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Turkish President Was 'Truly Saddened' By Plane Downing

He says he wishes it hadn't happened

(Newser) - Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Saturday voiced regret over Turkey's downing of a Russian warplane, saying his country was "truly saddened" by the incident and wished it hadn't occurred. It was the first expression of regret by the strongman leader since Tuesday's incident in which... More »

Russian Soldier Joins Ranks of 'Unexplained Dead'

Russia won't give official confirmation of where many of its soldiers died

(Newser) - A 27-year-old Russian soldier joined the ranks of what Reuters calls the "unexplained dead"—servicemen killed in secret military engagements both inside Russia and beyond its borders. "I'm away on a work trip." Those were the last words—written in a terse note—Fyodor Zhuravlyov... More »

Report: Iran General Saved Russian Pilot

He coordinated with Russia, Syrian commandoes

(Newser) - How exactly did a Russian pilot make it out of enemy territory alive after his plane was shot down by Turkish jets? He was helped by the commander of foreign operations for Iran's Revolutionary Guards, according to an Iranian news agency. The Fars New Agency—citing a Russian agency,... More »

Russian Pilot: 'No Contact at All' Before Plane Shot Down

He also says there's 'no way' they were in Turkish airspace

(Newser) - The Russian pilot rescued after his plane was shot down by Turkish forces on Tuesday says there's "no way" his plane was in Turkey's airspace, the BBC reports. Capt. Konstantin Murakhtin also denies Turkey's claims that he and his fellow pilot were warned at least 10... More »

Russia: Jet Downing Was 'Planned Provocation'

But Russia won't go to war with Turkey, says minister

(Newser) - Russia's foreign minister says the country isn't about to go to war with Turkey, but adds that the downing of a Russian warplane on Tuesday "looks very much like a pre-planned provocation," per Politico . "We have serious doubts this was an unintended incident." The... More »

Russia: Marine Killed in Mission to Rescue Shot-Down Pilot

Russia claims one of its rescue helicopters was shot at

(Newser) - Things were already tense between Russia and Turkey on Tuesday after Turkey shot down a Russian warplane —an act Putin called a " stab in the back ." Now Russia is claiming a marine was killed during a mission to rescue one of the warplane's pilots, CNN reports.... More »

Putin to Turkey: Downing Jet Was 'Stab in Back'

He promises 'serious consequences' over the move

(Newser) - Vladimir Putin wasted no time in labeling Turkish military officials "accomplices of terrorists" in a statement condemning the downing of a Russian plane Tuesday. Russia's president says the country suffered a "stab in the back" when Turkish F-16s fired air-to-air missiles at the Su-24, which Putin says... More »

Turkey Shoots Down Russian Warplane

Moscow insists jet didn't cross Syrian border

(Newser) - As the BBC puts it, "this is exactly the kind of incident that many have feared since Russia launched its air operations in Syria." That assessment comes after Turkish fighter jets shot down a Russian warplane Tuesday, claiming it had violated Turkey's airspace and ignored multiple warnings,... More »

Canada: No Single Syrian Men, Unless They're Gay

Nation puts emphasis on taking women, kids, and families

(Newser) - Canada is expected to roll out a new policy on accepting Syrian refugees Tuesday, and it's got an unusual twist—lone, single males need not apply, unless they happen to be gay. The idea behind the policy is to reduce the risk of extremists slipping into the country by... More »

Latest Syrian Victim: 4-Year-Old Girl Washes Ashore

Sena had been missing since ship sank en route to Greece Wednesday

(Newser) - A boat ferrying mostly Syrian migrants to a Greek island sank on Wednesday, and Sunday brought the discovery of a tiny victim of the tragedy: The body of a 4-year-old girl, identified by a survivor as Sena, who was found by amateur fishermen washed up among rocks of the Turkish... More »

Assad Says His Troops Advancing, Thanks Russia

Syrian president cites progress on 'almost every front'

(Newser) - Syrian president Bashar al-Assad says his forces are advancing on "almost" all fronts thanks to Russian airstrikes that began nearly two months ago and have tipped the balance in his favor in some parts of the country. In remarks published Sunday, Assad told China's Phoenix Television that the... More »

Couple Downsizes Big Wedding to Sponsor Syrian Refugees

They're raising $27,000 to sponsor a family of 4 instead

(Newser) - The idea came to them in September, when Samantha Jackson and Farzin Yousefian saw the tragic photo of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi's lifeless body washed ashore after he and his family fled their home in Syria. Instead of spending tens of thousands of dollars on a big, catered wedding in... More »

Officials: ISIS Working Hard to Get Chemical Weapons

'The macabre imagination of the masterminds is limitless': French PM

(Newser) - French PM Manuel Valls issued a new warning in front of the lower house of France's Parliament Thursday, nearly a week after the Paris terror attacks . "Terrorism hit France not because of what it is doing in Iraq and Syria … but for what it is. We know... More »

5 US-Bound Syrians Arrested in Honduras

Group had stolen Greek passports

(Newser) - Five Syrians have been detained on charges of falsifying documents after trying to use stolen Greek passports to enter Honduras, a law enforcement spokesman for the Central American country says. He says the men were detained on Tuesday at the Tegucigalpa international airport on an alert from Interpol about the... More »

Alleged Paris Mastermind's Family Wanted Him Dead

Abdelhamid Abaaoud recruited his 13-year-old brother to join jihad

(Newser) - When the alleged mastermind of the Paris terror attacks was thought to have been killed in Syria a year ago while fighting for ISIS, his family prayed that it was true. Abdelhamid Abaaoud —who attended an exclusive Catholic school in Brussels before dropping out of secondary school and spending... More »

France Pounds ISIS Stronghold for 2nd Night

Hollande urges others to join fight against 'terrorism factory'

(Newser) - France has fired new airstrikes on the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa in Syria, days after deadly attacks in Paris linked to the group. The strikes early Tuesday destroyed a command post and training camp, a military spokesman says. France conducted sweeping raids Sunday night on Raqqa , and the French president... More »

16 States Say No to Syrian Refugees

Alabama, Michigan governors were the first to cite Paris attacks

(Newser) - The attacks in Paris have prompted the governors of several US states to declare that Syrian refugees aren't welcome. The governors of Alabama and Michigan each issued statements Sunday to that effect, reports the Washington Post . And on Monday, the governors of Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi,... More »

Obama: No Ground Troops to Fight ISIS' 'Face of Evil'

President says we'll keep calm and carry on with current airstrike strategy

(Newser) - Friday's terror attacks in Paris rocked the world, but President Obama appeared steadfast Monday in his overall strategy to go after the Islamic State. In a presser held after Turkey's G20 summit, Obama said that even though ISIS is "the face of evil" and that Paris' attacks... More »

US Pledges Nearly $100M to Support Syrian Opposition

US has given nearly $500 million since 2012

(Newser) - The United States ramped up its support for Syria's opposition with a pledge of nearly $100 million in fresh aid on Saturday. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's top diplomat described the timing of the departure of Syrian President Bashar Assad and the withdrawal of foreign fighters as top sticking points... More »

US to Send Special Ops to Syria

Officials describe 'shift' in fight against ISIS

(Newser) - All week there's been buzz that the White House was mulling whether to send ground troops to Syria to combat ISIS. Now it looks like it's a done deal. An anonymous senior US official says there will be an announcement Friday that the US will send a small... More »

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