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Iraqi Kurds Say Open to Talks after Baghdad Military Operation

The Iraqi Kurdish regional government said Thursday it was open to talks with Baghdad after central government forces seized a swathe of disputed territory from Kurdish fighters. 

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Baghdad Slams Oil Deal between Russia's Rosneft and Kurds

The Iraqi oil ministry reacted angrily on Thursday after Russian energy giant Rosneft signed a production sharing deal with the authorities in the autonomous Kurdish region without its approval.

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G7 to Focus on Foreign Fighter Fallout from Rout of IS

The threat of fresh attacks on the West by foreign fighters fleeing the fallen Islamic State stronghold of Raqa is set to dominate a G7 meeting of interior ministers in Italy.

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After IS, Rotting Corpses and Empty Jail Cells in Syria's Raqa

Days ago in Syria's Raqa, die-hard jihadists made their final stand in the city's national hospital. On Wednesday, it stood eerily silent, its entrance inhabited only by swarming flies and two rotting corpses.

Each body lay next to an overturned motorcycle on the side of a thoroughfare leading to the abandoned, bullet-riddled complex, which U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces announced on Tuesday was clear of Islamic State group fighters.

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Balance of Power Shifts in Iraq's Multi-Ethnic Kirkuk

With the return of Kirkuk to Iraqi control, the balance of power appears to have shifted between the ethnic communities in the Kurdish-majority city, to the delight of its Turkmen residents.

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Hamas Calls US Comments on Unity Deal 'Blatant Interference'

Islamist movement Hamas accused the United States of "blatant interference" in Palestinian affairs Thursday after US President Donald Trump's envoy demanded they disarm and recognize Israel in any unity government.

"This is blatant interference in Palestinian affairs because it is the right of our people to choose its government according to their supreme strategic interests," senior Hamas official Bassem Naim told AFP.

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Next Round of Syria Talks at End October, Says Kazakhstan

Fresh talks on the Syria conflict will be held in Astana at the end of the month, Kazakhstan said Thursday, as part of a Moscow-led push to end the six-year conflict. 

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US Says Palestinian Unity Govt Must Recognize Israel, Disarm Hamas

A top aide to US President Donald Trump said Thursday that an emerging Palestinian unity government must recognise Israel and disarm Hamas, Washington's first detailed response to a landmark reconciliation deal signed last week. 

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Fighters in Syria's Raqa Prepare for Civilian Handover

US-backed forces who captured Raqa from the Islamic State group prepared Thursday to hand the Syrian city over to a civilian authority, with some of their fighters already headed to the next battle.

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Egypt Rights Groups Demand Release of Leading Dissident

Ten major Egyptian rights groups on Wednesday urged an appeals court to free Alaa Abdel Fattah, a leading dissident in the 2011 uprising that toppled strongman Hosni Mubarak.

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