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Army Arrests 3 for Conducting 'Major Financial Operations' for Syria Militants

Three people have been arrested in Lebanon on charges of conducting “major financial operations” for the benefit of Syria-based armed groups, the army announced Thursday.

“Lebanese national Mohammed Dahrouj and the Syrians Ahmed Najjar and Ayman Ghotmeh were arrested by the Intelligence Directorate yesterday in Beirut on suspicion of conducting financial operations on behalf of militant groups operating in Syria,” the army said in a statement.

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Conflicting Reports on Fate of Lebanese Detainees as IS Seizes Palmyra Prison

Conflicting reports emerged Thursday about the fate of dozens of Lebanese detainees at the prison of the Syrian city of Palmyra, after the Islamic State jihadist group seized control of the facility from the regime's hands.

Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq denied having any information about the issue after media reports claimed that the IS had “liberated” Lebanese detainees from the Palmyra prison, noting that he was still trying to verify the allegations.

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On Syria-Lebanon Border, Hizbullah in 'Hardest' Battle

On a windy hilltop overlooking the mountainous Syrian border, a fighter from Hizbullah says the battle against militants in the area is among the toughest the group has ever faced.

The powerful movement, a key ally of the government in Damascus, has fought across Syria in the years since an uprising began in 2011.

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Army Pounds Militant Posts on Outskirts of Arsal

The Lebanese army targeted on Thursday militant positions and their movement on the outskirts of the northeastern border town of Arsal.

The state-run National News Agency reported that troops used heavy artillery and rocket launchers to pound the posts of jihadists and their movement.

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Reports: Nusra Front Readies to Rip into Arsal as U.S. Drones Offer Assistance to Army

The al-Qaida affiliate al-Nusra Front is allegedly mobilizing to storm the northeastern border town of Arsal within days as information revealed that U.S. drones are flying over the area to collect data on militants and assist the Lebanese army.

Sources close to the jihadist group said in comments published in al-Akhbar newspaper Thursday that the fighting raging in Syria's Qalamoun between the Islamic State group and Nusra Front will compel the latter to withdraw into Arsal “soon.”

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IS Overruns Third of Syria's Ancient Palmyra

Islamic State jihadist fighters took control of the northern sector of the Syrian city of Palmyra on Wednesday, a monitor and activists said, sparking renewed fears over its historic treasures.

"The situation is very bad," Syrian antiquities director Mamoun Abdulkarim said by telephone.

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Paris to Host International Meeting on Iraq and Syria in June

France will host a high-level meeting on the crisis in Iraq and Syria on June 2, the government announced Wednesday, as the international community battles to stem the advance of the Islamic State group.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced at a cabinet meeting "that there would be a meeting in Paris on the whole situation in Syria and Iraq," adding that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry would attend.

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Teenager among Six Charged in Malaysia over Terror Plots

Five men and a teenager were charged in a Malaysian court on Wednesday with plotting terror attacks in the country, according to court documents.

The five men are mostly in their 20s or early 30s while the teenager is 16. 

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March 14: Only Solution before Aoun is Heading to Parliament to Elect President

The March 14 General Secretariat criticized on Wednesday the initiative proposed by Free Patriotic Movement leader MP Michel Aoun aimed at ending the presidential deadlock, saying that it is a “coup against Lebanon's parliamentary democratic system.”

It said during its weekly meeting: “The only solution before Aoun is heading to parliament and electing a new president.”

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Turkey Opposition Accuses Government of Sending Arms to Syria

Turkish opposition leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu on Wednesday accused the government of delivering arms to Islamist rebels in Syria, pledging to seal the border to such traffic if he came to power.

Turkey has been under fire for allegedly shipping arms to insurgents fighting to bring down the regime of President Bashar al-Assad -- charges vehemently denied by Ankara.

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