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January, 21, 2017

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World > Middle East
A senior U.S. defense official is confirming that a top Islamic State military commander was killed by a coalition airstrike in Syria on Monday.
 
Iraqi troops have pushed deeper into Mosul after a two-week lull in the operation to retake the Islamic State-held city.
 
Turkey and Russia have agreed on a cease-fire plan for all of Syria that should come into force this evening at midnight, Turkish state media said on Wednesday, as Ankara and Moscow tighten cooperation to find an end to the civil war.
 
Israel delayed a vote Wednesday on permits for settler homes at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's request, ahead of a speech by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, an official said.
 
Images of homeless drug addicts living in empty graves just outside the Iranian capital have deeply shocked the public and prompted reactions even from President Hassan Rouhani.
 
The Afghan government expressed concern over a high-level meeting on the country held in Moscow on Tuesday between Russia, China and Pakistan that did not include any Afghan representatives.
 
Abbas hopes Paris summit ends settlements
The Palestinian president said Tuesday that he hopes the upcoming Mideast conference in France will set a timetable to end settlements, while Israel advances plans for thousands of new homes in parts of Jerusalem claimed by the Palestinians, as well as "reducing" ties with nations that voted for last week's U.N. Security Council resolution demanding a halt to settlement building in Palestinian territory.
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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu summoned U.S. Ambassador Daniel Shapiro Sunday two days after Washington abstained in a vote on a U.N. resolution against Israeli settlements.
 
Residents of the Syrian capital were facing their third consecutive day of water shortages on Sunday, with authorities accusing "terrorist groups" of deliberately poisoning water resources.
 
Iraq Christians head home for wartime Christmas
For the 300 Christians who braved rain and wind to attend Christmas's Eve Mass in their hometown, the ceremony evoked both holiday cheer and grim reminders of the war raging around their northern Iraqi town, and the distant prospect of moving back home.
 
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