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Middle East Political News

SYRIA POLITICS: Syrian Opposition Scents Progress at Geneva Talks

SYRIA POLITICS: Syrian Opposition Scents Progress at Geneva Talks

Syria peace talks in Geneva showed a first flicker of movement on Wednesday, as the opposition said President Bashar al-Assad’s negotiators had been pushed by his Russian allies to address for the first time opposition demands for a political transition.

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IRAQ POLITICS: Iraqi Officers Find Islamic State Members Hidden Among Refugees Fleeing Mosul

IRAQ POLITICS: Iraqi Officers Find Islamic State Members Hidden Among Refugees Fleeing Mosul

The officer pulled a teenager onto a raised platform and asked the group if he belonged to Islamic State (IS).

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ISRAEL POLITICS: Watchdog Scolds Netanyahu Over Handling of 2014 Gaza War

ISRAEL POLITICS: Watchdog Scolds Netanyahu Over Handling of 2014 Gaza War

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was criticized on Tuesday by Israel’s main government watchdog over what it said was a lack of preparation and cabinet consultation over a network of Hamas tunnels that confounded the military in the 2014 Gaza war.

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PALESTINE POLITICS: Israeli Police Remove Settlers From Homes on Private Palestinian Land

PALESTINE POLITICS: Israeli Police Remove Settlers From Homes on Private Palestinian Land

Israeli police began removing settlers and hundreds of supporters from nine houses built illegally on privately owned Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank.

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SYRIA POLITICS: Russia, China Block U.N. Sanctions On Syria Over Chemical Weapons Attacks

SYRIA POLITICS: Russia, China Block U.N. Sanctions On Syria Over Chemical Weapons Attacks

A resolution needs nine votes in favor and no vetoes by the United States, France, Russia, Britain or China to be adopted.

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IRAQ POLITICS: Mosul War: Islamic State Foreign Soldiers Fight to the End

IRAQ POLITICS: Mosul War: Islamic State Foreign Soldiers Fight to the End

The families cowered in basements, huddling in the dark as war raged overhead between Iraqi forces and Islamic State militants fighting for control of the streets of Mosul.

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SAUDI ARABIA POLITICS: King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to Work With Indonesia to Defeat Islamic State

SAUDI ARABIA POLITICS: King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to Work With Indonesia to Defeat Islamic State

King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, who kicked off a month-long Asian tour, lands in Indonesia with an entourage that could number up to 1,500.

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SYRIA POLITICS: Turkey-Backed Syrian Rebels Clash With Army

SYRIA POLITICS: Turkey-Backed Syrian Rebels Clash With Army

Turkey, a major backer of Syrian opposition to President Bashar al-Assad, last year began cooperating with Russia in Syria.

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IRAN POLITICS: Iran Launches Naval War Games

IRAN POLITICS: Iran Launches Naval War Games

Iran launched naval drills at the mouth of the Gulf and the Indian Ocean on Sunday, a naval commander said, as tensions with the United States escalated after U.S President Donald Trump put Tehran “on notice”.

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ISRAEL POLITICS: Elor Azaria 18-Month Sentence Excessively Lenient: UN Says

ISRAEL POLITICS: Elor Azaria 18-Month Sentence Excessively Lenient: UN Says

Sergeant Elor Azaria is the only member of the Israeli security forces to have been brought to trial for such a killing, she added.

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SYRIA POLITICS: Syrian Women Demand U.N. Talks Address Fate of Detainees

SYRIA POLITICS: Syrian Women Demand U.N. Talks Address Fate of Detainees

Staffan de Mistura, U.N. Special Envoy for Syria, met them after seeing delegations from the Syrian government and opposition separately at the start of the first negotiations in nearly a year.

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IRAQ POLITICS: Iraqi Security Forces Storm Mosul Airport

IRAQ POLITICS: Iraqi Security Forces Storm Mosul Airport

U.S.-backed Iraqi security forces closing in on the Islamic State-held western half of Mosul stormed the city’s airport and a nearby military base on Thursday, state television said.

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IRAN POLITICS: ‘Pursue Intifada Against Israel’: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to Palestinians

IRAN POLITICS: ‘Pursue Intifada Against Israel’: Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to Palestinians

“… by Allah’s permission, we will see that this intifada will begin a very important chapter in the history of fighting and that it will inflict another defeat on that usurping regime,” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said.

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SYRIA POLITICS: CIA Freezes Aid to Syrian Rebels

SYRIA POLITICS: CIA Freezes Aid to Syrian Rebels

CIA-coordinated military aid for rebels in northwest Syria has been frozen since they came under major Islamist attack last month, rebel sources said, raising doubts about foreign support key to their war against President Bashar al-Assad.

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ISRAEL POLITICS: Sergeant Elor Azaria Gets 18 Months’ Jail For Killing Abd Elfatah Ashareef

ISRAEL POLITICS: Sergeant Elor Azaria Gets 18 Months’ Jail For Killing Abd Elfatah Ashareef

Passing an 18-month sentence, the court said Azaria, whom it demoted to the rank of private, had “taken upon himself to be both judge and executioner” and had not expressed regret for his crime.

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ISRAEL POLITICS: Elor Azaria Trial Takes Center Stage

ISRAEL POLITICS: Elor Azaria Trial Takes Center Stage

Israeli court is expected to sentence Elor Azaria, a soldier convicted of manslaughter for shooting dead a wounded Palestinian attacker as he lay on the ground.

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IRAQ POLITICS: ‘We’re Not Here for Your Oil’: Jim Mattis US Defense Secretary Tells Iraqis

IRAQ POLITICS: ‘We’re Not Here for Your Oil’: Jim Mattis US Defense Secretary Tells Iraqis

Mattis, on his first trip to Iraq as Pentagon chief, is hoping to assess the war effort as U.S.-backed Iraqi forces launch a new push to evict Islamic State militants from their remaining stronghold in the city of Mosul.

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ISRAEL POLITICS: Revealed! Netanyahu Secretly Met With Egypt, Jordan for Peace

ISRAEL POLITICS: Revealed! Netanyahu Secretly Met With Egypt, Jordan for Peace

Netanyahu again raised the possibility of what he described as a “regional approach” to Israeli-Palestinian peace at a news conference with U.S. President Donald Trump, who appeared to embrace the idea.

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LEBANON POLITICS: Michel Aoun Says, Lebanon Will Avenge Israeli Attack With ‘Appropriate Response’

LEBANON POLITICS: Michel Aoun Says, Lebanon Will Avenge Israeli Attack With ‘Appropriate Response’

“Any attempt to hurt Lebanese sovereignty or expose the Lebanese to danger will find the appropriate response,” Lebanese President Michel Aoun said.

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SYRIA POLITICS: U.N. Abandons ‘Political Transition’ Phrase on Syria Talks in Concession to Assad

SYRIA POLITICS: U.N. Abandons ‘Political Transition’ Phrase on Syria Talks in Concession to Assad

“Political transition” is a phrase understood by the opposition to mean a removal of Syrian President Bashar al Assad or at least an erosion of his powers.

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