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US Secretary of State John Kerry (L) speaks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov (R) before a press conference in Geneva on September 14, 2013 after they met for talks on Syria's chemical weapons. Washington and Moscow have agreed a deal to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons, Kerry said after talks with Lavrov. AFP PHOTO/PHILIPPE DESMAZESPHILIPPE DESMAZES/AFP/Getty Images

Syria: US “on the verge” of calling off Russia talks

By: VOA News Source: VOA News Secretary of State John Kerry says the U.S. is “on the verge” of suspending talks with Russia over Syria because of Moscow’s continued aerial bombardment of the Syrian city of Aleppo. Hours after Russia vowed to continue its air strikes in Aleppo, Kerry said Thursday that bilaterial engagement with Russia over Syria is “irrational in the context of the kind of bombing taking place.” “It is one of those moments where we are going to have to pursue other alternatives,” he said. Russia is backing the intensive campaign launched by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to capture Aleppo’s rebel-held...

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Members of the Shi'ite Badr Organisation undergo training before the upcoming battle to recapture Mosul in Diyala province, Iraq September 27, 2016. Picture taken September 27, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer

More US troops headed for Mosul front

By: Stephen Kalin and Yeganeh Torbati Source: Reuters via MuslimVillage BAGHDAD/ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (Reuters) – The United States will send around 600 new troops to Iraq to assist local forces in the battle to retake Mosul from Islamic State that is expected later this year, U.S. and Iraqi officials said on Wednesday. The new deployment is the third such boost in U.S. troop levels in Iraq since April, underscoring the difficulties President Barack Obama has had in extracting the U.S. military from the country. “American President Barack Obama was consulted on a request from the Iraqi government for a final increase in the number of trainers and advisers under the umbrella of the...

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Syrian troops take Aleppo neighborhood

By: VOA News Source: VOA News Syrian troops have seized a central neighborhood in the northern city of Aleppo from rebel forces, according to reports on state television and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group. After capturing the neighborhood of Farafra, government forces continued to engage rebel troops in the same area near the famous citadel in Aleppo. A rebel official from an Aleppo-based faction said Syrian and Russian warplanes and artillery pounded a number of areas in and around the city as ground forces gathered to reinforce the strikes. The capture of Farafra follows other sieges by government forces in recent weeks in eastern rebel-held...

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