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Russian air strikes in Syria did not target IS: US

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By NewsGram Staff-Writer

Washington: According to US defense officials, Russian air strikes in Syria did not target Islamic State (IS).

“The Russians were very clear publicly that they were going to strike ISIL,” said Steve Warren, a spokesman for the US-led counter-IS military campaign Operation Inherent Resolve on Thursday. “I’m not going to get into exactly who they hit, but we don’t believe that they struck ISIL targets.”

ISIL was another acronym for the extremist group now controlling a vast areas of lands in Iraq and Syria, Xinhua news agency reported.

“(In the place) where they (Russians) struck yesterday, we don’t believe there was any ISIL there,” Warren added.

Moscow began air strikes in Syria on Wednesday after weeks of military build-up around Syria’s coastal province of Latakia.

On Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov strongly defended Moscow’s bombing campaign in Syria, saying it was targeting terrorist groups and not aimed at keeping President Bashar al-Assad in power.

“We see eye to eye with” the US-led coalition on targeting ISIL, al-Nusra, and other terrorist groups, Lavrov said at the United Nations headquarters.

(With inputs from IANS)

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US, Britain Step Up In Order to Tackle Female Genital Mutilation

The mutilation of girls’ external genitals for non-medical reasons is practiced across Africa, the Middle East and Asia. It also affects immigrant communities in Europe and the U.S.

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Female Genital Mutilation
A badge reads "The power of labor against FGM" is seen on a volunteer during a conference on International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in Cairo, Egypt, Feb. 6, 2018. (VOA)

Authorities in the U.S. and Britain are stepping up cooperation to tackle female genital mutilation, staging joint operations at airports in London, New York and elsewhere to raise awareness of an issue that affects millions of girls and women worldwide.

Police and border security agencies on both sides of the Atlantic have signed a new agreement to share intelligence about when and where victims may be taken for the procedure, known as FGM, and help identify perpetrators.

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In the past week, officials also targeted travel hubs including Heathrow, JKF airport and Eurostar stations, approaching people traveling from countries where the practice is common and encouraging them to report any concerns.

The mutilation of girls’ external genitals for non-medical reasons is practiced across Africa, the Middle East and Asia. It also affects immigrant communities in Europe and the U.S. (VOA)

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