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UN: Syria Regime Is 'Exterminating' Civilians

Thousands flee government onslaught

(Newser) - The Syrian regime has been engaged in war crimes on a scale that dwarfs even the actions of ISIS, according to a United Nations report that warns of a human rights crisis as the country's civil war approaches its sixth year. The UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights... More »

Syria: Foreign Troops Will Go Home in Coffins

Minister warns Saudis as Aleppo offensive intensifies

(Newser) - Syria Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem warned Saturday that Saudi or other foreign ground troops entering Syria would "return home in wooden coffins," and called on rebel groups fighting a massive government offensive in the north to "come to their senses" and lay down their weapons. His comments... More »

Amid Wobbly Syria Talks, ISIS Triple Blast Kills 45

Death toll in Damascus expected to grow with many severely injured

(Newser) - A triple bombing claimed by ISIS killed at least 45 people near the Syrian capital of Damascus on Sunday, overshadowing an already shaky start to what are meant to be indirect Syria peace talks. Syria's state news agency SANA said that the blasts went off in Sayyda Zeinab, a... More »

Video Allegedly Has Last Statements of Paris Attackers

Men are seen killing captives in Syria

(Newser) - A chilling video released by ISIS shows men believed to have carried out the Paris terror attacks beheading captives and making threats against the West. The video released on Sunday shows some of the attackers in a desert location, probably in Syria, and contains what a narrator says are "... More »

5 US Citizens Stuck in Starving Syrian Town

Officials say 44 truckloads of aid delivered to Madaya

(Newser) - At least five US citizens are among those suffering in the Syrian town of Madaya, where UN convoys have arrived with much-needed food. "Right now, my kids are starving from hunger," the wife of a 43-year-old naturalized US citizen, who left Pennsylvania in 2006 to start an apple... More »

Aid Trucks En Route to Starving Syrian Town

UN convoy heading to Madaya, where thousands are trapped

(Newser) - Residents of a Syrian town trapped in the nation's civil war are finally getting some desperately needed relief: UN convoys with food and medicine headed to Madaya on Monday, reports the BBC . Shocking stories have emerged about the plight of the estimated 40,000 people there. Doctors Without Borders... More »

Starvation of a Syrian Town: 'Nothing Left but Salt, Water'

Madaya has become 'an open-air prison'

(Newser) - Tens of thousands of people are trapped in the rural Syrian town of Madaya, which has been caught in a tug-of-war between rebels and pro-government forces—and Doctors Without Borders says the situation is so bad that at least 23 people have died of starvation since Dec. 1, including six... More »

Grandpa IDs ISIS Video Kid; Man Sold Bouncy Houses

London man says daughter is an ISIS figurehead in Syria

(Newser) - A London man says the young boy who threatens unbelievers in the latest ISIS video is the son of his daughter. Henry Dare says Grace "Khadijah" Dare came from a Christian family of Nigerian descent but converted to Islam as a teen. She left Britain for Syria several years... More »

Russian ISIS Victim Led 'a Double Life'

Magomed Khasiev traveled to Syria to find friend: source

(Newser) - In the minutes before his execution by an ISIS militant in Syria, Chechen Magomed Khasiev confessed to being a spy recruited by Russian intelligence agency Federal Security Service—something Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov quickly denied. But many people who knew the 23-year-old say he "seemed to live a double... More »

ISIS Leaders Connected to Paris Attacks Killed in Airstrikes

One 'was actively planning additional attacks against the West'

(Newser) - In the past month, the US and fellow coalition members have killed 10 ISIS leaders—including two linked to the deadly Paris attacks—with airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, Reuters reports. Charaffe al Mouadan was killed Dec. 24. He had a connection to the suspected leader of the Paris attacks,... More »

State Department Boasts of 'Bringing Peace' to Syria

Blog post also praises United States for 'winning fight against violent extremists'

(Newser) - Everyone's entitled to a bit of boasting now and again, but a year-in-review State Department blog post appears to have veered into overstatement territory on Syria, Politico reports. Authored by spokesman John Kirby, the DipNote post , entitled "Pivotal Foreign Policy Moments of 2015," combines the recently trending... More »

ISIS Fatwa: 'Be Kind' to Your Sex Slaves

Ruling from special committee lays out mandates in excruciating detail

(Newser) - The "treasure trove" of ISIS intelligence nabbed in a May raid in Syria by US Special Operations Forces included one especially detailed document that's now being published for the first time after a Reuters review. "One of the inevitable consequences of the jihad of establishment is that... More »

ISIS Chief to Israel: 'We Are Getting Closer'

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi releases new video

(Newser) - The Islamic State group on Saturday released a new message purportedly from its reclusive leader, claiming that his self-styled "caliphate" is doing well despite an unprecedented alliance against it, threatening Israel, and criticizing the recently announced Saudi-led Islamic military coalition against terrorism. In the 24-minute audio, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi... More »

Father of Drowned Toddler Delivers Christmas Message

He urges world to open its doors to Syrians

(Newser) - In Britain, the "alternative" Christmas message on Channel 4 has become almost as much of a tradition as the Queen's message, and this year it was delivered by the father of drowned Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi. Abdullah Kurdi also lost his wife and 5-year-old son Galeb when their... More »

Syrian Rebels Vow to Fight On After Leader Killed

Army of Islam was battling Assad, ISIS

(Newser) - A Syrian insurgent group whose commander was assassinated by an airstrike near the Syrian capital has appointed a successor, vowing to continue fighting both the Syrian government and the ISIS. The Army of Islam, which is widely known to be supported by Saudi Arabia and Turkey, says it has appointed... More »

Top Syrian Rebel Killed in Airstrike

Missiles strike meeting outside Damascus

(Newser) - Opposition activists say an airstrike near the capital Damascus has killed top rebel commander Zahran Allouch. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said an airstrike hit an Islam Army meeting near the Damascus suburb of Otaya on Friday killing several officials including Allouch. The Local Coordination Committees said Allouch... More »

Report: US Secretly Tried to Spur a Coup in Syria

Obama administration held secret talks with 'elements of' regime for years

(Newser) - For years, the Obama administration held secret back-channel talks with members of the Syrian regime in the hope of unseating Bashar al-Assad, US and Arab officials tell the Wall Street Journal . The communication came in bursts—sometimes with senior Syrian officials, other times through intermediaries including Russia and Iran. In... More »

UN Syria Plan Leaves Assad's Fate a Mystery

Security Council votes 15-0 to try to end conflict

(Newser) - After years of ruinous civil war, the United Nations Security Council has finally approved a peace deal for what's left of Syria—but it leaves the future of President Bashar Assad a mystery. The resolution adopted by a unanimous vote on Friday says Syria must hold elections within 18... More »

Syrian Refugee Whose Story Went Viral Moves to US

'The Scientist' is hoping to restart his life in Troy, Michigan

(Newser) - A Syrian refugee whose moving story went viral earlier this month starts his new life in Troy, Michigan, on Thursday, NBC News reports. The refugee—who wants to keep his real name out of the media to protect family members still in Syria—is known as "The Scientist" on... More »

Edward Norton Raises $390K for Refugee Whose Story Moved Us

Family is headed to Michigan from Turkey

(Newser) - Lots of people are moved by the stories featured on Humans of New York —but not all of us are actor Edward Norton, who helped raise nearly $390,000 as of this writing for a Syrian refugee family headed to Troy, Mich., from Turkey, Michigan Live reports. Norton says... More »

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