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Rifi: Granting Jihadists their Demands Should be Done According to Law

Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi said that he will abide by the law regarding any swap between Islamist inmates held at Roumieh prison and the abducted soldiers and policemen, considering that their freedom and safety are more important than any price paid.

“We will abide by the law,” Rifi said in comments published in An Nahar newspaper on Thursday.

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Report: Nasrallah Meets Qahwaji, Expresses Readiness to Aid Army

Hizbullah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah met with Army Commander General Jean Qahwaji recently, media reports said on Thursday.

According to al-Akhbar newspaper, the meeting tackled the latest developments and highlighted the readiness of the resistance to defend Lebanon's southern, northern and eastern border alongside the army.

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March 14 Urges Govt. to Join International Coalition against IS

The March 14 General Secretariat called Wednesday on the government to take the necessary measures to prevent the spread of the Syrian conflict to Lebanon.

To that end, it urged the government to “clearly join the international coalition against the Islamic State group.”

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Jailed PKK Leader Sees Better Chance for Peace Deal with Turkey

The jailed leader of Turkey's outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) said he saw a better chance for a peace deal with Ankara, despite Kurdish protests over Turkish inaction in Syria.

"My hopes over a successful execution in this process have been increased," Abdullah Ocalan said in a message relayed on Tuesday by pro-Kurdish lawmakers who visited him in his prison on the island of Imrali near Istanbul.

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Syria Says Shoots down Two of Three 'IS Warplanes'

Syria's air force has destroyed two of three warplanes reportedly seized by fighters of the Islamic State group in the north of the country, Information Minister Omran al-Zohbi said.

The jihadists were reported to have seized the three planes, believed to be MiG-21 and MiG-23 jets, from Syrian military airports now under IS control in the northern provinces of Aleppo and Raqa.

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Kobane Defenders Hold Out as Iraqi Kurds Vote on Reinforcements

Kurdish fighters defending Syria's border town of Kobane held out against the Islamic State group Wednesday, anxious for relief as Iraq's Kurdish parliament was set to vote on sending reinforcements.

Backed by air strikes from a U.S.-led coalition, the Kurds have been defending the town on the Turkish border against a fierce IS offensive for more than a month.

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Propaganda, Personal Struggles Turn some Young Belgians to Jihad

As chairman of the Annasr mosque, Mimoun Aquichouh personally knows a number of young men who left the small Belgian city of Vilvoorde to wage jihad in Syria.

They worshiped at his mosque on a quiet street in the former industrial city just north of the capital Brussels as they fought their own personal struggles before finding the path of jihad, much to Aquichouh's dismay.

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Report: Clashes between Palestinian Group, Nusra Front in Bekaa

Clashes erupted between the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) and al-Nusra Front in the Eastern Mountain range along the border with Syria, media reports said on Wednesday.

Al-Liwaa newspaper reported that various kinds of machinguns, rockets and arms were used during the battles in the Qusaya area in the eastern Bekaa valley, where the PFLP-GC has a military base.

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Father of British Hostage Cantlie Dies

The father of British photojournalist John Cantlie has died, a fortnight after making a impassioned appeal to Islamic State militants to release his son, the family said on Wednesday.

Paul Cantlie died on Thursday aged 80 from "complications following pneumonia", the family said in a statement.

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Jordan King Says World Faces Fight against Extremism

Jordan's King Abdullah said Tuesday the world was engaged in a battle against extremism as his country takes part in U.S.-led air strikes on Islamic State jihadists in Syria.

"All countries in the world are witnessing a war between moderation and extremism, and today Islam is plagued by a civil war," Abdullah told a meeting of Jordanian lawmakers.

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