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Middle East

Azerbaijani soldier killed in shootout with Armenian forces

An Azerbaijani soldier died and three Armenian troops were wounded Friday (July 23) in the latest incident between the countries since their war over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region last year.


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UNESCO asks Turkey for report on Hagia Sophia after mosque change

The World Heritage Committee of the UN's cultural agency UNESCO on Friday (July 23) asked Turkey to submit by early next year a report about the state of conservation of the Hagia Sophia, expressing "grave concern" over the consequences of its conversion into a mosque.


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UN Security Council condemns Turkey leader's position on Cyprus: statement

The UN Security Council on Friday (July 23) condemned Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's call for two states in Cyprus and a move to reopen a resort emptied of Greek Cypriots, calling for a "just" settlement with a united country under a "bizonal" federation, diplomats said.


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Migrant boat sinks off Turkey with 45 on board

A migrant boat carrying 45 people sank off southwest Turkey and the coast guard was scouring the sea for survivors, the Turkish defence ministry said Friday (July 23).


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Khamenei warns protesters not to give ammunition to Iran foes

Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned residents of the drought-hit southwest Friday (July 23) not to give ammunition to the enemy after a week of protests that has seen at least three deaths.


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Lebanon water supply could collapse in a month: UN

The shortages and currency crunch in Lebanon could lead to a collapse of the mains water supply in Lebanon within a month, the UN's Children Fund warned Friday (July 23).


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Iran using unlawful force in water protest crackdown: rights groups

Iran is using unlawful and excessive force in a crackdown against protests over water shortages in its oil-rich but arid southwestern Khuzestan province, international rights groups said on Friday (July 23).


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Iran's Rouhani says water protesters have 'right' to demonstrate

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Thursday (July 22) citizens have "the right" to demonstrate, after days of protests against water shortages in southwestern Khuzestanprovince in which three people have been killed.


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Syria army shells rebel bastion, killing seven: monitor

The Syrian army shelled the Idlib region Thursday (July 22) killing seven civilians, three of them children, in its third deadly bombardment of the rebel bastion in a week, a monitor said.


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Iran opens new oil export terminal bypassing strait

Iran has opened its first oil export terminal outside the strategic Strait of Hormuz, a chokepoint patrolled by warships of its arch foe the US, President Hassan Rouhani announced Thursday (July 22).


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Israeli missiles shot down in Syria: state media

Syria's air defenses intercepted Israeli missiles over Homs province early Thursday (July 22), the second airstrike this week, Syrian state media reported.


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Turkey faces uproar by seeking shift on Cyprus

Turkey faced outrage from Western powers on Wednesday (July 21) after it called for two states in Cyprus and moved to reopen a resort emptied of Greek Cypriots, with the United States saying it would haul its NATO ally before the UN Security Council.


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Erdogan presses hard line on Cyprus, pushes to reopen ghost town

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan insisted Tuesday (July 20) on a two-state solution in Cyprus and threw his weight behind plans for a coastal resort that was emptied of its original Greek Cypriot residents to be partially reopened.


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Police officer killed in restive southwest Iran: state media

A police officer was shot dead in southwestern Iran, state media reported Wednesday (July 21), following nearly a week of protests against water shortages in the drought-hit region.


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Biden hosts king of Jordan, vows to strengthen ties

President Joe Biden on Monday (July 19) hosted Jordan's King Abdullah II for talks at the White House, where he said the United States aimed to boost cooperation between the strategic partners.


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Iran registers record daily Covid caseload

Iran on Tuesday (July 20) registered a new daily Covid caseload record, the health ministry announced, as strict limitations to curb its spread went into effect in the capital Tehran.


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Pilgrims 'stone the devil' with sanitized pebbles in hajj ritual

Muslim pilgrims cast sanitized pebbles Tuesday (July 20) as they took part in the "stoning of the devil", the last major ritual of this year's hajj which is again under tight coronavirus restrictions.


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Erdogan says Turkey can run Kabul airport if US meets conditions

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday (July 20) Turkey could run Kabul airport if its NATO ally the United States met certain conditions including on logistics and financing.


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Kosovo and N Macedonia repatriate dozens from Syria camps

Kosovo and North Macedonia repatriated 34 of their citizens from Syria including men suspected of fighting for the Islamic State militant group, government officials said on Monday (July 19).


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Syria intercepts Israeli missiles: state media

Syrian air defenses shot down Israeli missile over the northern province of Aleppo on Monday (July 19), state media reported, in an attack that a war monitor said targeted positions of pro-regime groups.


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