The Latest: Dutch police arrest young asylum-seeker

AP News
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Posted: Dec 03, 2015 2:34 PM
The Latest: Dutch police arrest young asylum-seeker

LONDON (AP) — The latest developments regarding the fight against the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq: All times local:

7:30 p.m.

Dutch police have arrested an 18-year-old Syrian asylum-seeker suspected of membership in a terrorist organization.

The national prosecutor's office said Thursday the man was arrested Monday in The Hague after he told other asylum-seekers he was a fighter with al-Qaida and the Islamic State group. An investigating judge has ordered the man, whose name was not released, held for two weeks.

Thousands of asylum-seekers have entered the Netherlands as part of the huge flow of migrants arriving this year in Europe.

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6:05 p.m.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says international efforts are needed to help seal Turkey's border with Syria.

Lavrov, speaking in live televised comments from Belgrade, says Thursday that coordinated action from all parties would be needed to shut the border.

Russia has accused Turkey of being involved in an illicit oil trade with the Islamic State militants, charges that Ankara has denied.

Lavrov said his Turkish counterpart, Mevlut Cavusoglu, whom he met Thursday, "said nothing new" regarding the downing of a Russian warplane by a Turkish jet that gas badly strained Moscow-Ankara ties. Cavusoglu offered him Turkey's condolences over the death of the plane's pilot.

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12:20 p.m.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says only the Syrian government and those who have denounced extremism could take place in eventual peace negotiations.

Lavrov said Thursday there is no place for "terrorists" at the negotiating table, apparently referring to the Islamic State but also to the U.S.-backed groups fighting President Bashar Assad's regime.

Speaking at a European security conference in Belgrade, Serbia, Lavrov said "it is inexcusable to continue dividing terrorists into bad and moderate."

Russia has been one of the strongest supporters of Assad since the start of the uprising in 2011. Western officials and Syrian rebels say Russian air strikes mostly target central and northern Syria, where IS does not have strong presence.

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12:10 p.m.

Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov has confirmed that a native of his Russian republic was beheaded by the Islamic State group and has called for revenge.

IS on Wednesday released a video in which a Russian-speaking man confesses to spying for Russia and then is shown apparently being beheaded by another Russian-speaking man. The authenticity of the video was not immediately clear.

Kadyrov said Thursday the man was Chechen. In remarks carried by Russian news agencies, he didn't comment on the the "spy" claim but said he didn't believe he had joined the Islamic State group.

The Chechen strongman said: "Those who beheaded our citizen and threaten the security of our state will not live long. We will send them to the next world on a one-way ticket."

In the video, the man identifies himself as Magomed Khasayev and says he was sent to IS-held territories with orders from Russian intelligence to identify fighters who seek to return to the Caucasus region to carry out attacks.

Thousands of Russian citizens from Chechnya, Dagestan and elsewhere have joined the Islamic State group in Syria.

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12:05 p.m.

Russia's energy minister says talks with Turkey have been halted on building a pipeline that would allow Russia to export natural gas to the European Union through Turkey.

Russia has been punishing Turkey economically for its downing of a Russian warplane along the Syria border which led to the deaths of two Russian servicemen.

Turkish Stream, one of Russia's flagship energy projects, would also allow for increased gas supplies to Turkey.

Energy Minister Alexander Novak said Thursday in comments carried by Russian news agencies that the talks were halted, together with the recent suspension of the work of a broader Russian-Turkish government commission on economic cooperation and trade.

Even before the downing of the plane, talks on the pipeline project had been stalled, mainly because of disagreement over price.

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9:50 a.m.

Britain's defense secretary says British Tornados struck at oil fields that help finance the activities of the Islamic State group — the first strikes to follow after a vote in Parliament authorizing military action in Syria.

Defense Secretary Michael Fallon told the BBC that the Omar fields in eastern Syria were targeted to strike "a very real blow at the oil and the revenue" on which the Islamic State group depends. The strikes follow within hours of Parliament's vote to attack the group, also known as Isil, Isis and by its Arabic acronym, Daesh.

Fallon confirmed that eight more jets were on their way to Britain's base in Cyprus to join attacks and warned that military action against Islamic State should be expected to continue not for months, but years.

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9:40 a.m.

Germany's defense minister is heading to Turkey as Berlin prepares to send reconnaissance jets and other help in the fight against the Islamic State group in Syria.

The Defense Ministry tells the dpa news agency that Ursula von der Leyen plans to meet with her Turkish counterpart Thursday afternoon in Ankara.

The government plans to send up to six Tornado reconnaissance planes, tanker aircraft and a frigate to help protect the French aircraft carrier Charles de Gaulle in the eastern Mediterranean, but won't actively engage in combat. It's also planning to commit up to 1,200 soldiers to support the international coalition fighting the Islamic State group.

Two Tornados and a tanker could be sent to Turkey's Incirlik air base next week if Parliament approves the mission Friday as expected.

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8:40 a.m.

France's government is welcoming the first British airstrikes in Syria, saying they are a sign of the European solidarity promised after the Nov. 13 attacks that terrorized Paris.

In a statement Thursday, the president said the British vote to begin airstrikes in Syria — and an upcoming German vote Friday to take part in the operation — were a sign that Europeans would stand together after the Islamic State attacks that killed 130 people in Paris.

French fighter jets joined the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State extremists in Iraq in 2014, and expanded their mission to IS targets in Syria in September. President Francois Hollande cited specific threats against French interests stemming from IS in Syria.

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8:00 a.m.

Britain's Ministry of Defense says its jets struck at oil facilities in Syria, hours after Parliament voted for Britain to join allies in bombarding the Islamic State group.

The ministry said in a Twitter message that Royal Air Force jets hit the Omar oil fields. There was no immediate assessment offered of the results of the strikes.

British warplanes have carried out airstrikes in Syria, hours after Parliament voted to authorize air attacks against Islamic State group targets there.

Earlier, a Ministry of Defense spokesman told the AP that four Royal Air Force Tornados operating from a British air base in Akrotiri, Cyprus, participated in the attack. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to give his name when discussing operations.

—By Menelaos Hadjicostis