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3 Turkish Troops Killed in Restive Kurdish-Majority Southeast

Masked gunmen on Saturday shot dead three Turkish soldiers in the restive Kurdish-majority southeast of the country, the army said, blaming separatist "terrorists" for an attack that threatens to undermine a fragile ceasefire. 

The three soldiers were shot dead on the street in the town of Yuksekova in Hakkari province of Turkey's extreme southeast bordering Iraq and Iran.

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IS Attacks Turkey Crossing as Kobane Awaits Iraq Kurd Relief

Islamic State group fighters made a new bid to cut off the Syrian border town of Kobane from neighboring Turkey Saturday as preparations gathered pace to deploy Iraqi Kurdish reinforcements.

The Kurdish regional government in northern Iraq unveiled plans on Friday for up to 200 well-trained peshmerga to join Syrian Kurdish forces defending Kobane in the coming week.

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5.2 Magnitude Earthquake in Northern Greece

A 5.2-magnitude earthquake struck northern Greece early Saturday, the country's earthquake observatory said, with no reports of victims or major damage.

The tremor struck at 3:16 am (0016 GMT), with its epicentre 20 kilometres (12 miles) from the northern town of Arta and 249 kilometres northeast of the capital Athens, according to the observatory.

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Grateful for U.S. Strikes, Syrian Kurds Name Baby 'Obama'

Sultan Muslim, a Syrian Kurd, had no doubt what to name her seventh child when he was born, safely in Turkey, after a harrowing month-long flight from her home in Kobane: Obama.

Desperate to flee the flashpoint Syrian border town, the heavily pregnant mother, her husband and six other children made it across the frontier just in time for the boy's arrival. 

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Suspicious Envelopes Sent to Foreign Missions in Istanbul

Suspicious envelopes containing a yellow powder were sent Friday to the Belgian, Canadian and German consulates in Istanbul, prompting a security alert, officials said.

One person who opened the envelope at the Canadian mission was directly exposed to the unknown substance, which was now being analysed by experts, Turkey's disaster management agency AFAD said.

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Syria Kurds Skeptical as Erdogan Says 1,300 FSA Fighters to Join Kobane Battle

Syria's Kurds reacted coolly Friday to the prospect of hundreds of rebel fighters joining their defense of the border town of Kobane, suggesting they should focus on fighting jihadists elsewhere.

Turkey said on Friday that 1,300 Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters -- who are battling to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad -- would travel to Kobane, located just across its border.

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EU Official Says he Pressed Lebanese Politicians on Elections

A top European Union official said he informed Lebanese officials during his visit to Beirut that the presidential and parliamentary elections should be held to have a healthy democracy

Hugues Mingarelli, who is the Managing Director for North Africa, Middle East, the Arabian Peninsula, Iran and Iraq at the European External Action Service, said: “You have a democracy and there are routine elections and a multi-party system.”

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Derbas Says Lebanon and Jordan United at Berlin Conference

Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas said the stance of Lebanon and Jordan at the upcoming Berlin conference on the Syrian refugees will be united.

In remarks to An Nahar daily published Friday, Derbas said that both countries are suffering from the same repercussions of the Syrians crisis that resulted in millions of refugees.

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Kobane's Children Learn Turkish to Sound of Shelling

If they let their eyes wander from the blackboard, a handful of children from Kobane can watch their town being bombarded from the windows of their new Turkish school.

The thud of battle for the besieged Syrian border town can be clearly heard in the classrooms of the village school just 400 meters from the frontier, where children struggling to get their heads around being made refugees, must now learn not just a new language but a new alphabet as well.

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EU Leaders Seriously Concerned at Cyprus, Turkey Tensions

European Union leaders will call on Turkey to respect Cyprus's sovereign rights, expressing "serious concern" at fresh tensions between the two countries over oil and gas exploration, a draft summit document showed Thursday.

The statement, to be issued at an EU summit in Brussels, comes after Cyprus on Monday slammed Turkey for sending a survey vessel into an area where the Cypriot government had already licensed exploratory drilling for oil and gas.

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