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Assad steps up efforts to crush last besieged enclaves

BEIRUT – The Syrian government on Thursday stepped up its efforts to retake the opposition’s last besieged enclaves, as rebels prepared to withdraw from one and a newspaper reported an ultimatum against another. President Bashar al-Assad scored a major victory this month by retaking eastern Ghouta, the biggest rebel stronghold near Damascus, putting his forces…

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Britain accuses ‘reckless Russia’ of breaking chemical arms ban

THE HAGUE: Britain accused Russia on Wednesday of breaking the two-decade international ban on chemical weapons, at emergency talks on last month’s poisoning with a nerve agent of a former Russian spy. The accusations came as diplomats from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons met behind closed-doors in The Hague to discuss the…

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US ambassador hits back over Russian sanctions ‘confusion’

UNITED NATIONS: US Ambassador Nikki Haley on Tuesday shot back at a White House aide who suggested that “confusion” had led her to mistakenly announce fresh sanctions on Russia. “With all due respect, I don’t get confused,” Haley said in a statement to Fox News that was confirmed by the US mission to the United…

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Russia begins blocking access to Telegram

Moscow, Russia: Russia’s communications watchdog on Monday began blocking access to the popular messaging app Telegram after a court banned the service for refusing to give security services access to private conversations. “Roskomnadzor has received the ruling of (Moscow’s) Tagansky court to block Telegram’s services on Russian territory. This information was sent to providers on…

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Trump ‘morally unfit’ for office, fired FBI chief Comey says

Washington, United States: Fired former FBI chief James Comey lashed out at Donald Trump in an interview with ABC broadcast Sunday, calling him “morally unfit” to be president and describing him as a serial liar who will “stain everyone around him.” Comey’s remarks are the latest salvo in a war of words with Trump, who…

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Western attack on Syria is a crime: Khamenei

ANKARA – Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said an attack on Syria by the United States, France and Britain on Saturday was a crime and would not achieve any gains. “Today’s dawn attack on Syria is a crime. I clearly declare that the president of the United States, the president of France and the…

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Key world reactions to US-led strikes on Syria

The US, France and Britain unleashed air strikes on Syria early Saturday targeting the Damascus regime in retaliation for a suspected chemical attack on civilians. Western powers said the strikes were necessary to halt the use of chemical weapons by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Here is a selection of the main responses from across the world:…

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Russia likely to call U.N. meeting over Syria attack: Russian lawmaker

Russian lawmaker Vladimir Dzhabarov said on Saturday that Russia was likely to call for a meeting of the United Nations Security Council to discuss U.S., British and French air strikes on Syria, RIA news agency reported. “The situation is being analysed right now. Russia will demand a meeting of the U.N. Security Council, I think,…

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Analysis: With Russian spy case are we headed to a global war?

Russian interference in UK, European countries, America and the Middle East is becoming a major danger for world peace. Evidence is also surfacing on the accusations that Russia interfered with the US Elections 2016. Aside from this, deteriorating relations between European countries and Russia is a big reason for Russian interventions in the Ukraine. Things…

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Syria chemical attack ‘staged’ with help of foreign secret service: Russia

MOSCOW – Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday said Moscow had “irrefutable” evidence that an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria was staged with the help of a foreign secret service. “We have irrefutable evidence that this was another staged event, and that the secret services of a certain state that is now at…

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Russian court blocks popular messaging app Telegram

MOSCOW: A Russian court has ordered the blocking of a popular messaging app following a demand by authorities that it share encryption data with them. The ban follows a protracted row between Telegram and Russian authorities, who insist they need access to the encryption keys to investigate serious crimes including terrorist attacks. The Moscow court…

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Trump says Syria attack ‘could be very soon or not so soon’

WASHINGTON/LONDON/MOSCOW- Fears of a military confrontation between Russia and the West ran high on Thursday but U.S. President Donald Trump cast doubt over the timing of his threatened strike on Syria in response to a reported poison gas attack on a rebel enclave. “Never said when an attack on Syria would take place. Could be…

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Trump warns Russia missiles ‘coming’ after Syria attack

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump warned Wednesday that “missiles will be coming” in response to an alleged chemical attack in Syria, raising the stakes in an increasingly perilous face-off with Russia. With punitive US military action seemingly imminent, Russia scrambled to deflect blame from its ally Bashar al-Assad and, according to a monitor group, Syrian…

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Missiles ‘will be coming’ to Syria, Trump warns Russia

WASHINGTON/BEIRUT – U.S. President Donald Trump warned Russia on Wednesday of imminent military action in Syria over a suspected poison gas attack, declaring that missiles “will be coming” and lambasting Moscow for standing by Syrian President Bashar Assad. Trump was responding to a Russian warning on Tuesday that any U.S. missiles fired at Syria over…

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Russia vetoes UN bid to set up Syria chemical weapons probe

UNITED NATIONS: Russia on Tuesday vetoed a US-drafted United Nations Security Council resolution that would have set up an investigation into chemical weapons use in Syria following an alleged toxic gas attack in rebel-held Douma. It was the 12th time that Russia has used its veto power at the council to block action targeting its…

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As U.S. response looms, Russia and Syria urge inspection of attack site

BEIRUT/MOSCOW – President Bashar al-Assad’s government has invited international inspectors to send a team to Syria to investigate an alleged chemical attack in the town of Douma in a move apparently aimed at averting possible Western military action over the incident. U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday warned of a quick, forceful response once responsibility…

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Syria, Russia accuse Israel over air strike, deny chemical attack

AMMAN – Syria and its main ally Russia blamed Israel for carrying out an attack on a Syrian air base near Homs on Monday which followed reports of a poison gas attack by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces on a rebel-held town. Israel, which has struck Syrian army locations many times in the course of its…

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Russia promises ‘tough response’ to US sanctions

MOSCOW: Moscow on Friday promised a “tough response” to new US sanctions imposed on seven of Russia’s most influential oligarchs following the diplomatic crisis sparked by the poisoning of former spy Sergei Skripal. “We will not let the current attack, or any new anti-Russian attack, go without a tough response,” Russia’s foreign ministry said in…

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U.S. imposes major sanctions on Russian oligarchs, officials

WASHINGTON – The United States imposed major sanctions on Friday against 24 Russians, striking at allies of President Vladimir Putin in one of Washington’s most aggressive moves to punish Moscow for what it called a range of “malign activity,” including alleged meddling in the 2016 U.S. election. The action, taken under pressure from the U.S….

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Turkish, Iranian leaders meet ahead of Syria summit with Russia

ANKARA: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani held talks in Ankara on Wednesday with his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan ahead of a three-way summit with Russia on the Syrian conflict. The three countries, Turkey, Iran and Russian, are working together to try to reduce the violence in Syria despite supporting opposing sides in the war. Russia and…

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Russia retaliates with diplomat expulsions, consulate closure

MOSCOW: Russia on Thursday announced a mass expulsion of US diplomats and the closure of the US consulate in Saint Petersburg in retaliation to coordinated moves by Western countries to isolate Moscow in the wake of the poisoning of a former double agent in Britain. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow would expel 60…

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