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Syria's Assad Fires Two Top Spy Chiefs

Syrian President Bashar Assad has fired two top intelligence chiefs after a fight between the two officials, a high-ranking security source in Damascus told AFP on Friday.

"General Rustom Ghazaleh, head of political intelligence, and General Rafiq Shehadeh, head of military intelligence, were fired at the beginning of the week by President Assad after a violent dispute between the two men," the source said.

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Warning over 'Victory' Claims against Boko Haram

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan on Friday said the military hopes to recapture towns seized by Boko Haram within a month, in what would be a swift victory after six years of bloody conflict.

But experts warned against any premature declaration of victory, with the militants still proving capable of carrying out deadly hit-and-run strikes and indications of coalition lapses.

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Bou Saab Says UAE Not Targeting Lebanese, Denies Deportation of Additional Expats

Education Minister Elias Bou Saab stressed on Friday that there is no official decision in the United Arab Emirates to deport Lebanese expatriates, denying reports about new lists.

“The names of the Lebanese who were extradited are on a list that includes 5,000 expats from different nationalities,” Bou Saab told al-Akhbar newspaper.

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U.S. Military Chief Grapples with Iraq -- Again

For much of the past two decades the U.S. military has been waging war in Iraq. And one U.S. Army officer has been there for just about every painstaking step of it.

General Martin Dempsey has experienced first hand America's tortuous history in Iraq, from the 1991 Gulf War's swift victory to the troubled occupation after the 2003 U.S. invasion.

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U.S. Investigates Alleged Syrian Regime Gas Attack

The United States is looking into allegations that the Syrian regime unleashed chlorine gas in an attack in the northwest of the war-ravaged country earlier this week, John Kerry said Thursday.

"While we cannot yet confirm details, if true, this would be only the latest tragic example of the Assad regime's atrocities against the Syrian people," the top U.S. diplomat said in a statement, warning the international community would not "turn a blind eye to such barbarism."

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U.N. Security Council Urges Help for Lebanon's Syrian Refugees

The U.N. Security Council called on the international community Thursday to help Lebanon in its efforts to host more than a million refugees from neighboring Syria.

An estimated 1.18 million Syrians have fled their country's bloody conflict to take refuge in Lebanon, which has struggled to deal with the influx as the war enters its fifth year.

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Iraq's Yazidis: a Vulnerable Minority

The Yazidis have long been one of the most vulnerable minorities in Iraq and have been particularly targeted by Islamic State jihadists, who have overrun much of the country.

On Thursday, the United Nations said the IS may have committed genocide in trying to wipe out the Yazidi minority, in a report laying out a litany of atrocities, detailing killings, torture, rape, sexual slavery and the use of child soldiers by the extremists.

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Bomb Kills 2 at Egypt Youth Center

Two people were killed Thursday when assailants threw a bomb at the entrance of a youth leisure center on the outskirts of Cairo, Egyptian police said.

Police investigators could not confirm whether it was a criminal act or part of a bombing campaign by militants since the army's ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.

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'Syria-Bound' Briton held in Turkey Arrested on Return Home

A British woman detained in Turkey on suspicion of seeking to join Islamic State (IS) insurgents in Syria was returned home on Thursday and promptly arrested on suspicion of terrorism offenses, police said.

The 21-year-old, identified by Turkish media as Jalila Nadra H., was arrested at Luton airport near London on suspicion of preparing acts of terrorism, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said.

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Saniora Files Complaint Against Wahhab over Remarks

Head of al-Mustaqbal parliamentary bloc MP Fouad Saniora filed a complaint against Arab Tawhid Party leader and former minister Wiam Wahhab over remarks accusing the lawmaker of belonging to the “Israeli project” in the region.

The state-run National News Agency reported on Thursday that Saniora briefed General Prosecutor Samir Hammoud on the context of Wahhab's statements during a televised interview, stressing that he reserves the right to file a lawsuit against the former minister.

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