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IS Kills 3 Iraq Village Chiefs in a Week

Jihadists have killed three village chiefs in less than a week in Iraq's restive north, local officials said Saturday, as the targeting of state representatives escalates.

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Khashoggi Crisis 'May Tip' Middle East Power Balance towards Turkey

The murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi could alter the power dynamic in the Middle East by strengthening Turkey's influence at Saudi Arabia's expense as they compete for leadership of the Islamic world, analysts say.

This certainly appears to be the goal of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the main regional supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, which Saudi Arabia and its allies Egypt and the United Arab Emirates consider a terrorist group.

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Erdogan: Khashoggi Kill Order Came from Highest Levels of Saudi Govt.

The order to murder Saudi journalist and regime critic Jamal Khashoggi came from "the highest levels" of the Riyadh government, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday in a Washington Post op-ed.

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Yemen Rebels Clash with Govt. Forces around Vital Port

Fierce clashes flared between Yemen's Huthi rebels and pro-government forces near a key port on Friday as a Saudi-led coalition backing the loyalists said it had attacked an airbase in the rebel-held capital Sanaa.

A day after the government offered to restart peace talks with the insurgents, a pro-government military source told AFP that loyalist forces closing in on the Huthi-held Red Sea port city of Hodeidah had reached its university.

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Iraq Reinforces Border with Syria, Fearing IS Spillover

Iraqi troops have reinforced their positions along the porous frontier with neighboring war-torn Syria, fearing a spillover from clashes there between Islamic State group jihadists and U.S.-backed forces.

For weeks, IS has fought back an assault by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) on a key jihadist-held pocket in Syria's eastern Deir Ezzor province near the border with Iraq.

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U.N. Chief Calls for Halt to Yemen Violence

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday called for a halt to violence in Yemen to pull the country back from a "precipice" and build momentum toward talks on ending the war.

"First, violence must stop everywhere -- with an immediate halt around critical infrastructure and densely populated areas," Guterres told reporters at U.N. headquarters.

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7 Dead in Attack on Bus Carrying Coptic Christians in Egypt

Gunmen attacked a bus carrying Coptic Christians in central Egypt on Friday, killing seven in the latest assault on a religious minority repeatedly targeted by jihadists.

The attackers opened fire on the bus of pilgrims in Minya province after they had visited a monastery, the local bishop told AFP.

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Erdogan Advisor Says Khashoggi's Body Was 'Dissolved' after Murder

The body of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was "dissolved" after he was murdered and dismembered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul a month ago, an advisor to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Friday.

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Coalition Says it Hit Airbase in Rebel-Held Yemen Capital

A Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen said Friday it attacked an airbase in the rebel-held capital Sanaa, a day after the Saudi-backed government offered to restart peace talks with the insurgents.

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Pompeo: Sanctions on Khashoggi Killers Weeks Away

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has said it may take "a handful more weeks" before Washington has enough evidence to impose sanctions on individuals responsible for the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. 

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