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Coalition Flyers Urge Residents to Quit IS Syria Bastion

The U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group has dropped flyers on Syria's Raqa urging residents for the first time to leave the jihadist stronghold, an activist and a monitor said Friday.

"It's not the first time that coalition airplanes have dropped flyers on Raqa but it's the first time that they've addressed residents and asked them to leave," a founding member of the citizen journalist group Raqa is Being Slaughtered Silently (RBSS) said.

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Syria Regime Retakes Key Town outside Capital

Syrian troops backed by fighters from the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah retook a key town and nine surrounding villages outside Damascus from rebels on Thursday, a monitor said.

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Aid Convoy Enters Besieged Syria Town

An aid convoy entered a besieged rebel-held suburb of Syria's capital on Wednesday, the International Committee of the Red Cross said, in its first delivery there in four years.

Twenty-nine trucks carried food and medicine for some 10,000 people in Harasta in Eastern Ghouta, a rebel bastion under regime siege since mid-2013, ICRC spokesman Pawel Krzysiek said.

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Syria Regime Strike Kills at Least 13 Civilians

A regime air strike killed at least 13 members of the same family, including eight children, in central Syria on Wednesday, a monitor said.

The raid hit a residential neighborhood in Rastan, one of the last rebel strongholds in the central province of Homs, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

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52 Dead as Rival Rebel Groups Clash near Syria Capital

At least 50 fighters and two civilians were killed Tuesday in clashes between rival anti-regime groups east of Syria's capital, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The powerful Jaish al-Islam, or Army of Islam, has been locked in clashes with rival factions led by al-Qaida's Syrian affiliate in the opposition stronghold of Eastern Ghouta.

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Powers Vow to Bolster Syria Truce but No Date for Talks

World and regional powers working to end the Syrian conflict vowed to bolster the country's shaky ceasefire Tuesday but failed to set a new date for peace talks.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov put on their now customary joint appearance, but strains in the peace process were evident.

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Rebel Infighting near Syria Capital Kills Hundreds

Fighting raging between rival Islamist rebel factions to control a key opposition stronghold near Damascus since late last month has killed more than 300 fighters, a monitor said on Sunday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the clashes in Eastern Ghouta pitted the Saudi-backed Jaish al-Islam faction, which has been taking part in peace talks in Geneva, against the Faylaq al-Rahman and Jaish al-Fustat groups, both led by Al-Nusra Front, Syria's Al-Qaida affiliate.

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Belgium to Begin Air Strikes against IS in Syria

Belgium will extend its F-16 air strikes against Islamic State jihadists in Iraq into Syria, the government said Friday, as it grapples with the aftermath of deadly IS-claimed bomb attacks in Brussels in March.

"In accordance with U.N. Resolution 2249, the engagement will be limited to those areas of Syria under the control of IS and other terrorist groups," a spokesman for Prime Minister Charles Michel told AFP after a cabinet meeting.

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A Fifth of Syria's Palestinians Have Fled the Country, Says UNWRA

More than 20 percent of Syria's Palestinian refugees have fled the country and its five-year war, the head of the U.N. Palestinian refugee agency said on Thursday.

"Before the war, there were 560,000 Palestine refugees. We estimate that currently about 110,000 to 120,000 have left the country," UNRWA chief Pierre Krahenbuhl said on a visit to Damascus.

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Erdogan Says Turkey Preparing to Clear IS from Syrian Side of Border

Turkey is preparing to "clean" the Syrian side of the border of Islamic State jihadists after a Turkish border town came under repeated deadly rocket attacks, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Thursday.

"We are doing all the necessary preparations to clean the other side of the border because of the problems in Kilis," Erdogan said amid persistent speculation of a possible Turkish cross-border ground operation, without giving details on the preparations.

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