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North Korea shipments to Syria chemical arms agency intercepted: U.N. report

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UNITED NATIONS Two North Korean shipments to a Syrian government agency responsible for the country's chemical weapons program were intercepted in the past six months, according to a confidential United Nations report on North Korea sanctions violations.

Russia hails progress in Syria conflict, ups bombing runs

MOSCOW Russia on Monday hailed what it said was "a dramatic shift" in the Syria conflict, saying that the Syrian army, with Moscow's help, was well on its way to pushing militants out of the central part of the country.

World, Russia, Aug 21 2017

Hezbollah uses drones against Islamic State in Syria: Hezbollah-run media

BEIRUT Lebanon's Hezbollah used drones to strike Islamic State in Syria close to the border with Lebanon, a military media unit it runs said on Monday, their first public declaration that they had used such a weapon.

World, Lebanon Aug 21 2017

Raqqa families make daring escapes from Islamic State stronghold

RAQQA, Syria As Shawakh al-Omar huddled with 16 relatives in a single room in house in Islamic State's Syrian stronghold Raqqa, a mortar round slammed into the home next door, killing four people and shaking the building.

World, United Nations, Aug 21 2017

Monday Morning Briefing

Millions across the United States gather for an awe-inspiring solar eclipse, a U.S. warship collided with an oil tanker near Singapore and Uber hiked its Hong Kong fees by up to 80 percent.

Despite losing terrain, Islamic State's attacks rose in 2016: study

WASHINGTON Although Islamic State is losing fighters and territory in Iraq and Syria, it remained the world’s deadliest militant organization last year, according to a report from the University of Maryland.

World, Iraq Aug 21 2017

Three Lebanese soldiers killed in landmine on Syria border: security source

AMMAN Three Lebanese soldiers were killed and one was critically wounded on Sunday when their armored vehicle hit a landmine on the Lebanese-Syrian border, a security source said.

World, Aug 20 2017

Syria's Assad says Western plots against him foiled but war not yet won

AMMAN Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said on Sunday his country had foiled Western designs to topple him but his army had not yet won the fight to end Syria's six-year-old insurgency.

World, Aug 20 2017

Lebanese army, Hezbollah announce offensives against Islamic State on Syrian border

BEIRUT The Lebanese army launched an offensive on Saturday against an Islamic State enclave on the northeastern border with Syria, as the Lebanese Shi'ite group Hezbollah announced an assault on the militants from the Syrian side of the frontier.

World, Aug 19 2017

Syrian army pounds rebel areas near Damascus after Russian brokered truce

AMMAN Syrian jets and artillery struck rebel-held eastern Damascus suburbs on Saturday a day after a Russian sponsored ceasefire with a rebel group agreed a halt of fighting in the last opposition enclave in the capital, rebels and witnesses said.

World, Russia, Aug 19 2017

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U.S. to remain in Syria for decades, say militia allies

Washington's main Syrian ally in the fight against Islamic State says the U.S. military will remain in northern Syria long after the jihadists are defeated, predicting enduring ties with the Kurdish-dominated region.