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New Cold War, US Saudi ties and Billions Dollars Business Deal

By: Nazia Memon Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest oil exporter, is eager to reset relations with the new administration after feeling shunned by President Barack Obama, who crafted the 2015 nuclear deal with its rival Iran. Saudi Arabia and its Persian Gulf allies were so angry over President Barack Obama’s Middle East policies that they appeared…

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10 key points from Trump’s address to Muslim leaders

1. Trump chose to make his first foreign trip to Saudi Arabia since he wanted to deliver a message of peace and hope “I stand before you as a representative of the American People, to deliver a message of friendship and hope. That is why I chose to make my first foreign visit a trip…

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Islamic State militants developing own social media platform – Europol

LONDON: Islamic State militants are developing their own social media platform to avoid security crackdowns on their communications and propaganda, the head of the European Union’s police agency said on Wednesday. Europol Director Rob Wainwright said the new online platform had been uncovered during a 48-hour operation against Internet extremism last week. “Within that operation…

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Israeli strikes raise stakes in face-off with Hezbollah

JERUSALEM/BEIRUT: Two Israeli air strikes against Hezbollah targets in Syria in recent weeks seem to mark a more openly assertive stance toward the group after years of shadow boxing, requiring careful calibration to avoid escalation into a war that neither wants. For most of the six-year-long conflict in Syria, Israel has stuck determinedly to the…

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IS attack kills 32 at Syria refugee camp

At least 32 people were killed on Tuesday in an Islamic State group attack near a refugee camp on the Syrian side of the border with Iraq, a monitor said.  The attack came as the Kurdish-Arab alliance known as the Syrian Democratic Forces presses an offensive against IS in the town of Tabqa as part…

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Trump celebrates first 100 days as president, blasts media

WASHINGTON: U.S. President Donald Trump hit the road on Saturday to celebrate his first 100 days in the White House with cheering supporters at a campaign-style rally, touting his initial achievements and lashing out at critics. Trump told a Pennsylvania crowd he was just getting started on meeting his campaign promises. He repeatedly attacked an…

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Turkish strikes kill Kurdish fighters in Syria, Iraq

AL-MALIKIYAH: Turkish warplanes killed more than two dozen Kurdish fighters Tuesday in strikes in Syria and Iraq, where the Kurds are key players in the battle against the Islamic State group.

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Erdogan makes final push before vote on presidential powers

ANKARA: President Tayyip Erdogan appealed for support from Turkish voters in final campaign rallies on Saturday, the eve of a referendum which could tighten his grip over a country bridging the European Union and a conflict-strewn Middle East.

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Iraqi forces battle to Mosul mosque, 17 killed in Baghdad

MOSUL: Iraqi special forces and police fought Islamic State militants to edge closer to the al-Nuri mosque in western Mosul on Wednesday, tightening their control around the landmark site and in Baghdad a suicide truck bomb killed at least 17 people. The close-quarters fighting is focussed on the Old City surrounding the mosque, where Islamic…

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Russian troops killed in IS-claimed attack on Chechen base

MOSCOW: Six Russian soldiers were killed in Chechnya Friday when gunmen tried to storm their base in an attack claimed by the Islamic State group. The base belongs to Russia’s National Guard, a branch established last year to defend borders and counter extremism. It is subordinate directly to President Vladimir Putin and has bases in the country’s…

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Islamic State group claims London attack: IS-linked agency

LONDON: The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility for an attack in London that killed three people, the Amaq propaganda agency linked to the banned organisation said on Thursday. The claim marks the first time the group has taken responsibility for an attack in Britain. “The perpetrator of yesterday’s attack in front of the British…

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As Iraqi forces fight to take Mosul, car bomb in Baghdad kills 23 people

MOSUL, IRAQ: Islamic State militants captured an Iraqi police colonel and eight other officers on Monday after they ran out of ammunition during a skirmish in the battle for western Mosul, an Iraqi Interior Ministry official said.

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IS Mosul commander killed, government forces battle for bridge

MOSUL, IRAQ: Iraqi government forces killed the Islamic State commander of Mosul’s Old City on Tuesday as the battle for the militants’ last stronghold in Iraq focused on a bridge crossing the Tigris river.

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Twin Damascus bombs targeting Iraqi pilgrims kill 46

Twin bombs targeting Shiite pilgrims on Saturday killed 46 people in Damascus, most of them Iraqis, a monitoring group said, in one of the bloodiest attacks in the Syrian capital. There have been periodic bomb attacks in Damascus, but the stronghold of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad has been largely spared the destruction faced…

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2,100 Iranian fighters killed in Iraq, Syria

Tehran: More than 2,000 fighters sent from Iran have been killed in Iraq and Syria, the head of Iran’s veterans’ affairs office said Tuesday. “Some 2,100 martyrs have been martyred so far in Iraq or other places defending the holy mausoleums,” Mohammad Ali Shahidi told the state-run IRNA news agency. Shahidi, who is head of…

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Saudi foreign minister makes rare visit to Baghdad

BAGHDAD: Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir made a rare visit to Baghdad on Saturday, meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, the premier’s media office said. It was the first visit of a senior Saudi minister since the U.S.-led invasion that toppled Saddam Hussein in 2003, a spokesman for Iraq’s foreign ministry told Reuters. Saudi…

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Trump’s defense chief, in Iraq, says: We’re not here for your oil

The US military is not in Iraq “to seize anybody’s oil”, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said, distancing himself from remarks by President Donald Trump at the start of a visit to Iraq on Monday. Mattis, on his first trip to Iraq as Pentagon chief, is hoping to assess the war effort as US-backed Iraqi forces…

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Iraq forces converge on Mosul airport

Federal police forces, as well as elite units from the interior ministry, army soldiers and Hashed al-Shaabi (Popular Mobilisation) paramilitary fighters, launched a major assault on Sunday. On the second day of the renewed offensive, they pushed northwards towards Mosul airport, which lies on the southern approach to the city, on the east bank of…

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Iraq launches assault on Daesh-held west Mosul

OREIJ: Iraqi forces launched an offensive Sunday on militants defending Mosul’s west bank, in what could be the most brutal fighting yet in a four-month-old operation on the country’s second city. They swiftly retook five villages and set their sights on Mosul airport, which lies just south of the city, marking a new phase in…

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Huge Baghdad car bomb kills at least 52: officials

A massive car bomb ripped through a used car market in the south of Iraq’s capital Thursday, killing more than 50 people in the deadliest such attack this year, security officials said. The Amaq propaganda agency linked to the Islamic State jihadist group (IS), which has claimed nearly all such attacks recently, reported the blast…

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Plane’s wheel catches fire

JEDDAH: Hundreds of passengers were evacuated safely from an Iraqi Airways plane on Saturday after a wheel caught fire on landing in Saudi Arabia, Saudi state media said. Emergency crews evacuated 356 passengers “in record time without any casualties”, the official Saudi Press Agency said. The aircraft was landing at King Abdulaziz International Airport in…

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