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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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Qatar-Backed Candidate Reelected Syrian Opposition PM

Syria's main opposition National Coalition has reelected Qatar-backed candidate Ahmad Tohme as its prime minister after a standoff between rival rebel backers Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

After five days of meetings in Istanbul, Tohme was reelected to the post, which he was dismissed from in July after just 10 months in the job.

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Poll Shows More Americans Want Ground Troops to Fight IS

A rising number of Americans think the battle against the Islamic State group should broaden to include U.S. ground troops, according to a poll published Wednesday.

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Berri Downplays Army Defections, Says Investments and Terrorism Don't Coexist

Speaker Nabih Berri expressed belief on Wednesday that the latest defections of Lebanese soldiers would not affect the military institution, stressing a drop in investments during war.

Sneaking to reporters on the sidelines of the World Investment Forum 2014 in Geneva, Berri said that the announcement of several soldiers that they were joining the ranks of Syria-based jihadists were limited cases that did not affect the army or soldiers.

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Kerry Slams 'Abhorrent' Yazidi Slavery by IS Militants

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry slammed the Islamic State group for "abhorrent" abuses on Tuesday after the jihadists boasted of selling captured women and girls as slaves.

Islamic State militants said abducted Yazidi women and children had been divided among its fighters according to sharia law. 

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Obama Rallies Coalition Commanders against IS Jihadists

President Barack Obama attempted to rally allied commanders around his emerging strategy to defeat Islamic State jihadists on Tuesday, as the U.S.-led air armada stepped up its raids in Syria.

Coalition jets carried out two dozen strikes to relieve pressure on Kobane, but Obama admitted to deep concern about the Syrian border town's fate and he warned of a long campaign ahead. 

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Bomb Wounds 12 in Central Cairo

A bomb exploded in the center of the Egyptian capital Cairo late Tuesday wounding 12 people, security and medical officials said.

A police officer on the scene told Agence France Presse the explosive device was placed near the entrance of a metro station  close to the court house, apparently targeting policemen standing guard.

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MP Says 160 Detained Kobane Kurds on Hunger Strike in Turkey

Scores of Kurds from the besieged Syrian town of Kobane are still on hunger strike after being detained by Turkey in a border town when they fled the advance of jihadists, an MP said on Wednesday.

The 160 Syrian Kurds, members of the main Syrian Kurdish party the Democratic Union Party (PYD), have been held for the last nine days in a sports hall in the Turkish town of Suruc.

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Netherlands Says OK for Biker Gangs to Fight Islamic State

The Dutch public prosecutor said on Tuesday that motorbike gang members who have reportedly joined Kurds battling the Islamic State group in Iraq are not necessarily committing any crime.

"Joining a foreign armed force was previously punishable, now it's no longer forbidden," public prosecutor spokesman Wim de Bruin told Agence France-Presse.

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21 Air Raids Slow IS Advance near Kobane

U.S.-led aircraft hammered Islamic State jihadists with 21 bombing raids near Kobane on Monday and Tuesday and there were signs the strikes had "slowed" the group's advance on the Syrian border town, the American military said.

"Indications are that airstrikes have slowed ISIL advances" around Kobane, U.S. Central Command said in a statement, but added the situation remained fluid.

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