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Turkey Must do More to Fight IS, Says Pentagon Chief

Turkey should play a full part in the U.S.-led air campaign against the Islamic State group and take better control of its border with Syria, the U.S. defense secretary said Thursday.

Pentagon chief Ashton Carter said Turkey had agreed in principle to join the anti-IS coalition but should now add its own warplanes to the "air tasking order," the military structure coordinating strikes.

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4 Rockets from Syria Hit Israel, Golan

Four rockets fired from war-wracked Syria struck northern Israel and the occupied Golan Heights on Thursday, causing fires but no injuries, the Israeli military and security sources said.

"Four rockets were launched from the Syrian Golan Heights, landing in the Upper Galilee and the Israeli Golan Heights," the military said in a statement. "No injuries have been reported."

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Iran Welcomes U.N. Peace Plan for Syria

Iran on Thursday welcomed a U.N. peace plan aimed at ending the four-year war in its ally Syria, saying President Bashar Assad's regime needed to be directly involved.

"This new plan is seen as a step by regional and international players toward a better understanding of the reality on the ground and on the political level," foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham was quoted as saying by news agency ISNA.

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Macedonia Declares 'State of Emergency' over Migrant Influx

Macedonia declared a state of emergency on the border with Greece on Thursday and said it would draft in the army to help control the influx of migrants crossing the frontier.

In a sign of growing tensions on the border, police were locked in a standoff with about 1,500 migrants and refugees stranded in no-man's land trying to cross into Macedonia.

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After Island Ordeal, Desperate Syrians Rerouted to Athens

Thousands of Syrians, some still bearing the scars of war on their faces, landed at the main Greek port of Piraeus early Thursday, hoping to continue their journey to safety towards northern Europe.

Some 2,700 people -- mostly Syrian with some Afghans -- poured onto the dock, relieved to be a step closer to their destination but anxious to move on.

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HRW Urges Syria Regime Arms Embargo after Deadly Strikes

Human Rights Watch urged the United Nations Thursday to impose an arms embargo on the Syrian government after air strikes on a rebel town near the capital killed more than 100 people.

The New York-based group said the Sunday attack on Douma showed the government's "appalling disregard for civilians".

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Thousands of Syrians Ferried to Greek Mainland as Islands Despair

A Greek government-chartered ferry was transporting some 2,600 Syrian refugees to the Greek mainland on Wednesday, as islands struggling with an influx of migrants warned that the crisis is endangering public health.

The Eleftherios Venizelos left the island of Kos with some 1,700 Syrian refugees on board and was expected to arrive in the northern port city of Thessaloniki on Thursday morning, after calling at the islands of Kalymnos, Leros and Lesbos to pick up another 900 people.

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Suicide Bomber Kills 16 in Northeast Syria

A suicide bomber killed at least 16 people on Wednesday in an attack on Kurdish security forces in northeastern Syria claimed by the Islamic State jihadist group, a monitor said.

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U.N.: Typhoid Hits Palestinians from Syria's Yarmuk Camp

Typhoid has broken out among Palestinian refugees from the besieged Yarmuk camp in the Syrian capital Damascus, a UN agency said Wednesday.

The UN agency for Palestinian refugees UNRWA said it had been able to confirm the outbreak after gaining access to residents of the camp sheltering in the nearby Yalda neighborhood.

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Syrians Use Facebook to Plan, Document Journey to Europe

When Wael and his relatives from Syria climbed into an inflatable boat in the dead of night to cross the sea from Turkey to Greece, they abandoned all their belongings -- except their smartphones.

"Our phones and power banks are more important for our journey than anything, even more important than food," said Wael, a 32-year-old from the devastated Syrian city Homs who reached the Greek resort island of Kos on Thursday morning.

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