WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hundreds of members of the U.S. Congress signed a letter to President Donald Trump on Monday arguing that the United States should remain engaged with the conflict in Syria, saying they were "deeply concerned" about extremist groups in the country.

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Members of the Iranian revolutionary guard march during a parade to commemorate the anniversary of the Iran-Iraq war (1980-88), in Tehran September 22, 2011. (Reuters photo)

A British two-star general had to eat his own words on Tuesday after contradicting the White House, which has warned that Iranian-backed forces could attack U.S. troops in Syria and Iraq.

"There's been no increased threat from Iranian-backed forces in Iraq and Syria," Maj. Gen. Chris Ghika, a deputy commander for the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS, told reporters at a Pentagon news briefing. "We are monitoring the Shia militia groups carefully and if the threat level perceives to go up them we will raise our force protection levels accordingly."

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An MQ-1 Predator drone fires a Hellfire missile in this undated photo (U.S. Air Force)

In a joint effort to reduce the potential for civilian casualties resulting from U.S. air strikes, the Defense Department and Central Intelligence Agency have reportedly developed a specialized variant of the ubiquitous Hellfire missile that can best be described a 100-pound flying switchblade.

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Good pay, bad food and corruption. That's the life of a Russian mercenary in Syria, according to one veteran who's glad to be out of there.

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In this June 9, 2017, photo, soldiers ride a military vehicle on the outskirts of Marawi city, southern Philippines. (Associated Press/Aaron Favila)

ISIS may have lost its physical caliphate in Iraq and Syria, but the group is poised for a resurgence in its enclave in the Philippines — and instead of eradicating the terror group once and for all before it facilitates another horrifying attack like the Easter bombings that rocked Sri Lanka, the U.S. military is focused on new plumbing.

At least, that's the takeaway from this fantastic Thomas Gibbons-Neff story in the New York Times on the latest mission for the contingent of U..S. special operations forces that have been assisting the Philippine Army with their campaign against ISIS insurgents over the last two years.

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ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi claims responsibility for Easter bombings in Sri Lanka in an 18-minute video released on April 29, 2019.

CAIRO (Reuters) - Islamic State's media network published on Monday a video message purporting to come from its leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in what would be his first appearance since declaring the jihadists' now-defunct "caliphate" five years ago.

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