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Egypt in mourning after 30 soldiers killed in Sinai attack

Egypt has declared a state of emergency in the northern region of the Sinai Peninsula after at least 32 soldiers were killed in a checkpoint blast and a town shoot-out there.

Assad forces retake key central town from Al Qaeda rebels

Damascus - The Syrian military is taking more territory in the central province of Hama and are reported to have retaken the town of Morek. The town is important because it is close to the crucial Damascus-Aleppo highway arguably the most important road in Syria.

Op-Ed: Yemen Al-Qaeda group supports the Islamic State

Damascus - The Islamic State (IS) has been disowned by Al-Qaeda for not following orders. The Jabhat al-Nusra or Nusra Front is now recognized as the official representative of Al Qaeda in Syria.

IS militants capture, train to fly Syrian fighter jets

Aleppo - A British aid group reports that Islamic State (IS) militants have captured three fully operational Syrian fighter jets and are being trained on how to pilot them by former Iraqi military pilots.

Conflict between Turkey and PKK Kurds heats up

Ankara - Kurds in Turkey are already outraged that Turkey has done nothing to stop the Islamic State advance into the Kurdish border town of Kobane. Kurds wanting to cross over to join the battle have also been prevented from doing so.

Op-Ed: Obama being pushed to send ground troops to Iraq

Baghdad - For several weeks now there has been an apparent tension between Obama and some US generals with respect to the role of "boots on the ground" in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraq.

Op-Ed: ISIS. Do we really know what we are doing? Special

Much is being made of attempts to destroy ISIS but the question needs to be asked, will the current strategy work or will it lead to increased chaos in the Middle East?

Op-Ed: U.S. coalition risks being unwitting accomplice in Syrian carnage

In Syria lack of a long-term strategy will eventually make the United States and its coalition allies unwitting accomplices in that country's destruction.

Op-Ed: Kurdish 'terrorists' defending Kobane inspired by US anarchist

You would never know from most mainstream news reports that the Kurds defending the Syrian border city of Kobane from the Islamic Front advance are part of the Kurdistan Worker's party or PKK widely regarded as a terrorist organization.

Op-Ed: A bun fight — the mud of the Middle East

Several years ago I attended a gentleman’s evening with buffet and drink offered in copious amounts. As the drink flowed and noise levels were building up, the atmosphere became a little volatile. Then it all kicked off and became very riotous.

Op-Ed: U.S. considering a possible buffer zone between Syria and Turkey

Ankara - The U.S. and the UK say they are willing to look at the possibility of creating a "buffer zone" between Syria and Turkey. Meanwhile the Islamic State is continuing its assault on the border town of Kobane with fighting now taking place within the town .

Op-Ed: Government tweet reveals Turkey’s hatred of Kurds

Ankara - Sometimes a mere tweet, some call it crowd-sourcing, can tell the true story to the world. A Turkey government minister showed the government was wearing no clothes.

Qaeda-linked rebels seize priest in Syria: Franciscan Order

Idlib - A Franciscan priest and 20 other Christians have been seized by Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front in a village in northwestern Syria, the Franciscan mission to the Holy Land said Tuesday.

Vaccine deaths in Syria explained

Recently a number of children in Syria died after receiving measles vaccinations. This has been attributed to a "mistake" by a non-governmental agency who mixed in a muscle relaxant meant for anesthesia.

Op-Ed: Turkey's shameful ISIS deal on brink of massacre of Kurds

As ISIS terrorists moved into the Syrian city of Kobani to begin a likely massacre of Kurds, it was revealed that Turkey had made a deal with the group to free Ankara’s diplomats held hostage in Mosul, Iraq.

Op-Ed: Obama's moderate rebels in Syria may be hard to find

Washington - Obama's strategy for battling the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq envisions using proxy troops on the ground rather than US forces. In Iraq there are the Kurdish peshmerga and Iraqi forces.

Female Kurdish fighter kills IS forces in suicide bomb attack

As Islamic State (IS) forces continue to advance towards the Syrian town of Kobane, a female Kurdish fighter launched a suicide bomb attack against IS fighters.

Op-Ed: Turkey reneging on promise to confront IS

Ankara - Instead of launching tanks to hit ISIS targets 10 miles away, Turkey President Recep Tayyap Erdogan has gotten into an argument with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden.

Syria's Assad makes rare public appearance at Eid prayers

Damascus - Syria's President Bashar al-Assad made a rare public appearance on Saturday, attending prayers on the Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday at a mosque in Damascus, state media said.

Op-Ed: U.S. still considering a no fly zone over part of Syria

Washington - The U.S. public has been told that bombing raids in Syria were to attack the Islamic State and areas it occupies. It turns out that the US raids also attacked areas held by other radical Islamists such as Al Nusra Front.
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