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February 12, 2017
US general says NATO needs more troops in Afghanistan
Washington (AFP) Feb 10, 2017
The US general commanding NATO forces in Afghanistan warned Thursday that he needs thousands more troops and accused Russia of seeking to prop up the Taliban. US-led forces have been fighting in Afghanistan for 16 years, making it already America's longest-ever war, but General John Nicholson told Congress: "I believe we're in a stalemate." The question of whether to double down in the seemingly endless conflict will now become one of the first major military strategy questions of President Dona ... read more

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US general says NATO needs more troops in Afghanistan
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Two years after NATO steps down, Afghan forces still struggle: US inspector
Two years after NATO handed responsibility for Afghanistan's security to local forces, the country remains crippled by corruption and its troops can barely hold the Taliban at bay, a US inspector said Wednesday. ... more
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Syrian Kurds say not invited to Astana talks
Syrian Kurds have not been invited to the talks on the political future of Syria due to take place this month in Kazakhstan, their representative in France said Tuesday. ... more
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Obama's toughest decision? 30,000-troop Afghanistan 'surge'
What was President Barack Obama's hardest decision during his two terms in office? A massive troop surge in Afghanistan, he said in an interview aired Sunday. ... more
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Afghanistan welcomes return of US Marines to Helmand
Afghanistan on Saturday welcomed the Pentagon's decision to deploy some 300 US Marines to the volatile province of Helmand, where American forces engaged in heated combat until their mission ended in 2014. ... more
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Pakistan law allowing secret military terror courts expires
A Pakistani law allowing secret military courts to try civilians on terror charges expired Saturday, after the controversial tribunals hanged 12 people and ordered the executions of 149 more amid sharp criticism from rights groups. ... more
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Chinese police kill three "rioters" in Xinjiang
Chinese police shot dead three "rioters" in the restive Xinjiang region after they resisted arrest, state media reported Monday, in the second such incident in less than a fortnight. ... more
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Yazidi NGO says Iraq HQ closed by Kurdish forces
Kurdish security forces closed the Iraqi headquarters of an organisation that aids members of the Yazidi religious minority, which has been brutally targeted by jihadists, the group said on Wednesday. ... more
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China police kill three over Xinjiang attack: report
Chinese police have shot dead three people who allegedly attacked a Communist Party office in the restive Xinjiang region on Wednesday, state media said, in the bloodiest such incident in months. ... more
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India accuses Pakistani Islamist over airbase attack
India on Monday accused Pakistani militant leader Maulana Masood Azhar of masterminding an audacious attack on an air force base in January that led to a breakdown in relations between the two nuclear-armed nations. ... more
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Pentagon confirms death of two Qaeda leaders in Afghanistan
A US strike against a senior Al-Qaeda leader in Afghanistan in October also killed two other senior operatives, the Pentagon said Monday. ... more
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Kurdish-Shiite row erupts at Iraqi football match
Two clubs from Iraqi Kurdistan announced on Saturday their withdrawal from the country's football championship in protest at anti-Kurdish chants during a match against a Shiite club. ... more
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Pentagon works to ease Kurdish-Turkish tensions in Syria
The US military is working to ease simmering tensions between Syrian Kurdish rebels and Turkey, both fighting the Islamic State group in northern Syria, US defense officials said Thursday. ... more
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Uzbek interim leader scores landslide election win
Uzbekistan's interim leader Shavkat Mirziyoyev has won a crushing presidential election victory to succeed the late strongman Islam Karimov,official results showed Monday. ... more
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Kurdish curbs harm recovery of Iraq Yazidis: rights group
Kurdish restrictions on the movement of goods are harming the recovery of Iraq's Yazidi minority, which was targeted for genocide by the Islamic State group, Human Rights Watch said Sunday. ... more
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Afghan forces lose some ground but improving overall: US general
Afghan security forces have lost control over a small percentage of the terrain they previously held, but are getting better at repelling the Taliban overall, a top US general said Friday. ... more
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Top Afghan General killed in miltary chopper crash
Afghanistan's army said one of its top commanders was killed Tuesday when a military helicopter crashed in the western Afghan province of Badghis. ... more
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Pakistan appoints powerful new army chief
Pakistan on Saturday appointed General Qamar Javed Bajwa as its new military chief, the prime minister's office said, passing over the army's favourite contenders for arguably the most powerful role in the country. ... more
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Xinjiang residents must turn in passports: media
All residents in China's restive region of Xinjiang must hand in their passports to local police stations for "examination and management", the Global Times newspaper said Thursday. ... more
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Erdogan demands support against PKK at NATO meeting
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday urged the European Union and other Western nations to step up support for Ankara's fight against Kurdish militants, as he addressed a meeting of NATO lawmakers. ... more
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Pakistan says four people killed by Indian cross-border fire
Four people, including two children, were killed Monday and ten others wounded in cross-border fire in disputed Kashmir, the latest casualties in ongoing skirmishes between the nuclear-armed neighbours. ... more
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Pakistan says it 'pushed' Indian sub out of its waters
Pakistan's navy said Friday it had "pushed" an Indian submarine away from Pakistani waters, as tensions between the nuclear-armed rivals continue to smoulder over unrest in the disputed Kashmir region. ... more
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Baghdad, Kurds at odds over post-Mosul division of territory
Iraq's premier and its Kurdish regional chief were publicly at odds Thursday over territorial control after the recapture of Mosul, even with the battle for the city far from over. ... more
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Pakistan says India killed seven troops in Kashmir
The Pakistani military accused India on Monday of killing seven soldiers in cross-border fire in disputed Kashmir, in what appeared to be an unusually high toll after months of surging tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours. ... more
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Blast inside largest US base in Afghanistan kills four
Four people were killed Saturday in a huge explosion inside the largest US military base in Afghanistan, NATO said, with local authorities blaming a suicide attacker in a major breach of security. ... more
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