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Kremlin Says Western Powers 'not Ready' to Work in Anti-IS Coalition with Russia

The Kremlin said Friday that Western powers were not ready to form a coalition with Russia to fight Islamic State jihadists in Syria, after talks between President Vladimir Putin and French leader Francois Hollande.

"At the moment, unfortunately, our partners are not ready to work within the format of single coalition," Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters.

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Sirens Ring out as Air Strikes Hit IS Syria Stronghold

In the Islamic State group's Syrian stronghold of Raqa, sirens ring out whenever a warplane approaches as jihadists flee their posts and vehicles to hide, activists say.

A U.S.-led coalition and Russia have stepped up air strikes on the jihadists' de facto Syrian capital since IS claimed to have downed a Russian passenger plane over Egypt's Sinai in October and the deadly jihadist attacks in Paris two weeks later.

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U.S. Soldiers in Syria to back Anti-IS Kurds

U.S. soldiers are in Kobane, the town in northern Syria nearly destroyed in fierce fighting with the Islamic State group, to train Kurdish forces to battle the jihadists, Kurdish sources said Thursday.

Mustapha Abdi, an activist in the town on the Turkish border, told AFP the American instructors had arrived "in recent hours".

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Germany 'to Send Tornado Reconnaissance Jets' to Fight IS

Germany plans to send Tornado reconnaissance jets to support the fight against the Islamic State group in Syria, the defense spokesman of Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservatives said Thursday.

A day after Merkel pledged in Paris to "very soon" decide how to help battle the IS group in Syria, she met cabinet ministers in charge of security ahead of afternoon meetings of the major parties' parliamentary groups.

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Still No Date for Syria Opposition Meeting, Says Saudi FM

There is still no date for a meeting that aims to form a coalition of Syrian opposition groups before peace talks targeted for January 1, the Saudi foreign minister said Thursday.

Riyadh is trying to bring "as broad a cross-section of Syrian opposition groups as possible" to a meeting in the kingdom, Adel al-Jubeir told a press conference with his Austrian counterpart Sebastian Kurz.

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Cameron Makes Case for Britain to Join Syria Air Strikes

Prime Minister David Cameron argued his case to MPs for Britain to join air strikes on Islamic State (IS) targets in Syria Thursday amid signs that opposition was weakening after the Paris attacks.

Cameron told the House of Commons that Britain should not "wait until an attack takes place here" before acting, adding it was "morally" unacceptable to be "content with outsourcing our security to our allies".

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Iran General Soleimani Lightly Wounded in Syria

General Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards' foreign operations wing, was lightly injured in fighting against Syria rebels near Aleppo, a monitoring group and a security source said Wednesday.

Soleimani "was injured a few days ago" in an offensive in the southwest of Aleppo province, a security source on the ground told AFP.

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Heavy Russia Raids in Syria Area where Plane Downed, Says Monitor

Russian warplanes carried out heavy raids in Syria's northern Latakia province on Wednesday, a day after Turkey downed one of Moscow's jets in the area, a monitoring group said.

Warplanes believed to be Russian also carried out strikes near the Turkish border in northern Aleppo province, killing at least three people and setting alight several trucks carrying aid and goods for sale, the monitor and activists said.

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Turkey Seeks to Ease Tensions after Downing of Russian Warplane

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sought to play down tensions with Russia Wednesday after Turkey's downing of a Russian warplane on the Syria border sparked fears among NATO allies of a wider conflict.

Moscow said Russian and Syrian special forces had rescued one of the pilots who ejected from the plane after being shot down early Tuesday but confirmed another was dead, in an incident that threatens to damage relations between two rival players in the Syrian conflict.

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Syrian Refugees in U.S. Fear for those Left behind

Sitting on a donated couch in her modest Chicago apartment, Safa Mshymish knows she is among the lucky ones: a Syrian refugee welcomed into the United States before the tide of public opinion turned.

It hurts, she said, to hear politicians are trying to stop families just like hers from finding a safe haven, branding all Syrians a security threat in the wake of the Paris attacks.

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