U.S. begins vetting Syrian rebels for military training - Pentagon


WASHINGTON - The U.S. military has begun vetting a group of Syrian rebels eligible for training and assistance in the fight against Islamic State militants, a step that paves the way for training to begin in weeks, the Pentagon said on Friday.

Slain U.S. journalist's father - identification of 'Jihadi John' not important 27 Feb 2015

- The father of American journalist James Foley, who was taken captive in Syria and later decapitated by Islamic State militants, has said it was "not important" to him that his son's purported killer, "Jihadi John," had been identified.

Teacher denies radicalising Canadian teens headed to Syria 27 Feb 2015

MONTREAL - A Muslim teacher once jailed by Canada as a security threat denied on Friday he had radicalised Canadian teens believed to have headed to Syria to fight with Islamic State, saying his school had had only brief contact with one of the six students.

Syria expels three United Nations aid workers 27 Feb 2015

BEIRUT - The Syrian government has expelled three United Nations aid workers, in a move that will harm attempts to deliver relief around the wartorn country, U.N. agencies said on Friday.


Islamic State under pressure as Kurds seize Syrian town 27 Feb 2015

BEIRUT - Kurdish forces dealt a blow to Islamic State by capturing an important town on Friday in the latest stage of a powerful offensive in northeast Syria, a Kurdish militia spokesman said.


France, Britain dismiss calls to renew relations with Syria's Assad 27 Feb 2015

PARIS - France and Britain dismissed on Friday any suggestion of restoring relations with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, saying this would likely end all hope of a political transition and push moderates into the arms of radical Islamist groups.

Cyprus police hold three in illegal Syrian vehicle export probe 27 Feb 2015

NICOSIA - Police in Cyprus are questioning three Syrian men on suspicion of exporting cars illegally from the island to Syria, authorities said on Friday.


Islamic State must keep expanding to survive - financial report 27 Feb 2015

WASHINGTON - International investigators said on Friday that in order for the Islamic State to remain financially viable it would have to further expand territory it controls in Iraq and Syria and take over more resources.

Air strikes hit Islamic State in Syria after Christians abducted 26 Feb 2015

BEIRUT - A U.S.-led alliance launched air strikes against Islamic State on Thursday in an area of northeast Syria where the militants are now estimated to have abducted at least 220 Assyrian Christians this week, a group monitoring the war reported. | Video

With sledgehammer, Islamic State smashes Iraqi history 26 Feb 2015

ARBIL/BAGHDAD - Ultra-radical Islamist militants in northern Iraq have destroyed a priceless collection of statues and sculptures from the ancient Assyrian era, inflicting what an archaeologist described as incalculable damage to a piece of shared human history.

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Islamic State fighters smash priceless relics in Iraqi museum

Islamic State posts video of its fighters destroying priceless antiquities dating back thousands of years. Mana Rabiee reports.