Turkey threatens to cancel Greece migration deal

Sunday, 29 January 2017 04:10 Written by

Turkey has demanded the retrial of eight soldiers who fled to Greece after a failed coup last year and said it may take measures, including scrapping an agreement on refugees and migrants with Athens, after a Greek court rejected an extradition request.

US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order formally withdrawing the country from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, following through on a promise from his presidential campaign.

Iraqi forces claim recapture of eastern Mosul

Wednesday, 25 January 2017 04:08 Written by

Iraqi officials said on Monday government forces had taken complete control of eastern Mosul, 100 days after the start of their U.S.-backed campaign to dislodge Islamic State militants from the city.

The deputy parliament speaker announced the capture of the east of the city, Islamic State's last major stronghold in Iraq, after a meeting with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.

"We completed the total liberation of the left bank of Mosul and this is a gift to the Iraqi people," said Sheikh Humam Hamoudi in a statement, quoting Abadi at the meeting.

The army on Sunday entered Rashidiya, the last district under the control of the militants on the east bank of the Tigris, said military spokesman Brigadier-General Yahya Rasool.

Mopping-up operations were still under way on Monday to flush out remaining militants in a pocket in this northeastern district, he said in a statement.

A resident of Rashidiya said the army had stormed the area after air strikes destroyed a tank and car bomb the militants had been preparing to attack the advancing forces.

A resident of Zanjali, a district on the west side of Mosul, said Islamic State fighters "have arrived from the left bank and are trying to find houses on the right bank", fleeing from the government forces' advance.

The resident asked not to identified as the militants kill those caught speaking with the outside world.

Iraqi forces launched a campaign on Oct. 17 to retake Mosul from the hardline Sunni group, which captured the city in 2014, declaring from its Grand Mosque a "caliphate" that also spanned parts of Syria, ruled by its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

MILITANTS CORNERED

The defence ministry had earlier on Monday issued a statement announcing the complete takeover of eastern Mosul, adding that Abadi would be making a formal announcement later. The statement was later removed from the ministry's website.

Talks between key Syria war players in Kazakhstan's capital, Astana, have ended with Russia, Turkey and Iran agreeing on a mechanism to support a delicate ceasefire. 

Syria Peace talks begin in Astana

Monday, 23 January 2017 15:32 Written by

Fresh peace talks aimed at resolving the Syrian conflict have begun in the Kazakh capital, Astana.

Israel approves permits for 566 settler homes

Monday, 23 January 2017 15:31 Written by

Israeli authorities have approved building permits for 566 settler homes in occupied East Jerusalem, according to local officials, a move that has drawn condemnation from Palestinian leaders.

China does not want world leadership but could be forced to assume that role if others step back from that position, a senior Chinese diplomat said on Monday, after U.S. President Donald Trump pledged to put "America first" in his first speech.

Trump to CIA: "I am with you 1,000 percent"

Monday, 23 January 2017 04:55 Written by

President Donald Trump told the CIA Saturday it had his full support as he paid a visit to mend fences after publicly rejecting its assessment that Russia tried to help him win the US election.

Residents of east Mosul held up their children and took selfies with Iraqi counter-terrorism commander Lieutenant General Abdul-Wahab al-Saadi after his men cleared Islamic State fighters from their neighbourhoods.

At least 36 killed as Indian train derails

Monday, 23 January 2017 04:53 Written by

At least 36 people were killed and 50 injured on Saturday night when nine coaches of a passenger train derailed in eastern India, in the latest disaster to hit the vast and accident-prone state railways, police said.