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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]



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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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Khaled Meshaal expressed his appreciation to the people of Gaza
2014.08.29 03:17:21

Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal expressed his appreciation to the people of Gaza in a press conference minutes ago. He also expressed his gratitude to those who brokered the truce with Israel.

"After 51 days of aggression you had your day to express your fortitude. This was a war of necessity and not of choice, we have been in a military siege for eight years now. To all other factions of brigades and all those who have fallen martyrs , we observe and honor their memory with a moment of silence. "

"We pray to God almighty to speed the recovery of all those injured and those who have been victimized by the Israeli arsenal using internationally banned weapons"

" Elderly women and children who took refuge in UNRWA schools have been victimized. We share the same pain and suffering , we also share the suffering of the refugees including more than 60,000 Gazans. It is a new holocaust one that is worse than that perpetrated by Hitler. They targeted everything from hospitals, schools to factories."

Also adding " The latest war between Israel and Hamas is not the last round of conflict , but a milestone to reaching our objective this is not the end. This is just a milestone to reaching our objective, we know that Israel is strong and is aided by the international community. We will not restrict our dreams or make compromises to our demands"



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas

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French President Francois Hollande
2014.08.29 03:15:56

French President Francois Hollande said on Thursday that it would be "intolerable and unacceptable" if it was proved true that Russian troops had entered Ukrainian territory.

"Europe will maintain (sanctions), even increase them if the escalation increases. I don't want it because it is neither in Russia's nor our interest," Hollande told an annual conference of French diplomats in Paris.

Russia cannot hope to be a 21st century power yet not respect the rules.

[Reuters]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia | France

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Philippine's Muslim rebels vow to stop Islamic State 'virus'
2014.08.29 03:14:17

The largest Muslim rebel group in the Philippines has condemned the Islamic State group, and vowed to stop the spread of their "virus" into the Southeast Asian nation.

After decades of armed rebellion that claimed tens of thousands of lives, the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) said it was vital to stop the savage ideology of Islamic State (IS) infecting the Philippines.

"The MILF condemns barbarism and savagery whether done by other groups including the ISIS or even by its (MILF's) own members," the MILF said in a statement posted on its website.

"The threat really comes from the extremism [espoused] by the ISIS. Ideas are contagious and infectious," it said.

Two other Filipino Muslim armed groups, the Abu Sayyaf and the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF), have recently vowed allegiance to the IS in videos uploaded to social media sites.

[AFP]



Tags: Syria | Islamic State | Philippines

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Aid flows into Gaza after Israel-Hamas truce
2014.08.29 02:59:08

Vital humanitarian  aid was arriving in Gaza as residents began rebuilding their lives  following a devastating 50-day war between Israel and Hamas that experts say left no winners.

Millions in and around the war-torn coastal enclave were enjoying a second  day of peace on Thursday, after the guns fell silent following a permanent ceasefire agreement, allowing people to begin putting their lives back together.

The truce, which went into force on Tuesday evening, saw the warring sides agree to a "permanent" halt to seven weeks of bloodshed in a move hailed by Washington, the UN and top world diplomats. [AFP]



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Hamas

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Russian soldiers are fighting Ukrainian troops alongside the rebels
2014.08.29 02:58:23

East Ukrainian pro-Russian separatist leader Alexander Zakharchenko said serving Russian soldiers, on leave from their posts, are fighting Ukrainian troops alongside the rebels, Russian state television reported.

Zakharchenko said in an interview posted on Vesti.ru:

Among us are fighting serving soldiers, who would rather take their vacation not on a beach but with us, among brothers, who are fighting for their freedom.

[Reuters]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Leading Sunni scholar calls Islamic State 'deviants'
2014.08.29 02:56:26

Prominent Sunni Muslim scholar, Yusuf al-Qaradawi, has slammed the Islamic State group as "deviants," accusing the group of violating Islamic law and inflaming sectarianism.

Qaradawi's International Union of Muslim Scholars, described IS's offensive in Syria and Iraq as "criminal and unlawful" and prohibited in Islam.

The International Union of Muslim Scholars said it "categorically prohibits the actions of some excessive and deviant groups, such as killing innocent Muslims and non-Muslims, under the cover of repugnant sectarianism one time, or under the name of the so-called Islamic State the other time."

[AFP]



Tags: Syria | Islamic State | Iraq

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Challenge presented by the Islamic State group
2014.08.29 02:54:28

US President Barack Obama will meet his top national security advisers on Thursday to discuss the challenge presented by the Islamic State group and the situation in Iraq and Syria, the White House announced.

"Today the President is meeting with his National Security Council to discuss the situation in Iraq and Syria, our ongoing efforts to support the Iraqi government, and our efforts to counter the threat posed by ISIL (Islamic State). You should not expect that we'll have new decisions to announce on these issues today," a White House official said.

Obama's meeting, with Vice President Joe Biden and members of his National Security Council, will take place at 4pm EDT in the White House Situation Room, Reuters reported.



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

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Palestinians receive medical aid in Turkey
2014.08.29 02:42:28

Dozens of Palestinians in need of medical treatment will be flown to Turkeys's central Afyon province today.

At least 33 injured Palestinians will fly in bring the total number of injured in Turkey to more than 70.



Tags: Gaza | Israel | Turkey

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Reports of funerals of Russian paratroopers need to be checked
2014.08.29 02:41:23

President Vladimir Putin's spokesman said late on Wednesday as media speculation mounted over whether the men were killed in action in Ukraine.

Dmitry Peskov was quoted by the Itar-Tass news agency as saying:

It goes without saying, no doubt this information is being checked by the necessary bodies. This needs to be checked in detail before drawing any conclusions.

Asked whether checks were ongoing, he said: "I don't know for sure, so I won't say."

Russian independent media has reported widely on the funerals of two paratroopers in northwestern Russia, held in secret, citing mourners as saying they were killed in Ukraine, where Russia says it does not have troops deployed.

Russia's acknowledgement this week that its troops were in Ukraine - albeit accidentally - has prompted a storm of questioning about what Russia is doing in war-torn eastern Ukraine.

[AFP]



Tags: Ukraine | Russia

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Syrian rebels back US strikes against Islamic State group
2014.08.29 02:39:10

Syrian rebels are calling for the United States to carry out strikes against the Islamic State group in the country, as the Washington mulls over a decision to expand its mission into the country.

"We support US strikes against Daesh," said Abu Al-Muqdad, a fighter in Aleppo with the Islamic Front, a rebel coalition, using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State (IS).

"I'm in favor of American air strikes on the areas controlled by Daesh because they and the regime, they're one and the same," said Jaber, who heads the Islamic Front's military police unit in eastern Aleppo city.

Calls for US action in Syria have been mounting in the wake of IS advances in Iraq and Syria, as well as the brutal killing of US journalist James Foley, who was held hostage.

[AFP]



Tags: Syria | Islamic State | United States

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