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Bombing Campaign in Syria Kills Dozens, Demolishes Buildings

Syria's military threatened a ground offensive in Aleppo and pounded the city's rebel-held neighborhoods with airstrikes on Friday, killing dozens, demolishing buildings and damaging a main water station in an escalation that could doom faltering attempts to revive a cease-fire.

Rebels vowed to fight to keep President Bashar Assad's forces out of their districts and shelled government neighborhoods, wounding several people, according to state media.

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U.S., Russia Fail to Renew Syria Ceasefire Deal

The United States and Russia failed Friday to renew their pact to impose a ceasefire in Syria after a week of bitter diplomatic battles at the UN General Assembly.

Despite the ferocity of the exchanges and the heavy fighting continuing on the ground, world powers at the meeting agreed the US-Russian talks must continue.

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Push for Iraq's Mosul to Start in a Few Weeks

An offensive to encircle Iraq's second city of Mosul should begin "in the next few weeks", Britain's Defense Secretary Michael Fallon said Friday, after a visit to the country.

Mosul has been held by Islamic State jihadists since June 2014 and British jets are part of a US-led coalition flying missions against them in Iraq and Syria.

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Lavrov Says U.S.-Russian Agreements on Syria Must be Saved

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told the United Nations on Friday that U.S.-Russian agreements aimed at ending the war in Syria must be salvaged as fighting raged on the ground.

Lavrov said there was "no alternative" to the Russian and U.S.-led peace process and insisted that "now it is essential to prevent a disruption of these agreements."

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Kerry Says 'Bit of Progress' with Lavrov on Syria

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with his Russian opposite number on Friday and made what he said was "a little bit of progress" on resolving their differences over the Syrian crisis.

"We're evaluating some mutual ideas in a constructive way, period," Kerry told reporters at the United Nations, one day after international envoys failed to find a way to revive a U.S. and Russian-brokered truce.

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Mideast Peace 'Quartet' Hears from France and Egypt

The diplomatic "Quartet" piloting efforts to nudge Israel and the Palestinians towards a negotiated solution to their conflict on Friday heard from France and Egypt on their parallel peacemaking efforts.

The Quartet -- the United States, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations -- is tasked with overseeing international peace efforts, but both France and Egypt have expressed an interest in helping out.

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France Accuses Assad of Seeking to Break Up Syria

France on Friday accused Bashar al-Assad and his allies of seeking to break Syria apart, as Russian-backed regime forces prepared to storm rebel-held eastern Aleppo.

Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault was also critical of Washington, accusing it of excluding its allies from the diplomatic search for a solution to the conflict.

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Morocco Asks to Rejoin African Union after 32 Years

Morocco on Friday made an official request to return to the African Union, 32 years after quitting the bloc in protest at its decision to accept Western Sahara as a member.

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U.N. Eyes Alternate Aid Delivery Route for Syria's Aleppo

The U.N. said Friday it was considering a different route to send desperately needed aid to east Aleppo, to circumvent the blocked main supply route as new air raids pounded Syria's second city.

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At Least 133 Bodies Recovered from Egypt Migrant Shipwreck

The death toll from a migrant boat disaster off Egypt's coast climbed to 133 on Friday as rescuers recovered more bodies from the Mediterranean.

Survivors have said up to 450 migrants were on board the overcrowded fishing vessel that was heading to Italy from Egypt when it keeled over off the port city of Rosetta on Wednesday.

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