Sweden, after IKEA tit-for-tat, hopes Israel ties will recover
Sweden's foreign minister said Friday she hoped ties with Israel would recover after Stockholm's decision to recognise the state of Palestine led to an unusual exchange involving IKEA furniture. Margot Wallstroem was speaking exclusively to AFP one day after Sweden became the first EU member in western Europe to grant official recognition to the Palestinian state, prompting Israel to recall its ambassador to Stockholm.
Judge won't close hearing in Islamic State case
CHICAGO (AP) — A federal judge on Friday denied a government request to partially close a detention hearing for a 19-year-old suburban Chicago man who authorities say violated U.S. law by trying to travel to Syria to join Islamic State militants.
Analysis: In Syria, no good options for West
UNDATED (AP) — With the U.S.-led assault on the Islamic State group, the world community is acting in Syria, but not in the Syrian civil war. When it comes to the issue that has undermined the region — the survival or fall of Syrian President Bashar Assad — there is still no plan.
Foreign jihadists flock to IS despite air strikes
The Islamic State group is recruiting foreign jihadists on an "unprecedented scale" despite international efforts to stem the tide, according to experts and extracts of a UN report published by Britain's Guardian newspaper. Latest US figures show that around 1,000 foreign fighters are flocking to fight in Iraq and Syria every month, and experts warn that the newest militants may be more extreme than early recruits. "Many foreign fighters that originally left for Syria really did think they were going out for a humanitarian cause," said Erin Marie Saltman, senior researcher at counter-extremism think tank Quilliam. Russian fighters constitute the biggest single fighting force from a non-Muslim country, numbering over 800, and the US-led air strikes will only strengthen their resolve, according to a local expert.