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Rebels caught in north Syria two-pronged onslaught BEIRUT: Rebels in northern Syria are fighting to survive in the face of advances on their strongholds both by militants and government forces, analysts and regime opponents say.The opposition has sounded the alarm, appealing indirectly to the international community to carry out air strikes on militants Islamic State (IS) positions in Syria, like the United States has done in Iraq."More than ever the rebellion is caught in a pincer movement between the regime and IS," says Karim Bitar, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for International and Strategic Relations."There is today a real risk it will quickly run low on the oxygen it needs to survive," the Middle East specialist said.The IS militants, who have spread terror in Syria and seized vast swathes of land in Iraq, launched a lightning offensive Wednesday in northern Aleppo province, until now the centre of rebel strength, in order to cut off the rebels' ...

Israel must accept Palestinian demands or face long war: Hamas JERUSALEM: Hamas rejected on Saturday as insufficient offers made in Cairo to Palestinian negotiators seeking to end Israel's offensive in the Gaza Strip, and raised the possibility of renewed fighting when the current truce expires.Israel said it had also not yet accepted any proposals made in the Egyptian-mediated talks but, like the Palestinians, its envoys would continue attending them on Sunday.The ceasefire concludes on Monday night. Hamas, Gaza's dominant Islamist group, wants an Israeli-Egyptian blockade ...
UN, EU move against IS in Iraq BAGHDAD: Iraqis and foreign powers voiced relief on Friday after Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki agreed to step down, as the UN targeted Islamist militants and the EU backed the arming of their Kurdish rivals.As aid groups tried to cope with the hundreds of thousands of people displaced by Islamist advances in northern Iraq, ingredients of a fight-back began falling into place.In New York, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution aimed at weakening Islamists ...
Turkey calls for help with Syria refugees as tensions rise ISTANBUL: Turkey relief agency said on Friday it was time for the world to start "sharing the burden" of the 1.2 million Syrian refugees it is hosting, after tensions between Turks and refugees again turned violent. The latest clashes in the southeastern city of Gaziantep were sparked by the fatal stabbing earlier this week of a Turkish landlord, allegedly by his Syrian tenant, and led to a major exodus of refugees from the city.Hundreds of ...
Iraq's Maliki concedes defeat, backs PM designate BAGHDAD: Iraq's divisive premier Nuri al-Maliki dropped his bid to stay in power Thursday, bowing to huge domestic and international pressure as a militant offensive threatens to tear the country apart.The two-term premier threw in the towel after an acrimonious political battle and backed his designated successor Haidar al-Abadi, a fellow member of the Shiite party Dawa."I announce before you today... the withdrawal of my candidacy in favour of the brother Doctor Haidar al-Abadi," he ...
Hezbollah chief backed Argentina in World Cup final BEIRUT: Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of Lebanon's powerful Shiite movement Hezbollah, is rarely seen in public and known mostly for the group's military exploits -- but he's also a football fan.In an interview published by Lebanon's Al-Akhbar newspaper on Thursday, Nasrallah spoke at length about Israel, Syria and the Palestinians, but also revealed a few personal tidbits, including his longtime love for the beautiful game."I love football, and I used to play it with friends," ...
Israel, Palestinians agree 11th-hour Gaza truce extension GAZA CITY: Egyptian mediators clinched an agreement from Israel and the Palestinians on Wednesday to extend a Gaza truce by another 72 hours just minutes before it was to expire at midnight.Three days of frantic shuttle diplomacy had appeared in jeopardy only an hour earlier when a rocket struck Israel, striking an open area near Gaza's northern border shortly after sirens rang out across the south.It was the only violation of the ceasefire reported after ...

 



 
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Annual2013/14
Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
MonthlyJune
Trade Balance $-2.311 bln
Exports $2.027 bln
Imports $4.338 bln
WeeklyAugust 28, 2014
Reserves $13.582 bln