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Syria truce holding

A nationwide ceasefire in Syria, brokered by Russia and Turkey which back opposing sides in the conflict, appeared to hold early on Friday after a shaky start during the night in the latest attempt to end nearly six years of bloodshed.

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.

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Syrian forces recapture half of east Aleppo

Syrian government forces have recaptured half the former rebel stronghold of east Aleppo, a monitor said, with the UN now facing a “race against time’’ to aid children forced out by the bloody offensive.

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FOR months now, fighting in the Middle East has occupied world news pages, with two sites standing out – Aleppo in Syria and Mosul in Iraq.

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The largest hospital in rebel-held east Aleppo was bombed for the second time in days as Syrian government forces pressed a Russian-backed offensive to retake the entire city.

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A barrage of airstrikes on rebel-held areas in Syria have killed scores of people, just hours after the government in Damascus approved a US-Russian plan to halt fighting in the country’s suppurating civil war.

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