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Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza
2014.08.29 05:23:04

A busload of Palestinians trying to leave the enclave waited at the border of the neighboring Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza to see if they would be given permission to enter.

Egyptian authorities shut the Rafah crossing to all but those with Egyptian and foreign passports, residency permits and the seriously wounded during much of the war.

Rafah, Gaza's only gateway to the world which is not controlled by Israel, is controlled by the Egyptian authorities, and therefore not technically included in the ceasefire agreement. Crossing into Egypt is still an arduous process open to few from inside Gaza.

[AFP]



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Egypt

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Russian forces were fighting in Ukraine
2014.08.29 05:21:36

US President Barack Obama said it was plain for the world to see that Russian forces were fighting in Ukraine.

Obama said he planned to host Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko at the White House in September to discuss the escalating crisis.



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | United States | Barack Obama

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Growing crisis in Ukraine
2014.08.29 05:20:32

Some members of the UN Security Council expressed outrage over the growing crisis in Ukraine in an emergency session held Thursday.

UN Undersecretary-General of Political Affairs Jeffrey Feltman told council members, as the meeting began, that the latest developments mark a "dangerous escalation in the conflict," but that the international body had no way of verifying the latest "deeply alarming reports".

Statements from NATO, Poroshenko ,the separatists, the United States and the president of the Security Council left no doubt that Russia had invaded Ukraine.

A top NATO official said at least 1,000 Russian troops have entered Ukraine with sophisticated equipment and have been in direct "contact" with Ukrainian soldiers, resulting in casualties.

The new southeastern front raised fears that the separatists are seeking to create a land link between Russia and Crimea, which Russia annexed in March.

US Ambassador Samantha Power told the council: "Every single one has sent a straightforward, unified message: 'Russia, stop this conflict. Russia is not listening.'"

"Russia has come before the council to say everything but the truth," Power said.

"We will continue working with G-7 partners to rachet up consequences on Russia," Power said, and France also threatened that sanctions will be increased if the escalation continues.

[AP]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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'Pattern of escalating aggression' by Russia in Ukraine
2014.08.29 05:19:18

US state department says that it is seeing a "pattern of escalating aggression" by Russia in Ukraine, Reuters is reporting.



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | United States

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Shelling in Ukraine's Donetsk
2014.08.29 05:18:21

Fifteen civilians have been killed in shelling in Ukraine's Donetsk - Reuters through city administration.



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Imminent US military action in Syria
2014.08.29 05:16:42

US President Barack Obama played down the prospect of imminent US military action in Syria saying "we don't have a strategy yet'' for degrading the violent armed group seeking to establish a caliphate in the Middle East.

US President Barack Obama said confronting the Islamic State group requires a regional strategy with support from other states in the region. He said it's time for states in the region to "stop being ambivalent" about the aims of rebel groups like the Islamic State.

"They have no ideology beyond violence and chaos," Obama said.



Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States | Barack Obama

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UN Secretary General is alarmed by reports that the Ukraine fighting
2014.08.29 05:14:12

Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson has said that the UN Secretary General is alarmed by reports that the Ukraine fighting has spread southward. "If true," he says "it's a dangerous escalation".



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Security Council's statement
2014.08.29 05:13:17

The UN Security Council just released this statement on the UN Disengagement Observer Force

The members of the Security Council strongly condemned the detention of 43 United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) peacekeepers from within the Area of Separation in the vicinity of position 27, as well as the surrounding of positions 68 and 69, which are manned by 81 UNDOF peacekeepers, earlier today by a Security Council-designated terrorist groups and by members of non-state armed groups.

The members of the Security Council demanded the unconditional and immediate release of all the detained United Nations peacekeepers and called upon all parties to cooperate with UNDOF in good faith to enable it to operate freely and to ensure full security of its personnel. They called up countries with influence to strongly convey to the armed members of the opposition in the UNDOF area of operation to immediately release the peacekeepers.  They stressed that there should be no military forces in the area of separation other than those of UNDOF, and further reiterated their condemnation for the increased use by elements of the Syrian opposition and other groups of improvised explosive devices in the UNDOF area of operation which which threaten the safety and security of United Nations personnel.

The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their unconditional support for UNDOF.



Tags: Syria | Israel | Golan Heights

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Russian troops entering Ukraine is 'an intolerable escalation'
2014.08.29 04:55:34

Russian troops entering Ukraine is "an intolerable escalation" of the crisis there, Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi told Russian President Vladimir Putin by telephone on Thursday.

"Referring to the very serious news of Russian troops entering Ukraine today, Prime Minister Renzi reiterated that this is an intolerable escalation and would have very grave consequences," Renzi's office said in a statement.

Renzi, who is also the current president of the EU, called on Putin to "rapidly return to the negotiating table".



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | Italy

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Security Council 'strongly condemned' the detention of peacekeepers
2014.08.29 04:54:22

The UN Security Council "strongly condemned" the detention of the 43 peacekeepers and the "surrounding of positions" manned by the 81 other peacekeepers, by "terrorist groups and by members of non-state armed groups."

The council demanded the "unconditional and immediate release of all the detained United Nations peacekeepers" and urged countries with influence to help win their release.

The 81 Filipino troops were locked in a standoff near Ar Ruwayhinah and Burayqah, while the Fijian soldiers were taken to the southern part of the buffer zone, UN officials said.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said it was unclear which group had staged the attacks.

"Some groups are self-identified as affiliated to Al-Nusra but we are not able to confirm," he said.



Tags: Syria | Israel | Golan Heights

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More than 100 Russian soldiers killed
2014.08.29 04:52:22

More than 100 Russian soldiers were killed in eastern Ukraine in a battle this month while helping pro-Russian separatists fight Ukrainian troops, two members of the Russian presidential human rights council said on Thursday, citing accounts of eye-witness and relatives of the dead.

Ella Polyakova and Sergei Krivenko, both members of the council, said around 300 people were also injured in the violence on August 13 near the town of Snizhnye in Donetsk Province, when a column of trucks full of ammunition they were driving was hit by a sustained volley of Grad missiles.

"A column of Russian soldiers was attacked by Grad rockets and more 100 people died. It all happened in the city of Snizhnye in Donetsk Province," said Krivenko speaking by telephone.

Polyakova said she had also been given the same figure, of more than 100, for the number of Russian soldiers killed in the attack.

[Reuters]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Israeli-occupied Golan Heights
2014.08.29 04:51:20

A group of 43 UN peacekeepers in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights have been detained by gunmen fighting the Syrian army and the world body is working to secure their release, the United Nations said on Thursday.

"During a period of increased fighting beginning yesterday between armed elements and Syrian Arab Armed Forces within the area of separation in the Golan Heights, 43 peacekeepers from the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) were detained early this morning by an armed group in the vicinity of Al Qunaytirah," the UN press office said in a statement.



Tags: Syria | Israel | Golan Heights

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Syrian airstrike reportedly kills Islamic State commanders
2014.08.29 04:44:44

A Syrian government airstrike has reportedly killed commanders of the Islamic State group in the eastern province of Deir al-Zor, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which monitors the war, said.

The Observatory, which says it gathers information from all sides in the Syrian conflict, reported that Syrian war jets had struck a building used as a headquarters by Islamic State while a meeting of its commanders including Syrians, Arabs and foreigners, was underway.

Syrian state TV reported that the army "eliminated more than 10 terrorists" in an attack east of Deir al-Zor airport, including two men it named as Islamic State leaders in the province, and destroyed 14 armored vehicles.

[Reuters]



Tags: Syria | Islamic State

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NATO countries and Ukraine will hold an emergency meeting
2014.08.29 04:43:45

Ambassadors from the 28 NATO countries and Ukraine will hold an emergency meeting on Friday to discuss the situation in Ukraine, a NATO official told Reuters news agency on Thursday.

The meeting is being held at Ukraine's request. Ukraine is not a NATO member but meets regularly with NATO in a body called the NATO-Ukraine Commission.



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | NATO

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Syria's President Bashar al-Assad names new government
2014.08.29 04:42:16

Following is the new cabinet list:

Prime Minister: Wael al-Halaqi
Defence Minister: General Fahd al-Freij
Foreign Minister: Walid Muallem
Interior Minister: Mohammed al-Shaar
Local Administration Minister: Omar Ghalawanji
Domestic Trade and Consumer Protection Minister: Hassan Safiye (new)
Communications and Technology Minister: Mohammed al-Jalali (new)
Waqf (Religious endowment) Minister: Mohammed Abdel-Sattar Sayyed
Presidential Affairs Minister: Mansour Azzam
Justice Minister: Najem Hamad al-Ahmad
Finance Minister: Ismail Ismail
Health Minister: Nizar Wehbe Yazigi (new)
Tourism Minister: Bishr Riyad al-Yazigi
Electricity Minister: Imad Mohammed Dib Khamis
Water Resources Minister: Kamal al-Sheikha (new)
Agriculture Minister: Ahmad al-Qadri
Higher Education Minister: Mohammed Amer Mardini (new)
Education Minister: Hazwan al-Wazz
Economy and Foreign Trade Minister: Humam al-Jazaeri (new)
Industry Minister: Kamal Eddin Taameh
Transportation Minister: Ghazwan Kheir Bek (new)
Housing and Urban Development Minister: Mohamed Walid Ghazal (new)
Administrative Development: Hassan al-Nuri (new)
Public Works Minister: Hussein Arnus
Oil and Mineral Resources Minister: Sleiman Abbas
Culture Minister: Issam Khalil (new)
Labour Minister: Khalaf Sleiman al-Abdullah (new)
Social Affairs Minister: Kinda Shmat
Information Minister: Omran al-Zohbi
Minister of State for National Reconciliation: Ali Haidar
Minister of State for Environmental Affairs: Nazira Sarkis
Minister of State: Hassib Elias Shammas
Minister of State: Mohamed Mutia Muayyad (new)
Minister of State: Abdallah Khalil Hussein
Minister of State: Jamal Shahin
[AFP]



Tags: Syria

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Russia calls Switzerland sanctions unfounded and unfriendly
2014.08.29 04:41:15

Sanctions imposed by Switzerland on Russia are unfounded and are copying unfriendly steps by the United States and European Union, Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement issued on Thursday.

"We view these decisions.... as unfounded and as showing that the Swiss people, to the detriment of their own interests, are continuing to repeat the unfriendly steps by the United States and European Union towards Russia. " [Reuters]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | European Union | Switzerland

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Syrian killed on Lebanese border
2014.08.29 04:40:10

The Lebanese army has fired live ammunition at a van carrying 13 people, 10 of which Syrian, killing one and wounding two others after they failed to stop at an army checkpoint in Rashaya, on the border of southeast Lebanon.

According to the national news agency, they were arrested on charges of carrying illegal weapons at an illegal border crossing leading to Syria's Golan Heights.



Tags: Syria | Lebanon | Golan Heights

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France dismisses Assad as ally in fight against Islamic State
2014.08.29 04:23:07

French President Francois Hollande has warned the West of working with Syria's President in the fight against the Islamic State group, saying Assad was an ally of Islamic extremists wreaking havoc in Syria and Iraq.

"Assad cannot be a partner in the fight against terrorism, he is the de facto ally of jihadists," he said.

In a wide-ranging speech to international ambassadors, Hollande said France would call an international conference to address the threat of the Islamic State and said a broad alliance was needed.

His comments came after Assad's regime said it was willing to work with the international community, including Washington, to tackle extremist fighters in the war-ravaged country.

[AFP]



Tags: Syria | Islamic State | France

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Ukraine's ambassador to the OSCE
2014.08.29 04:21:40

Ukraine's ambassador to the OSCE accused Russia on Thursday of a "direct invasion" following reports that Russian troops were active in the conflict-torn east of the country.

"We registered a direct invasion by the Russian military into the eastern regions of Ukraine," Ihor Prokopchuk told journalists following a special meeting of the European security body to discuss the latest developments in Ukraine.

"The situation has significantly aggravated," he said in English, citing the capture "by regular Russian forces" of the key southeastern town of Novoazovsk and several other surrounding towns.

Ukraine views the latest developments as active aggression against Ukraine.

[AFP]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Will The US Bomb IS Group (AKA ISIS) In Syria?
2014.08.29 04:20:26



Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States

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