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Hizbullah, Syrian Army Seize Control of Strategic Tallet Moussa Hill

Hizbullah and the Syrian army seized control Wednesday of the strategic Tallet Moussa hill in Syria's Qalamoun, as they pressed on with a major offensive against militant groups in the border region.

“The Syrian army and the fighters of the resistance (Hizbullah) have taken the strategic Tallet Moussa hill in Qalamoun,” Hizbullah's al-Manar television reported.

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48 Dead as IS Fights Army in Syria's Homs

The Islamic State jihadist group has seized large parts of a strategically located town in Syria's central Homs province in clashes that killed 48 soldiers and militants, a monitor said Wednesday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the extremist group had captured areas of Al-Sukhnah and its surroundings in fighting that began overnight.

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Investigators Say Have War Crimes Case on Syria's Assad

Investigators and lawyers said Wednesday that they have built war crimes cases against Syrian President Bashar Assad and key institutions of his regime with documents smuggled out of the country.

The Commission for International Justice and Accountability (CIJA) has already built three cases against the regime for crimes against humanity and is continuing to assemble evidence against others in the regime as well as in the opposition.

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Hariri Discusses Developments with Lavrov in Moscow

Head of al-Mustaqbal Movement and Former Prime Minister Saad Hariri kicked off his two-day official visit to Moscow on Wednesday by meeting with Russian FM Sergei Lavrov.

Talks underlined the latest developments in Lebanon and the region, a statement issued by Hariri's press office read.

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Violent Battles on Outskirts of Arsal between Nusra Front, ISIL

Fierce battles erupted on Wednesday on the outskirts of the northeastern border town of Arsal between al-Nusra Front-affiliate Jaish al-Fatah and the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

The state-run National News Agency reported that clashes reached the outskirts of Arsal and Wadi Hmeid crossing, four kilometers from a Lebanese army checkpoint.

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Navy: U.S. F-18 Fighter Crashes in Gulf, Crew Rescued

A U.S. F-18 fighter jet crashed in the Gulf after taking off from an aircraft carrier on Tuesday but both crew members survived without major injuries, military officers said Tuesday.

The Super Hornet aircraft had launched from the USS Theodore Roosevelt in the Arabian Gulf at 1330 GMT before it went down, the US Navy said in a statement.

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Britain to Announce New Laws on Islamic Extremism

British Prime Minister David Cameron was to announce new laws to combat "poisonous Islamist ideology" Wednesday in his first major policy announcement since winning last week's general election.

His centre-right Conservative government is to include a new law to "defeat extremism" in its legislative programme which will be announced to parliament by Queen Elizabeth II on May 27.

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ICC Ready to Investigate Islamic State Crimes in Libya

The International Criminal Court's chief prosecutor said Tuesday that she was ready to investigate crimes committed by the Islamic State in Libya, where the United Nations is pushing for a peace deal. 

Fatou Bensouda told the U.N. Security Council that the court's jurisdiction "extends to such alleged crimes" by jihadist groups aligned with IS.

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U.S. Charges Four after Intercepting Gun Shipments to Lebanon

Four U.S. relatives with ties to Lebanon were charged Tuesday with conspiring to illegally ship a large number of guns and ammunition to Lebanon, hidden in supplies for refugees.

Federal agents intercepted cargo containers in March and again last week that were bound for Beirut carrying a total of 152 firearms and 16,000 rounds of ammunition, according to a criminal complaint unsealed Tuesday.

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U.S. Says Sanctions on Russia Can End if Ukraine Truce Met as Kerry Meets Putin, Lavrov

Russia vowed Tuesday it was ready to work with the United States on a host of burning issues but insisted it would not bow to "coercion," as President Vladimir Putin hosted top U.S. diplomat John Kerry. 

On the highest-level U.S. visit to Russia since the conflict in Ukraine erupted in late 2013, Putin met with Kerry at his summer residence in the Black Sea resort of Sochi.

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