Syria

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Report Out of Syria: 'Total Elimination' of ISIS Caliphate

US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces says the last ISIS stronghold of Baghouz has been liberated

(Newser) - The Islamic State caliphate in Syria may finally be toppled after almost five years of battle, at least according to word from US-backed forces there. Per CNN and the Guardian , the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces says it has liberated the last ISIS stronghold, the eastern village of Baghouz. The SDF... More »

Trump Displays Map, Says ISIS Will Be 'Gone by Tonight'

'Caliphate' reduced to tiny sliver of land

(Newser) - ISIS is down to its last scrap of territory and it will be "gone by tonight," President Trump declared Wednesday, showing reporters at the White House two maps of Syria and Iraq. "I brought this out for you—this is a map of everything in the red,... More »

In Syria, It's Game On

US-backed forces attack Baghouz

(Newser) - The waiting is over: US-backed forces in Syria are waging an assault to kick ISIS out of its last remaining "caliphate" land, CNN reports. The heavy barrage of mortar fire, explosions, and airstrikes by the Syrian Defense Forces erupted Sunday in Baghouz and officially targeted weapons stores. The forces... More »

ISIS Fighters Surrender After Fleeing Village With Civilians

Baghouz is the last occupied territory in eastern Syria

(Newser) - About 500 ISIS fighters surrendered to Syrian forces Tuesday, fleeing along with civilians from the assault on the village that was their only remaining refuge in eastern Syria. The evacuation of Baghouz, near the Iraqi border, had been ongoing as a US-led coalition eased its pounding of the village with... More »

Trump Alters Syria Troop-Withdrawal Plan

About 400 troops are staying behind

(Newser) - Under pressure from the Senate , President Trump is leaving behind about 10% of America's 2,000-troop fighting force in Syria—and will leave them there indefinitely, the Military Times reports. "A small peacekeeping group of about 200 will remain in Syria for a period of time," says... More »

A Refugee Mother's Anguish After Fire: 'All 7 Are Dead?'

Ibrahim and Kawthar Barho lost all of their children in house fire; Ibrahim Barho is clinging to life

(Newser) - Friends say a family in Canada was set to move next week from the home they rented and head back to the district in Nova Scotia where they'd first landed as refugees from war-torn Raqqa, Syria, in 2017. Now the family of nine has been tragically reduced to two... More »

US Woman 'Deeply Regrets' Joining ISIS

Hoda Muthana wants to come back to US 4 years after fleeing Alabama for Turkey, then Syria

(Newser) - Hoda Muthana was recently picked up by Kurdish forces in Syria, along with her toddler son, and is now the only US citizen among about 1,500 foreign women and children in the al-Hawl refugee camp not far from where the last of the Islamic State is said to be... More »

ISIS Caliphate Is Down to Its 'Last Breath'

US-backed forces corner ISIS in the shadow of a small hill

(Newser) - From a self-proclaimed caliphate that once spread across much of Syria and Iraq, the Islamic State group has been knocked back to a speck of land on the countries' shared border, the AP reports. In that tiny patch on the banks of the Euphrates River, hundreds of militants are hiding... More »

Eschewed by UK, Teen Who Joined ISIS Gives Birth in Syria

Shamima Begum, 19, wants to return home to Britain with her baby

(Newser) - The family of a British teenager who ran away to join the Islamic State group said Sunday she has given birth to a baby boy. The family's lawyer said that 19-year-old Shamima Begum and her latest baby are in good health. Begum is living in a refugee camp in... More »

UK 'Won't Hesitate' to Block Return of ISIS Schoolgirl

Minister says Begum could lose citizenship

(Newser) - Shamima Begum, who ran away from her London home to join ISIS when she was 15, now wants to go home —but authorities have signaled they will try to block her return. "My message is clear," Home Secretary Sajid Javid tells the Times of London. "If... More »

She Left London to Join ISIS. Now She Wants to Go Home

Shamima Begum due to give birth 'any day'

(Newser) - Four years after she left London as a 15-year-old schoolgirl to join ISIS, the group is on the verge of losing the last of its territory—and Shamima Begum has decided she wants to go home. The Times of London found the 19-year-old in a refugee camp in eastern Syria,... More »

ISIS Down to Its Last Scrap of Land

Group's last stronghold in Iraq and Syria is the size of Central Park

(Newser) - The territory of the sprawling caliphate ISIS declared in 2014 should be completely liberated from the group by next week, President Trump announced Wednesday at a meeting of coalition partners. "Their land is gone. It's a big factor—their land is gone," the president told a gathering... More »

Hours Before SOTU, Senate Republicans Break With Trump

Senate approves legislation warning against withdrawal from Syria, Afghanistan

(Newser) - Hours before President Trump was to deliver his State of the Union address Tuesday, the Senate once again made clear it disagrees with him on Syria and Afghanistan. In a 77-23 vote, senators approved a Middle East policy bill that will be sent to the House; it includes a provision... More »

Hostage Last Seen in Video 2 Years Ago May Be Alive

John Cantlie was kidnapped in 2012

(Newser) - In November 2012, British war photographer John Cantlie and American journalist James Foley were kidnapped in Syria and held by ISIS. In August 2014, Foley was beheaded. Now comes word that the British government believes Cantlie is still alive more than six years later, and still being held by ISIS.... More »

Trump Responds to Senate Rebuke on Troop Withdrawals

He defends plan to get US military out of Syria and Afghanistan

(Newser) - On Thursday, senators sent a clear message to President Trump: They think his plan to pull US troops out of Syria and Afghanistan is dangerously hasty. On Friday, Trump pushed back with a pair of tweets, reports Politico . "I inherited a total mess in Syria and Afghanistan, the '... More »

Europe Strikes Back Over Poisoning of Ex-Russian Agent

The European Union slaps sanctions on four Russians

(Newser) - The European Union retaliated with sanctions Monday over the poisoning of an ex-Russian double agent and his daughter in Britain, CNN reports. The sanctions target four members of the GRU, Russia's military intelligence agency: officers Ruslan Boshirov and Alexander Petrov—who were accused of carrying out the 2018 nerve-agent... More »

Israel Makes Rare Move After Syria Airstrikes

Military confirms that it hit Iranian targets

(Newser) - In an extraordinary statement, the Israeli military confirmed early Monday that it attacked Iranian military targets in Syria, hours after carrying out a rare daylight air raid near the Damascus International Airport. The statement was issued hours after Israeli missile defenses intercepted an incoming missile over the Golan Heights in... More »

ISIS Hit Americans at Favorite Lunch Spot

2 service members among 4 Americans killed in Manbij suicide bombing

(Newser) - The restaurant rocked by the suicide bomb attack that killed four Americans in Syria on Wednesday was a favorite lunch spot for troops, who'd stop for French fries and a shawarma sandwich, often several times a week. Military leaders and Sens. Lindsey Graham and Jeanne Shaheen even dined without... More »

A Month After Trump Declared Victory in Syria, US Soldiers Killed

As many as 4 US service members may have been killed in suicide bomber attack

(Newser) - It may have been the deadliest attack against US forces in Syria yet: A suicide bomber detonated an explosive vest amid international forces on a routine patrol in the northern town of Manbij Wednesday. It's not yet clear how many US service members were killed; per Bloomberg , the Trump... More »

Pentagon Makes Surprise Announcement on Syria

The withdrawal has begun

(Newser) - The first US troops have begun to leave Syria. The Pentagon is providing few details, however, except to say the US-led coalition had "begun the process of our deliberate withdrawal." Coalition spokesman Col. Sean Ryan declined to provide numbers or timetables regarding the approximately 2,000 US troops... More »

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