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Palestinian Finance Minister Denies Secret Arafat Accounts, Terrorism Funding

The top finance official on Friday disclosed the Palestinian Authority had more than $600 million in liquid assets but denied the organization had secret funds. Finance Minister Salam Fayad also said the authority had given no money to groups accused by Israel and the United States of terrorism. In an interview with The Associated Press, …
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Syrians Dissatisfied, Survey Shows

A survey conducted in secret because of a ban finds most of more than 1,000 respondents are unhappy with political and economic conditions and want emergency rule to end. A survey of Syrians, conducted in secret because of government prohibitions, shows strong dissatisfaction with prevailing political and economic conditions. Though that may not be a …
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More than guns needed to defeat ISIS

With his core national security team now in place, President Trump is poised to quickly respond to the Pentagon’s recent recommendations to hasten a rollback of the remaining ISIS strongholds. Indeed, the recent arrival of marine artillery units outside Raqqa illustrates not only the administration’s readiness to up our direct military engagement from stand-off bombing, …
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US military botches online fight against Islamic State

On any given day at MacDill Air Force Base, web crawlers scour social media for potential recruits to the Islamic State group. Then, in a high-stakes operation to counter the extremists’ propaganda, language specialists employ fictitious identities and try to sway the targets from joining ISIS ranks. At least that’s how the multimillion-dollar initiative is …
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“Manaf Tlass—Our Man In Syria”

Until a few weeks ago, although he had the rank of brigadier general in the Syrian army, 48-year-old Manaf Tlass was better known as an aging member of the jeunesse dorée in Damascus: the playboy son of an eccentric former defense minister, a buddy of President Bashar al-Assad, and the brother of Nahed Ojjeh, née …
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Syrians want Assad to go.

The cycle of protests followed by increasingly violent military crackdowns in Syria has resulted in approximately 3,000 dead and more than 10,000 arrests. While the United States and its allies reacted with relative swiftness in calling for regime change in Cairo, Tripoli and Tunis, change in Damascus continues to elicit a politically passive-aggressive response. The Obama …
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Syrian Poll Finds Optimism for Future, but Little Support for Assad

Syrians have little confidence that President Bashar al-Assad’s regime can solve the country’s current problems, although they are optimistic about the future, a poll conducted by Pepperdine University shows. The survey, which was conducted in conjunction with the Democracy Council of California, also found that eight out of 10 Syrians questioned want al-Assad’s regime to …
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