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Families Flees Fallujah Amid Growing Violence in Iraq

More than 13,000 families have been evacuated from areas of Iraq no longer under government control, including the city of Fallujah. The Al-Qaeda linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant ISIS has gained control of strategic swathes of the country, actively seeking to create divisions among jihadist Syrian rebel groups. ISIS has earned a reputation for brutality, including against fellow jihadists.

Here's a tweeted image of ISIS walking through the streets of Fallujah, which it currently controls .

Though the Iraqi government had originally indicated its plans to attack Fallujah to regain control, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has delayed any such military assault. He said he hoped local tribes and family groups would be able to force out the jihadist militants, resulting in less bloodshed in a city that has seen too much over the past decade.

Fallujah saw a large amount of fighting during the Iraq war, when it was virtually laid to ruin. Iraq as a whole registered the highest levels of violence in 2013 since 2008, blamed at least in part on spillover from the war in Syria.

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Putin's "Pig-Like" Latvia Threat Is A Chilling Reminder Of What's At Stake In Ukraine

In the Ukraine war, Russia's military spending is as high as ever. Now the West is alarmed because the Kremlin leader is indirectly hinting at a possible attack on Latvia, a NATO member. It is a reminder of a growing danger to Europe.

Photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin

Pavel Lokshin


BERLIN — Russian President Vladimir Putin sometimes chooses downright bizarre occasions to launch his threats against the West. It was at Monday's meeting of the Russian Human Rights Council, where Putin expressed a new, deep concern. It was not of course about the human rights of the thousands of political prisoners in his own country, but about the Russian population living in neighboring Latvia, which happens to be a NATO member, having to take language tests.

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