Middle East

Analysis: Islamic State attack signals West’s least bad option for Afghanistan: the Taliban

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The deadly attack on Kabul airport has underlined the realpolitik facing Western powers in Afghanistan: engaging with the Taliban may be their best chance...

Last UK military flight leaves Afghanistan after evacuating 15 000 people

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Britain's last military flight left Kabul late on Saturday after evacuating more than 15 000 people in the two weeks since the Taliban took...

Pentagon bracing for more attacks after troops killed at Kabul airport

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American forces in Kabul were bracing for more Islamic State attacks while winding up their evacuation mission, US officials said, as the number of...

First Afghan evacuees arrive in Uganda

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Uganda on Wednesday received 51 people evacuated from Afghanistan after the Taliban swept back into power, but officials said they would stay temporarily until...

Afghans told to leave Kabul airport over ‘very credible’ Islamic State threat

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The United States and allies urged people to move away from Kabul airport on Thursday, citing the threat of an attack by Islamic State...

Western nations race to complete Afghan evacuation as deadline looms

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Western nations rushed to complete the evacuation of thousands of people from Afghanistan on Wednesday as the 31 August deadline for the withdrawal of...

Iraq seeks to ease Saudi-Iran hostility at Baghdad summit

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Iraq has invited Iran and Tehran's Gulf Arab foes to a summit in Baghdad with the objective of calming tensions which have brought them...

Afghan evacuation on ‘war footing’ as G7 meets on pullout deadline

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Western forces at Kabul airport worked frantically on Tuesday to get people out of Afghanistan before an 31 August deadline, as US President Joe...

Syrian army and pro-Iranian militias attack rebel enclave in southern city

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Syrian army units aided by pro-Iranian militias have staged a major assault on an opposition enclave in the southern border city of Deraa in...

As Kabul turmoil mounts, Taliban’s PR offensive falters

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In the last few days, TV crews from Afghanistan's Al-Emarah Studio, which produces pro-Taliban multimedia content, have been out on the streets of Kabul...

Firefight involving Western forces erupts amid Kabul airport evacuation chaos

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A firefight involving Western forces erupted at Kabul airport on Monday when Afghan guards exchanged fire with unidentified gunmen, Germany's military said, adding to...

US recruits commercial airlines to help move Afghanistan evacuees

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The United States has enlisted the help of six commercial airlines to help transport people after their evacuation from Afghanistan as Washington seeks to...

NATO pledges to speed evacuations from Afghanistan as criticism mounts

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More than 18 000 people have been flown out of Kabul since the Taliban took over Afghanistan's capital, a NATO official said on Friday,...

Planes, guns, night-vision goggles: The Taliban’s new US-made war chest

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About a month ago, Afghanistan's ministry of defense posted on social media photographs of seven brand new helicopters arriving in Kabul delivered by the...

Several killed in flag-waving protests against Taliban in Afghanistan

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Flag-waving protesters took to the streets of several Afghan cities on Thursday as popular opposition to the Taliban spread, and a witness said several...

Taliban keep some evacuees from reaching Kabul airport, as US vows to finish airlift

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Armed members of the Taliban kept people desperate to flee Afghanistan from reaching Kabul's airport on Wednesday, witnesses said, while President Joe Biden vowed...

Taliban go door-to-door telling fearful Afghans to work

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Armed Taliban members knocked on doors in cities across Afghanistan on Wednesday, witnesses said, telling fearful residents to return to their jobs a day...

Evacuations from Afghanistan gain momentum as Taliban promise peace

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More than 2 200 diplomats and civilians have been evacuated from Afghanistan on military flights, a Western security official said on Wednesday, as the...

Afghanistan’s fall to the Taliban: The consequences of long wars

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The scenes of desperate Afghans trying to escape the Taliban by clinging to aeroplanes and then falling to their deaths after take-off shows part...

Taliban risk military strikes if they host terrorists again, NATO warns

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The Taliban must not let Afghanistan become a breeding ground for terrorism again, NATO said on Tuesday, warning that the alliance after its withdrawal...

Human remains found in landing gear of military flight from Kabul, says US Air...

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The US Air Force said on Tuesday that it was investigating the circumstances surrounding human remains that were found in the wheel well of...

Evacuation flights restart from Kabul after Afghans desperate to flee cleared from airfield

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US military flights evacuating diplomats and civilians from Afghanistan restarted on Tuesday after the runway at Kabul airport was cleared of thousands desperate to...

Uganda to take 2 000 Afghan refugees at US request

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Uganda said on Tuesday it had agreed to a request from the United States to take in temporarily 2 000 refugees from Afghanistan fleeing...

As Taliban takes over, some swap iconic AK-47s for made-in-America rifles

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The Russian Kalashnikov AK-47 and its derivatives have long been the assault rifle of choice for militant groups because of their rugged design, but...

Desperate Afghans throng Kabul airport, stalling US evacuations

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Thousands of Afghans desperate to leave the country thronged Kabul airport where five people were killed on Monday after Taliban insurgents seized the capital,...

Profits and poppy: Afghanistan’s illegal drug trade a boon for Taliban

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The United States spent more than $8 billion over 15 years on efforts to deprive the Taliban of their profits from Afghanistan's opium and...

Taliban captures two major cities, tightening grip on Afghanistan

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Taliban insurgents tightened their grip on Afghanistan on Friday, wresting control of its second and third biggest cities while Western embassies prepared to send...

Afghan commander Ismail Khan captured as Taliban seize Herat

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Taliban insurgents have seized most of Herat, Afghanistan's third largest city,and also captured Ismail Khan, the veteran local commander leading militia resistance there, local...

Turkish soldier killed in mortar attack in northern Iraq – ministry

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Kurdish militants launched a mortar attack on a Turkish military base in northern Iraq on Thursday, wounding a Turkish soldier who later died in...

Taliban take Ghazni city on road to Afghan capital

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Taliban fighters captured the city of Ghazni on Thursday, the ninth provincial capital they have seized in a week, as US intelligence said Afghanistan's...

Taliban denies killing civilians, calls for independent inquiry

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The Taliban on Wednesday denied targeting and killing civilians during an offensive against Afghan government troops, calling for an independent investigation and seeking to...

Taliban take eighth provincial capital in speedy advance across Afghanistan

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Taliban fighters took control of another city in northern Afghanistan on Wednesday, an official said, the eighth provincial capital to fall to the insurgents...

Taliban committed to Doha negotiations, Afghan government demands mediator – Al Jazeera

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A spokesman for the Taliban's political office told Al Jazeera TV on Tuesday that the group is committed to the negotiation path in Doha...

Iran asks Iraq to expel Iranian rebels from Kurdistan region

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A senior Iranian security official urged Iraq on Tuesday to expel Iranian rebels from Iraqi Kurdistan, or expect Tehran to take "preventative measures" against...

Taliban control 65% of Afghanistan, EU official says, after series of sudden gains

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Taliban insurgents tightened their grip on captured Afghan territory on Tuesday as civilians hid in their homes, with an EU official saying the militants...

Two rockets from Lebanon hit Israel, drawing Israeli retaliation

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Two rockets launched from Lebanon on Wednesday struck Israel, which responded with artillery fire amid heightened regional tensions over an alleged Iranian attack on...

Taliban seek ‘lion’s share of power’ in deadlocked peace talks -US envoy

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The Taliban and the Kabul government are far apart in US-backed talks on bringing peace to Afghanistan, with the insurgents demanding "the lion's share...

Afghan forces battle Taliban for control of southern city

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Taliban fighters pushed deeper into the southern Afghan provincial capital of Lashkargahon Monday and closed in on government buildings, a senior official said, as...

US, UK embassies in Afghanistan accuse Taliban of possible war crimes

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The US and British embassies in Kabul said on Monday the insurgent Taliban may have committed war crimes in southern Afghanistan by carrying out...

Syrian army steps up offensive in restive southern city

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Syrian troops stepped up shelling of an opposition enclave in the southern city of Deraa in a bid to assert control over an area...

Taliban rockets hit Kandahar airport, clashes intensify in Afghanistan

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Taliban fighters struck Kandahar airport in southern Afghanistan with at least three rockets overnight, the insurgent group's spokesman said on Sunday, adding that the...

Syrian rebels attack army outposts in southern Syria

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Syrian rebels waged a spate of mortar attacks on Syrian army checkpoints in the southern province of Deraa in the biggest flare-up of violence...

Taliban assassinations of Afghan pilots ‘worrisome,’ US government watchdog says

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Taliban assassinations of Afghan pilots detailed by Reuters this month mark another "worrisome development" for the Afghan Air Force as it reels from a surge...

China says Taliban expected to play ‘important’ Afghan peace role

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China told a visiting Taliban delegation on Wednesday it expected the insurgent group to play an important role in ending Afghanistan's war and rebuilding...

US offers further air support to Afghan troops amid Taliban offensive

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The United States will to continue to carry out airstrikes to support Afghan forces facing attack from the insurgent Taliban, a regional US commander...

As Taliban advances, Afghan military overhauls war strategy

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Reeling from a surge in battlefield losses, Afghanistan's military is overhauling its war strategy against the Taliban to concentrate forces around the most critical...

Half of all Afghan district centers under Taliban control – US general

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Taliban insurgents control about half of Afghanistan's district centers, the senior US general said on Wednesday, indicating a rapidly deteriorating security situation. Insecurity has been...

Youth killed in Iran water crisis protests

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A young man was shot dead during a second night of protests over water shortages in southwest Iran, a local official said on Saturday,...

Afghan neighbours wary of new refugee crisis as violence surges

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Afghan President Ashraf Ghani meets regional leaders for talks in Uzbekistan on Thursday as deteriorating security in his country raises fears of a new...

Afghan Taliban seize border crossing with Pakistan in major advance

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Taliban fighters in Afghanistan said on Wednesday they had taken control of one of the main border crossings with Pakistan, perhaps the most strategic...