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STRUAN STEVENSON: The indiscriminate killing of civilians by barrel bombs, increasingly deployed by the Iraqi military, has provoked international condemnation. Speaking from the European Election campaign trail in Scotland, Struan Stevenson, Conservative Euro MP and President of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq said: 

U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said in a statement on Thursday the 'war being waged against the Syrian people not just by the Assad regime, but by Iranian operatives and Hezbollah terrorists with a steady supply of Russian weapons.'

A nine month peace process between Israel and Palestine came to an unsuccessful close on Tuesday. Each side has predictably levied blame on the other for this latest failure, as well as directing blame at the United States and Secretary of State John Kerry, who acted as mediator for the discussions.

In a televised speech on Tuesday, Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Mariziyeh Afkham offered official comments on the situation in Syria, including the Bashar al-Assad’s recent announcement that he will seek a third term as president of the country even as it remains in the midst of a civil war that has now lasted more than three years, having begun with efforts to oust Assad’s Ba’ath Party government in the wake of the Arab Spring.

As one would expect, Iran’s role in Iraqi affairs was a common theme in Dexter Filkins’ comments to Terry Gross on the April 29th edition of the NPR program Fresh Air. Filkins covered the Iraq war from start to finish as a reporter for the New York Times. Now a staff writer for The New Yorker magazine, he has written an in-depth article summing up the situation in Iraq since the US left the nation to its own devices.

AFP is reporting that an international watch dog organization is probing claims that chlorine gas was used in an attack on an Islamic school in Syria. The Telegraph claims that soil samples from the site of three recent attacks provide conclusive evidence that the Assad regime is still using chemical weapons despite its agreement to hand over weapons stockpiles following an August attack on Damascus suburbs, which killed as many as 1400 people.


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