Syria

Iraqi official briefs Syria's Assad on efforts against Islamic State

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BEIRUT - Iraq's national security adviser briefed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on efforts to counter Islamic State on Tuesday, in the first such meeting since the United States launched air strikes on the radical group in Iraq.

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Turkish reluctance hurts U.S. plans for coalition against Islamic State 16 Sep 2014

ANKARA/ISTANBUL - When Washington takes its bombing campaign against Islamic State fighters into Syria, the most it can probably hope for from one of its closest allies in the region will be grudging consent.

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Islamic State shoots down Syrian war plane - monitor group 16 Sep 2014

BEIRUT - Islamic State fighters shot down a Syrian war plane using anti-aircraft guns on Tuesday, the first time the group has downed a military jet since declaring its cross-border caliphate in June, a group monitoring the civil war said.

Al Qaeda groups urge warring militants in Iraq, Syria to unite 16 Sep 2014

DOHA - Two al Qaeda branches urged warring militant factions in Iraq and Syria to stop fighting each other and unite against a U.S.-led alliance preparing to attack the ultra hardline Islamic State armed group, according to a joint statement posted online.

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U.N. chief urges nations to 'act decisively' on Islamic State 16 Sep 2014

UNITED NATIONS - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon urged countries with the capacity to do so to take decisive action against Islamic State militants, who have taken over large swaths of Iraq and Syria.

Islamic State goes underground in Syrian stronghold 16 Sep 2014

BEIRUT - Islamic State has gone underground in its Syrian stronghold since President Barack Obama authorised U.S. air strikes on the group in Syria, disappearing from the streets, redeploying weapons and fighters, and cutting down its media exposure.

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U.N. experts caution powers they must heed 'laws of war' in fighting IS 16 Sep 2014

GENEVA - United Nations war crimes investigators for Syria on Tuesday cautioned world powers preparing military action against Islamic State fighters that the 'laws of war' would apply to them and they must do everything possible to protect civilians.

U.S. Congress poised to approve aid to moderate Syrian rebels 16 Sep 2014

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Congress appeared poised on Tuesday to quickly approve President Barack Obama's plan to arm and train Syrian rebels, a major part of the effort he announced this week to fight Islamic State militants.

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U.S. to Assad - Beware of interfering with U.S. airpower in Syria 16 Sep 2014

WASHINGTON - The Syrian military's air defences would face retaliation if Syria attempted to respond to U.S. airstrikes that are expected against Islamic State targets in Syria, senior U.S. officials said on Monday.

U.S. partners unclear on roles in fight against Islamic State 16 Sep 2014

- Many countries have said they support a coalition the United States hopes to build to fight Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, but most have been vague about any specific role they might play.

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Rough Cut
(GRAPHIC IMAGES) Islamic State video purports to show beheading of British captive

(WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT) Islamic State militants fighting in Iraq and Syria release a video which purports to show the beheading of British aid worker David Haines. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).

Timeline: recent developments in Syria