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Lavrov Condemns U.S. Plan to Extend Syria Bombing

Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Monday dismissed as "counter-productive" an announcement by Washington that it could take extra measures to defend U.S.-allied fighters in Syria.

At a news conference in Qatar, Lavrov condemned comments by the White House that it could take "additional steps" to protect allies in Syria and warned Bashar Assad's regime not to impede their actions.

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U.S. Says May Take 'Additional Steps' to Defend Syria Allies

The White House said Monday said it is willing to take "additional steps" to defend U.S.-allied fighters in Syria, warning the regime of Bashar Assad not to impede their actions.

Spokesman Josh Earnest said Syria "should not interfere" with operations by U.S.-trained forces, warning that "additional steps" could be taken to defend them, raising the prospect of strikes against the regime.

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Yemen Loyalists Battle Rebels for Key Airbase

Loyalist forces began a major offensive Monday aimed at retaking Yemen's largest airbase which is held by rebels, as troops from the Saudi-led coalition entered recaptured second city Aden.

The pro-government troops deployed heavy armor supplied by their backers in the assault on al-Anad base, some 60 kilometers (35 miles) north of Aden, military sources said.

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U.S. Agrees to Speed up Arms Sales to Gulf States, Says Kerry

Washington has agreed to speed up arms sales to Gulf states, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced Monday after talks in Doha on their concerns over the Iran nuclear deal.

His Qatari counterpart, Khalid bin Mohammad Al-Attiyah, told a joint press conference with Kerry that the nuclear deal was "the best option among other options."

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Israel Ex-Security Chiefs Urge Netanyahu to Accept Iran Deal

Many Israeli ex-generals and former security chiefs have signed a petition urging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accept the nuclear deal between world powers and Iran, which he strongly opposes.

A petition signed by the former officials and made public Monday calls the July 14 accord a "fait accompli".

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Saudi Beheads Murderer in 110th Execution since January

Saudi Arabia on Monday beheaded one of its citizens convicted of murder, adding to a sharp increase in executions this year.

Mugrib al-Thanyan was executed in Eastern Province after being found guilty of shooting dead another Saudi after a dispute, the ministry of interior said in a statement.

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Israel President Threatened over 'Jewish Terrorism' Comment

Israeli police have opened an investigation into threats on social media against President Reuven Rivlin following his condemnation of "Jewish terrorism" after a firebombing killed a Palestinian child, a presidential spokesman said Monday.

Rivlin had written a Facebook post following Friday's arson attack on a Palestinian family's home in the West Bank village of Duma by suspected Jewish extremists.

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Yemeni Refugees Flee to Djibouti

Djibouti appealed Monday for aid after ​​hundreds of Yemeni refugees fleeing civil war arrived in the Horn of African nation, adding to thousands already being supported.

"The refugees arriving have lost everything," said presidential spokesman Naguib Ali Taher, adding they needed shelter as well as medical care, including psychological support.

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Iraqi Kurdish Leader Vows to Avenge Yazidis

The president of Iraq's autonomous region of Kurdistan, Massud Barzani, promised Monday to avenge the Yazidi minority brutally attacked by the Islamic State group a year ago.

"We will hunt down those who committed this crime until the last one," Barzani said in Dohuk at a ceremony commemorating the beginning of the jihadist onslaught against the Yazidis.

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Rebel-Held Yemen Base Targeted, Coalition Forces Enter Aden

Loyalist forces began a major offensive Monday aimed at retaking Yemen's largest airbase which is held by rebels, as troops from the Saudi-led coalition entered recaptured second city Aden.

The pro-government troops deployed heavy armor supplied by their backers in the assault on Al-Anad base, some 60 kilometers (35 miles) north of Aden, military sources said.

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