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Putin says Russia and Syria are not planning full-scale assault on Idlib for now

BEIJING Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday he did not rule out Syrian forces, backed by Russian air power, launching a full-scale assault on militants in Syria’s Idlib province, but that such an operation was unpractical for now. Russia, one of the Syrian government’s staunchest allies, and Turkey brokered …

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Putin hopes Iran will continue oil exports despite US warning

BEIJING Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Saturday he hoped Iranian oil exports would continue despite Washington’s efforts to stop them. Washington has demanded that buyers of Iranian crude halt purchases by May 1 or face sanctions, a move to choke off Tehran’s oil revenues. The United States expects Saudi …

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Saudi, UAE overstate their oil capacities: Iran oil minister Zanganeh

DUBAI Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Zanganeh said Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates overstate their oil capacities, Iran’s state news agency IRNA reported on Friday. The comments were in reaction to expectations the two countries would fill any supply gap caused by a tightening of U.S. sanctions on Iran. …

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Syria constitution body could be agreed on soon: Russia

NUR-SULTAN The Syrian government and armed opposition groups, together with both sides’ backers, could agree on the makeup of a constitutional committee in coming months, Russian negotiator Alexander Lavrentyev said on Friday. Forming a constitutional committee is key to political reforms and new elections meant to unify Syria and end …

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US-led coalition killed 1,600 civilians in Syria’s Raqqa: Amnesty

LONDON The US-backed assault to drive ISIS from its Syrian capital Raqqa in 2017 killed more than 1,600 civilians, 10 times the toll the coalition itself has acknowledged, Amnesty International and the monitoring group Airwars said on Thursday. Amnesty and Airwars, a London-based group set up in 2014 to monitor …

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