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Turkish military says Syrian border security largely achieved with Dabiq seizure
ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey-backed Syrian rebels seized control of nine areas, including the village of Dabiq, from Islamic State on Sunday, largely achieving border security between the Turkish towns of Kilis and Karkamis, the country's military said on Monday.
Taking control of Dabiq had eliminated the threat to Turkey from rockets fired by the jihadists, the Turkish Armed Forces said in a written statement.
It said that in the last 24 hours of clashes, nine Turkey-backed rebels were killed and 24 were wounded while "many" Islamic State fighters were killed. The operation, dubbed "Euphrates Shield" was launched in late August.
The Syrian rebels, backed by Turkish tanks and warplanes, said they had taken Dabiq after clashes on Sunday morning, forcing Islamic State from a stronghold where it had promised to fight a final, apocalyptic battle with the West.
President Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman Ibrahim Kalin said on Sunday Dabiq's liberation was a "strategic and symbolic victory" against Islamic State.
He told Reuters it was important strategically that the Turkey-backed forces continue their advance toward the Islamic State stronghold of al-Bab.
(Reporting by Orhan Coskun; Editing by Daren Butler and Simon Cameron-Moore)
Don't push the envelope: Vietnam prohibits Lunar New Year gifts for officials
Two women look at red envelops, used to hold lucky-money given to relatives and friends during Lunar New Year, or Tet, celebrations in Vietnam. Photo by AFP In what appears to be a departure from standard procedure, Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc has banned government officials from offering gifts to their superiors for the upcoming Lunar New Year, or Tet. “I have instructed them [government officials] not to pay any visit to the prime minister or other senior government, ministry and agency… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
British anti-terrorist police find second 'suspicious item' after London arrest
LONDON (Reuters) - Counter-terrorism police investigating the discovery of a "suspicious item" on a London train this week said they found another such device on Saturday when they searched a house in Devon, western England.The house and neighboring properties were evacuated and a 200-metre cordon thrown around the area while specialist officers investigated.On Thursday morning, the first device was found on a train at North Greenwich station, near the Canary Wharf financial district and close… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Governor of Syria's Homs says Islamic State has captured Palmyra
AMMAN (Reuters) - The governor of the Homs province said on state television on Sunday that Islamic State had captured the ancient city of Palmyra on Sunday and the army was fighting to regain control.In the government's first official admission that Palmyra had fallen once again to the militants, Talal Barazi was quoted on Ikhbariyah TV as saying the army had pulled out of the city."The army is using all means to prevent the terrorists from staying in Palmyra," he was quoted as saying, hours… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
Two Senate Dems vow to cross aisle in support of Trump high-court nominee
North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin have announced their intentions to back Neil Gorsuch, Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, but one thing sets them apart from the dozens of other senators who’ve pledged to do the same: their party.Their statements, published Thursday, make them the first of the 100-seat Senate’s 48 Democrats to express a willingness to cast a ballot with their Republican colleagues. Many consider Mr. Gorsuch qualified, but the memory of… chat_bubble_outline Read More...
EU enterprises optimistic about business prospects in Vietnam: survey
About 76% of European enterprises operating in Vietnam said they are optimistic about business prospects in 2017, according to a Business Climate Index (BCI) survey for the fourth quarter of 2016 conducted by the European Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (EuroCham). EuroCham Communications and Marketing Manager Joaquim Torrinha said at a press meeting on February 21 that almost all European enterprises participating in the survey were satisfied with improvements to the investment environment… chat_bubble_outline Read More...