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IRBIL, Iraq (AP) — U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter arrived Sunday in Irbil to get a closer look at the fight against Islamic State militants in northern Iraq and likely expand his discussions about the role of Turkish troops in the region.
Afghanistan saw a 10 percent jump in opium cultivation this year, a sharp rise owing to bumper yields, collapsing eradication efforts amid growing insecurity and declining international counter-narcotics assistance, the UN said Sunday. Cultivation dropped last year due to drought conditions but it has been on the rise in the past decade, fuelling the Taliban insurgency and spurring a growing crisis of drug addiction despite costly US-led counter-narcotics programmes. High levels of cultivation this year meant the estimated opium production soared 43 percent to 4,800 tons, a UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report said, highlighting a "worrying reversal" in efforts to combat the scourge of drugs.
Kurdish forces have launched a new push on Mosul as part of a massive Iraqi operation aimed at retaking the country's second largest city from the Islamic State group. The Kurdish forces, known as peshmerga, ...