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Syria retakes Aleppo district

Syrian state media said government forces Saturday captured the largest rebel-held district of Aleppo, in what would be a major breakthrough in its offensive to retake the entire second city.

POPE Francis sought to give new life to his efforts to help Syrian refugees when he visited the Greek island of Lesbos some two weeks ago, then brought back with him to the Vatican 12 Syrians in three families. The three families had fled Syria for Turkey, then set out for Greece across the Aegean Sea, and reached Lesbos where they found hundreds of other refugees all seeking to move on to central Europe.

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SYRIA has been in the news lately because of the hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees trying to enter Europe and begin new lives there. Crossing the border north to Turkey, Syrians have been sailing on rickety boats west across the Aegean Sea to Greece, then travel, often by foot, north through the Balkans to Hungary, Austria, Germany, and the rest of Western Europe.

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The United States announced on Friday its first sustained deployment of ground troops to Syria to help the anti-militant fight, as major powers remained divided over President Bashar al-Assad’s fate.

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A Lebanese official says Beirut airport authorities have foiled one of the country’s largest drug smuggling attempts, seizing two tons of amphetamine Captagon pills before they were loaded onto the private plane of a Saudi prince.

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