Tuesday, June 6, 2017

World News Briefs -- June 6, 2017

FILE PHOTO: Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) fighters hold up their weapons in the north of Raqqa city, Syria February 3, 2017. Picture taken February 3, 2017. REUTERS/Rodi Said/File Photo

Reuters: U.S.-backed force launches assault on Islamic State's 'capital' in Syria

The U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on Tuesday it had launched a battle to capture Raqqa, Islamic State's de facto Syrian capital, piling pressure on the jihadists whose self-declared caliphate is in retreat across Syria and Iraq.

SDF spokesman Talal Silo told Reuters the operation started on Monday and the fighting would be "fierce because Daesh (Islamic State) will die to defend their so-called capital".

The assault overlaps with the final stages of the U.S.-backed attack to recapture the Iraqi city of Mosul from Islamic State. It follows months of advances to the north, east and west of Raqqa by the SDF, which includes Arab and Kurdish militias.

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Qatar in 'chaos' as Arab powers halt food supply to country amid diplomatic rift.

Qatar says Kuwait trying to mediate, solve Gulf crisis.

UAE demands guarantees before mending Qatar ties.

US-backed Syrian force attacks IS-held capital of Raqqa. Battle for Raqqa: US-backed forces launch offensive against Islamic State stronghold.

Turkey wary as US-backed SDF militia target IS in Raqqa.

UN: ISIL kills 163 people in Mosul in one day.

After fleeing Mosul, displaced face arrest over alleged IS ties.

After Hamas decade, Gaza short on freedom, jobs, electricity.

Israel 'not ready' for peace: Palestinian official.


Deadly explosion strikes Afghanistan's Herat.

Afghan president says last week’s bombing killed over 150. Afghan leader issues ultimatum to Taliban as bombing toll tops 150.

Kabul to host peace summit after week of deadly violence.

China can’t dodge its duties over North Korea, South China Sea, says US.

As China pulls trade from North Korea, Russia gets cozy with Kim Jong Un.

Security trumps rivalry as India, Pakistan to join China-led regional bloc.

AP Exclusive: Video shows militants in Philippine siege plot.


Niger opposition leader convicted of trying to incite coup.

UN threatens DR Congo with international probe. Congo faces U.N. deadline of June 8 for human rights probe.

DR Congo's tainted ex-police chief made national hero.

In Sinai, a local tribe fights to push back the Islamic State.

S.Africa in recession as economy shrinks 0.7% in Q1: data

FBI helps South Sudan in murder and rape trial.

Nigeria to probe soldiers' alleged misconduct at refugee camp.


UK police name third attacker as new search gets underway. As UK police name third jihadi, Italian source says he had been flagged.

UK opinion polls: countdown to Thursday's election.

France's Macron set for biggest majority since De Gaulle: poll.

Russia scrambles jet fighter to intercept U.S. bomber over Baltics.

Tillerson: Trump says look past turmoil and re-engage Russia.

Declare offshore wealth? Russia tycoons would rather ship themselves off shore.

Germany's Merkel says no tax rises in next parliament.


Trump infrastructure push faces cold shoulder from Congress.

Cities push back as Trump aims to cut anti-terrorism funding.

US contractor arrested after leak of Russia hacking report.

U.S. denounces Venezuela for repression, calls for free elections.

More injuries in Venezuela as regime pushes referendum.

Fourteen Venezuelan army officers jailed in first week of protests - documents.

Mexico ruling party wins election but loses support.

Canada seeks larger world role as U.S. retreats: foreign minister.


Airlines say travelers may be growing accustomed to terror spree.

Australian PM says Melbourne siege 'a terrorist attack'.

Trump intervenes in Gulf rift, pointing at Qatar over militant funding.


Oil slips on worries about Mideast rift, U.S. production growth.

Siri, speakers and software: Highlights from the Apple show.

Bilderberg conference: attendees dodge the press as secretive meeting ends.

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