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Pictures | Sat Jan 28, 2017 | 8:48am EST

The state of the banned nations

SYRIA: While Assad's government forces have retaken most rebel-held regions, the fight against Islamic State continues as does fighting between rival rebel factions.   REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

SYRIA: While Assad's government forces have retaken most rebel-held regions, the fight against Islamic State continues as does fighting between rival rebel factions. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi

SYRIA: While Assad's government forces have retaken most rebel-held regions, the fight against Islamic State continues as does fighting between rival rebel factions. REUTERS/Khalil Ashawi
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FLEEING SYRIA: Syrian refugee Dania poses for a portrait at the Sacramento, California apartment complex she lives in, November 16, 2015. Dania and her family fled violence in Syria three and a half years earlier and arrived in Sacramento in September after living in Jordan. Her face is excluded from the photo to protect her identity. In 2015, President Obama directed his administration to accept 10,000 refugees. Though this was met with stiff resistance from Republicans, by August 2016 all 10,000 had landed in the U.S. Trump campaigned heavily against the policy, pushing an extreme vetting proposition.  REUTERS/Max Whittaker

FLEEING SYRIA: Syrian refugee Dania poses for a portrait at the Sacramento, California apartment complex she lives in, November 16, 2015. Dania and her family fled violence in Syria three and a half years earlier and arrived in Sacramento in...more

FLEEING SYRIA: Syrian refugee Dania poses for a portrait at the Sacramento, California apartment complex she lives in, November 16, 2015. Dania and her family fled violence in Syria three and a half years earlier and arrived in Sacramento in September after living in Jordan. Her face is excluded from the photo to protect her identity. In 2015, President Obama directed his administration to accept 10,000 refugees. Though this was met with stiff resistance from Republicans, by August 2016 all 10,000 had landed in the U.S. Trump campaigned heavily against the policy, pushing an extreme vetting proposition. REUTERS/Max Whittaker
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IRAQ: Despite Iraqi forces retaking eastern Mosul from Islamic State, the Sunni Muslim jihadists are expected to put up a fierce fight in other parts of the war-torn nation. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

IRAQ: Despite Iraqi forces retaking eastern Mosul from Islamic State, the Sunni Muslim jihadists are expected to put up a fierce fight in other parts of the war-torn nation. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

IRAQ: Despite Iraqi forces retaking eastern Mosul from Islamic State, the Sunni Muslim jihadists are expected to put up a fierce fight in other parts of the war-torn nation. REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah
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FLEEING IRAQ: The offensive in Mosul drove an exodus of civilians from the latest frontlines in the war against Islamic State. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

FLEEING IRAQ: The offensive in Mosul drove an exodus of civilians from the latest frontlines in the war against Islamic State. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

FLEEING IRAQ: The offensive in Mosul drove an exodus of civilians from the latest frontlines in the war against Islamic State. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra
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SOMALIA: Until 2011, al Shabaab controlled much of the Horn of Africa country including Mogadishu. Its militants often stage bomb and gun attacks in the capital in their quest to topple the Western-backed government and impose their own strict interpretation of sharia (Islamic law) on the nation. In the past two years, African Union and Somali government forces have driven al Shabaab out of important urban strongholds but it remains active from bases in rural areas. REUTERS/Feisal Omar

SOMALIA: Until 2011, al Shabaab controlled much of the Horn of Africa country including Mogadishu. Its militants often stage bomb and gun attacks in the capital in their quest to topple the Western-backed government and impose their own strict...more

SOMALIA: Until 2011, al Shabaab controlled much of the Horn of Africa country including Mogadishu. Its militants often stage bomb and gun attacks in the capital in their quest to topple the Western-backed government and impose their own strict interpretation of sharia (Islamic law) on the nation. In the past two years, African Union and Somali government forces have driven al Shabaab out of important urban strongholds but it remains active from bases in rural areas. REUTERS/Feisal Omar
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FLEEING SOMALIA: One million Somali refugees are living in exile in neighboring Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Djibouti and Yemen and some 1.1 million Somalis are displaced within Somalia, according to the United Nations.  REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

FLEEING SOMALIA: One million Somali refugees are living in exile in neighboring Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Djibouti and Yemen and some 1.1 million Somalis are displaced within Somalia, according to the United Nations. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

FLEEING SOMALIA: One million Somali refugees are living in exile in neighboring Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Djibouti and Yemen and some 1.1 million Somalis are displaced within Somalia, according to the United Nations. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis
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IRAN: Iran's deal with world powers lifted most international sanctions and promised Iran's reintegration into the global community in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program. The potential detente with the West has alarmed Iranian hardliners, who have seen a flood of European trade and investment delegations arrive in Tehran to discuss possible deals, according to Iran experts. Security officials have arrested dozens of artists, journalists and businessmen, including Iranians holding joint American, European or Canadian citizenship, as part of a crackdown on "Western infiltration." REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi/TIMA

IRAN: Iran's deal with world powers lifted most international sanctions and promised Iran's reintegration into the global community in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program. The potential detente with the West has alarmed Iranian hardliners, who...more

IRAN: Iran's deal with world powers lifted most international sanctions and promised Iran's reintegration into the global community in exchange for curbs on its nuclear program. The potential detente with the West has alarmed Iranian hardliners, who have seen a flood of European trade and investment delegations arrive in Tehran to discuss possible deals, according to Iran experts. Security officials have arrested dozens of artists, journalists and businessmen, including Iranians holding joint American, European or Canadian citizenship, as part of a crackdown on "Western infiltration." REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi/TIMA
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FLEEING IRAN: A stranded Iranian migrant with a slogan reading "USA help Iran" written on his body, cries during a protest at the Greek-Macedonian borders near the village of Idomeni, Greece, November 28, 2015. The EU hopes humanitarian aid could help re-establish ties with Iran, an Islamic republic of some 78 million people, which has a high number of executions and ranks second in the world on the highest number of imprisoned journalists. Freedom of expression, rights of ethnic and religious minorities and women there all are a major concern for the bloc. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis

FLEEING IRAN: A stranded Iranian migrant with a slogan reading "USA help Iran" written on his body, cries during a protest at the Greek-Macedonian borders near the village of Idomeni, Greece, November 28, 2015. The EU hopes humanitarian aid could...more

FLEEING IRAN: A stranded Iranian migrant with a slogan reading "USA help Iran" written on his body, cries during a protest at the Greek-Macedonian borders near the village of Idomeni, Greece, November 28, 2015. The EU hopes humanitarian aid could help re-establish ties with Iran, an Islamic republic of some 78 million people, which has a high number of executions and ranks second in the world on the highest number of imprisoned journalists. Freedom of expression, rights of ethnic and religious minorities and women there all are a major concern for the bloc. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis
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YEMEN: Yemen's 21-month-old war has killed more than 10,000 people and sparked humanitarian crises, including chronic food shortages, in the poorest country in the Middle East. REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad

YEMEN: Yemen's 21-month-old war has killed more than 10,000 people and sparked humanitarian crises, including chronic food shortages, in the poorest country in the Middle East. REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad

YEMEN: Yemen's 21-month-old war has killed more than 10,000 people and sparked humanitarian crises, including chronic food shortages, in the poorest country in the Middle East. REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad
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FLEEING YEMEN: Tens of thousands of people have fled Yemen so far, mostly to Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan. Most of them are not Yemenis, but returning refugees and other foreigners. Given the immense hardships in Yemen, a greater refugee exodus might have been expected. However, penned in by ocean and desert, with only Saudi Arabia and Oman as direct neighbors, Yemenis have no easy outlets - although Riyadh now allows those already in the kingdom to stay. Flights out are irregular at best. Former havens such as Jordan now demand visas and set tough conditions.  REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad

FLEEING YEMEN: Tens of thousands of people have fled Yemen so far, mostly to Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan. Most of them are not Yemenis, but returning refugees and other foreigners. Given the immense hardships in Yemen, a greater refugee...more

FLEEING YEMEN: Tens of thousands of people have fled Yemen so far, mostly to Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan. Most of them are not Yemenis, but returning refugees and other foreigners. Given the immense hardships in Yemen, a greater refugee exodus might have been expected. However, penned in by ocean and desert, with only Saudi Arabia and Oman as direct neighbors, Yemenis have no easy outlets - although Riyadh now allows those already in the kingdom to stay. Flights out are irregular at best. Former havens such as Jordan now demand visas and set tough conditions. REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad
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LIBYA: The 2011 Arab Spring uprising against Muammar Gaddafi and ensuing violence destabilized the nation. For two years, the Libyan National Army has waged a military campaign against Islamist-led opponents, including Islamic State who used Sirte as their Libyan stronghold. REUTERS/Hani Amara

LIBYA: The 2011 Arab Spring uprising against Muammar Gaddafi and ensuing violence destabilized the nation. For two years, the Libyan National Army has waged a military campaign against Islamist-led opponents, including Islamic State who used Sirte as...more

LIBYA: The 2011 Arab Spring uprising against Muammar Gaddafi and ensuing violence destabilized the nation. For two years, the Libyan National Army has waged a military campaign against Islamist-led opponents, including Islamic State who used Sirte as their Libyan stronghold. REUTERS/Hani Amara
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FLEEING LIBYA: Since Islamic State emerged in Libya in late 2014, some 240,000 migrants and refugees have traversed the war-torn country. Over the past two years, Islamic State fighters have abducted at least 540 refugees in six separate ambushes, according to 14 migrants who witnessed the abductions and have since escaped to Europe. REUTERS/Hani Amara

FLEEING LIBYA: Since Islamic State emerged in Libya in late 2014, some 240,000 migrants and refugees have traversed the war-torn country. Over the past two years, Islamic State fighters have abducted at least 540 refugees in six separate ambushes,...more

FLEEING LIBYA: Since Islamic State emerged in Libya in late 2014, some 240,000 migrants and refugees have traversed the war-torn country. Over the past two years, Islamic State fighters have abducted at least 540 refugees in six separate ambushes, according to 14 migrants who witnessed the abductions and have since escaped to Europe. REUTERS/Hani Amara
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SUDAN: The U.S. has labelled Sudan a state sponsor of terrorism and enforces sanctions tied to Khartoum's role in the conflict in Darfur, where the United Nations says up to 300,000 people have been killed and millions displaced since 2003. REUTERS/Jok Solomon

SUDAN: The U.S. has labelled Sudan a state sponsor of terrorism and enforces sanctions tied to Khartoum's role in the conflict in Darfur, where the United Nations says up to 300,000 people have been killed and millions displaced since 2003....more

SUDAN: The U.S. has labelled Sudan a state sponsor of terrorism and enforces sanctions tied to Khartoum's role in the conflict in Darfur, where the United Nations says up to 300,000 people have been killed and millions displaced since 2003. REUTERS/Jok Solomon
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FLEEING SUDAN: Darfuris are a constant presence in the ranks of the more than 1 million refugees and migrants who spilled into Europe last year, mostly to escape war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa. While violence in the western Sudanese region has ebbed over the past decade, the insurgency continues. The Khartoum government has escalated attacks on rebel groups in the past year, pushing a new wave of migrants to desolate camps in the relative calm of North Darfur.   REUTERS/Eric Gaillard

FLEEING SUDAN: Darfuris are a constant presence in the ranks of the more than 1 million refugees and migrants who spilled into Europe last year, mostly to escape war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa. While violence in the western Sudanese...more

FLEEING SUDAN: Darfuris are a constant presence in the ranks of the more than 1 million refugees and migrants who spilled into Europe last year, mostly to escape war and poverty in the Middle East and Africa. While violence in the western Sudanese region has ebbed over the past decade, the insurgency continues. The Khartoum government has escalated attacks on rebel groups in the past year, pushing a new wave of migrants to desolate camps in the relative calm of North Darfur. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard
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