Middle East and North Africa

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U.S. planes strike militants near Iraq's Amreli, airdrop aid

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BAGHDAD/WASHINGTON - The United States carried out air strikes on Saturday against Islamic State fighters near the besieged Shi'ite town of Amerli in northern Iraq and airdropped humanitarian aid to civilians trapped there, the Pentagon said. | Video

Afghanistan expected to send defense minister to NATO summit

BRUSSELS - Afghanistan is expected to send its defense minister to a NATO summit in Wales this week, NATO officials said on Monday, after a political crisis dashed hopes that a newly-elected president could make his debut on the international stage there.

Obama notifies Congress of ordering air strikes in Iraq's Amerli

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama formally notified the U.S. Congress on Monday that he had authorized air strikes and humanitarian airdrops over the weekend in the Iraqi Shi’ite town of Amerli where Islamic State militants had trapped the civilian population.

Politics, World, Iraq 4:21pm EDT

Afghan talks on unity government collapse; crisis deepens

KABUL - Talks on a power-sharing deal between Afghanistan's rival presidential candidates have collapsed, a top leader said on Monday, rekindling fears of ethnic unrest over disputed election results.

U.N. to send team to investigate Islamic State crimes in Iraq

GENEVA - The United Nations agreed on Monday to send investigators to Iraq to examine crimes being committed by Islamic State militants on "an unimaginable scale", with a view to holding perpetrators to account. | Video

World, Iraq 3:37pm EDT

Iraq violence killed at least 1,420 in August: U.N.

BAGHDAD - At least 1,420 people were killed in Iraq in August as sectarian violence raged in the country's center and north, the United Nations said on Monday.

World, United Nations, Iraq 3:37pm EDT

Iran's Zarif 'quite optimistic' of Iran nuclear agreement

BRUSSELS - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif voiced optimism after talks with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton on Monday that a dispute over Tehran's nuclear program can be resolved by a Nov. 24 deadline.

World, United Nations, Davos 3:34pm EDT

Iranians play role in breaking IS siege of Iraqi town

AMERLI Iraq - Kurdish peshmerga fighters and Shi'ite militiamen paraded through Amerli on Monday, a day after breaking the two-month siege of the northern town by Sunni Islamist militants.

World, Iraq 3:18pm EDT

Saudi court jails 17 for seeking to fight in Iraq: SPA

DUBAI - A Saudi Arabian court jailed 17 men for up to 26 years on Monday for seeking to fight in Iraq and funding militants, official media reported, part of a security crackdown in which scores have been imprisoned in recent weeks.

World, Iraq, Saudi Arabia 2:58pm EDT

Syrian army, rebels fight on Golan where peacekeepers held

EIN ZIVAN Golan Heights/MANILA - Heavy fighting erupted on Monday between the Syrian army and Islamist rebels on the Golan Heights, where 44 peacekeepers from Fiji are being held by militants and scores of their fellow blue helmets from the Philippines escaped after resisting capture. | Video

World, United Nations, Syria 2:36pm EDT

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