Sunday, July 5, 2015

1:23 PM 7/5/2015 - U.S.-led Coalition Targets Islamic State in Raqqa | Polls Close in Greek Referendum

U.S.-led Coalition Targets Islamic State in Raqqa

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U.S.-led coalition aircraft unleashed a series of airstrikes targeting Islamic State’s stronghold of Raqqa in eastern Syria, killing at least 10 militants and wounding many others, the coalition and the group said.

Polls Close in Greek Referendum

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Voting ended in Greece’s referendum Sunday, with several opinion polls taken during the day predicting a narrow victory for the “no” side.

Shoe factory collapses in eastern China, killing 9 people and injuring more ... - Fox News

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Fox News

Shoe factory collapses in eastern China, killing 9 people and injuring more ...
Fox News
Rescuers shine flashlights across the rubble of a factory building in Wenling city in eastern China's Zhejiang province Saturday, July 4, 2015. Officials say the shoe factory collapsed during a weekend shift. The cause of the accident is still under ...

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On nervous border, Turks welcome army but fear Syria incursion - Reuters

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Reuters

On nervous border, Turks welcome army but fear Syria incursion
Reuters
KARKAMIS, Turkey From his fields in Turkey, farmer Huseyin Ozdemir can see Islamist militants digging trenches and planting mines as they ready for battle around the northern Syrian town of Jarablus. Like many villagers along this stretch of Turkey's ...
Report: Turkey summons commanders along Syrian border amid talks of Syria ...Today's Zaman
Islamic State attacks power plant in Hasaka, in northeast Syria: armyGlobalPost

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Greek foreign minister visits Israel amid crisis at home - Thegardenisland.com

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Jerusalem Post Israel News

Greek foreign minister visits Israel amid crisis at home
Thegardenisland.com
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel is welcoming the Greek foreign minister for a three-day visit as his country faces a financial crisis at home, with Greeks voting on a referendum about their country's future. Emmanuel Nahshon, Israel's Foreign Ministry ...
Greek FM heading to Israel in midst of crisisi24news

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Donald Trump comments still dominating the GOP debate, dividing the field - Los Angeles Times

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Los Angeles Times

Donald Trump comments still dominating the GOP debate, dividing the field
Los Angeles Times
More than two weeks after his disparaging comments about Mexican immigrants attracted attention, Donald Trump continues to dominate the Republican campaign debate and divide the candidates. lRelated A GOP conundrum: How does a 2016 candidate ...
The hypocrisy of outrage over Donald TrumpCNN
Republicans hit Trump over Mexico commentsUSA TODAY
Republicans Turn on Donald Trump After Mexican Immigration CommentsABC News 
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Israeli Cabinet reverses policy easing conversion to Judaism - Daily Mail

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Haaretz

Israeli Cabinet reverses policy easing conversion to Judaism
Daily Mail
JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel's Cabinet has reversed an initiative aimed at easing the conversion process to Judaism in Israel. Sunday's move tightens the grip of ultra-Orthodox parties over religious issues in Israel and rolls back reforms made by the ...
A Czech-born single mother challenges the Chief Rabbinate's monopoly on ...Haaretz
Israel rows back Judaism conversion reformYahoo News

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ISIL video shows mass killings in Syria's Palmyra - euronews

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ISIL video shows mass killings in Syria's Palmyra
euronews
Amateur video purportedly shows Islamic State militants carrying out a mass execution in Palmyra's ancient amphitheatre. The footage shows the militants leaving the city's notorious prison, where dozens of Syrian government soldiers were said to be held.

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On His Native Turf, Pope Frances Touches on Cherished Issues - New York Times

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Newsweek

On His Native Turf, Pope Frances Touches on Cherished Issues
New York Times
QUITO, Ecuador — History's first Latin American pope returns to Spanish-speaking South America for the first time on Sunday, bringing a message of solidarity with the region's poor, who are expected to turn out in droves to welcome their native son home.
Pope to focus on poor in South AmericaiAfrica.com
Latin America visit will test pope's ability to defend his flockPittsburgh Post-Gazette
Pope 
Francis to leave for South America in 'homecoming' tripJerusalem Post Israel News
 
Zee News
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22 dead in heavy US raids on IS Syria stronghold: Monitor - Economic Times

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The Indian Express

22 dead in heavy US raids on IS Syria stronghold: Monitor
Economic Times
BEIRUT: Six civilians, including a child, were among at least 22 people killed in US air strikes on the Islamic State group's de facto Syrian capital on Saturday and Sunday, a monitor said. The rest of the dead in the raids on the city of Raqa were IS ...
Deadly strikes by US-led coalition targeting IS in RaqqaDaily Mail
Barrage Of US Air Strikes Hit Islamic State's Raqqa StrongholdRadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
Heavy raids on IS in Syria leave 22 dead9news.com.au
Press TV -Al-Manar TV -Al-Arabiya
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Israeli Cabinet Reverses Policy Easing Conversion to Judaism

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Israel Cabinet reverses initiative easing conversion to Judaism, a blow for many immigrants

Mexico wants to tame disruptive teachers union

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MEXICO CITY — They have seized public plazas and filled them with sprawling tent cities. They have burned government buildings and choked off a city’s gasoline supply. They have held marches and torched ballots and closed schools for weeks at a time. Read full article >>









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Calais crisis: Bicycle repair shops, mosques and an Orthodox church - the town where migrants wait to cross to Britain

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Inside the makeshift town-come-refugee camp outside Calais that aid agencies compare to a war zone











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AP Top News at 12:19 a.m. EDT

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AP Top News at 12:19 a.m. EDT
The Latest on Greece: Polls open in bailout referendumATHENS, Greece (AP) - The latest from the referendum in Greece (all times local): ---
Greece votes on high-stakes bailout referendumATHENS, Greece (AP) - Greeks started casting ballots early Sunday in the closely watched bailout referendum, with opinion polls showing people evenly split on whether to accept creditors' proposals for more austerity in exchange for rescue loans, or defiantly reject the deal. Polling stations are open until 7 p.m. (1600 GMT; noon EST).
At least 14 hurt in deck collapse at North Carolina beachEMERALD ISLE, N.C. (AP) - A deck collapsed at a North Carolina beach house as a family got set to take a group photo Saturday evening, leaving at least 14 people injured with two of those in critical condition, authorities said. A spokeswoman at a nearby hospital later said 20 people, including a young child, were rushed to that one hospital alone, indicating the injury total was higher.
Billy Joel weds girlfriend during Fourth of July partyNEW YORK (AP) - Billy Joel married girlfriend Alexis Roderick in a surprise ceremony at the couple's annual Fourth of July party. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo presided over Saturday's nuptials at Joel's Long Island estate, the singer's spokeswoman Claire Mercuri said. The small group of family and friends at the party didn't know the couple planned to exchange vows. Among those in attendance were Alexa Ray Joel, his daughter with his second wife, model Christie Brinkley, and actor Kevin James.
Will history repeat itself? The US women hope notVANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) - Abby Wambach remembers the date by heart: July 17, 2011. That was the day the United States lost to Japan in the Women's World Cup title match in Germany.

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AP Top News at 4:31 a.m. EDT

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AP Top News at 4:31 a.m. EDT
Yes or no? Greeks vote on high-stakes bailout referendumATHENS, Greece (AP) - Greeks were voting Sunday in a bailout referendum that will decide the country's future, with opinion polls showing people evenly split on whether to accept creditors' proposals for more austerity in exchange for rescue loans or defiantly reject the deal. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is gambling the future of his 5-month-old left-wing government on the quick poll - insisting that a "no" vote would strengthen his hand to negotiate a better deal with the country's creditors and saying "yes" would mean capitulating to their harsh demands.
On his native turf, Pope Frances touches on cherished issuesQUITO, Ecuador (AP) - History's first Latin American pope returns to Spanish-speaking South America for the first time on Sunday, bringing a message of solidarity with the region's poor, who are expected to turn out in droves to welcome their native son home. "The pope of the poor" chose to visit Ecuador, Bolivia and Paraguay specifically because they are among the poorest and most marginal nations of a region that claims 40 percent of the world's Catholics. He's skipping his homeland of Argentina, at least partly to avoid papal entanglement in this year's presidential election.
The Latest: Pope Francis leaves for Ecuador on 3-nation tripROME (AP) - Here are the latest developments from Pope Francis' trip to South America: ---
America celebrates Independence Day with fireworks, paradesAmericans celebrated 239 years as an independent nation on Saturday with extravagant fireworks displays, rock and classical concerts and parades both big and small. Here were some highlights of Independence Day festivities around the nation: ---
US, wooing Vietnam, readies red carpet for communist chiefHANOI, Vietnam (AP) - Vietnamese Communist Party chief Nguyen Phu Trong doesn't hold an official government post, but it's not surprising that he'll meet with President Barack Obama on his visit to the United States this week. He is the de-facto top leader of his country. More telling is one of Trong's other engagements - a dinner reception hosted by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, bastion of American free enterprise. Economic imperatives drove the U.S. and Vietnam to normalize postwar relations 20 years ago, and they remain a major incentive to boost ties.
Malaysian leader faces risk of criminal charge over fundsKUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak is facing the risk of a criminal charge over allegations that millions of dollars were funneled from an indebted state fund to his personal bank accounts, the first time the country's leader has faced criminal allegations. The attorney general confirmed late Saturday he has received documents from an official investigation that made the link between Najib and the investment fund 1MDB. The existence of the documents was first reported by the Asian Wall Street Journal on Friday, showing some $700 million were wired from entities linked to the fund into Najib's accounts.
At least 14 hurt after deck collapse at North Carolina beachEMERALD ISLE, N.C. (AP) - A deck collapsed at a North Carolina beach house as a family got set to take a group photo, leaving at least 14 people injured with two of those in critical condition, authorities said. A spokeswoman at a nearby hospital later said 20 people, including a young child, were rushed to that one hospital alone following the Saturday evening incident, indicating the injury total was higher.
VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) - Abby Wambach remembers the date by heart: July 17, 2011. That was the day the United States lost to Japan in the Women's World Cup title match in Germany. The Americans get a rematch on Sunday when the teams meet again in the final, this time in Canada. The U.S. women are favored, and there figures to be a mostly pro-American crowd making the short trip across the border to Vancouver's BC Place.

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AP Top News at 8:26 a.m. EDT

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AP Top News at 8:26 a.m. EDT
Farmers eager for drones, but most can't legally fly themCORDOVA, Md. (AP) - Mike Geske wants a drone. Watching a flying demonstration on Maryland's Eastern Shore, the Missouri farmer envisions using an unmanned aerial vehicle to monitor the irrigation pipes on his farm - a job he now pays three men to do.
The Latest: Solid turnout seen so far in Greek bailout voteATHENS, Greece (AP) - The latest from the bailout referendum in Greece (all times local): --
ATHENS, Greece (AP) - Greeks were voting Sunday in a referendum on their nation's financial future, with opinion polls showing that residents were evenly split on whether to accept creditors' demands for more austerity in return for rescue loans or defiantly reject the deal. Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was gambling the future of his 5-month-old left-wing government on the hastily called poll - insisting that a "no" vote would strengthen his hand to negotiate a better deal with creditors while a "yes" result would mean capitulating to their harsh demands.
7/7 spurred tough anti-terror measures some say went too farLONDON (AP) - After four home-grown suicide bombers killed 52 London commuters on July 7, 2005, Prime Minister Tony Blair vowed that Britain would stop at nothing to defeat terrorism. "Let no one be in any doubt," he said. "The rules of the game are changing." Since the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States four years earlier, Britain had made its anti-terrorism powers among the toughest in the Western world. Now they became tougher still.
Russian craft delivers long-awaited cargo to space stationMOSCOW (AP) - An unmanned Russian cargo ship has docked successfully at the International Space Station, where it was anxiously awaited by the U.S.-Russian crew after the successive failures of two previous supply missions. The Progress M-28M ship, which is carrying 2.5 metric tons of fuel, oxygen, water, food and other supplies, was launched into orbit on Friday from the Baikonur launch pad in Kazakhstan. Russian Mission Control said it docked successfully Sunday in the automated mode at the orbiting space station.
2 people dead, 3 missing after boat capsizes in Ohio RiverLOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Kentucky authorities say two people have been killed and three remain missing after the pontoon boat they were riding in hit the Clark Memorial Bridge and capsized in the Ohio River. Louisville Fire Chief Greg Frederick tells WHAS-TV that three of the nine people on the boat when the accident happened Saturday night were rescued. He says one of the three missing people is assumed to be child.
UK's Princess Charlotte to be christened on queen's estateLONDON (AP) - Britain's Princess Charlotte, the nine-week-old baby of Prince William and his wife Kate, is to be christened Sunday at a church on Queen Elizabeth II's country estate. The queen, her husband Prince Philip, Prince Charles and Kate's family were among a small group of guests attending the event at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, near England's eastern coast.

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Bombings Kill 19 People In, Around Baghdad

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A series of attacks, mainly car bombs, in Iraq killed at least 19 people and wounded dozens on July 4.

Barrage Of U.S. Air Strikes Hit Islamic State's Raqqa Stronghold

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U.S.-led coalition forces carried out a series of 16 air strikes on July 4 on the Islamic State in its Syrian stronghold of Raqqa, in one of the biggest assaults yet on the militant group.
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Iran's Nuclear Program A Child Of Washington

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Nuclear talks between Washington and Tehran have witnessed more collision than fusion. What may have been forgotten, however, is that the United States played a key role in the creation of Iran's nuclear program.

Former Insurgent Elected Chechen Parliament Speaker

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The Chechen parliament has unanimously elected presidential and government administration head Magomed Daudov , 35, as its new speaker. Daudov, aka Lord, succeeds Dukvakha Abdurakhmanov, who died late last month.

Gardens: Turkish delights | Dan Pearson 

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The exotic-looking Turk’s cap lily is one of the garden’s most startlingly beautiful blooms. Dan is smitten…
Five years ago, in the strenuous few months between making an offer on the farm and selling the house in Peckham, I bought a collection of Lilium martagon. It was a dare to myself because with the commitment came risk. I had too many bulbs to squeeze into the London garden and their potential home in Somerset was still in the lap of the gods.
Thankfully, the gods came good and so did the lilies. I knew Lilium martagon well in its dusky mauve form, which I had first seen naturalised at Sissinghurst. As a teenager I was already obsessed and dreamed of having them myself one day, but my commitment to do so was cemented when I initially saw them growing in the wild. I was on my first plant-hunting trip to the Pyrenees and came upon them where nut wood thinned to meadow. They were growing in the exact same combination as atSissinghurst, reaching up through pale astrantia.
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Where is Google taking us? 

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Tim Adams was invited to hang out at Google’s California HQ, where some of the world’s brightest minds are working on innovations, such as driverless cars, that will transform our lives. But is society ready to go along for the ride?
Whatever happened to wonder? The most unnerving thing about sitting in the back of a driverless car is how quickly you get used to it. After 10 minutes cruising Californian streets in the rear seat of one of Google’s “autonomous” Lexus 4x4s, the “look, no hands!” miracle of the Google “driver” in the front already feels old hat. Approaching a complicated four-way junction, every nearby moving or stationary object – lorries, wheelie bins, birds, trees, pedestrians – mapped and colour-coded instant-by-instant on the car’s computer console, I find myself thinking not, “Look out!” but rather, “Speed up!”
The car, one of 24 that have now done a collective million miles on the roads around Google’s campus in the city of Mountain View, and further afield on freeways, and even out in San Francisco, behaves – not surprisingly – somewhat like a cautious learner driver. Its sensors, bolt-on radar and lasers and cameras, are twitchily hyperactive. They can monitor unexpected movements two football pitches away. Now they are calculating from memory what the dad and his toddler passenger on a bike on the right are likely to do next, now processing the probabilities that the car approaching the stop sign at some speed is actually going to stop.
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US-led air strikes on Isis stronghold leave dozens dead including civilians 

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Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says at least 30 people have been killed in air strikes on Raqqa in Syria, including six civilians, among them children
A US-led coalition has carried out some of its heaviest air strikes yet on Islamic State’s de-factoSyrian capital, killing at least 30 people, including six civilians, according to a human rights monitor.
The strikes on Saturday night and Sunday morning also damaged infrastructure in Raqqa, the group’s bastion in northern Syria.
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Calais drivers need more protection from migrants, says lorry group 

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Road Haulage Association warns of potential for fatal attacks and suggests deployment of French military to boost security
Someone will end up being killed if more is not done to protect lorry drivers from desperate migrants in Calais trying to get to the UK, the Road Haulage Association has warned.
Industrial action by ferry workers over the past two weeks, which at times has brought lorries to a standstill on both sides of the channel, has led to chaotic scenes with migrants trying to clamber on to vehicles at the northern French port.
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Egypt journalists face jail for reporting non-government terrorism statistics 

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New law awaiting presidential approval outlaws the publication of ‘false news or data about any terrorist operations that contradicts official statements’
Egypt was accused of making a savage assault on free speech on Sunday, after its cabinet drafted a law that criminalises the reporting of terrorism statistics that differ from those the government provides.
Under an article in the new terrorism law presented to the president for his final approval, journalists face at least two years in jail if they publish figures that contradict those that state institutions such as the army release.
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U.S. coalition hammers de facto ISIS capital Raqqa

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Rare targeting of ISIS stronghold hits city center, going after ISIS' "ability to move"; Iraq claims to hold off latest ISIS assault on key dam

Former CIA leader: Heightened security "the new normal"

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There are several challenges presented by ISIS changing the way the U.S. approaches national security, Mike Morell says

Police: Man Shoots off Firework From Top of His Head, Dies

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Maine State Police say man, 22, shoots off firework from top of his head, is fatally injured

Billy Joel weds girlfriend during July 4 party at NY estate

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Billy Joel married girlfriend Alexis Roderick in a surprise ceremony at the couple's annual July 4 party....

Islamic State attacks power plant in Hasaka, in northeast Syria: army

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BEIRUT (Reuters) - Islamic State suicide bombers on Sunday blew up an explosive- laden truck near a power plant that serves the northeastern city of Hasaka, the latest attack after their expulsion from most parts of the city, the Syrian army said.
  
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Islamic State suicide bombers strike in Iraqi refinery town

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BAGHDAD (Reuters) - Islamic State suicide bombers and fighters attacked the center of Iraq's northern oil refinery town of Baiji overnight, forcing the army and Shi'ite fighters to pull back, military sources and the local mayor said on Sunday.
  

Urgent meeting of Turkish-Syrian border commanders

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July 5, 2015, 4:46 PM (IDT)
Sources in Ankara report that Turkish military chiefs have ordered commanders of the armored brigades of Syrian border troops and commando brigades to attend a meeting at military headquarters to discuss a possible cross-border operation in Syria. The air force's role in a possible intervention will also be discussed. A plan to have more than 400 armored vehicles, which will carry military personnel and be protected by jammers, to combat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant's (ISIL) planting mines across Syria's Turkey border, is also on the agenda,
A total of 54,000 members of Turkey's land forces have reportedly been deployed on the country's Syria border. DEBKAfile’s military sources: Some Western sources say that the Turkish military build-up on the Syrian border is smaller than described and most probably limited to the Gaziantp region of eastern Turkey.

US in series of air strikes against ISIS Syrian stronghold

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July 5, 2015, 4:56 PM (IDT)
The US-led coalition against the Islamic State group said Sunday it had carried out a series of 16 air strikes in Syria on its main stronghold, Raqqa, calling this one of its largest assaults in Syria so far. US military spokesman Lt Col Thomas Gilleran said: "The significant air strikes tonight were executed to deny Daesh [IS] the ability to move military capabilities throughout Syria and into Iraq." DEBKAfile: This number of air strikes was too small to have the effect claimed. The raids followed the release ofan ISIS video showing young teenagers shooting dead 25 Syrian men in the ancient Syrian city ofPalmyra..

Iran builds up air defenses as nuclear talks wind down

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July 5, 2015, 5:13 PM (IDT)
Brig. Gen. Farzad Esmaili, commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps' (IRGC) air defense force, unveiled the Ghadir phased-array radar in Ahwaz city in southwestern Khuzestan province near the Iraq border, state television said late on Saturday. Iran says the Ghadir unit is designed and manufactured entirely inside the country and can detect a plane at 600 km (373 miles) and a ballistic missile at 1,100 km.
DEBKAfile’s military sources: If what the Iranian general said is true, then Tehran has set up a radar system capable of identifying Israeli ballistic missiles potentially on the way to Iran - moments after they are launched. The distance between the two points is 1,200 km.
"Discovering and tracking micro aerial vehicles (MAV) ... is one of the special qualities of the Ghadir radar system,” the general added, as in Vienna, the nuclear talks reached their final, uncertain stage. He did not explain the rationale for deploying the new radar system at Ahwaz, where Iran’s southwestern oil fields are located.

Animosity Between Sunnis and Shiites Might Doom Iraq's ISIS Fight

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