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Turkey Army Says Installing 'Observation Posts' in Syria's Idlib

The Turkish army has begun setting up "observation posts" in Syria's largely jihadist-controlled northwestern Idlib province as part of its efforts to create a de-escalation zone, the military said on Friday.

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UAE Stops Issuing Visas to North Koreans, Downgrades Ties

The United Arab Emirates on Thursday announced it had stopped issuing visas to North Korean nationals and downgraded diplomatic relations with Pyongyang, following similar moves by Kuwait and Qatar.

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Civilians Pour Out of Syria's Raqa as Bombing Intensifies

Dozens of desperate civilians streamed out of battlefront districts of Syria's Raqa on Thursday after a ferocious resumption in bombardment against Islamic State group holdouts in the city. 

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13 Killed in South Yemen Clashes

Four soldiers and nine rebels were killed in southern Yemen on Wednesday, army sources said, as clashes flared in the last rebel pocket in mainly government-held Shabwa province. 

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300-400 IS Jihadists Left in Syria's Raqa

Between 300 and 400 Islamic State group jihadists remain in their one-time Syrian bastion of Raqa where a Kurdish-Arab force is fighting to seize full control, its U.S.-led coalition backer said Thursday.

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Abbas Hails 'Final Agreement' to End Palestinian Split

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday welcomed a unity deal between his Fatah party and rivals Hamas, telling AFP it was a "final agreement" to end their decade-long division.

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Syrian Forces Retake Part of Eastern IS Bastion Mayadeen

Syria regime forces have retaken four neighborhoods of Mayadeen in their latest assault on the eastern jihadist bastion, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Thursday.

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U.N. Investigators to Visit Syria Air Base in Gas Attack Probe

U.N. investigators will this week travel to an air base in Syria that the United States and its allies say was used to launch the sarin gas attack on Khan Sheikhun, diplomats told AFP on Wednesday.

The trip to the Shayrat airfield comes just weeks before the release of a much-awaited report on the Khan Sheikhun attack that the West and a U.N. commission have said was carried out by President Bashar al-Assad's forces.

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PA to Resume Control of Gaza after Hamas, Fatah Ink Deal

Rival Palestinian factions Hamas and Fatah signed an agreement Thursday on ending a decade-long split following talks mediated by Egypt in Cairo, with President Mahmoud Abbas calling it a "final" accord.

Under the agreement, the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority is to resume full control of the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip by December 1, according to a statement from Egypt's government.

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Iraq PM Denies Attack Plan as Tensions Rise with Kurds

Iraq's prime minister on Thursday denied an attack on the Kurds was imminent, in a bid to defuse tensions that had prompted Kurdish peshmerga fighters to temporarily seal off road links with the rest of the country.

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