Syria

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Civilians Pay the Price With Aleppo Poised to Fall

President Assad's forces on brink of reclaiming city from rebels

(Newser) - Bashar al-Assad's government forces in Syria are poised to reclaim Aleppo, and two weeks of attacks have displaced thousands of residents. Here's a look at developments:
  • The big picture: Aleppo would give Assad control of Syria's five biggest cities, meaning it's likely he's going to
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JK Rowling Fan in Aleppo Is Now Homeless

'In between death and life now, please keep praying for us'

(Newser) - Days after JK Rowling sent her Harry Potter books , 7-year-old Bana Alabed no longer has a home in which to read them. Since September, Bana's mother has amassed 136,000 followers on Twitter by revealing the horrifying realities of life in Aleppo, Syria, which led Rowling to reach out.... More »

JK Rowling Makes Some Magic for Young Girl in Aleppo

The author sent 'Harry Potter' books to the girl in war-torn Syria

(Newser) - JK Rowling just introduced another child surrounded by daily horrors to the wizarding world. But instead of Harry Potter living under the Dursleys' stairs, it's 7-year-old Bana Alabed living with her family in war-torn Aleppo.The Telegraph reports Bana's parents are trying to distract her from the fighting... More »

Families Try to Flee Aleppo, Rebels Stop Them: Report

As conditions have gone from 'terrible to terrifying and now barely survivable'

(Newser) - A Syrian monitoring group alleged Tuesday that rebels are preventing dozens of families from fleeing eastern Aleppo as Russian-backed government forces intensify their bombardment of the besieged quarter, the AP reports. Such claims are difficult to verify and often distorted due to propaganda, but Syrian and Russian state media maintain... More »

No More Hospitals in East Aleppo After 'Catastrophic Day'

Airstrikes have left 250K residents with very little access to medical care

(Newser) - On Friday, airstrikes led by Russia and the Syrian government, ostensibly meant to target rebel-held areas in Aleppo, caused enough damage to force four hospitals in the city to close, the Guardian reports. And then the final blow: The Omar bin Abdul Aziz facility, the last remaining hospital in East... More »

Obama Meets His 6-Year-Old Viral Pen Pal

Alex Myteberi offered to adopt a Syrian boy whose home was destroyed

(Newser) - "He is a shy little boy, but when he saw the president, his eyes lit up and he was completely drawn to him," Valbona Myteberi tells the Journal News . Myteberi's 6-year-old son Alex went viral in September after writing a letter to President Obama offering to adopt... More »

Is Russia Revving Up for a Nuclear War?

They're certainly making a show of it, anyway

(Newser) - Russia's been conducting country-wide nuclear drills, the Wall Street Journal reports. The largest of the exercises, practicing civilian evacuation and sheltering procedures, involved 40 million people, and some bomb shelters are even getting upgrades. But does Russia actually expect to start a nuclear war with the US? Commentators are... More »

Syria's President Says This Iconic Photo Is Fake

Interviewer confronts Assad with haunting image

(Newser) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad apparently believes there's such a big shortage of injured children in his country that people have to forge photos of them. In an interview with a Swiss television station this week, the leader was confronted with a haunting photo of 5-year-old Omran Daqneesh , who was... More »

How a NYC College Kid Died Fighting for ISIS

Court docs show Samy Mohammed el-Goarany, 24, reportedly died in November

(Newser) - It's a long way from SoHo to Syria, but somehow a New York City college student ended up dying there last fall fighting for ISIS, prosecutors say. Per court records, 24-year-old Samy Mohammed el-Goarany showed "an increased interest in militant forms of Islam" and headed to Syria in... More »

Syrian Terror Suspect Asks Syrian for Shelter, Gets Tied Up

Police arrest suspect after 2-day manhunt

(Newser) - German police searched for a Syrian terror suspect for almost two days—and found him Sunday night tied up in another Syrian national's apartment. Jaber Albakr, 22, came to Germany last year as an asylum seeker. After German officials got a tip from the country's intelligence service, they... More »

Russia to US: Don't Think About Striking Syrian Army

Moscow has 'taken all necessary measures'

(Newser) - The Russian military on Thursday strongly warned the United States against striking the Syrian army, noting that its air defense weapons in Syria stand ready to fend off any attack. The statement underlined high tensions between Moscow and Washington after the collapse of a US-Russia-brokered Syria truce and the Syrian... More »

4-Year-Old Girl Found a Silver Ball; It Was a Bomb

Iman, 4, died of her injuries after finding a cluster bomb in the streets of Aleppo

(Newser) - Children in war zones are still wont to play, and when 4-year-old Iman spotted what she thought was a silver ball, she picked it up—only to become the latest victim in the savage civil war raging in the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo. The "ball" was a cluster... More »

Russia Warns Against US Attacks on Syrian Forces

Says any such attack 'will lead to terrible, tectonic consequences'

(Newser) - Russia has warned the US against carrying out any attacks on Syrian government forces, saying it would have repercussions across the Middle East, the AP reports. Russian news agencies quoted Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova as saying that a US intervention against the Syrian army "will lead to terrible,... More »

In Simple Act, New Syrian Refugee Saves Bride's Big Day

Master tailor Ibrahim Haltl Dudu got to work right away on stubborn zipper

(Newser) - Toronto's Jo Du was stepping into her dress on her wedding day when a small disaster struck—the zipper broke. Bridesmaids fussed over it without any success and so ventured next door to look for tools that might help. It turns out that the neighbors were hosting a refugee... More »

US Threatens Russia Over Syria as UN Decries 'Slaughterhouse'

John Kerry decries Russian and Syrian attacks, says US will cut off all contact

(Newser) - Secretary of State John Kerry is threatening to cut off all contact with Moscow over Syria, unless Russian and Syrian government attacks on Aleppo end, the AP reports. The State Department says Kerry issued the ultimatum in a Wednesday telephone call to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Kerry's spokesperson,... More »

Lindsay Lohan Brings Gifts to Syrian Refugees

The actress visited refugees in Turkey over the weekend

(Newser) - Lindsay Lohan made an apparently secret visit to meet with Syrian refugees in Turkey over the weekend. TMZ reports the actress stopped by a hospital near Istanbul Sunday. She was accompanied by Abdurrahim Boynukalin, Turkey's youth and sports deputy minister, according the AP . He says Lohan offered to volunteer... More »

Attack on Syrian Aid Convoy a 'Circle of Madness'

Witness tells 'NYT' everything went 'from paradise to hell' in a flash

(Newser) - Assistance for nearly 80,000 people in the Syrian town of Uram al-Kubra was on its way in a 31-truck convoy last week when the endeavor was blown to bits by airstrikes , killing nearly two dozen people and decimating 18 of the convoy's vehicles, per the New York Times ... More »

Listen to World's Oldest Known Melody

The music dates back an astonishing 3.5K years

(Newser) - In 1950, a collection of 29 tablets was discovered in the ruins of Ugarit, an ancient city in the northern region of present-day Syria, but only one had survived the intervening centuries well enough to be deciphered. Known as H6, the 3,500-year-old clay tablet revealed a simple hymn specifying... More »

6-Year-Old's Plea to Adopt Syrian Boy Goes Viral

'We should all be more like Alex,' says Obama

(Newser) - The image of a Syrian boy covered in blood after an airstrike in Aleppo touched many—including 6-year-old Alex. In a letter to President Obama, Alex asks that the president "please go get" 5-year-old Omran Daqneesh and bring him to his family's home in New York. "We... More »

Syrian Peace Hopes Rattled by 2 Big Hits

Medical unit hit, after aid convoy, while US and Russia are sniping

(Newser) - US and Russian diplomats say there's still hope of reviving a ceasefire in Syria, but developments on the ground suggest it would be a tall order. An overnight airstrike wiped out a mobile medical unit run by a French relief organization, reports the AP . At least five staffers from... More »

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