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Jordanian warplanes destroy vehicles trying to cross from Syria: spokesman

By Suleiman Al-Khalidi AMMAN (Reuters) - Jordanian warplanes hit and destroyed several vehicles trying to cross the border from Syria, a government spokesman said on Wednesday, underlining Amman's concern about incursions from areas controlled by Syrian rebels. A Jordanian security source said the targets appeared to have been Syrian rebels with machine guns mounted on civilian vehicles who were seeking refugee from fighting with government forces in southern Syria, but refused to elaborate.

Jordan says it destroyed combat vehicles crossing from Syria

Jordanian air force fighter jets destroyed a number of combat vehicles Wednesday as they tried to cross into the kingdom from war-ravaged Syria, the army said. A Syrian military source cited by state television in Damascus said, however, that the vehicles that were struck did not belong to Syria's armed forces. Damascus has accused Amman of backing the three-year uprising against President Bashar al-Assad by training and arming rebels, but Jordan denies this and says it has tightened its border and jailed dozens trying to cross it illegally.

Hezbollah shifts tactics, narrative for Syria fight

Lebanon's Hezbollah movement is gaining new combat experience in Syria, shedding its guerrilla tactics to fight alongside an army, and shifting its narrative to explain the battle against "Sunni extremists". Its forces, who used their homeground advantage and methods such as underground tunnels against Israel's army in Lebanon, are now the targets of unconventional warfare on unfamiliar terrain in Syria.

Pope expresses 'profound pain' at killing of priest in Syria

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Francis spoke on Wednesday of his deep grief over the assassination of a 75-year-old Dutch Jesuit priest in Syria and made a renewed appeal for an end to the violence. Frans van der Lugt had been living in Syria since the 1970s and had become widely known for his refusal to leave Christians who remained in the rebel-held city of Homs as it was blockaded by government forces. He was beaten and shot dead by unidentified gunmen at his monastery on Monday.

Jihadist infighting in Syria is 'sedition'

Al-Qaeda chief Ayman al-Zawahiri has told rival jihadists in Syria to accept independent Islamic arbitration to end three months of infighting, saying in an audio message Friday the violence is "sedition". Powerful rebel groups in Syria, including the Islamic Front and Al-Qaeda's affiliate Al-Nusra Front, have been locked in fierce fighting with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) since January.

More than 150,000 killed in Syria conflict

More than 150,000 people have been killed in Syria since the conflict began in March 2011, a monitoring group said in a new toll released on Tuesday. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it had documented the deaths of 150,344 people, 51,212 of them civilians, including nearly 7,985 children. The group said 37,781 members of the armed opposition had been killed in the fighting, including jihadists from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, and Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front.

Turkey fires artillery into Syria in border incident

Turkey has fired artillery into Syria to retaliate after a cross-border rocket from the war-torn country had slammed into a mosque, Turkish media said Monday amid heightened tensions. The rocket from Syria wounded an elderly Syrian refugee woman in Hatay province on Sunday, where several mortar rounds also hit the ground, without causing harm, the Dogan News Agency reported. "In accordance with our new military engagement rules, our artillery units on the border fired into Syria in response," Hatay officials were quoted saying in a statement.

Arab summit calls for political solution in Syria

Arab leaders on Wednesday called for a political solution to the conflict in Syria, although the Syrian opposition had asked for "sophisticated" arms to tip the balance of power. "We call for a political solution to the crisis in Syria based on the Geneva I communique," calling for a peaceful transition of power, they said in a statement at the end of a two-day summit in Kuwait. The communique was drawn up at an international conference in 2012 in the Swiss city without the participation of the Syrian government or rebels.

Arab summit calls for political solution in Syria

Arab leaders on Wednesday called for a political solution to the conflict in Syria, although the Syrian opposition had asked for "sophisticated" arms to tip the balance of power. "We call for a political solution to the crisis in Syria based on the Geneva I communique," calling for a peaceful transition of power, they said in a statement at the end of a two-day summit in Kuwait. wak-oh/ak

Jordan intercepts drugs, arms haul from Syria

Jordanian border guards have intercepted two vehicles crossing from Syria loaded with arms and thousands of Captagon tablets, a drug widely used by Syrian rebels, the army announced Thursday. The Petra news agency quoted an army official as saying one of the vehicles and its cargo was destroyed when it was fired on by border guards during the operation late on Wednesday. The other was found to be carrying 209 weapons, which the report did not identify, and 10,000 capsules of Captagon, the brand name for the amphetamine phenethylline.
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