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Kremlin asks Turkey to explain Erdogan’s remark about toppling Assad

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The Kremlin said on Wednesday that Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan's statement that his forces in Syria were there to topple President Bashar al-Assad had come as a surprise to Moscow and that it expected an explanation from Ankara.

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Russia says most U.N. aid in Syria going to rebel-held areas

MOSCOW (Reuters) – The Russian Foreign Ministry complained on Wednesday that the issue of humanitarian aid in Syria was becoming increasingly politicized and said most U.N. help was going to areas controlled by anti-government rebels.

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Syrian army say Israeli jets mount raid from Lebanese air space

BEIRUT (Reuters) – The Syrian army said Israeli jets fired two missiles on an area west of the capital of Damascus on Wednesday morning, causing no casualties in an attack mounted from Lebanese air space.

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Rescue service say dozens killed in Aleppo attack

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Rescue workers said more than 45 people had been killed in artillery bombardment of rebel-held eastern Aleppo on Wednesday, and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said more than 50,000 people had been displaced by the fighting.

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Russia says it hopes Aleppo situation can be resolved by year-end: RIA

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov said on Wednesday he hoped that the situation in Syria's Aleppo could be sorted out by the end of this year, the RIA news agency cited him as saying.

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For Mosul perfume trader, militants meant business

MOSUL, Iraq (Reuters) – When Islamic State fighters came to Hamza Samih's perfume shop in Mosul they issued two orders – get rid of the perfumes and colorful bras they said were unholy, and set up separate doors for men and women.

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Germany’s Merkel opposes new talks with Turkey on EU accession: Bild

BERLIN (Reuters) – German Chancellor Angela Merkel told parliamentary members of her conservative Christian Democrats on Tuesday that she opposed opening new negotiations with Turkey as part of its quest to join the European Union, the Bild newspaper reported.

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Egypt warns citizens from participating in foreign polls

CAIRO (Reuters) – The Egyptian government warned citizens on Tuesday against taking part in surveys conducted by foreign media organizations, saying it was a threat to national security.

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Water cuts and rising food prices leave Mosul facing crisis

MOSUL/BAGHDAD, Iraq (Reuters) – Fighting between Iraqi troops and Islamic State militants has cut water supplies across a large part of Mosul, where poorer families are already struggling to feed themselves, and a local official said the increasingly encircled city was in crisis.

Egypt’s parliament regulates NGOs in law activists says is repressive

CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt's parliament overwhelmingly endorsed a law regulating non-governmental organizations on Tuesday that human rights groups and activists say effectively bans their work and makes it harder for charities to operate.

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