Feb 18 – Donald Trump has taken a more than 20-point lead over U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas in the Republican race for the presidential nomination, bolstering his position ahead of the party’s primary in South Carolina on Saturday, according to a national Reuters/Ipsos poll. Among Republicans, Trump, a

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Is Daesh in Pakistan or Not? Confusion All Around

By Omar R Quraishi One would have thought that the answer to this important question would be clear cut— either it is there in Pakistan or it isn’t. However, if one was to go by recent statements of senior government officials, including the interior minister, then the answer becomes somewhat muddled. Of late, Daesh has

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Turkey Wants a Secure Strip on Syrian Side of Border – Deputy PM

ANKARA, Feb 17 – Turkey wants a secure strip of territory 10 km (6.2 miles) deep on the Syrian side of its border, including the town of Azaz, to prevent attempts to “change the demographic structure” of the area, Deputy Prime Minister Yalcin Akdogan said on Wednesday. Syrian government forces backed by Russian air strikes

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New Daesh Franchise Threatens Egypt

By Daniel Nisman and Michael Horowitz Feb 17 – On Jan. 21, days before the fifth anniversary of Egypt’s fabled revolution, police in Cairo raided a slum in the crowded Ahram neighborhood. Booby-trapped bombs went off in a scene more reminiscent of Fallujah, Iraq, than Egypt’s capital. Six officers and three civilians were killed, and an

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Turkey Seeks Allies’ Support for Ground Operation in Syria

By Humeyra Pamuk and Tulay Karadeniz ISTANBUL/ANKARA, Feb 16 – Turkey is asking allies including the United States to take part in a joint ground operation in Syria, as a Moscow-backed government advance nears its borders, raising the possibility of direct confrontation between the NATO member and Russia. A large-scale joint ground operation is still

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In Syrian War, A Bigger Role for Russian Strategists

By Mariam Karouny BEIRUT, Feb 15 – While Russian fighter planes pound rebel positions on the battlefield in Syria, Russian military strategists are playing a far more subtle role in support of President Bashar Al Assad. Several sources—on both sides of the battle lines—have told Reuters in interviews conducted over the past two months that

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Obama Urges Russia to Stop Bombing “Moderate” Syria Rebels

By Tom Perry and Jeff Mason BEIRUT/RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif., Feb 15 – U.S. President Barack Obama urged Russia on Sunday to stop bombing “moderate” rebels in Syria in support of its ally President Bashar Al Assad, a campaign seen in the West as a major obstacle to latest efforts to end the war. Major powers

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