Syria

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Angelina Jolie: We Must Help Syria, Iraq Refugees

We're not doing nearly enough, actress writes

(Newser) - The suffering in the Middle East is the worst since Angelina Jolie first started visiting refugee camps in Iraq in 2007, she writes in a New York Times column today. She tells stories of "displaced Iraqis and Syrian refugees are desperately seeking shelter from the fighting that has convulsed... More »

Kurds Rejoice as ISIS Pushed Out of Kobani

US-backed fighters declare victory in key border town

(Newser) - Jubilant Kurdish fighters ousted ISIS militants from the key Syrian border town of Kobani yesterday after a 4-month battle—a significant victory for both the Kurds and the US-led coalition. The Kurds raised their flag on a hill that once flew the group's black banner. On Kobani's war-ravaged... More »

Kerry: We've Killed Half of ISIS' Leaders

Thousands of militants killed, he says after coalition meeting

(Newser) - The US and its allies sought to put a good face on the coalition's deliberate campaign to roll back ISIS yesterday, boasting of having killed thousands of militants while acknowledging that ousting the group from key cities remains a distant aspiration. Speaking to reporters in London alongside the British... More »

US Troops to Train Syrian Rebels for ISIS Takedown

Train-and-equip plan for moderate Syrian opposition designed to derail insurgents

(Newser) - In continuing efforts to thwart Islamic militants in Syria, the US Defense Department confirmed last night that it's sending 400 troops to train moderate Syrian opposition, Army Times reports. Trainers will set up shop in Turkey, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, with the six- to eight-week training sessions tentatively set... More »

Italian Aid Workers Freed in Syria

Sources say huge ransom was paid to Nusra Front

(Newser) - Two young Italian aid workers kidnapped in Syria last year and seen pleading for their lives in a video recently released by their captors are free and arrived back in their homeland today, Italian authorities say. The country's foreign ministry says Vanessa Marzullo, 21, and Greta Ramelli, 20, who... More »

Turkey: Widow of Paris Gunman Is in Syria

She flew to Turkey on Jan. 2, crossed over Thursday, says foreign minister

(Newser) - The 26-year-old woman sought by French police as the widow and potential accomplice of Paris deli shooter Amedy Coulibaly is in Syria, Turkey's foreign minister confirmed today. The timeline that Mevlut Cavusoglu is offering up indicates that Hayat Boumeddiene crossed over into Syria after Wednesday's slaughter at Charlie ... More »

McCain Tweet-Brags That Syria Whined About Him

Gleefully boasts about Assad regime's annoyance with him

(Newser) - John McCain has put together quite the résumé for himself lately, and it includes the wrath of Vladimir Putin, ISIS, Fidel Castro, and now the regime of Bashar al-Assad. McCain added those latest bragging rights after Bashar Ja'afari, the Syrian ambassador to the UN, yesterday asked the Security... More »

Italian Women Plead for Lives in Syria Video

Aid workers were kidnapped in July

(Newser) - Two young Italian aid workers kidnapped in Syria last summer plead for their lives in a chilling new video released by their captors. Greta Ramelli and Vanessa Marzullo, 20 and 21 years old, are seen wearing Islamic garb in the video, and one holds up a piece of paper with... More »

ISIS Fighter Mistakenly Reveals Location in Tweets

New Zealander is apparently unfamiliar with geotagging

(Newser) - A New Zealander who left home to fight with ISIS in Syria made it pretty easy for authorities to track his movements—he tweeted happily away as "Kiwi Jihadi" with his geotag tracking turned on, reports the Guardian . The mistake by Mark Taylor, also known as Abu Adbul-Rahman, was... More »

Report: ISIS Has Executed 4 Children

Monitor puts execution tally at 1,878 since June

(Newser) - ISIS has killed 1,878 people in Syria—most of them civilians—over the six-month period since it proclaimed a caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria in late June, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights . Among the victims: four children, eight women, members of an opposing Sunni... More »

ISIS Captures Jordan Pilot in US-Led Coalition

Jordan confirms capture of pilot

(Newser) - A warplane in the US-led coalition that is bombing ISIS in Syria went down near Raqqa today, the AP reports, and Jordan is confirming ISIS claims that one of its pilots has been captured by the militants. The pro-ISIS Raqqa Media Center published photos to Facebook showing a bleeding man... More »

UN: Sites From 'Dawn of Civilization' Ruined in Syria

Satellite images show war devastation of 290 cultural heritage sites

(Newser) - Insurgents camping inside the 900-year-old Crac des Chevaliers Crusader medieval castle and snipers firing from atop Aleppo's Citadel illustrate the sad plight of Syria's oldest cultural heritage sites—some of them dating back to what Reuters calls the "dawn of civilization." Satellite images have revealed that... More »

Khorasan's French Bomb-Maker Survived US Strike

David 'Daoud' Drugeon treated for serious injuries: officials

(Newser) - A high-value French bomb-maker isn't dead after all . US officials say David (Daoud) Drugeon of the al-Qaeda-linked Khorasan Group , believed to have been killed in a November airstrike in Syria, actually survived, CNN and French newspaper L'Express report. Drugeon, the intended target of the drone strike on his... More »

Syria: Israeli Airstrikes Just Hit Us

Israel says it won't comment on 'foreign reports'

(Newser) - Israeli warplanes carried out two airstrikes today near Damascus, one near the city's international airport and a second outside a town close to the Lebanese border, Syria's state news agency said. SANA called the attack "an aggression against Syria" and said there were no reports of casualties.... More »

World's 'Worst' Nazi Is Dead

Alois Brunner, Eichmann's 'best man,' revealed to have died 4 years ago

(Newser) - The world's most-wanted Nazi is dead, and he died without regrets about his role in the murder of thousands of Jews. That's according to Nazi hunter Efraim Zuroff, who says a German secret service agent recently revealed that Alois Brunner, Adolf Eichmann's "best man," died... More »

80% of Terrorism Deaths Occur in 5 Countries

Global Terrorism Index shows big jump overall from last year

(Newser) - If it feels like deadly attacks by terror groups such as the Islamic State are in the headlines every day, new numbers from the Global Terrorism Index might explain why. The survey attributes about 18,000 deaths last year to terrorism, a rise of 60% from the previous year, reports... More »

Newest ISIS Death Video Has Major Differences

Kassig's parents heartbroken but 'incredibly proud'

(Newser) - ISIS has beheaded another hostage , but while the outcome is grimly familiar, analysts say the video revealing the death of Peter Kassig has differences that hint at serious problems for the militant group. Unlike four earlier videos showing the execution of Western hostages, the quality is poor, Kassig is not... More »

White House Confirms ISIS Video of Dead American

Peter Kassig was taken in 'act of pure evil,' Obama says

(Newser) - ISIS released a graphic video today in which a black-clad militant claims to have beheaded US aid worker Peter Kassig, and the White House confirms that it's really him. Kassig "was a humanitarian who worked to save the lives of Syrians injured and dispossessed," says President Obama,... More »

What ISIS Likes to Drink to Stay Awake

Militants fueled by Red Bull have taken control of Turkish-Syrian border trade

(Newser) - Red Bull gives you wings, and if you're an Islamic militant, apparently, extra stamina to keep fighting. Turkish traders are shipping the energy drink and other items into Syria across borders that are controlled by rebels belonging to ISIS, the Free Syrian Army, and the Islamic Front, and business... More »

Jihadists' New Method of Travel: Cruise Ships

Interpol wants cruise lines to take advantage of its database

(Newser) - Not all cruise ship passengers are hoping for a nice holiday. According to Interpol, would-be jihadists are now using cruise ships as a way of eventually getting to Iraq and Syria. The mode of transportation allows them to both avoid more tightly monitored airports and hop off at any number... More »

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