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Libya not accepting Italy migrant deal - EU presidency Malta

VALLETTA (Reuters) - Libya's U.N.-backed government has not accepted proposals by Rome aimed at cutting migrant flows to Italy and the two sides are "far apart" on the issue, Malta's foreign minister said on Friday.


Blasts hit key military airport in Damascus - Syrian state TV

AMMAN (Reuters) - Syrian army command said on Friday that Israeli artillery fired rockets at a major military airbase outside Damascus, and warned Israel of repercussions for what it called a "flagrant" attack.


Indonesia releases eight IS suspects deported from Singapore

JAKARTA - Eight Indonesians held for questioning over their suspected links to the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria have been released after police established that they were not associated with the terrorist group in the Middle East.


At least seven killed in suicide attack in Syrian capital - state tv

AMMAN (Reuters) - A powerful blast caused by a suicide bomber hit a heavily policed district of the Syrian capital on Thursday with at least seven killed, a police source told state television.


Germany's Merkel says EU must boost security cooperation, funding

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on European Union members on Thursday to increase their security and defence cooperation because there was no "guarantee of perpetuity" in relations with the United States.


Russia, Iran likely focus at hearing on Trump pick for defence chief

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Donald Trump's pick to lead the Pentagon put Russia at the top of a list of threats to U.S. interests on Thursday and told Congress that America must be ready to confront Moscow where necessary, even as he backed Trump's bid for better relations.


Trump's CIA nominee includes Russia in list of global challenges

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President-elect Donald Trump's nominee to head the CIA portrayed multiple challenges facing the United States on Thursday, from an aggressive Russia to a "disruptive" Iran to a China that he said is creating "real tensions."


U.S. sanctions Syrian military, numerous individuals

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Thursday blacklisted 18 senior Syrian officials it said were connected to the country's weapons of mass destruction programme, after an international investigation found Syrian government forces were responsible for chlorine gas attacks against civilians.


In Syria, a rebel fighter clears Islamic State minefields

MAREA, Syria (Reuters) - Ahmad Najjar stands in the middle of an Islamic State minefield in northern Syria holding torn camouflage rags that he said were from the clothing of a colleague recently blown up while dismantling explosives planted by the militant group.


Iraqi forces make fresh gains in southeast Mosul - military statement

BAGHDAD/ERBIL, Iraq (Reuters) - Iraqi forces joined flanks in northern Mosul and drove back Islamic State militants in the southeast on Thursday in a renewed push that has brought them closer to controlling the eastern half of the city.