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In Syria, Russia securing position as Assad presses war

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BEIRUT With the map of Syria's conflict decisively redrawn in President Bashar al-Assad's favor, his Russian allies want to convert military gains into a settlement that stabilizes the shattered nation and secures their interests in the region.

Backed by Putin, Russian military pushes into foreign policy

MOSCOW From Damascus to Doha, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu has been showing up in unexpected places, a sign of the military's growing influence under Vladimir Putin.

World, Russia, Afghanistan, Yemen, Dec 15 2017

U.N. calls Syria talks a 'big missed opportunity', seeks new ideas

GENEVA A round of Syria peace talks that ended on Thursday was a big missed opportunity but there may be more talks next month if ideas can be found to encourage President Bashar al-Assad's government to engage, U.N. mediator Staffan de Mistura said.

World, Dec 14 2017

U.S. jets fire flares to warn Russian jets in Syria

WASHINGTON Two U.S. F-22 fighter aircraft fired warning flares on Wednesday after two Russian Su-25 jets entered an agreed upon deconfliction area in airspace east of the Euphrates river in Syria, the U.S. military said.

World, Russia, Dec 14 2017

More than 20 Islamic State militants killed in Syria: U.S.-led coalition

WASHINGTON/AMMAN A Pentagon-backed rebel group and the U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State killed more than 20 Islamic State fighters and detained a number of militants in the southern Syrian desert near a base, the coalition said on Thursday.

World, Dec 14 2017

Defiant Syrian envoy blames West, Saudis and U.N. as peace talks end

GENEVA Syrian government negotiator Bashar al-Ja'afari accused its opposition, backed by Western countries and Saudi Arabia, of sabotaging a round of U.N.-led peace talks that ended in Geneva on Thursday without any results.

World, Saudi Arabia, Dec 14 2017

Arms supplied by U.S., Saudi ended up with Islamic State, researchers say

BAGHDAD Arms provided by the United States and Saudi Arabia to Syrian opposition groups frequently ended up in the hands of Islamic State, an arms monitoring group that analyzed weapons found on the battlefield said on Thursday.

World, Saudi Arabia, Dec 14 2017

The growth of Syria's humanitarian crisis

LONDON While 2017 saw the tide of the military conflict in Syria seemingly turn against Islamic State forces, the humanitarian crisis prompted by the conflict intensified in severity and in the breadth of the areas of the country it affects.

World, United Nations, Dec 14 2017

Putin must nudge Syria into U.N. peace deal, mediator says

GENEVA U.N. Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura urged Russia on Wednesday to convince its ally the Syrian government of the need to clinch a peace deal to end the nearly seven-year-old war.

World, United Nations, Russia Dec 14 2017

Russia will keep bases in Syria to strike at insurgents: Kremlin

MOSCOW Russia will keep a naval and an air base in Syria capable of carrying out strikes against insurgents if required after a partial military pull-out announced by President Vladimir Putin, the Kremlin said on Tuesday. | Video

World, Russia, Afghanistan, Dec 13 2017

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Russian troops return home from Syria

A battalion of Russian military police return home to Russia after President Putin announces a "significant part" of the country's troops will start pulling out of Syria. Rough cut (no reporter narration).