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France Sends U.S. Chemicals Weapons Info

France has sent the United States "all the information it has" on what it has billed as proof that chemical weapons have been used in Syria, a foreign ministry spokesman said on Thursday.

The move follows a request on Wednesday from U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry amid mounting pressure for the United States administration to act in response to the evidence of chemical weapons use.

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Syrian Foreign Minister to Lead Peace Talks Delegation

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem will lead the government delegation at proposed peace talks in Geneva, Russia's top diplomat said Thursday, amid efforts to agree the format and timing of the conference.

"We are continuing to work with the (Syrian) government, which has already announced its readiness to take part in the conference and that the foreign minister will lead its delegation," Lavrov said in comments broadcast on state television.

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Red Cross, Crescent Appeal for Syria Refugee Funds

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said on Thursday that all of its appeals to help Syrian refugees are underfunded, and asked for more aid.

"We have several appeals, all underfunded... below 20 percent coverage," Steve McAndrew, head of the IFRC's Emergency Operations for Syria, told a news conference in the Jordanian capital Amman.

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Watchdog: Syria Army Pounds Rebels Ousted from Qusayr

The Syrian army on Thursday bombarded a village where rebels and civilians fled to after being routed the previous day from the strategic border town of Qusayr, a watchdog said.

"The army is using missiles to bombard Eastern Bweida," where hundreds of civilians and injured people who escaped from nearby Qusayr have sought refuge, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

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Yemen Troops Kill 2 Local Qaida Leaders

Yemeni forces killed two local al-Qaida leaders who were planning attacks on vital installations and arrested a third, state news agency Saba reported Thursday.

An army operation Wednesday in the eastern province of Marib left "two dangerous leading al-Qaida elements dead," Saba quoted an army spokesman as saying.

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Report: Israel Plans New Road in Sensitive W. Bank Area

A plan to build a new interchange between Jerusalem and the West Bank settlement of Maaleh Adumim was expected to be approved by an Israeli planning committee on Thursday, Haaretz newspaper reported.

It is the latest phase of construction in the contentious E1 zone east of Jerusalem, which has drawn protests from the United States and Europe.

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Bomb Attack Kills Two Soldiers in Tunisia

A roadside bomb targeting a Tunisian army vehicle killed two soldiers and wounded two others on Thursday in Mount Chaambi, near the border with Algeria, the military said.

"At around 7:45 am (0645 GMT), two soldiers were killed and two others wounded when a device exploded as their vehicle passed by in the area of Doghra of Mount Chaambi," said spokesman Mokhtar Ben Nasr.

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Syrian Envoy Meets with Senior Cuban Official

A special envoy of Syrian President Bashar Assad met in Havana with Miguel Diaz-Canel, the number two man in government, Cuban state media said.

Diaz-Canel and the envoy, identified as Monhsen Bilal, exchanged thoughts about the Syrian conflict, according to a communique read late Wednesday on state TV news.

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Qaida Chief Urges Syria Jihadists to Fight for Anti-U.S. Govt

Al-Qaida chief Ayman al-Zawahiri has called on jihadists fighting in Syria's civil war to unite and fight for the establishment of an anti-U.S. government in Damascus, in a newly released audio message.

Syria's President Bashar Assad belongs to the Alawite sect of Shiite Islam, while the divided rebels fighting to oust his regime are mainly Sunni Muslims, including the jihadist Al-Nusra Front.

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Syrian Army Retakes Golan Crossing from Rebels

Rebels fighting troops loyal to Damascus on Thursday briefly seized the only crossing along the Israel-Syria ceasefire line in the Golan Heights, before regime forces recaptured it, an Agence France Presse correspondent and Israeli sources said.

The Quneitra crossing is in the demilitarized zone on the Golan Heights, most of which Israel seized from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War.

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