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Russia Says 'Concerned' at Fighters' Refusal to Leave Aleppo

Russia said Friday it was concerned over the refusal of fighters from a former al-Qaida affiliate, the Fateh al-Sham Front, to leave Aleppo as Russian and Syrian forces have halted fighting.

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Ban Says Nearly 500 Dead, Food Running Out in Aleppo

The Russian and Syrian bombing raids in Aleppo have had horrific results with nearly 500 dead, while food rations are expected to run out by the end of the month, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Thursday.

The air strikes on rebel-held eastern Aleppo since the Syrian government offensive was launched on September 22 have been the most intense of the five-year war, Ban told a special meeting of the General Assembly.

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Coalition Warplanes Hit Yemen Rebels

Warplanes from the Saudi-led coalition have hit rebel positions outside the Yemeni capital Sanaa, witnesses said Friday, after the alliance accused insurgents of breaching a shaky ceasefire.

The air strikes late Thursday targeted positions of the Iran-backed Huthi insurgents at Jebel al-Nabishuaib, on the southwestern outskirts of rebel-held Sanaa, according to witnesses.

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UN Rights Chief: Syria's Aleppo Scene of 'Historic' Crimes

The UN human rights council opened a special session on Syria's devastated city Aleppo on Friday, with rights chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein demanding action against "crimes of historic proportions."

The session, called by Britain, is seeking a resolution condemning gross abuses especially in Aleppo's rebel-held east where an estimated 250,000 civilians are besieged by a brutal government offensive backed by Russia. 

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Israel Seeking Three New Submarines from Germany

Israel is seeking to buy three more advanced submarines from Germany at a combined price of 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion), an Israeli newspaper reported Friday.

The Maariv daily said the planned purchase aims to replace within the next decade the oldest vessels in its existing Dolphin fleet, which began entering service in 1999.

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Moscow Summons Belgian Ambassador over Aleppo Strike Claim

Russia summoned the Belgian ambassador on Friday in a spat over Moscow's claim that Belgian jets killed six civilians near Syria's Aleppo, the foreign ministry said.

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UN to Begin Evacuations from Aleppo if Truce Holds

The United Nations hopes to carry out the first medical evacuations from Aleppo on Friday, if a "humanitarian pause" in the Syrian army's Russian-backed assault on the city holds.

Despite a drop in violence after the unilateral ceasefire took effect on Thursday, there was little sign civilians were heeding calls to leave opposition-held areas of the city, and Russia accused the rebels of intimidation.

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IS Raids Iraq's Kirkuk to Draw Attention from Mosul Offensive

Jihadists staged a brazen raid on the Iraqi city of Kirkuk Friday, in what appeared to be an attempt to divert attention from the huge offensive against their Mosul bastion.

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Qayyarah: From IS Control to Mosul Battle Hub

Just months after its recapture from the Islamic State group, the sprawling Qayyarah base in north Iraq has become a hub for operations to retake Mosul from the jihadists.

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Some 1,400 Migrants Rescued Off Libyan Coast

Some 1,400 migrants trying to cross the Mediterranean were rescued Thursday off the coast of Libya, according to the Italian coastguard, which coordinated the operations conducted mainly by aid ships.

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