Syria

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What Humanity Would Lose If Palmyra Is Destroyed

Expert: 3.8K-year-old city is 'mirage out of a fairy tale'

(Newser) - The ancient city of Palmyra, housing a 3,600-foot-long colonnade, marketplace, amphitheater, castle, and numerous tombs, is an archaeological treasure. "It makes Rome blush," says archaeologist Stephennie Mulder. "When you approach the site, it rises out of the desert like some sort of a mirage out of... More »

Pentagon: Syria Strike 'Likely' Killed 2 Kids

Civilian casualties acknowledged for first time

(Newser) - For the first time, the Pentagon has acknowledged that one of the thousands of airstrikes the US-led anti-ISIS coalition has carried out since last August probably killed civilians. After a monthslong investigation, Central Command released a statement saying two children were "likely" killed in a November strike in Syria... More »

Report: ISIS Now Controls 50% of Syria

Destroying priceless artifacts in Palmyra may be a top priority

(Newser) - Two big ISIS headlines this morning: The first, an assertion by the director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that the militants "now control 50% of Syria." The group estimates ISIS holds about 37,000 square miles, an area about the size of Indiana . The Guardian reports... More »

ISIS Takes Ancient City, Putting Ruins at Risk

Palmyra falls in Syria to the Islamic State

(Newser) - It's the second major victory for the Islamic State within a week, this time in Syria instead of Iraq . ISIS fighters have taken control of the ancient desert city of Palmyra, reports Reuters . The city is important not only as a military target—for one thing, ISIS now controls... More »

US Raid Netted 'Treasure Trove' of ISIS Intelligence

Sources say slain militant kept US hostage as slave

(Newser) - The Syria raid that resulted in the death of ISIS commander Abu Sayyaf has yielded some priceless intelligence, lawmakers say, even though Sayyaf ended up dead instead of in custody, the Guardian reports. House Homeland Security committee chief Michael McCaul tells Fox News the Friday raid netted "a treasure... More »

US Tries to Capture ISIS Honcho, Kills Him

Abu Sayyaf helped direct ISIS' oil, gas, financial operations

(Newser) - Last night, US Special Operations attempted to capture a senior ISIS commander and his wife in Syria. The rare raid didn't go as planned. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter today said that Abu Sayyaf fought back and was killed; the US troops involved were unharmed. They did manage to... More »

At Heart of Assad War Crimes Case: Smuggled Reports

Investigators also uncover traces of sarin, ricin in Syria

(Newser) - Documents smuggled out of Syria over three years contain enough evidence to put President Bashar al-Assad and 24 senior officials in front of a war crimes tribunal, investigators say. The Commission for International Justice and Accountability, working with 50 Syrian investigators, managed to get its hands on half a million... More »

Rescue Workers: Syria Still Using Chemical Weapons

Witnesses say chlorine gas keeps coming, but UN won't officially point finger

(Newser) - In 2013, Syria agreed to get rid of its chemical weapons , a promise allegedly broken multiple times last year . Now more evidence reported by rescue workers and citizens has piled up that toxins continue to be deployed via chlorine bombs in the war-torn country, the New York Times reports. The... More »

Feds: Ohio Man Planned Prison Terror Strike

He went to Syria weeks after getting US passport

(Newser) - An Ohio man who allegedly planned a terror strike on a US prison now faces spending decades in one. Abdirahman Sheik Mohamud was indicted by a federal grand jury yesterday on charges of supporting a terrorist organization and lying to the FBI, reports the Columbus Dispatch . According to the indictment,... More »

Pentagon: ISIS Is Losing Serious Ground

In Iraq, anyway; Syria's a different story

(Newser) - Iraqi forces have retaken about a quarter of the territory ISIS seized last year, according to an encouraging Pentagon analysis—some 5,000 to 6,500 square miles in the country's north and center, reports USA Today . "[ISIS] is no longer the dominant force in roughly 25% to... More »

UN: Syrian Camp Overrun by ISIS 'Beyond Inhumane'

ISIS reportedly controls 90% of Yarmouk

(Newser) - The head of a UN agency for Palestinian refugees says the situation at Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus is "more desperate than ever." Pierre Krahenbuhl says it has been impossible for the UNRWA to send food or convoys into Yarmouk—home to 18,000, including 3,500 children—... More »

Refugees Flee Camp as ISIS, Syria Fight

Yarmouk situation is degenerating rapidly

(Newser) - Hundreds of residents of a Palestinian refugee camp in the Syrian capital Damascus fled today after shelling by government forces and clashes between Islamic State fighters and Palestinian militants, activists said. An activist said many residents started fleeing the Yarmouk camp after midnight as the fighting let up. The camp... More »

Syria Helicopter Crashes; Rebels Capture Crew

Regime often uses choppers to drop barrel bombs on rebels

(Newser) - Syrian insurgents captured several government airmen after their helicopter crashed in a rebel-held area of northwestern Syria on Sunday, activists said. The Idlib Media Center and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the helicopter went down near Jabal al-Zawiya, some 6 miles north of the town of Maarat... More »

Syria: We Shot Down US Drone

US not sure how Predator went down

(Newser) - Syria's air defenses have shot down a US reconnaissance aircraft in a northwestern province along the Mediterranean coast, according to state media. A US official says a Predator drone went down in Syria yesterday, but it's not clear whether it was shot down. The official, who spoke on... More »

3 More UK Teens Try to Join ISIS, Busted

Males were in Turkey, allegedly en route to Syria

(Newser) - British police say three male teenagers have been detained in Turkey because they were planning to travel to Syria. Police said two of the male teens detained in Turkey are 17 years old, and the third is 19. Their names haven't been released. Counterterrorism officers learned on Friday the... More »

New Mission in Iraq, Syria: Save Ancient Treasures From ISIS

Precious antiquities being destroyed by militants

(Newser) - ISIS militants have trashed museum pieces in Mosul with sledgehammers, bulldozed the ancient Assyrian city of Nimrud, and yesterday destroyed the Hatra ruins in Iraq, reports the BBC . But while the New York Times catalogs everything that antiquities ministers and workers are doing to stave off the annihilation of some... More »

Syria: Nusra Front Commander Killed

Blast hits meeting of al-Qaeda affiliate's leaders

(Newser) - The military commander of al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate was killed yesterday in an explosion targeting a meeting of senior militants that also killed and wounded a number of other fighters, according to a state-run Syrian news agency. SANA says Abu Hommam al-Shami was killed in a military operation carried out... More »

'Jihadi John' Identified

ISIS' masked man is Mohammed Emwazi from London

(Newser) - Jihadi John has a real name, and the BBC and the Washington Post report that name is Mohammed Emwazi. The masked executioner in several ISIS beheading videos—including the first one of James Foley —was born in Kuwait, raised comfortably in West London, and has a degree in computer... More »

What's Driving British Teen Girls to Join ISIS?

Aqsa Mahmood went from 'Harry Potter' fan to radical 'poster girl'

(Newser) - Three missing London teenagers appear to have traveled to Syria to join ISIS, despite their parents' impassioned pleas—and one catalyst in the decision may have been a like-minded young woman from Scotland. Aqsa Mahmood, who at 20 is just a few years older than the trio, was once a... More »

ISIS Kidnaps 70 Christians

Syria fighters overrun several Assyrian villages

(Newser) - ISIS has abducted at least 70 Assyrian Christians, including women and children, after overrunning a string of villages in northeastern Syria, according to two activist groups. The extremist fighters swept through the villages nestled along the banks of Khabur River near the town of Tal Tamr in Hassakeh province around... More »

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