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October 20, 2017
After Raqa, what's next for the US military in Syria
Washington (AFP) Oct 18, 2017
The Islamic State group's defeat in Raqa, their de facto Syrian capital, raises a thorny question for the US forces that have been training and arming the victorious local fighters: What comes next? Since the US began bombing IS in Syria in late 2014 and supporting a predominantly Kurdish ground force, two successive administrations have side-stepped addressing America's long-term military role in Syria, saying only that the focus is on killing jihadists. Critics say America is losing leverage ... read more

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To beat jihadists, anti-IS Syria force goes back to basics
Once the last Islamic State group fighters are ousted from Syria's Raqa, the unconventional forces battling the jihadists say they'll have batteries and masking tape to thank for their victory. ... more
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Israel strikes Syrian anti-aircraft battery in response to fire
Israel's military carried out an air strike on an anti-aircraft battery in Syria on Monday after it fired at its planes, while vowing it sought no further escalation in the war-torn country. ... more
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Syria, Lebanon will be 'one front' if war erupts against Israel: minister
Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Tuesday that Lebanon and Syria would constitute "one front" against his country if a new war were to break out. ... more
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Turkish army says launches reconnaissance mission in Syria's Idlib
The Turkish army has launched a reconnaissance mission in Syria's largely jihadist-controlled northwestern Idlib province in a bid to create a de-escalation zone, the military said on Monday. ... more
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Russia kills 180 jihadists, mercenaries in Syria, claims al-Shishani's death
Some 120 Islamic State fighters and 60 foreign mercenaries were killed in a series of Russian air strikes in Syria over the past 24 hours, the defence ministry in Moscow said on Saturday. ... more
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Russian strikes in Syria hit rebels' underground arsenal
Russia on Thursday said its air strikes in Syria had destroyed a huge underground arms depot belonging to the Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a jihadist alliance led by Al-Qaeda's former Syria affiliate. ... more
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UN mission to monitor Colombia's truce with ELN
The Security Council on Thursday tasked the UN mission in Colombia with monitoring a days-old ceasefire between the Bogota government and the country's last guerrilla group, the ELN. ... more
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Air raid kills at least 7 in north Yemen
An air strike killed at least seven people, including four children, on Wednesday in a rebel-held district of northern Yemen, the Huthi rebels and a medical source said. ... more

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Russian strike kills 38 fleeing civilians in east Syria: monitor
A Russian air strike killed 38 civilians on Wednesday as they tried to cross the Euphrates river to escape fighting in eastern Syria's Deir Ezzor province, a monitor said. ... more
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Israeli defence minister says Syria's Assad 'victorious'
Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Tuesday that President Bashar al-Assad has been "victorious" in Syria's civil war and was now being courted by former enemies. ... more
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Iraq forces push into IS bastion Hawija
Iraqi forces pushed into the Islamic State group bastion of Hawija on Wednesday, commanders said, stepping up their assault against one of the jihadists' last enclaves in the country. ... more
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Man's best friend aids Australian military vets with PTSD
They are nicknamed "pills with four legs" - highly-trained dogs helping ex-Australian military veterans overcome the mental scars of war. ... more
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US-led strikes claim another 50 civilian lives: coalition
US-led air strikes in Iraq and Syria have killed another 50 civilians, the international coalition against the Islamic State group announced on Friday. ... more
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Colombia's last rebel group begins truce
After a half-century of armed struggle, the Colombian armed forces and the country's last guerrilla group, the ELN, began on Sunday a historic, if possibly temporary, truce. ... more
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US carries out more airstrikes in Libya
The US military has carried out more air strikes against the Islamic State group in Libya, killing several fighters, the US Africa Command said Thursday. ... more
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Erdogan, Putin agree joint push to end Syria war
President Vladimir Putin and Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan Thursday agreed to step efforts to bring peace to Syria, with the Russian leader declaring the right conditions now existed to end the over six-year civil war. ... more

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In east Syria, civilians flee IS, and deadly air strikes
The line extends to the horizon, as hundreds of men, women and children flee into Syria's desert in eastern Deir Ezzor, escaping the Islamic State group, but also deadly air strikes. ... more
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Russian strikes in Syria's Idlib kill 37 civilians: monitor
Russian air strikes on northwest Syria's mainly jihadist-controlled province of Idlib on Monday killed at least 37 civilians including 12 children, a Britain-based monitor said. ... more
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Gunmen ambush police in Peru region on pope itinerary
Gunmen killed a policeman and wounded three others when they ambushed a patrol in an area of the Amazon rainforest Pope Francis is due to visit in January, Peruvian authorities said Monday. ... more
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Russian strikes kill 45 Syrian rebels: monitor
Russian air strikes have killed 45 members of a rebel group in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said Sunday. ... more
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US, Russian generals meet to talk Syria ops: Pentagon
US and Russian generals have met to discuss Syria operations, an American officer said Thursday, amid back-and-forth allegations that each side had struck the other's allied ground forces. ... more
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Colombia rebels say ceasefire to extend to January 9
Colombia's leftist National Liberation Army rebels said Saturday that their temporary ceasefire would stretch from October 1 to January 9, and not three days later as the government indicated. ... more
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Huthis stage defiant rally 3 years after seizing Yemen capital
Yemen's Huthi rebels marked the third anniversary of their takeover of Sanaa on Thursday, gathering tens of thousands of supporters in a show of force as Saudi-led coalition warplanes flew over the capital. ... more
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Jihadist assault prompts air strikes in Syria safe zone: monitor
A jihadist offensive in a region of northwestern Syria where a safe zone deal had brought months of relative calm prompted heavy government and Russian air strikes on Tuesday, a monitor said. ... more
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