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Syrian Air Raids Kill 14, Including Six Children, Says Monitor

Syrian air raids struck targets east of Damascus and further north Thursday, killing 14 people including six children, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

Ten people were killed, including a woman and two children, in Jisrin, to the east of Damascus.

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Glitzy Projects Spark Rare Anger from Syria Regime Backers

Even for some of the Syrian regime's staunchest supporters, this month's launch of a glitzy new shopping mall and tourism projects seems to have been a step too far.

With large parts of the country ravaged by fighting and hundreds dying every week, the $50 million (40 million euro) projects in the pro-regime coastal stronghold of Tartus have sparked rare criticism from supporters of President Bashar Assad.

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Envoy Meets with Hizbullah after Talks with Salam, Bassil in Beirut

U.N.'s Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura met on Thursday with Prime Minister Tammam Salam and is expected to hold talks with Foreign Minister Jebran Bassil later in the day, on the other hand, he pointed out the "agreement" with Hizbullah on "a political solution" to end the war there.

“A new turn of events are controlling the region, in particular regarding the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant... and the International community is deeply concerned,” De Mistura told reporters after talks with Salam at the Grand Serail.

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Lebanon's Role in Coalition against Jihadists Still Unclear

Army chief Gen. Jean Qahwaji, who has attended a meeting of senior commanders from more than 20 Western and Arab allies involved in the campaign to defeat jihadists, has sparked controversy over Lebanon's role in the coalition against the Islamic State terrorist group.

An Nahar daily quoted Qahwaji as saying at the meeting, which was held in Washington on Tuesday, that Lebanon is one of the countries most involved in combating terrorists.

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Moroccan Held, with Young Daughters, for Trying to Join IS

A Moroccan man, with his two young French daughters in tow, was arrested in Casablanca Wednesday as he sought to join up with the jihadist Islamic State fighters, authorities said .

The man identified by his initials N.R., who was under police restrictions in France, was picked up at Casablanca airport, the Moroccan interior ministry said in a statement.

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Shells Hit Akkar Towns, Halt Traffic on Abboudiyeh-Menjez Road

Shells fired from the Syrian side of the border targeted several towns in the northern district of Akkar on Wednesday evening, in the latest such incident in recent days.

“Shells and gunshots from Syria landed in the outskirts of the Akkar towns of Hikr Janine and Qashlaq,” state-run National News Agency reported.

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Turkey Says Only Syrian Refugees Can Cross Border to Kobane

Turkey on Wednesday said only Syrian refugees would be allowed to cross its border to fight jihadists for the mainly Kurdish Syrian town of Kobane, rejecting calls from the West to fully open the frontier.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told reporters that "those coming from Syria can go back to join the fight" for Kobane, but that Turkish and other nationals would not be allowed to cross the border.

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U.S. Air War Has a Name: 'Operation Inherent Resolve'

After more than two months of air strikes, American commanders have finally decided on a name for the U.S.-led war on Islamic State jihadists -- "Operation Inherent Resolve."

The decision was taken "a few days ago" by the chiefs of all the armed services, said Colonel Ed Thomas, spokesman for the U.S. military's top officer, General Martin Dempsey.

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Battles Rage to Hold Back IS in Syria, Iraq as U.S. Says Kobane May Fall although 'Hundreds' of Jihadists Killed

Kurdish and Iraqi forces fought to hold back advancing jihadists on the Syria-Turkey border and near Baghdad on Wednesday as Washington pushed to rally its allies against the Islamic State group.

In the Syrian town of Kobane on the Turkish border, Kurdish fighters backed by a flurry of U.S.-led air strikes were reported to have stopped IS fighters from gaining more ground and had even recaptured some positions.

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Yaalon Says Hizbullah has Possibly 'Accumulated more Self-Confidence'

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said Wednesday that Hizbullah might have more self-confidence, days after the party's chief Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah pledged to defeat jihadists and expressed readiness for a new confrontation with the Jewish state.

“It’s possible that Hizbullah has accumulated more self-confidence than we thought,” Yaalon told Haaretz daily in an interview.

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