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"The administration has difficult choices — and divided opinions — about how the heavily devastated region can recover in an era when U.S. policy is to take a back-seat role."

"To save Raqqa from both terrorists and Assad, the SDF and its newly established Raqqa Civil Council must quickly establish a broad and democratic government."

The assessment contains sections on transnational criminal organizations as well as gangs. Continue on for a link to the full report.

"The Afghan government is giving financial and military support to a breakaway Taliban faction in an effort to sow rifts within the insurgency."

"The Islamic State’s influence in the Philippines is far from over, and communities on Mindanao are bracing for the next battles."

Continue on for an excerpt and link to each urban conflict article.

"Worried about eroding security, elected officials in Afghanistan sought answers this weekend from President Ashraf Ghani’s administration."

"Americans have a history of volunteering to fight overseas, but the war in Syria presents distinct problems and challenges."

"Despite good intentions, the United States should not pursue high-minded objectives that are peripheral to national security."

"The assignment marks a shift for the CIA in the country, where it had primarily been focused on defeating Al Qaeda and helping the Afghan intelligence service."

New details are emerging about the attack that left four U.S. soldiers dead in Niger as U.S. congressional leaders are demanding answers from the Pentagon.

"The Pentagon is trying to determine whether American forces involved in a deadly ambush in Niger this month diverted from their routine patrol to embark on an unapproved mission."

"The military is shifting its CT strategy to focus more on Africa, put decision-making authority in the hands of commanders in the field, and expand the ability to use lethal force."

Continue on for highlights from the latest Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction report.

"The U.S.-led coalition said Friday that the capture of the Islamic State’s onetime Syria capital of Raqqa marked a turning point in the fight against the extremist group."

"The Federal Bureau of Investigation has joined the investigation into how a group of militants thought to be Islamists killed four American soldiers in Niger."

Continue on for a video of today's White House press briefing.

“Al Shabaab has morphed to become more of a regional terrorist organization and should no longer be considered an insurgency group within Somalia.”

"Islamists in the Philippines pledged allegiance to ISIS, devastated a city and built a model for jihadists after the fall of Raqqa."

"Its de facto capital is falling. Its territory has shriveled from the size of Portugal to a handful of outposts. Its surviving leaders are on the run."

The independence dream was felled by a lightening advance by Iraqi counter-terror units, trained and equipped by the U.S., and Shi’ite militias, trained and equipped by Iran.

"Isnilon Hapilon and a fellow siege leader were killed in a battle to free Marawi from Isis-linked militants, officials say."

"Trump’s declaration comes as Baghdad government forces push into Kirkuk amid conflict with Kurds over disputed territory, threatening to disprupt fight against Islamic State."

"Elite Iraqi forces take control of local government building in Kirkuk."

The Peshmerga General Command has said the attack on Kirkuk by the Iranian Quds-backed Iraqi forces and the Shiite Hashd al-Shaabi is “a flagrant declaration of war against Kurdistan.”

"Kurdish Peshmerga troops left the city of Kirkuk on Monday after Iraqi troops captured vital installations in and around the city."

"Clashes broke out early Monday as Iraqi forces moved to recapture Kurdish-held oil fields and a military base near the northern Iraqi city of Kirkuk."

Secretary Mattis is urging Kurdish and Iraqi forces gathered on the outskirts of Kirkuk to "tone everything down" as Kurdish officials continue to warn of an imminent Iraqi invasion.

"Kurdish security officials say Iraq wants to regain oil wells and installations in Kirkuk province."

Trump's new policy on Afghanistan, which pressures Pakistan to take more action against terrorists or face consequences, may be having an effect.