Friday, February 17, 2017

World News Briefs -- February 17, 2017

U.S. Special Operations Forces members inspect a drone used by Islamic State militants to drop explosives on Iraqi forces, in Mosul. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed

Reuters: Islamic State readies for close combat in alleyways of west Mosul

Islamic State militants are developing a network of passageways and tunnels in the narrow alleys of west Mosul that will enable them to hide and fight among the civilian population when Iraqi forces launch an attack that is expected any day now.

Residents said the fighters have been opening passages in the walls between houses to allow them to move from block to block undetected, disappear after hit-and-run operations and track government troop movements.

They have also opened sniper holes in buildings overlooking the Tigris river bisecting the city into east and west, they said.

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In 'liberated' Mosul, residents say danger remains.

Turkey says almost taken Syria's Bab, war monitor cites heavy toll. Turkish shelling 'kills 9' in IS-held Syria town.

Fighting intensifies in Syria's Deraa.

Russian long-range bombers launch cruise missile strikes on Daesh in Raqqa.

Syria’s Assad lashes out at France’s Hollande.

Deadly car bombing rocks Iraq's Baghdad.

Captive Islamic State militant says mass rapes were 'normal'.


China says common interests outweigh differences with U.S..

Pakistan launches crackdown as Isis shrine attack toll rises to 88. Islamic State suicide bombing at Pakistan shrine leaves at least 80 dead.

Pakistan mourns attack victims as security stepped up.

Pakistan kills 39 suspected militants after deadly shrine bombing.

Myanmar military ends crackdown against Rohingya.

North Korea will reject Malaysian autopsy report on North Korean: envoy.

China restricts Kim Jong Nam assassination coverage.

Dozens in Vietnam mark anniversary of border war with China.

More murders in Philippine drug war despite police pull-back: rights group.

Duterte pressed for details of $44m 'hidden deposit'.


Bomb kills at least five soldiers in Northern Sinai.

Multiple suicide bombing targets Nigerian refugees, Boko Haram blamed.

Suicide bombers die in failed attack in Nigeria.

DRC minister says country 'can't afford' to hold election this year. DR Congo election: 'We cannot afford $1.8bn cost', says minister.

Kenya denies mass mobile phone surveillance plan.

Hundreds of migrants storm fence to reach Spanish enclave of Ceuta.

Zimbabwe protest pastor Mawarire says may stand against Mugabe.


Greeks in bank run as deal with creditors uncertain.

French parliament loosens rules for police opening fire in the line of duty.

'Donetsk People's Republic' seeks sense of nationhood.

Lithuania looking for source of false accusation of rape by German troops.

Former PM Blair urges Britons to 'rise up' against May's Brexit plan.

Spain's Princess Cristina acquitted in tax fraud trial.

Russia to clear entire Soviet debt by year-end.


Trump scrambles to find top national security aide.

Trump, in unprecedented fashion for a president, rips press.

U.S. top court to set guidelines for Trump treatment of non-citizens.

Trump vows new order next week 'tailored' to allow travel ban.

Venezuela's top court upholds opposition leader's 14-year prison sentence. Leopoldo Lopez: Venezuela court upholds 14-year prison sentence.

Ecuador opposition candidate vows to remove Assange, denounce Venezuela.

Drug-hurling catapult found attached to U.S.-Mexico border fence.


US military says Libya strike bore critical intel.

ISIS thriving in Libya 6 years after revolt against Gaddafi.

Saudi Arabia says four ISIL cells broken up.


Billionaires' bolthole: how New Zealand became an escapee's paradise.

Lamborghini recalls 5,900 sports cars, citing fire risk.

Zuckerberg releases Facebook manifesto.

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