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Turkey's Erdogan Rejects Arming Syrian Kurdish Group

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday rejected calls for Turkey to arm the main Kurdish party in Syria, describing the group as a terrorist organisation.

Erdogan said the Democratic Union Party (PYD) was the same as the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which has waged a 30-year insurgency for self-rule in southeastern Turkey.

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Jihadists Take Heavy Losses in Battle for Syria's Kobane

The Islamic State group was taking heavy losses in the Syrian battleground of Kobane Sunday as Iraqi forces fought the jihadists buoyed by U.S. backing for top government security appointments.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the appointment of defence and interior ministers after weeks of delay was a "very positive step forward" in the fightback against IS in Iraq, which Washington has made its priority.

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Sinai Bomb Kills Seven Egypt Soldiers

A roadside bomb killed seven Egyptian soldiers and wounded four in the restive Sinai Peninsula on Sunday, security officials said.

The bomb exploded next to an armored vehicle guarding a gas pipeline in north Sinai, the officials said.

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HRW Calls on Kuwait to Stop Stripping Citizenship

International advocacy group Human Rights Watch called on Kuwait on Sunday to stop targeting opponents through revoking their citizenship and to reinstate withdrawn nationalities.

Kuwait -- where citizens have elected a parliament for decades and which is traditionally seen as one of the more tolerant Gulf monarchies -- was damaging its reputation with the practice, HRW said.

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One House, Five Families and Multiple Tales of Loss on Turkey-Syria Border

The stone house has just two rooms but is now home to five Syrian families who fled the besieged town of Kobane to the relative safety of Turkey just a few kilometers away.

The Turkish village of Karaca is just 50 meters from the border. But for the families taking refuge there it is the difference between peace and war as Islamic State fighters seek to take their hometown from Syrian Kurds in a battle that has now raged for over a month.

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Iraq PM to Visit Iran for Talks on Fight against IS

Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi is to visit Iran on Monday for talks on Baghdad's battle against the Islamic State group, which holds swathes of the country, his office said.

The one-day trip is part of Abadi's bid "to unite the efforts of the region and the world to help Iraq in its war against the terrorist group," it said in a statement issued on Sunday.

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Israel's Yaalon in U.S. after Spat over Kerry Remarks

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon sought to calm fresh tensions with Washington on Sunday as he began a five-day trip to the United States. 

In a statement released ahead of his departure, Yaalon warned that no dispute should be allowed to "cast a shadow" over Israel's crucial relationship with its closest ally. 

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UK Grapples with Delicate Issue of Returning Jihadists

Do you lock them up, or try to rehabilitate them? Britain has taken a hard line on citizens returning from fighting in Syria and Iraq, but anti-extremism groups and experts say more good might come from trying to help them.

An estimated 500 Britons have traveled abroad to become jihadists, many with the Islamic State organisation, and about half have returned, according to government sources.

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Spain to Train Iraqi Troops to Fight Islamic State

Spain will begin training Iraqi forces later this year to battle Islamic State fighters but has ruled out taking part in ground operations in Syria, officials said Saturday.

Defense Minister Pedro Morenes made the announcement in Washington, where he met Friday with U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

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U.S., European Powers Call for 'Immediate' Halt to Libya Violence

The United States joined Britain, France, Germany and Italy on Saturday in calling for an "immediate" end to long-running violence there between government forces and militias.

The countries also said in a joint statement that they were ready to use individual sanctions against hostile actors who "threaten the peace, stability or security of Libya or obstruct or undermine the political process."

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