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UN Voices Alarm at Clashes, House Burnings in Disputed Iraqi City

The UN voiced deep concern Friday over the reported shelling and burning of homes in the Iraqi city of Tuz Khurmatu, warning of a "serious risk" that violence could escalate.

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UN Envoy Says Opportunity Missed' as Syria Talks Wrap Up

The U.N. envoy for Syria said the latest round of Geneva talks ended without progress on Thursday after two fruitless weeks, calling it a "golden opportunity missed" and acknowledging that he needs to come up with new ideas to make headway toward ending Syria's nearly seven-year war.

Staffan de Mistura's dire assessment — and a rare admission of failure — came at the end of the eighth round of the largely ineffective, U.N.-sponsored talks in Switzerland. The U.N. envoy said he was "disappointed," after going in with ambitions to get the two sides to talk to each other.

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Russia to Resume Flights to Egypt, Halted after 2015 Bombing

Russia is to resume flights between Moscow and the Egyptian capital of Cairo in February after more than a two-year hiatus, Russian transportation minister said on Friday.

Moscow suspended flights to Egypt after an Islamic State bomb brought down a Russian airliner over Sinai in October 2015, killing all 224 people on board.

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Iran Accuses US of Trying to Hide Own Role in Yemen War

Iran's foreign minister accused the United States on Friday of trying to divert attention from its own responsibility for the deadly war in Yemen with claims of Iranian weapons shipments.

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Israel PM Faces New Questions in Graft Probe

Fraud squad detectives questioned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his Jerusalem residence on Friday, the seventh time in a nearly year-long corruption probe, reports said.

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Pence Middle East Trip to Go Ahead

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence will visit Egypt and Israel next week, despite controversy and meeting cancellations as a result of the administration's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

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Damascus Says U.N. Mediator 'Undermined' by His Putin Appeal

The U.N. mediator at Syria peace talks in Geneva has "undermined" his position by appealing to Moscow to convince Damascus to hold new elections, the Syrian government's top negotiator said Thursday.

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Reconstruction Starts at Iraq's Biggest Oil Refinery

Iraq has begun reconstruction work at what was the country's biggest oil refinery before it was damaged by intense fighting between government forces and Islamic State group jihadists, the oil ministry said Thursday.

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Hamas Chief Calls for Fresh Protests against Trump Jerusalem Move

The head of Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas called Thursday for fresh protests across the world against U.S. President Donald Trump's controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

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With IS in Tatters, Syria Kurds Fear U.S. to Abandon Them

Syria's Kurds fear the steadfast ally they found in the U.S. to successfully take on Islamic State group jihadists may now leave them to face threats from Turkey and Damascus alone.

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