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Turkish Kurd Leader Visits Besieged Syrian Town, Urges Action

One of the leaders of a Turkish pro-Kurdish party on Tuesday crossed the border to visit the Syrian town of Ain al-Arab which has been besieged by IS militants, calling for urgent action by Turkey against the jihadists.

Selahattin Demirtas, a co-leader of the People's Democratic Party (HDP) who came in third against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in August presidential elections, also met a senior Syrian Kurd leader in the town, known as Kobane to the Kurds.

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HRW: Syria Refugees in Lebanon Face Rising Violence

Syrian refugees in Lebanon are facing increasing violence as tensions in the country rise after jihadists kidnapped and killed Lebanese security forces, a human rights group warned Tuesday.

Human Rights Watch said it had documented a string of attacks by Lebanese residents against Syrian refugees in August and September.

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U.S.-led Strikes Hit Jihadists Closing on Syria Border Town

U.S.-led strikes hit Islamic State group fighters closing on a key town on Syria's border with Turkey overnight as Ankara prepared to request parliamentary authorization Tuesday to join the coalition.

In neighboring Iraq, Kurdish forces launched pre-dawn attacks against the jihadists on three fronts in a bid to recapture territory they lost to IS last month, entering a key town on the border with Syria, senior officers said.

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Islamic State's Allure Causes Worry in Southeast Asia

The Islamic State group's jihadist appeal is fanning fears that it could serve as a potent new rallying cry for Southeast Asian extremists who had been largely brought to heel following past deadly terror attacks.

Authorities in Indonesia -- the world's most populous Islamic country -- and Muslim-majority Malaysia have watched with alarm as scores, possibly even hundreds, of their nationals are believed to have gone to Syria and Iraq to join the fight for a hardline Muslim caliphate.

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Police: Man Arrested in Australia over Funding U.S. fighter in Syria

A man was arrested in counterterror raids in Australia on Tuesday, with police alleging he was sending money to a U.S. jihadist fighting with a militant group in Syria.

The arrest comes days after a terror suspect was shot dead in Melbourne after stabbing two police officers, and amid concerns about Australians fighting alongside jihadists in Iraq and Syria.

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Official: In Air War in Iraq and Syria, 4,100 U.S. Flights

U.S. aircraft have flown roughly 4,100 sorties in the air war against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria since August, including surveillance flights, refueling runs and bombing raids, a military officer said Monday.

The number of flights reflects the widening U.S.-led air campaign that began with a more narrowly-defined objective when it was launched by Washington on August 8. 

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Balkans Launch Fight against Jihadist Recruitment

With the world on high alert over foreign fighters joining jihadist ranks in Syria and Iraq, Balkan states are launching efforts to clamp down on recruiting in their region, considered fertile ground by Islamists.

Of the more than 20 million people in southeast Europe, more than five million are Muslims, and an economic slump in weak states battered by past wars has fired up some of the disenfranchised.

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At U.N., Damascus Closes the Door on Peace Talks

Syria will not begin talks to end the three-and-a-half-year war while Islamist militants are rampaging through the country, the foreign minister told the United Nations on Monday.

"We cannot start any political solution while terrorism is still rampant in Syria," Foreign Minister Walid Muallem told the U.N. General Assembly.

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IS Jihadists Within 5 km of Key Syria Border Town

Islamic State jihadists advanced Monday to within five kilometers (three miles) of the key Kurdish town of Ain al-Arab on Syria's border with Turkey, a monitor said.

"They are five kilometers to the south and southeast of Kobane," said Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, using the Kurdish name for Ain al-Arab.

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Cyprus Detains Four Syrians after Refugee Boat Rescue

Four Syrians are being held in Cyprus police custody on suspicion of trafficking 345 mostly Syrian refugees who were rescued from a distressed fishing trawler off the island last week, authorities said Monday.

The four appeared before a Nicosia district court over the weekend where they were remanded in police custody for eight days on suspicion of people trafficking and trafficking migrants.

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