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Clinton Suggests Ankara, Riyadh Urge Assad to Step Down

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other governments should call on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step down, but declined to make that call herself.

"It's not going to be any news if the United States says Assad needs to go," Clinton said, suggesting the world's reaction to such a move would be, "Ok, fine. What's next?"

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Yemen's Saleh Vows to Return Soon, Blasts Foes

Yemen's wounded President Ali Abdullah Saleh vowed Tuesday to return home "soon" and lashed out at his opponents, in answer to speculation he is poised to step down following 10 weeks of recovery abroad.

"See you soon in the capital Sanaa," he said, in an address from Riyadh to a meeting of his supporters in Sanaa that was broadcast on state television.

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Britain Says Assad 'Losing Last Shreds of Legitimacy'

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is "fast losing the last shreds of his legitimacy," British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Tuesday as the regime escalated its crackdown on pro-democracy protests.

As Syrian forces raked the revolt-hit Mediterranean port city of Latakia with machine-gun fire that has already killed dozens, Hague said he was "appalled by the ongoing repression of civilians by the Syrian government".

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Syrian Army Leaves Deir Ezzor after 10-Day Operation

Dozens of Syrian army vehicles left the eastern protest hub of Deir Ezzor on Tuesday after a 10-day operation in which activists say up to 30 people were killed, an Agence France Presse journalist on a government tour of the city reported.

"The army conducted a quick and sensible operation in Deir Ezzor in order to restore stability and calm at the request of residents," who complained of "armed groups," an officer told reporters.

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HRW Urges EU to Freeze Assets of Syria State Institutes

Advocacy group Human Rights Watch on Tuesday said it had urged the European Union to freeze the assets of the Syrian National Oil Company, Syrian National Gas Company, and the Central Bank of Syria until Damascus "ends gross human rights abuses against its citizens."

"Syria’s authorities are still killing their own people despite multiple efforts by other countries, including former allies, to make them stop," said Lotte Leicht, EU director at the New York-based HRW.

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Syrian Port Latakia under Heavy Machine-Gun Fire

Heavy machine-gun fire reverberated Tuesday across the Syrian Mediterranean port of Latakia, which is engulfed by a major military offensive, activists said.

"The heavy machine gun-fire and bullets were intense in areas of Latakia, Ramel, Masbah al-Shaab and Ain Tamra for more than three hours," said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

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Israel Arrests al-Jazeera Kabul Bureau Chief in W. Bank

Israel has arrested the Palestinian head of al-Jazeera's Kabul bureau as he tried to leave the West Bank after visiting his family, the television channel's Jerusalem bureau chief told Agence France Presse on Tuesday.

Walid al-Omary said Samer Allawi was detained on August 10 as he tried to cross to Jordan through the Israeli-controlled Allenby crossing.

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Kuwait, Iraq Hold Talks over Controversial Port

An Iraqi technical delegation has held talks in Kuwait over a seaport Baghdad claims would strangle its narrow shipping lanes in the Gulf, the Kuwaiti foreign ministry said on Tuesday.

The Kuwaiti side presented illustrations and studies on Mubarak al-Kabir port and its impact on shipping in Khour Abdullah waterway, said an official quoted by the KUNA news agency.

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23 Yemeni Tribesmen Killed in Clashes with Troops

Twenty three tribesmen were killed in overnight clashes with troops loyal to embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Arhab, northeast of the capital, a tribal source said Tuesday.

"Twenty three of our fighters were killed in fierce overnight clashes with the Republican Guard," said the source, adding that the worst fighting was concentrated in the area of Sheheb Arhab.

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Iran: Foreign Meddling in Syria’s Affairs Creates Many Problems

Iran sees no justification for any Western intervention in the "internal affair" of its regional Arab ally Syria, foreign ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said on Tuesday.

"The events in Syria are its internal affair and there is no justification for any foreign intervention as it can only create many problems," Mehmanparast said during his weekly press briefing.

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