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The Latest: Turkey's Erdogan, US Sen. Graham Discuss Syria

Friday, 18 January 2019 10:39 AM

BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on the conflict in Syria (all times local):

5 p.m.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has met with U.S. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham to discuss the situation in Syria as the United States prepares to withdraw troops.

Graham, a prominent voice on foreign affairs in the U.S., met with Erdogan and other Turkish officials Friday for talks that were also expected to include a proposal for the creation of a "safe zone" in northeast Syria.

The visit comes days after a suicide bombing, claimed by Islamic State militants, killed two U.S. service members and two American civilians in the northeastern town of Manbij.

Graham has said he is concerned that U.S. President Donald Trump's withdrawal announcement had emboldened Islamic State militants and created dangerous uncertainty for American allies.

4:50 p.m.

Syrian opposition activists say an explosion outside an office belonging to an al-Qaida-linked group in the country's northwestern has killed at least 11 people.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Smart news agency, an activist collective, said the blast occurred Friday on the southern edge of the rebel-held city of Idlib.

The blast comes a week after members of the al-Qaida-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, Arabic for Levant Liberation Committee, or HTS, took over control of Idlib province and the surrounding countryside after forcing rival insurgents to accept a deal for a civil administration run by HTS in their areas.

The Observatory said 11 people were killed in the blast, including seven HTS members. Smart said 12 people were killed, many of them militants.

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The Latest on the conflict in Syria (all times local):5 p.m.Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has met with U.S. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham to discuss the situation in Syria as the United States prepares to withdraw troops.Graham, a prominent voice on foreign affairs...
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Friday, 18 January 2019 10:39 AM
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