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Assad Says Victory at Palmyra Shows Army's Success Against Terrorism

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In this Jan. 31, 2010 file photo, an unmanned U.S. Predator drone flies over Kandahar Air Field, southern Afghanistan.Credit: AP

Assad: Palmyra victory shows army's success against terrorism

REUTERS - President Bashar al-Assad said the recapture of Palmyra by Syrian government forces on Sunday showed the success of the army's strategy in combating terrorism, Syrian television said.

"The liberation of the historic city of Palmyra today is an important achievement and another indication of the success of the strategy pursued by the Syrian army and its allies in the war against terrorism," it quoted Assad as telling a visiting French delegation, including parliamentarians. (Read more)

Saudi journalist sentenced to five years for Twitter posts

Saudi Arabia has sentenced a journalist to five years in jail for insulting the kingdom's rulers and "inciting public opinion" on Twitter, Amnesty International said.

Amnesty described the sentencing of Alaa Brinji on Thursday as "a clear violation of international law" and said it showed intolerance of the right to peaceful expression.

U.S. drone strikes kill eight Al-Qaida suspects in Yemen

REUTERS - Drone attacks killed eight men suspected of belonging to Al-Qaida in southern Yemen on Saturday night, local residents said, as a U.S. campaign against the militant group goes on amid a wider civil war in the country.

Two missiles hit the fighters who had gathered in courtyards in the villages of al-Hudhn and Naqeel al-Hayala, residents from the southern coastal province of Abyan told Reuters by phone.

Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has taken advantage of a war pitting the Iran-allied Houthis against forces loyal to exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to grab territory and operate more openly.

The group has carried out attacks against the Yemeni state for years, plotted to blow up U.S.-bound airliners and claimed responsibility for the January 2015 attack in Paris on a French magazine that killed 12 people.

The United States has kept up a drone campaign against the militants, although it evacuated the last of its military and intelligence personnel from Yemen in March last year. Its attacks have killed some of AQAP's top leaders, including its chief, Nasser al-Wuhayshi, who was struck by a drone in June.

The United States has acknowledged using drones but declines to comment on specific attacks.

At least 50 Al-Qaida militants were killed in a U.S. air strike on an Al-Qaida training camp in the mountains of southern Yemen, medics and a local official said on March 22.

This file photo taken on September 11, 2015 shows smoke billowing following an air-strike by the Saudi-led coalition targeting an arms depot in the capital Sanaa.Credit: AFP

Syrian general lauds Russian support in victory over ISIS at Palmyra

REUTERS - The Syrian government's recapture of Palmyra shows that the "Army and its friends" are the only force capable of combating and eradicating terrorism, said a Syrian General on state television Sunday.

The general acknowledged the support of Russian air forces in driving Islamic State militants from the historic city and said that "security and stability" had been restored.

His comments came just hours after reports that government forces had regained full control of the strategically critical site of Palmyra after heavy fighting that killed some 400 ISIS militants.

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian soldiers gather around a Syrian national flag in Palmyra, Syria, Sunday, March 27, 2016. Credit: AP

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