Secretary of Defense Ash Carter is greeted in Baghdad by Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, the commander of all U.S. Forces in Iraq and Syria. Carter is in Iraq to discuss the progress in the battle for Mosul and the plans for the city after it falls.<br>Tara Copp/Stars and Stripes

Carter presses for post-battle plans as Iraq rejects Turkish troop role in Mosul

Secretary of Defense Ash Carter was in Baghdad Saturday for an operational update on the battle to recapture Mosul from Islamic State militants and make sure plans to deal with the political and humanitarian aftermath of the battle are in place before the city falls.

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Ex-top diplomat: Duterte's China shift a 'national tragedy'

A former top Filipino diplomat, who brought the triumphant arbitration case against China over territorial disputes, said Friday the Philippine president's declaration to pivot away from Washington to Beijing should be regarded "a national tragedy."

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middle east

Afghan special forces operations surpass 3,000 this year

Responding to increasing attacks, Afghan special forces so far this year have conducted more than 3,000 operations against the Taliban and terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State group, government officials said. But they say it will take much more effort to defeat the militants.

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