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Al-Nusra Front Chief Announces Break with al-Qaida

The Syrian branch of al-Qaida, al-Nusra Front, announced Thursday it was breaking ties with the global terror network, in a video showing its leader Abu Mohamad al-Jolani for the first time.

The footage broadcast by Al-Jazeera news channel follows several days of online chatter over a split between al-Qaida and its Syria affiliate, a main rival of the Islamic State jihadist group from which it wants to distance itself as a target of foreign air strikes.

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France, UK Call for End to 'Disastrous' Aleppo Siege

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault and his British counterpart Boris Johnson called Thursday for the Syrian regime and its allies to end their "disastrous" siege on the city of Aleppo.

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Tunisian Army Kills Two 'Terrorists'

The Tunisian army killed two suspected jihadists on Wednesday in the northwest of the country, the Ministry of Defense said Thursday.

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Russia Announces Aid Operation for Syria's Besieged Aleppo

Syria regime ally Russia on Thursday announced a "large-scale" aid operation to allow civilians and fighters to flee besieged Aleppo, as the president offered an amnesty to rebels who surrender.

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Israeli Settlement Plans 'Provocative, Counterproductive', Says U.S.

The United States has slammed as "provocative" Israeli plans to build hundreds of new settlement homes in annexed east Jerusalem, saying they seriously undermined the prospect of peace with the Palestinians.

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Assad Offers Amnesty to Syria Rebels Who Surrender

Syrian President Bashar Assad on Thursday offered an amnesty to armed rebels battling his forces if they surrender, the official SANA news agency reported.

"Everyone carrying arms... and sought by justice... is excluded from full punishment if they hand themselves in and lay down their weapons," SANA said, quoting a presidential decree on the three-month amnesty offer.

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HRW: Syria, Russia Cluster Munition Use 'Relentless'

Human Rights Watch accused the Syrian regime and its ally Russia on Thursday of extensively using banned cluster munitions in their offensive against rebels in the war-torn country.

The New York-based watchdog said it had documented 47 cluster munition attacks that killed and injured dozens of civilians in rebel-held areas in three provinces since May 27.

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Iran Condemns Killings of French Priest, Boy in Syria

Iran's foreign ministry condemned this week's killing of a French priest, drawing a parallel with the recent decapitation of a young boy by jihadists in Syria, state media said Thursday.

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Thousands of Children Detained in Security Clampdowns

Thousands of children have been detained and many tortured during security operations carried out in response to threats from extremists such as the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, and Boko Haram in Nigeria, Human Rights Watch said Thursday.

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Massive IS Bomb Attack Kills 44 in Syrian Kurdish City

A massive bomb blast claimed by the Islamic State group killed at least 44 people and wounded dozens on Wednesday in the Kurdish-majority Syrian city of Qamishli.

It was the largest and deadliest attack to hit the city since the beginning of Syria's conflict in March 2011.

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