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Family break over, Obama returns to Iraq nightmare

Barack Obama returned to Washington on Monday after a brief family break in California to find himself confronted once again by the nightmare from which America thought it had escaped: Iraq. Obama ran for the White House as a young leader who opposed the 2003 US invasion, and then won…

The terrifying rise of ISIS: $2 billion in loot, online killings and an army on the run

They’re too extreme for al-Qaida, they boast of their brutality and they have forced the Iraqi government on to the defensive. How did the insurgent group rise to such terrifying power? 1. Who are they? Isis is the (slightly confusing) English acronym for the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant,…

After 21 years, Syria frees horse-rider who dared to compete with Pres. Assad’s late brother

Syria frees horse rider who rivalled Assad brother (via AFP) Syria has freed after 21 years in jail an ex-horse rider known to have been an equestrian rival of one of President Bashar al-Assad’s late brothers, reports said Sunday. The release of Adnan Qassar is part of a wide-reaching amnesty…

Ex-British PM Tony Blair blames inaction on Syria for current turmoil in Iraq

Blair denies Iraq violence result of 2003 invasion (via AFP) Tony Blair hit out on Sunday at critics who linked the 2003 invasion of Iraq with the current violence in the country, blaming instead the West’s failure to act in Syria. The former prime minister, who led Britain into the…

Syrian jihadist group kills 102-year-old man and his family as they sleep

ISIL kills 102-year-old man, family in Syria: NGO (via AFP) The most radical jihadist group fighting in Syria on Sunday killed a 102-year-old man along with his whole family in the heart of the country, a monitoring group said. The 102-year-old was shot dead in his sleep, with the Islamic…

Report: American behind suicide bombing in Syria ‘was very happy’ to carry it out

An American fighting for a hardline Islamist group carried out a deadly suicide bombing in Syria, U.S. officials said Friday, in the first such case in the war. The confirmation came amid growing fears over the flood of foreigners into Syria, with no end in sight in the three-year war…

Iran denies recruiting Afghans to fight in Syria

Iran on Wednesday denied as "completely unfounded" a report that it is recruiting Afghan refugees to fight in Syria to help its ally battle rebels. Citing Afghans and Western officials, the Wall Street Journal reported last week that Iran's elite Revolutionary……

Syria fails to destroy 8 percent of its chemical weapons material

Syria has 8% of chemical material left: monitor (via AFP) Syria still holds around eight percent of its chemical weapons material, missing a deadline to remove or destroy it all, the mission overseeing the destruction of its arsenal said Sunday. Despite the slip, the head of the mission, Sigrid Kaag,…

Syrian President Assad claims the country’s civil war is turning in his regime’s favor

Syria’s Assad says war turning in regime’s favour (via AFP) Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad said Sunday the three-year war tearing the country apart is turning in the government’s favour, state television reported. “This is a turning point in the crisis, both militarily in terms of the army’s achievements…  …

UK police will arrest anyone returning from Syria

Anyone travelling from the UK to Syria faces arrest on their return, a senior police chief warned Saturday, fearing they pose a terror threat to Britain. Manchester's police chief Peter Fahy, who leads the Association of Chief Police Officers' "Prevent……

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