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Islamic State's income drops 30 percent on lower oil, tax revenue: IHS

Islamic State's income drops 30 percent on lower oil, tax revenue: IHS

Islamic State's income and the population under its control have both fallen by about a third, a U.S.-based analysis firm said, describing the declining revenue as a threat to its long-term rule over its self-proclaimed caliphate. Revenue for the ultra-hardline Sunni Muslim group,...

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ISIS plans to expand its territories southern Syria to include Quneitra, Sweida

ISIS plans to expand its territories southern Syria to include Quneitra, Sweida

By Ali Eid; Translation by Yusra Ahmed (Zaman Al Wasl)- The outcomes of the battle between the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and ISIS-allegiants armed formations in the Southern Front, Daraa and Horan in particular, is not known yet, as battles are still ongoing in the villages of Yarmouk valley and...

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Turkish firms in Russia struggle as diplomatic row rages

Turkish firms in Russia struggle as diplomatic row rages

Four months after President Vladimir Putin accused Ankara of a "stab in the back", Turkish business executives in Russia are getting used to saying hasty goodbyes. "Every week another friend calls to say he's leaving," one Turkish businessman based in Moscow told Reuters. "It's...

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ISIS eyed on southern Syria as 'Caliphate' territories shrink in the north

ISIS eyed on southern Syria as 'Caliphate' territories shrink in the north

By Ali Eid; Translation by Yusra Ahmed (Zaman Al Wasl)- Indirect battle between the Islamic State and the free Syrian Army (FSA) has broken out in Southern Syria front, Horan and Daraa. It cannot be called a traditional battle for both side, as the exact manpower, the strength and goals of...

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Russia flies out almost half Syria strike force: Reuters analysis

Russia flies out almost half Syria strike force: Reuters analysis

Just under half of Russia's fixed-wing strike force based in Syria has flown out of the country in the past two days, according to a Reuters calculation which suggests the Kremlin is accelerating its partial withdrawal. President Vladimir Putin on Monday ordered the bulk of the...

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 Russia using an 'information war' to spark dissent against German leader

Russia using an 'information war' to spark dissent against German leader

 (The Daily Mail)- Vladimir Putin is stirring up the migrant crisis in a bid to whip up anger in Germany and get Angela Merkel ousted from power, a senior strategist has claimed. Russia is using an 'information war' to spark dissent against the German leader who has been an advocate of...

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Can Russia help build the peace in Syria?

Can Russia help build the peace in Syria?

  (BBC)- The Russian air force has been accused of indiscriminate bombing. The human rights group Amnesty International says it has "compelling evidence" that Russian and Syrian government forces had "deliberately and systematically targeted hospitals and other medical...

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The road to Aleppo: how the West misread Putin over Syria

The road to Aleppo: how the West misread Putin over Syria

Last July, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad seemed to be losing his battle against rebel forces. Speaking to supporters in Damascus, he acknowledged his army's heavy losses. Western officials said the Syrian leader’s days were numbered and predicted he would soon be forced to the...

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America is now fighting a proxy war with itself in Syria

America is now fighting a proxy war with itself in Syria

 (BuzzFeed News)- Officials with Syrian rebel battalions that receive covert backing from one arm of the U.S. government told BuzzFeed News that they recently began fighting rival rebels supported by another arm of the U.S. government. The infighting between American proxies is the latest...

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Syria rebels risk collapse after Russia-backed regime gains

Syria rebels risk collapse after Russia-backed regime gains

Syria's mainstream rebels risk total collapse after a Russian-backed government advance that severed their main supply line to Aleppo city and threatens to leave them completely besieged there. Analysts said rebels and their international backers were left with few options to prevent fresh...

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Fall of Syria's Aleppo would hand Russia's Putin elusive prize

Fall of Syria's Aleppo would hand Russia's Putin elusive prize

Vladimir Putin thinks Russian air strikes in Syria have helped turn the war's tide but the pace of the Syrian army's advance has frustrated him, some sources say. If Aleppo falls, he could get the military and symbolic prize he has been craving. More than four months of Russian...

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Russian bombs take toll in Syria as Islamic State under pressure

Russian bombs take toll in Syria as Islamic State under pressure

Four months of Russian air strikes in Syria are taking their toll on rebel forces, strengthening the hand of a defiant President Bashar al-Assad as the United Nations struggles to get peace talks off the ground. Insurgents in the west are being hit harder, while in eastern and...

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Iran deals may not herald rapid changes

Iran deals may not herald rapid changes

The lifting of crippling international sanctions linked to Iran's nuclear program and the flurry of diplomacy that led to the release of Americans held by Tehran suggests a new era could be dawning. But anyone hoping for rapid change is likely to be disappointed. President Hassan...

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Iran moves from pariah state to regional power

Iran moves from pariah state to regional power

Iran's release from sanctions testifies to its new relationship with the United States as it moves from pariah state to regional power, a status that could come at the cost of Saudi Arabia, Washington's chief Arab ally. Enemies and allies alike must adjust to Iran becoming an...

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Saudi-Iran row not to end in armed conflict: experts

Saudi-Iran row not to end in armed conflict: experts

New friction between Saudi Arabia and Iran sparked by the execution of a Shia cleric is not expected to rise to a level of military conflict, according to close observers.   The kingdom’s decision to execute Nimr Baqir al-Nimr was denounced in Iran as protesters raided the Saudi embassy...

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Syria rebel group will survive leader’s death

Syria rebel group will survive leader’s death

(The National- Hassan Hassan)- Zahran Alloush, the former leader of Jaish Al Islam who was killed by Russian air strikes on Friday evening near Damascus, was more widely mourned than any other opposition figure since the start of the Syrian conflict. He has also been condemned for having made...

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Assad is reaching out to Washington insiders

Assad is reaching out to Washington insiders

(Bloomberg- Josh Rogin)- Early this year, a former top White House official secretly went to Damascus and met with leaders of the Syrian regime. The visit is part of a broader effort by the Syrian government to reach out to Washington’s power brokers and gain influence. The...

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Isis is expanding its international reach. That is hardly a sign of weakness

Isis is expanding its international reach. That is hardly a sign of weakness

(The Guardian)- The United Nations’ sanctions monitoring team warned last Tuesday that Libya was emerging as a key stronghold for Islamic State close to the shorelines of Europe. The warning aligns with assessments by US intelligence officials that the organisation’s franchise is...

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