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Iraqi forces, images testify to atrocities in new fighting

Iraq atrocities emergeThe video shows a male corpse lying in the dirt, one end of a rope tied around his legs, the other fastened to the back of an armored Humvee.

Men in Iraqi military uniforms mingle by the vehicle. Someone warns there might be a bomb on the body. One hands another his smartphone. Then he stands over the body, smiles, and offers a thumbs-up as his comrade takes a photo. The Humvee starts to move, dragging the dead man behind it into the desert.


US accuses Israeli Defense Minister of 'undermining ties' with Washington

Ya'alonThe Obama administration has accused the Israeli defence minister of insulting its senior officials and undermining the relationship between the US and Israel after he criticised American foreign policy for projecting "weakness" throughout the world.

The attack on Moshe Ya'alon, the most vocal hawk in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's cabinet, came after he warned that the US was inviting a terrorist attack on its own soil by failing to fulfil its mission as the world's policeman.


Israel strikes Syria after Golan Heights attack

Israel strikes SyriaIsraeli warplanes unleashed airstrikes Wednesday against Syrian army targets in response to a roadside bombing in the Golan Heights that wounded four soldiers the day before, the Israeli military said.

In addition to the airstrikes, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that if he pursues a path harmful to Israel, he will "regret his actions."

Syrian military officials said the strikes killed one soldier and injured seven others.


Ukraine's Crimea base taken, commander detained

Crimea bas takenMasked Russian-speaking troops on Wednesday seized control of Ukrainian naval headquarters in Crimea after it was stormed by militiamen. Pro-Moscow Crimean authorities also detained the Ukrainian navy commander and reportedly blocked the defense minister and another government official from traveling to the peninsula in what they said was a bid to defuse tensions.

Ukraine's military, which is heavily outnumbered in Crimea, has come under increased pressure since the region was nominally incorporated into Russia on Tuesday.


Massive cyberattacks slam official sites in Russia, Ukraine

cyber attacks on Russia and UkraineThe back-and-forth volley of cyberattacks that began last week between Ukraine and Russia hit its highest pitch yet Monday, with Russian websites slammed by an onslaught designed to flood websites until they become unusable.

The open cyber flareup began last Thursday when attacks clearly originating in Russia targeted an unidentified computer network in Ukraine. The next day, a powerful attack temporarily knocked out websites for the Kremlin, the Russian central bank, and Russia’s Foreign Ministry, though Russian authorities said the attack had nothing to do with the Ukraine crisis.


U.S. closes Syrian embassy in Washington, D.C.

Syrian embassing closedThe Obama administration ordered the Syrian government on Tuesday to suspend its diplomatic and consular missions in the United States, requiring all personnel who are not legal U.S residents to leave the country.

The order, three years after the start of Syria’s bloody civil war, essentially shutters the Syrian embassy in Washington and its honorary consulates in Troy, Mich., and Houston, Texas. It comes in response to a decision by President Bashar Assad’s government to suspend consular services for Syrians living in the U.S.


Putin signs treaty for Crimea to join Russia

PutinWith a historic sweep of his pen, President Vladimir Putin signed a treaty Tuesday to annex Crimea, describing the move as correcting past injustice and a necessary response to what he called Western encroachment upon Russia’s vital interests.

In an emotional 40-minute speech that was televised live from the Kremlin, Putin said “in people’s hearts and minds, Crimea has always been an integral part of Russia.”


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