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Turkey says no Disagreement with Russia, Iran on Need for Syria Ceasefire

ANKARA, Dec 16  – Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Friday repeated his call for an immediate ceasefire in Syria and said there was no disagreement between Turkey,Russia and Iran on the need for a truce. At a news conference in Ankara, Cavusoglu also said Russian President Vladimir Putin had told his Turkish counterpart that

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Syria’s White Helmets Accuse Russia of Aleppo War Crimes in Letter

UNITED NATIONS, Dec 15 – Russian air strikes in the Aleppo, Syria, region have killed some 1,207 civilians, 380 of them children, the Syrian White Helmets civil defense group told United Nations war crimes investigators in a letter seen by Reuters on Thursday. The White Helmets, the Syrian Network for Human Rights, Independent Doctors Association

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Risk of Atrocities Not Over Despite Aleppo Ceasefire

By Astrid Zweynert and Umberto Bacchi LONDON, Dec 14  – A plan to evacuate civilians from eastern Aleppo stalled on Wednesday as renewed air strikes and shelling rocked the city. A ceasefire brokered on Tuesday by Russia and Turkey was intended to end years of fighting in the city, giving Syrian President Bashar al-Assad his

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Fall of Aleppo Puts Iran on Cusp of ‘Shiite Crescent’ of Influence

By Babak Dehghanpisheh BEIRUT, Dec 14 – Iran has played a pivotal role in Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s campaign to crush rebel resistance in Aleppo and is now close to establishing a “Shi’ite crescent” of regional influence stretching from the Afghan border to the Mediterranean Sea. Revolutionary Guards commanders and senior clerics in Tehran have

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Turkey Talking to Russia, Iran to Try to Keep Aleppo Evacuation on Track

By Orhan Coskun and Tulay Karadeniz ANKARA, Dec 14 – Turkey is talking to Russia and Iran to try to ensure the evacuation of civilians and rebel fighters from Syria’s Aleppo, as air strikes and heavy shelling on Wednesday threatened to scupper the deal. President Tayyip Erdogan accused Syrian government forces of breaking a truce

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Syrian Army takes over Aleppo Areas Quit by Rebels – Military Source

ALEPPO, Syria/BEIRUT, Dec 13  – Syria’s army and its allies have taken full control over all the Aleppo districts abandoned by rebels during their retreat in the city, a Syrian military source said on Tuesday. On Monday rebel defences collapsed, leading to a broad army advance across more than half of the remaining insurgent pocket

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Russia Guilty of “Constant Lies” Over Aleppo, France says

BRUSSELS, Dec 12  – The Russian government has been constantly lying about its willingness to negotiate a ceasefire in Aleppo, France’s foreign minister said on Monday, accusing Moscow of intentionally deceiving its partners. “There is Russian doublespeak … a form of constant lies. On the one hand they say let’s negotiate, and we negotiate to

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Conflict over Russia is Rocky Start for Trump and Intelligence Agencies

By John Walcott WASHINGTON, Dec 10 – President-elect Donald Trump’s rejection this weekend of U.S. intelligence analysts’ conclusion that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help him win the White House is the latest in a string of conflicts between Trump and the intelligence community he will command. Most of them involve Russia, which

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Syria, Russia Pound Rebel-Held Aleppo but Advances Halt

By Laila Bassam and John Davison ALEPPO, Syria/BEIRUT, Dec 10 – Syrian’s military and Russian warplanes bombarded rebel-held districts of Aleppo on Saturday as Damascus’s allies said victory was near, but insurgents fought back and army advances halted after rapid gains during the week. The United States said it was meeting a Russian team in

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John Kerry Urges Russia to Show “Grace” in Geneva Aleppo Talks

PARIS, Dec 10 – Backers of the Syrian opposition appeared resigned to the fall of eastern Aleppo on Saturday, with the United States pleading Moscow to show “grace” when officials meet in Geneva to try to reach a deal for civilians and fighters to leave the city. Syrian government and allied forces have in the

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