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Erdogan tells Putin Syria operation to bring ‘peace, stability’

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Erdogan and Putin

ISTANBUL — Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin discussed in a phone call Turkey’s planned operation into northeastern Syria, the Turkish presidency said on Wednesday, as Ankara gears to launch its cross-border offensive.

In the call, Erdogan told Putin that the Turkish incursion will contribute to peace and stability in the country and open the way for the political process to resolve the conflict, the presidency said in a statement. (Reporting by Can Sezer; Writing by Ezgi Erkoyun; Editing by Tuvan Gumrukcu)

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Deadly car bombs target Turkish-held town in north Syria

The car bombs were detonated on Thursday in swift succession at the al-A’laf roundabout in Ras al-Ayn, the report said.

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Car Bomb in Syria

Damascus, Dec 6 : At least two civilians were killed when two car bombs went off in Syria’s northeastern city of Ras al-Ayn controlled by the Turkey-backed rebels, state-run SANA news agency reported.

The car bombs were detonated on Thursday in swift succession at the al-A’laf roundabout in Ras al-Ayn, the report said.

Six people were also wounded in the bombing attack, it added.

The attack is the latest in series of bombings targeting the areas that have been recently stormed by the Turkey-backed rebels and Turkish forces, Xinhua news agency reported.

The previous day, at least five Turkish soldiers were killed when a car bomb targeted their convoy in the city of Jarablus in northern Aleppo province when it was en route to a Turkish-run base on the outskirts of the city, SANA reported.

It added that 12 other Turkish soldiers were wounded and later sent across the border to Turkish hospitals.

There have been a series of bombings and explosions targeting the Turkey-backed rebels and Turkish forces in northern Syria since Turkey launched an offensive against the Syrian Kurdish forces in October.

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Israel PM Netanyahu indicted for fraud, bribery

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Netanyahu Israel

Jerusalem, Dec 3 :Netanyahu Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu has been indicted for fraud, bribery and breach of trust in three separate corruption cases.

Israeli Attorney General Avihai Mendelblit publicly released an official indictment on Monday, allowing a period of 30 days during which the long-time leader may request the parliament to grant him immunity from standing trial, Xinhua reported.

The 77-page indictment charges Netanyahu with bribery, fraud, and breach of trust in three separate corruption scandals.

According to the indictment, the trial will be held at the Jerusalem District Court. The date of the trial has not yet been published.

The document contains a list of 333 witnesses the prosecution may call to testify against Netanyahu, including Sheldon Adelson, an American Jewish business magnate and one of US President Donald Trump’s major donors, and Arnon Milchan, an Israeli billionaire and Hollywood producer, and other businessmen and politicians.

Netanyahu has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, saying the indictment is part of “an orchestrated witch hunt”.

He is the first Israeli Prime Minister, who has been served with an indictment while being in office.

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Iraqi Parliament approves PM’s resignation

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Adel Abdul-Mahdi

Baghdad, Dec 2 : Iraq’s Parliament has accepted Prime Minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi’s resignation after two months of deadly anti-government demonstrations in the country.

State media reported that the Iraqi MPs on Sunday gathered for a special session to vote on the PM’s resignation presented to the Parliament in writing on Saturday, Efe news reported.

Abdul-Mahdi tendered his resignation on Friday after the country’s top Shiite cleric Ali al-Sistani denounced the violence in the southern city of Nasiriyah.

Abdul-Mahdi on Friday said that if the Parliament accepted his resignation, his government would turn into a caretaker cabinet pending the formation of a new one.

Under the Iraqi constitution, the largest political bloc would have to propose a new candidate, whom the President Barham Saleh will then assign to form a cabinet within 30 days.

The bloc with the majority of seats is Saairun Alliance led by influential Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who stressed Friday Abdul-Mahdi’s departure is “the first fruits of the revolution and not the last”.

He also suggested that the nomination of the new prime minister should be decided through a popular referendum among five candidates.

Earlier on the day, the Iraqi Supreme Council said that an arrest warrant was issued against a military chief for allegedly ordering a deadly clampdown on protesters in the southern province of Dhi Qar.

General Jamil al-Shammari, who was removed from his post and banned from travelling, was in charge of the security crisis cell of Dhi Qar, where about 50 people were killed during clashes between security forces and protesters in recent days.

On Wednesday, protesters torched the Iranian consulate building in the southern city of Najaf, located north of Nasiriyah, the capital city of Dhi Qar.

Mass demonstrations erupted in Iraq on 1 October and have recently intensified in the Shiite-majority southern provinces over the intervention of Iran in Iraq’s internal affairs.

At least 400 people were killed and over 16,000 others injured amid the protests decrying the lack of public services and employment opportunities mainly in Baghdad and other areas in the south.

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