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A U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces fighter stands guard as trucks carrying Islamic State militants and families who surrendered in Baghouz, Syria, move to a camp Tuesday, March 19, 2019.<br>Maya Alleruzzo/AP

Islamic State territory in Syria '100 percent' eliminated, White House says

All Islamic State-held territory in Syria has been"100 percent" eliminated, the White House announced Friday, though officials said sporadic fighting continues on the ground between coalition forces and the group's holdouts.


Trump's Golan statement draws strong regional condemnation

From Syria to Turkey and beyond, President Donald Trump's abrupt declaration that Washington will recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights drew strong condemnation on Friday.


Pompeo at odds with Lebanese officials over Hezbollah

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday called on the Lebanese people to stand up to Hezbollah's "criminality, terror and threats," and claimed sanctions on Iran and its Lebanese Shiite ally were working and that more pressure on them was forthcoming.


Video

Protesters block Iraq president's pathway over ferry sinking; death toll at 95

Iraqi residents of the northern city of Mosul, angry over the sinking of a ferry in the Tigris River that killed 95 people, blocked a road where Iraq's presidential convoy was passing on Friday, chanting "no to corruption" and pelting the provincial governor's car with stones in protest.

Bombs target Afghan Shiites marking new year, killing 6

A string of bombs exploded near a Shiite shrine and cemetery in the Afghan capital on Thursday as people gathered to mark Nowruz, the Persian new year, leaving six people dead and as many as 20 wounded, Afghan officials said.


Pompeo heads to Lebanon, where Hezbollah is at peak strength

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hopes to use his first visit to Lebanon this week to step up pressure on Iran and its local ally, Hezbollah.


US diplomat criticizes Yemen rebels for stalling peace deal

The U.S. ambassador to Yemen on Thursday urged Iran-backed rebels in the war-torn country to show "political maturity" and live up to their responsibilities under a U.N.-negotiated peace deal for the port city of Hodeida, Yemen's key gateway for international aid.



Analysis

The Islamic State group is down but isn’t done

The U.S. military engineered the destruction of the Islamic State group’s self-proclaimed empire in Iraq and Syria. That’s a military success, but not necessarily one that will last. The Islamic State group is down, but it is not done.


US abruptly endorses Israel's Golan sovereignty in big shift

President Donald Trump abruptly declared Thursday the U.S. will recognize Israel's sovereignty over the disputed Golan Heights, a major shift in American policy that gives Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a political boost a month before what is expected to be a close election.


Dubai finds itself entangled in case against R. Kelly

Dubai found itself entangled in the sex abuse case against American R&B singer R. Kelly on Thursday after the performer asked a U.S. judge to allow him to come to the Arabian Peninsula sheikhdom to perform shows and "meet with the royal family."

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