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Suicide bomber attacked army headquarters
2014.09.01 03:24:14

A suicide bomber has attacked an army headquarters in the Iraqi city of Ramadi.

The attacker drove a car full of explosives up to the building for before blowing it up. Thirteen soldiers have been killed and 21 were injured.



Tags: Iraq

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Ukraine hands over captured Russian paratroops
2014.09.01 03:12:31

Ukraine has handed over a group of captured Russian paratroops and Russia has returned 63 Ukrainian soldiers who crossed into its territory last week, Russian news agencies quoted a paratroop commander as saying.

RIA news agency quoted Russian Major-General Alexei Ragozin as saying the paratroops had been handed back after "very difficult" negotiations and after what he called an unacceptable
delay.

Ukraine said last week it had captured 10 paratroops and presented them to the press as evidence that the Russian military is fighting alongside pro-Moscow separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine. Russia said the men had crossed an unmarked section of the border by accident.

[Reuters]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Iraqi town of Amerli
2014.09.01 03:11:16

Kurdish Peshmerga troops and Shia militias are claiming to have retaken the northern Iraqi town of Amerli after fighting with the Islamic State. The town has been under seige by IS fighters for around two months.



Tags: Iraq | Islamic State

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Philippine UN peacekeepers safe after 'greatest escape'
2014.09.01 02:51:52

Dozens of Filipino UN peacekeepers performed the "greatest escape" from besieging Syrian rebels, slipping away under the cover of night after rebels rammed their Golan Heights outpost with armed trucks, the Philippine military said.

All 75 soldiers serving with a United Nations peacekeeping force in the Middle East flashpoint zone reached safety after the rebels, some linked to al-Qaeda, surrounded them and demanded their weapons on Thursday, Philippine military chief General Gregorio Catapang said on Sunday.

Catapang called it "the greatest escape" and praised the soldiers.

"Although they were surrounded and outnumbered they held their ground," he told reporters.

However the fate of 44 UN peacekeepers from Fiji remained unknown. [AFP]



Tags: Syria | Israel | Golan Heights | Philippines

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Australia to join in air lift of military equipment to Kurds
2014.09.01 02:50:34

Australia will drop military equipment and aid to Kurdish forces fighting Islamic State fighters in northern Iraq in response to a request from the United States, Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Sunday.

Australia will join Canada, Italy, France, Britain and the United States in providing arms and humanitarian relief as part of a multinational effort to be coordinated by Iraq and other countries in the region, Abbott said.

"The situation in Iraq represents a humanitarian catastrophe," Abbott said in a statement. He said Australia would continue to work with international partners to "address the security threat" posed by the rebel fighters.

The United States is intensifying its push to build an international campaign against Islamic State fighters who have seized a third each of Iraq and Syria, declared open war against the West.[Reuters]



Tags: Iraq | Islamic State | Australia | Canada

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White House applaud the European Council's readiness
2014.09.01 02:47:36

The White House has applauded the European Council's readiness to consider further sanctions against Russia over its actions in Ukraine.

"We welcome the European Council's consensus today to show strong support for Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and to prepare further sanctions for consideration in coming days," the White House National Security spokeswoman, Caitlin Hayden, said in a statement.

[Reuters]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | United States

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We could have fought for 500 days- Netanyahu
2014.09.01 02:40:32

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel agreed to a permanent truce in its 50-day Gaza war with Hamas in order to keep focused on the threat from regional militants.

"We fought for 50 days and we could have fought for 500 days, but we are in a situation where the Islamic State is at the gates of Jordan, Al-Qaeda is in the Golan and Hezbollah is at the border with Lebanon," Netanyahu said in an address on public television.

His remarks come as the United States, Israel's chief ally, is calling for a global coalition to fight the jihadists who have set up an Islamic "caliphate" in areas they have overrun in Syria and Iraq.

[AFP]



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas | Benjamin Netanyahu | Hezbollah

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Peacekeepers from the Philippines trapped by fighters
2014.09.01 02:38:02

Nearly three dozen U.N Peacekeepers from the Philippines trapped by fighters in Golan Heights were successfully extracted in firefight- U.N officials.

[Reuters]



Tags: Syria

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Iraqi Air Force evacuates civilians
2014.09.01 02:35:36

The Iraqi Air Force have evacuated civilians in the besieged town of Amirli, according to video footage released by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense on Saturday.

According to a statement released by the ministry, the air force landed two helicopters with medical and humanitarian supplies and evacuated a number of women and children under siege by the Islamic State group.

[AP]



Tags: Iraq | Islamic State

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Russian tanks entered the Ukrainian town of Novosvitlivka
2014.09.01 02:18:22

Ukraine military spokesman Andriy Lysenko told journalists in Kiev that Russian tanks had entered the small Ukrainian town of Novosvitlivka on the border with Russia and fired on every house.

"We have information that virtually every house has been destroyed," Lysenko added, without giving details on when the reported attack took place. Ukraine's daily military briefings typically cover the previous 24 hours.

Lysenko said the rebels had made new gains just east of the border city of Luhansk, one of the rebels' main strongholds, after opening up a new front in another area last week.

[Reuters]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Ukraine announced it was abandoning Ilovaisk
2014.08.31 03:53:19

Ukraine announced it was abandoning Ilovaisk, a city 25 kilometers north of Starobesheve on Saturday. Surrounded on all sides over several days, they sustained fire so intense that the government was compelled to plead for a corridor out.

"We are surrendering this city,'' said Ukrainian Col. Andriy Lysenko, a spokesman for the national security council. "Our task now is to evacuate our military with the least possible losses in order to regroup.''

Lysenko said that regular units of the military had also been ordered to retreat from Novosvitlivka and Khryashchuvate, two towns on the main road between the Russian border and Luhansk, the second-largest rebel-held city.

[AP]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Contact Group on Ukraine
2014.08.31 03:52:10

The so-called Contact Group on Ukraine will meet Monday in Minsk, Belarussian officials said, as the Kremlin emphasized the importance of having separatists participate.

The Belarussian foreign ministry said representatives of Kiev, Moscow and the OSCE would attend the talks but did not provide details.

A Kremlin statement said that President Vladimir Putin and his Belarussian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko "emphasized the importance of organizing" the meeting gathering representatives of "the Kiev authorities, the southeastern regions, the OSCE and Russia" during a phone call.

[AFP]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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EU leaders will be obliged to react by increasing sanctions
2014.08.31 03:30:35

French President Francois Hollande says that EU leaders will be obliged to react by increasing sanctions if situation in Ukraine remains as it is - Reuters.



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | European Union | France

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Seven people killed in old shiekh Najar district
2014.08.31 03:29:07

Seven people were killed in old shiekh Najar district in Aleppo on Saturday, after the government's barrel bomb assault on the area, activists reported .

In Damascus, activists said six air raids targeted Jobar today and killed two people, while clashes intensified between rebels and government forces on the front line.

Rebels claimed that they killed several government forces.



Tags: Syria

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Israeli drone downed in Iraq
2014.08.31 03:22:00

Lebanese TV channel Al-Mayadeen has said that an Israeli drone, similar to the one downed several days ago by Iran, has been downed in Baghdad.

Al-Mayadeen reported that sources said the reason behind the fall of the drone "are still unknown," noting that the Iraqi army abstained from commenting on the incident.

According to the sources, the Iraqi army wanted to investigate the incident, but the American embassy in Baghdad interfered. A technical team arrived at the scene, collected the drone remains, and took them to the embassy.

Meanwhile, Iraqi forces killed 29 IS members in an operation to liberate Shamali villages. Sources from the Iraqi police said that 18 people, including IS members, were killed in different areas in the Saladin Governorate.

The mother of the American journalist kidnapped in Iraq, Steven Sotloff, broadcast a video appealing to the kidnappers of her son to release him.

Sotloff appeared in a video with IS members last week when they murdered his colleague James Foley. The IS members called for the US President Barak Obama to stop his operation, or they would murder Sotloff.

The German army said that a non-combatant unit started a mission in Erbil two days ago. The German government said that it will offer weapons to Kurdish forces so they can fight IS in the region.



Tags: Iraq | Iran | Israel

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Ukrainian requests for military assistance
2014.08.31 03:18:59

EU leaders are expected to discuss Ukrainian requests for military assistance in Brussels today.

Pro-Russian separatists are in control of large parts of Eastern Ukraine, including areas around the cities of Luhansk and Donetsk. They've also recently taken the coastal town of Novoazosk.

The military maneuvering by both sides here in the SE corner of Ukraine has continued, defenders of Mariupol have been digging trenches, we haven't seen Russian armor or vehicles ourselves, but we know there have been movements out of that town, further along the border, one is presumed to engage in combat with Ukrainian forces.

As far as action in the air, the Ukrainian military says a jet has been shot down, but didn't give a location. They said it happened on Friday, but what's interesting is Ukraine says it was a Russian anti-aircraft system... pointing the finger at Russia, and separatists, being Russian backed.



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | European Union

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Islamic State fighters beheaded Lebanese soldier
2014.08.31 03:16:18

Islamic State fighters beheaded a Lebanese soldier who was one of 19 captured by hardline Syrian Islamists when they seized a Lebanese border town for few days this month, a video posted on social media showed on Saturday.

The soldier, recognizable as Ali al-Sayyed, a Sunni Muslim from north Lebanon, was shown blindfolded with his hands tied behind his back, writhing and kicking the dusty ground while a fighter announces he will be killed. Another fighter then beheads him.

The Lebanese army declined to comment but security and Islamic State sources confirmed the latest beheading.Hours later, the group posted a second video showing nine other soldiers begging for their lives, urging their families to take to the streets in the next three days to demand the release of  prisoners as a condition to escape al-Sayyed's fate.

[Reuters]



Tags: Syria | Lebanon | Islamic State

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Russia is continuing to send military equipment
2014.08.31 03:00:14

Ukraine's defense spokesman says that Russia is continuing to send military equipment and "mercenaries" into eastern Ukraine, says Russian tanks have attacked the town of Novosvitlivka near Luhansk and "destroyed virtually every house". [Reuters]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Kidnapped Yazidi women taken to Syria
2014.08.31 02:59:17

Several dozen Yazidi women kidnapped by Islamic State fighters in Iraq have been taken to Syria, forced to convert and sold into marriage to fighters, a monitoring group said Saturday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the Britain-based NGO, said it had confirmed that at least 27 Yazidi women had been sold for around $1,000 each to IS fighters.

The group said it was aware that some 300 Yazidi women had been kidnapped and transported to Syria by the fighters, but it had so far documented the sale into marriage of 27.

[AFP]



Tags: Syria | Islamic State | Iraq

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Iraqi security forces and Shiite fighters launched a major operation
2014.08.31 02:57:43

Iraqi security forces and Shiite fighters launched a major operation Saturday to break the more than two-month jihadist siege of a Shiite Turkmen town, a senior officer and militia commanders said.

Thousands of militiamen are attacking towards Amerli from the north, while Iraqi security forces are advancing from the south, they said.

[AFP]



Tags: Iraq

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