The Islamic State group wants to expand its so-called caliphate inside Afghanistan as the militants fend off military attacks in its strongholds in Iraq and Syria, the country’s top U.S. commander said. Recruits from Uzbekistan and Pakistan are reportedly helping to fuel the effort. Source: IBT
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Israeli media are reporting that Iran is building a factory in northwest Syria to manufacture long-range rockets. The Times said Iran was also helping Hizballah build subterranean factories in Lebanon to make Fateh-110 medium-range missiles. Source: RadioFreeEurope
China urged the US and North Korea to urgently “put the brakes” on provocative actions and words on Tuesday after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un appeared to back away from a threat to fire missiles toward the US Pacific territory of Guam. Source: CNN
Angela Merkel has refused to link refugee-sharing to the EU budget as she embarked on her campaign to secure a fourth term as Germany’s leader. He told that “to pay ransom, that won’t work in this context.” The Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia are blocking the redistribution of refugees. Source: Euobserver