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U.S. Sanctions Assad Supporters, Including Man who 'Buys Oil from IS'

The United States imposed sanctions Wednesday on supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad's government, including a middleman it alleged buys oil for the regime from the Islamic State group.

"The Syrian government is responsible for widespread brutality and violence against its own people," said Adam Szubin, acting under secretary for terrorism and financial intelligence, in a statement announcing the sanctions action.

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Iraq Political Dispute Leads to Gunfire at TV Station

An argument between an Iraqi lawmaker and a political bloc spokesman escalated from angry words to gunfire at a television station in Baghdad, the men involved said on Wednesday.

The fracas between MP Kadhim al-Sayadi of the State of Law bloc and Citizen's Bloc spokesman Baligh Abu Gallal -- both members of Shiite parties -- broke out at the Dijla TV station on Tuesday night.

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Kerry Fears Israeli-Palestinian Conflict May 'Spin out of Control'

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry warned Wednesday that the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians is at a "pivotal point" and could worsen beyond repair unless both sides make rapid compromises.

"As you know, we're very concerned about the violence and the potential for the situation to spin out of control," Kerry told reporters as he arrived home in Boston after visiting leaders from both sides in Jerusalem.

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Iran General Soleimani Lightly Wounded in Syria

General Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards' foreign operations wing, was lightly injured in fighting against Syria rebels near Aleppo, a monitoring group and a security source said Wednesday.

Soleimani "was injured a few days ago" in an offensive in the southwest of Aleppo province, a security source on the ground told AFP.

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Heavy Russia Raids in Syria Area where Plane Downed, Says Monitor

Russian warplanes carried out heavy raids in Syria's northern Latakia province on Wednesday, a day after Turkey downed one of Moscow's jets in the area, a monitoring group said.

Warplanes believed to be Russian also carried out strikes near the Turkish border in northern Aleppo province, killing at least three people and setting alight several trucks carrying aid and goods for sale, the monitor and activists said.

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Tunisia Closes Border with Libya as IS Claims Deadly Bus Bombing

Tunisia said Wednesday it is closing its border with Libya, a hotbed of Islamist unrest, a day after a deadly suicide bombing claimed by the Islamic State (IS) group.

No reason was given, but the interior ministry said earlier the explosive used in the attack that killed 12 presidential guards was the same used to make explosive belts illegally brought from Libya and seized last year.

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Palestinian Stabs Israeli in West Bank, is Shot

A Palestinian stabbed and wounded an Israeli soldier in the neck in the southern West Bank on Wednesday and was shot dead by forces at the scene, the army and a hospital said.

A Palestinian teenager also succumbed to his wounds two weeks after being shot during clashes with Israeli forces.

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Flooding Brings Qatar to near Standstill

Qatar was hit by heavy flooding on Wednesday causing gridlock on the desert country's roads as well as closures of schools and the U.S. embassy.

Overnight rain made many roads near impassable for commuters amid reports on social media that even Doha's Hamad International Airport was affected, due to leaks at the estimated $17 billion (16 billion euro) building, which opened last year.

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IS Sinai Hotel Attack Toll Rises to 7

The death toll from a gun and bomb attack claimed by the Islamic State group in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula has risen to seven, the health ministry said on Wednesday.

Two of the dead in Tuesday's attack on the Swiss Inn hotel in the North Sinai provincial capital El-Arish were judges who had been overseeing voting in parliamentary elections earlier this week, ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed said.

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Syrian Refugees in U.S. Fear for those Left behind

Sitting on a donated couch in her modest Chicago apartment, Safa Mshymish knows she is among the lucky ones: a Syrian refugee welcomed into the United States before the tide of public opinion turned.

It hurts, she said, to hear politicians are trying to stop families just like hers from finding a safe haven, branding all Syrians a security threat in the wake of the Paris attacks.

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