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Assad Says No Relations with Syria for Nations Backing Rebels

Countries that want to reopen embassies in Damascus or resume ties with Syria's government must end their support for Syria's rebels, President Bashar al-Assad said on Sunday.

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Injuries as Rocket Hits near Damascus Business Fair

Rocket fire injured several people Sunday near the entrance to the Damascus International Fair, a key business gathering being held for the first time in five years, Syrian television said.

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Tal Afar: Last Jihadist Stronghold in Northern Iraq

The Iraqi city of Tal Afar is the main remaining stronghold of the Islamic State group in the country's north after the jihadists lost Mosul last month.

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Netanyahu, Putin to Meet over Syria Conflict

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will travel to Russia on Wednesday for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, mainly focusing on the war in Syria, his office said late Saturday.

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IS Fighters Almost Encircled in Syrian Desert

Syrian regime troops have seized more territory from the Islamic State jihadist group in a central desert region, almost entirely surrounding its fighters there, a monitor said Friday.

Backed by Russian warplanes and pro-government militias, the Syrian army has made considerable progress in its months-long offensive to retake the Badiya.

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Egypt Adds Media Watchdog to Blocked Websites List

Egypt has blocked access to the website of media watchdog Reporters Without Borders, adding RSF to a growing list of restricted online sites in the North African country.

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Gunmen Kill Seven Relatives of Iraqi Policeman

Gunmen killed seven family members of an Iraqi police officer, including a teenage son, in a pre-dawn attack Friday on their home near the northern city of Kirkuk, security officials told AFP.

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Israel Freezes Controversial Settlement Law

Israel's Supreme Court has frozen implementation of a law legalising dozens of Jewish settlements built on private Palestinian land, which the UN labelled a "thick red line".

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UN Chief: Saudi Coalition Attacks Killed Children in Yemen

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres says in a draft report that the Saudi-led coalition was responsible for more than half the children killed and injured in Yemen's civil war last year.

The report, obtained Thursday by The Associated Press, said the United Nations verified 1,340 casualties and attributed 683 — representing 51 percent — to attacks carried out by the coalition.

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UAE to Fund $15 Million Monthly to Gaza

The United Arab Emirates will provide $15 million a month to Gaza, a Palestinian politician said Thursday, as its rulers Hamas move closer to a UAE-based rival to Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas.

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