Reuters: Islamic State says it has full control of Syria's Palmyra

Islamic State fighters tightened their grip on the historic Syrian city of Palmyra on Thursday and overran Iraqi government defenses east of Ramadi, the provincial capital that they seized five days earlier.

The twin successes not only pile pressure on Damascus and Baghdad but throw doubt on a U.S. strategy of relying almost exclusively on air strikes to support the fight against Islamic State.

U.S. and coalition forces had conducted 18 air strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq since Wednesday, the U.S. military said.


Islamic State fighters overrun Iraqi govt lines east of Ramadi.

Fears mount over Palmyra as IS expands territory in Syria.

ISIL captures last Syria-controlled border crossing with Iraq.

IS poised to seize huge Syrian arms depot.

Iraq vet lawmaker: 'Too late' to retake Iraqi cities from ISIS.

Exclusive: Turkish intelligence helped ship arms to Syrian Islamist rebel areas.

Saudi shells hit Yemen aid office, killing five refugees: local official.

UN Yemen talks face hurdles amid political bickering.

Iran aid ship reaches Djibouti waters, waits to enter port: activist. Report: Iranian ship with Yemen aid has arrived in Djibouti.

Mideast youth unemployment rises amid post-Arab Spring chaos.


Russia closes NATO supply corridor to Afghanistan.

Officials: Airstrikes kill 15 militants in northwest Pakistan.

U.S. Navy documents new islands being built in South China Sea.

China university denies U.S. economic espionage charges.

Rohingya migrant crisis eases, but hard questions remain.

Bugged phones and double barbed wire: far fewer North Koreans defect.

Cambodia takes first refugees from Australia in aid-for-refugees deal.


Gaddafi's home town falls to Islamic State in anarchic Libya.

Libyan army troops killed in push for Benghazi.

Somalia: Kenyan fighter jets bombed Al Shabab bases in Somalia.

South Sudanese army claims capture of rebel stronghold.

Aid groups raise fears of escalating violence in South Sudan.

Cholera kills Burundi refugees as aid agencies struggle.

Former Boko Haram captives still held by Nigerian military.

Tunisia says Moroccan held in Italy supplied weapons for museum attackers.

Obama designates Tunisia as major non-NATO ally.

Greepeace: Hundreds of Chinese boats illegally fishing in African waters.


Ukrainian forces says two drones shot down over war zone are Russian.

Soldier dies as fighting erupts in Ukraine's east.

Ukraine rips up key cooperation deals with Russia.

Germany’s Merkel dashes Ukraine’s EU membership hopes.

EU defies Russian 'bully' but disappoints ex-Soviets.

Deposit freezes at Greek banks 'likely' - Moody's.

Greece debt: Varoufakis 'taped confidential EU meeting'.

Terror threat: Belfast most dangerous city in Europe – risk analysts.

Italy passes law to tackle rampant corruption.

Italy rescues more than 900 migrants at Sea.

Spaniards to overturn 40 years of predictable politics in regional vote.


McCain rips Obama administration over losses in Middle East.

Canadian jets strike Islamic State staging area in Syria.

US lawmakers scramble to avoid lapse in domestic surveillance.

U.S., Cuba talks resume with focus on opening embassies.

Guatemala president fires ministers amid corruption scandal.

Brazil blogger known for reporting on corruption found decapitated.

Killing of 14-year-old girl alerts Argentina to femicides - rights group.

Santa Barbara oil spill: Crude flowed 'well below' capacity in ruptured pipe.


Legion of foreign fighters battles for Islamic State.

US Court rules to keep classified ‘torture’ docs secret.

Months before U.S. raid, bin Laden considered leaving Pakistan compound.

Al Qaeda’s job application form: Do you want to be a suicide bomber?


Gap between rich and poor 'keeps growing'. Rising inequality holding back economic growth, report warns.

Russia warns Google, Twitter and Facebook on law violations.

McDonald's faces worker pressure as shareholders meet. McDonald's boss 'proud' of wages he pays as thousands demand a pay rise.

5 scenarios for oil prices, including ‘meltdown’ (Commentary).

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