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Erdogan Warns IS Against Attacking Turkish Exclave in Syria

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday warned Islamic State (IS) jihadists against attacking a tiny Turkish exclave guarded by Turkish troops inside Syrian territory but denied its forces there had been surrounded by the militants.

The small patch of land inside Syria around the tomb of Suleyman Shah -- the grandfather of the founder of the Ottoman dynasty Osman I -- is considered Turkish territory under a 1920s treaty signed between the Turkish authorities and France, who then ruled the country.

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Two Migrants Die at Sea Off Morocco

Spanish coastguards on Wednesday pulled the bodies of two African migrants from the sea off Morocco and six others were missing after a dinghy carrying them sank, rescuers said.

They were the latest of hundreds of migrants to die trying to reach Europe from African shores over recent years.

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U.S. Plans Patriot Missile Sale to Saudi Arabia

The United States plans to sell Patriot missile batteries to Saudi Arabia worth $1.75 billion and long-range artillery to the United Arab Emirates valued at about $900 million, the Pentagon said Wednesday.

The Defense Department informed Congress of the potential arms sales this week as fighter jets from both of the Gulf states took part in a U.S.-led air campaign against the Islamic State (IS) group in Iraq and Syria.

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U.S. Marines Search for Missing Air Crew Member in Gulf

American forces in the Gulf are searching for a U.S. Marine who fell in the water Wednesday after his aircraft lost power on takeoff from a naval ship, the military said.

The air crew member was aboard a V-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft that ran into trouble as it was taking off from the USS Makin Island, an amphibious assault ship supporting the U.S.-led air campaign against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, the military said in a statement.

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Bahrain Detains Top Activist Over 'Insulting' Tweets

Bahraini police on Wednesday detained prominent rights activist Nabil Rajab after questioning him over remarks posted on Twitter deemed offensive to the security forces, the interior ministry said.

Rajab acknowledged during questioning that he was responsible for the remarks posted on his Twitter account, and "legal measures have been taken to refer him to the general prosecution", a ministry statement said.

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France to Deploy 3 More Jets, Warship, in IS Fight

The French military said Wednesday it would deploy three more fighter jets and a warship to the Middle East to boost support to Iraqi forces fighting Islamic State jihadists.

The warplanes will be sent to France's Al Dhafra military base in the United Arab Emirates, from where it has launched two rounds of air strikes as part of a U.S.-led coalition battling IS fighters.

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Baghdad Suicide Car Bombing Kills at Least 14

A suicide car bomb blast ripped through a busy commercial street in a southeastern neighborhood of the Iraqi capital Wednesday, killing at least 14 people, police and medical sources said.

The attack occurred shortly after 5:30 pm (1430 GMT) in the Shiite-dominated district of Baghdad al-Jadida, on a street packed with restaurants as well as clothes and jewelry shops.

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NGO: Israel Approves 2,600 Settler Homes in E. Jerusalem

Israel is to press ahead with the planned construction of 2,610 settler homes in annexed east Jerusalem, a watchdog said Wednesday, with the move angering Palestinian leaders.

The housing units, which have been slated for construction since 2012 in the neighborhood of Givat Hamatos, were given final approval last week, Peace Now said in a statement.

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Jihadists Holed Up in Clinic in Iraq-Syria Border Town

Kurdish peshmerga forces on Wednesday were surrounding a clinic in Rabia where several Islamic State jihadists had holed up after their group lost control of the town, officials said.

The peshmerga launched a major military push Tuesday on Rabia, which lies on the border between Iraq and Syria, and quickly controlled most of it.

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Obama Warns Netanyahu Mideast 'Status Quo' Must Change

A skeptical Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday directly warned U.S. President Barack Obama not to accept any Iran deal that would allow Tehran to become a "threshold nuclear power."

Netanyahu and Obama renewed their often prickly relationship in the Oval Office, meeting for the first time since their governments swapped some of the harshest rhetoric in years over the Gaza crisis.

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