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Militants control Syria’s Idlib after rebel pull-out: monitor

IDLIB: A former Al-Qaeda affiliate took control of the northern Syrian city of Idlib on Sunday two days after agreeing to end fighting with a rebel group, a monitor said. "Ahrar al-Sham (the rebel group) withdrew from the city of Idlib which is now under the control of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham," Rami Abdel Rahman of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights told AFP. This week saw fierce clashes between Hayat Tahrir al-Sham and Ahrar al-Sham across much of Idlib province, including at the key Bab al-Hawa border…

The fall of Aleppo described through graphs

ALEPPO: Syria's most populous city before the war, has been split for years between a government-held western sector and the rebel-held east. Intense bombing has destroyed the landscape of the city and killed thousands of people and injured many more since the start of the conflict. Shifting battleground As peace talks began in Geneva in February, Syrian and Russian forces launched their most intense offensive, breaking a three-year rebel siege of two villages outside Aleppo and taking them within 3km of their objective…

Syrian army advance in Aleppo as rebels face ‘death or surrender’

ALEPPO: The Syrian army and its allies advanced on Sunday in southeast Aleppo and a rebel official said insurgents face "death or surrender" in an ever smaller enclave, with large numbers of civilians under very fierce bombardment. Russian and US officials are meeting in Geneva on Sunday for more talks on an elusive deal for civilians and fighters to leave the city, diplomats said, but the rebel official said the Aleppo insurgents had no word yet on their progress. The fall of all of Aleppo to President Bashar al-Assad…

Colombia signs revised peace deal with FARC

BOGOTA: Colombia's government and FARC rebels signed a controversial revised peace accord Thursday to end their half-century conflict, set to be ratified in Congress despite bitter criticism from opponents. President Juan Manuel Santos and guerrilla leader Rodrigo "Timochenko" Londono signed the new deal with a pen made from a bullet used in the conflict, in a low-key ceremony in the capital Bogota. The original deal -- signed with great fanfare in September -- was rejected by voters in a referendum last month, a shock…