World Bulletin/News Desk
ISIL militants extended their gains in northern Iraq on Thursday, seizing three more towns and gaining a foothold near the Kurdish region, witnesses said.
The advance came after the Sunni militants inflicted a humiliating defeat on Kurdish forces in a weekend sweep in the north.
The ISIL clashed with Kurdish forces on Wednesday in the town of Makhmur near Arbil, the capital of the Kurdish semi-autonomous zone.
In the latest advance, its fighters seized Makhmur and the mainly Christian town of Tilkaif, as well as Al Kwair, witnesses said.
Militants also have seized one of the last remaining government bases in the northern province of Raqqa, activists said on Thursday, in clashes a monitoring group said killed more than 40 people.
Last month the group killed at least 50 Syrian government forces as they took over parts of another base in the area.
On Thursday, a monitoring group and Islamic State supporters said the militants had taken full control of the 93th Brigade military base after an attack that opened with multiple suicide car bomb attacks.
"Allahu Akbar (God is greatest), we announce ... the total liberation of the 93th Brigade," said a Twitter feed which regularly publishes news from Islamic State in Raqqa province.
The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 27 pro-government fighters were killed after three fighters blew themselves up in car bombs at the gates and around the base and in the ensuing clashes.
At least 11 ISIL fighters were killed, added the group, which monitors violence in Syria through a network of sources. It said "dozens" more were wounded.
The Observatory estimates that the Islamic State controls about 35 percent of Syrian territory - although much of that is desert.
The government has meanwhile consolidated its grip on the country's more densely populated central areas, including a corridor stretching from the capital Damascus to the Mediterranean coast in the west.
More than 170,000 people have been killed in Syria's civil war, which pits overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim rebels against President Bashar al-Assad, a member of the Shi'ite-derived Alawite minority, backed by Shi'ite militias from Iraq and Lebanon.
Statement by Iraqi PM says Iraqi security forces captured western and southern parts of Tikrit.
Despite his success in French local elections, it is too early to talk about a Nicolas Sarkozy candidacy for the 2017 presidential election, say experts.
The opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) has declared victory for its candidate, Muhammadu Buhari in Nigeria's bitterly contested presidential election
The Dutch meteorological office issued a code red warning for the low-lying country's northern and coastal provinces, as gusts of up to 120 kilometres (75 miles) an hour battered the Netherlands.
With the court swamped with investigations in Africa and prosecutors already struggling to secure convictions, legal experts say they need to be absolutely certain before proceeding with a highly politicised case againstIsrael.
A source from Mostafa's office told AA that the deputy PM, who also serves as economy minister, presented his resignation during a Palestinian cabinet meeting in Ramallah on Tuesday
The official asserted that Abbas had not intended to call for Arab military intervention in the Gaza Strip, which since 2007 has been governed by resistance movement Hamas
Iraqi forces have retaken the Salaheddin provincial government headquarters in Tikrit from the ISIL , a significant advance in the battle to recapture the city, officials said Tuesday.
France’s National Front party has won a sizeable number of council seats in Sunday’s second round of local elections. Though the party didn’t do as well as was predicted in polls, its leader Marine Le Pen calls the results a "magnificent success."
Yehia Hawrani, a senior Hamas leader was killed in Syria's Yarmouk refugee camp
Two men were fired as the car attempted to breach the agency’s perimeter gate, according to CNN. 1 dead, 1 injured after crash.
Nigeria's muslim candidate Muhammadu Buhari is leading incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan by 2.2 million votes. In 19 states announced so far.
An NSA spokeswoman had no immediate comment. Spokesmen for Fort Meade and Anne Arundel County Police referred questions to the spy agency.
Ismail Haniyeh held a phone conversation on Monday with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.
The appeals court had said the New York City Board of Education's regulation, created so the city would not be perceived as endorsing religious activity in a public forum, "was consistent with its constitutional duties."