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Observatory Says IS Flew Aircraft over Syria, U.S. Army 'Not Aware'

Islamic State group jihadists are being trained by Saddam Hussein's former pilots to fly three fighter jets captured from the Syrian military, a monitoring group said Friday.

But a spokesman for the American central command said the U.S. military was "unaware" of flight operations by IS militants.

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15 Dead in Regime Air Raids Near Damascus

At least 15 civilians, including three minors, were killed in Syrian regime air raids on a rebel-held town near the capital on Friday, a monitoring group said.

"At least 15 civilians, including three aged under 18, were killed in eight raids by Syrian military planes on several districts of the town of Douma," 13 kilometers (eight miles) northeast of Damascus, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

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Pakistan Clerics Condemn IS Group

A leading group of Pakistani clerics on Friday condemned the Islamic State organisation, amid concerns the hardline jihadists could gain a foothold in the militant-plagued nuclear state.

The Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) said the IS group, which has declared a "caliphate" in areas it controls in Iraq and Syria, was violating Islamic teaching.

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U.N. Envoy Meets Saniora, Reiterates Importance of Stability in Lebanon

United Nations Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura continued on Friday his tour on Lebanese officials on his second day of visit to Lebanon, stressing the international community's determination to maintain stability in the country.

The U.N. official discussed with head of al-Mustaqbal parliamentary bloc Fouad Saniora the general situation in Lebanon and the region.

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Moqbel to Discuss with Iranian Officials Military Assistance despite Veto

Defense Minister Samir Moqbel is expected to discuss with Iranian officials in Tehran over the weekend a recent pledge to give military assistance to Lebanon to help its fight against extremists.

Moqbel is not entitled to sign any agreement or make any commitment to the Iranian grant, As Safir daily reported on Friday.

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Report: Nasrallah in Military Fatigues during Visit to Party Fighters on Border with Syria

Hizbullah chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah has reportedly visited his party's fighters on the Lebanese-Syrian border dressed in military fatigues in a strong show of support.

Al-Liwaa newspaper said Friday that Nasrallah met the fighters in their posts after he visited some families in the eastern Bekaa Valley to extend condolences to the party members who were killed in battles with extremist groups.

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Soldier Killed in Akkar as Tripoli Suspects Held after Attacks on Army Patrols

A Lebanese soldier was killed at dawn Friday when assailants opened fire on a bus transporting troops on the Bireh road in the northern Akkar district, the army and the state-run National News Agency said.

The dead soldier was identified as Jamal Jean al-Hashem, who hails from the town of Qobayyat.

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'Syria Recruiter' Charged with Preparing Australia Terror Attack

A man arrested in Australian counter-terrorism raids in September is facing fresh charges of preparing a terrorist attack on home soil, police said on Friday.

Agim Kruezi, 22, was initially accused of recruiting, funding and sending jihadist fighters to Syria after he was detained in Brisbane on September 10.

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Turkey to Expel Detained Kobane Kurds to Syria

Turkey is planning to expel a group of Syrian Kurds who fled the besieged town of Kobane but were then detained for over a week on suspicion of having links to rebel Kurdish groups, a Turkish lawmaker said on Thursday.

Ibrahim Ayhan, a lawmaker for the pro-Kurdish People's Democratic Party (HDP), said the group of over 150 Kurds still being held did not want to return to Syria amid the advance by Islamic State (IS) jihadists.

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U.S. Hits IS with 14 Air Strikes near Syria Border Town

U.S. warplanes struck 14 times near Kobane into Thursday, hammering the Islamic State jihadists besieging the key Syrian border town, the American military said.

Central Command said the air attacks Wednesday and Thursday "successfully struck" 19 IS-held buildings, two command posts, a heavy machine gun, three sniper positions and other targets.

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