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How Will U.S. Anti-Jihadist Plan Affect Syria?

U.S. President Barack Obama has pledged a "relentless" war against the jihadist Islamic State, raising crucial questions about U.S. plans to aid rebel groups and carry out air strikes in Syria.

-- How is the Syrian regime likely to respond to U.S. air strikes and training of rebels?

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Damascus, Moscow Say U.S. Action in Syria without Consent would be 'Aggression'

U.S. air strikes on Syrian territory without permission from the government in Damascus would be an "attack" on the country, a Syrian minister said Thursday.

"Any action of any kind without the consent of the Syrian government would be an attack on Syria," National Reconciliation Minister Ali Haidar said when asked about U.S. plans to widen its operations against Islamic State (IS) jihadists with air strikes on Syrian territory.

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Qaida-linked Syria Rebels Release Fijian U.N. Peacekeepers

Al-Qaida linked rebels in Syria on Thursday released a group of 45 Fijian U.N. peacekeepers they kidnapped two weeks ago in the Golan Heights, a U.N. spokesman said.

The peacekeepers, snatched from Quneitra on the Syrian side of the strategic plateau on August 28 by fighters from the al-Nusra Front, were released unharmed and in "good condition," the spokesman said.

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Boko Haram Under Scrutiny over Foreign Fighters Claim

Cameroon's claims this week that two Tuareg fighters were among the dead when troops bombarded Boko Haram positions have sparked fresh interest in the group's links to the wider jihadi network.

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Syrian Regime Air Raids Kill 28 in Aleppo, Douma

Air strikes by Syrian warplanes killed at least 28 people Thursday, including 11 civilians in a raid on Islamic State (IS) jihadists, a monitoring group said.

"Warplanes carried out six raids on Thursday against al-Bab" in the north of the country, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

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U.N. Syria Envoy Says 'Terrorist Groups Must be Confronted'

The world must confront "terrorist groups" in Syria and beyond but the war-ravaged country also requires a political solution, the UN's new envoy on the conflict said in Damascus on Thursday.

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China: Fighters Back from Iraq, Syria are Threat

China and its Central Asian neighbors face increased terrorism threats as their own nationals return home after fighting in Iraq and Syria, the head of a regional anti-terrorism organization said Thursday.

The Shanghai Cooperation Organization's Regional Anti-Terrorism Agency is assisting authorities in those countries in monitoring militants who have traveled to terrorist hotspots, the body's director, Zhang Xinfeng, was quoted as saying by China's official Xinhua News Agency.

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Two Philippine Troops Killed in Clash with Muslim Rebels

Two Philippines soldiers and an unknown number of guerrillas opposed to the government's peace deal with the country's largest Muslim rebel group were killed in a clash Thursday, the military said.

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Syria al-Qaida Affiliate Says Will Free U.N. Troops

Al-Qaida's Syrian affiliate al-Nusra Front has said it will free 45 Fijian U.N. peacekeepers who it kidnapped after the capture of a border crossing with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights.

In a video released late Wednesday through its media wing, the group said it had consulted religious leaders and they had advised "that we should release these prisoners".

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Two Men Kidnapped in Retaliation to Arsal Captives Released in Hawr Taala

Two men from the northeastern border town of Arsal were set free after a three-day kidnap ordeal by gunmen from al-Masri family to press the release of soldier Ali Zeid al-Masri, who is held captive along with other soldiers and policemen by Islamist militants.

Hassan Fleiti and Abdullah al-Breidi were handed over to the head of Hizbullah's Juristic Committee, Sheikh Mohammed Yazbek, in presence of MP Ali al-Meqdad, the state-run National News Agency reported on Thursday.

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