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IS men recapture Palmyra

Islamic State militants recaptured the ancient city of Palmyra from Syrian troops Sunday, according to both sides in the battle, scoring a major advance after a year of setbacks in Syria and neighboring Iraq.

‘US-PH alliance ironclad’

The United States has an “ironclad” alliance with the Philippines, US Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Thursday, countering statements by the southeast Asian nation’s president that have thrown bilateral relations into deepening uncertainty.

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Japan joins sea patrols

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Japan will step up its activity in the contested South China Sea through joint training patrols with the United States and bilateral and multilateral exercises with regional navies, Japanese Defense Minister Tomomi Inada said on Thursday.

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