NEWS ABOUT: Syria

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Syria Opposition: Images Show Regime Used Poison Gas

Country ships out another baatch of chemical weapons

(Newser) - The Syrian government and the opposition have blamed each other for reported poison gas attacks in the rebel-controlled village of Kfar Zeita; now, the opposition says it has images that point the finger at the regime. Activists released images and video of an unexploded canister marked with the chemical symbol... More »

US Looking Into Reports of Poison Gas in Syria

Both sides blame each other for alleged toxic gas attack

(Newser) - The US ambassador to the United Nations said today that reports of a poison gas attack in a rural village north of Damascus were so far "unsubstantiated," adding that the United States was trying to establish what really happened before it considers a response. Both sides in Syria'... More »

Priest Who Dug in With Homs 'Flock' Killed

He refused to leave rebel-held area

(Newser) - An elderly Dutch priest who refused to leave the embattled city of Homs while Christians remained has become yet another victim of the country's civil war. Frans Van der Lugt, who was in his 70s, was shot dead by unknown gunmen at his home in a rebel-held district of... More »

Turkey PM: We Downed Syria Jet in Airspace 'Slap'

PM says it violated its airspace; Syria calls move 'blatant aggression'

(Newser) - Days after Recep Tayyip Erdogan's attempt at eradicating Twitter didn't go so well, the Turkish PM is confirming that his armed forces shot down a Syrian fighter jet after it violated Turkish airspace, reports the BBC . " A Syrian plane violated our airspace," he told a rally... More »

US to Syria Diplomats: Get Out

DC embassy, consulates shut down

(Newser) - America has told Syria to close its embassy in Washington and ordered all Syrian diplomats in the US to hotfoot it back to Damascus by the end of this month. Daniel Rubinstein, the new US special envoy for Syria, says the decision was made as the civil war enters its... More »

Romney: Obama's Timing Is Just Dreadful

In op-ed, former candidate takes on president's foreign policy

(Newser) - Pundits have lately been lining up to second-guess President Obama's foreign policy, and the latest to do so is the guy who wanted Obama's job. In an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal today, Mitt Romney laments that America's hands seem tied everywhere from Crimea to North... More »

Syrian Army Captures Vital Rebel Stronghold

Hezbollah helps regime capture key supply town

(Newser) - Syrian government troops and Hezbollah fighters captured a strategic town near the Lebanese frontier yesterday, sending opposition fighters fleeing to Lebanon from their last stronghold in the vital border area. The fall of Yabroud—a major smuggling hub for the rebels trying to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad—is the latest... More »

Syria's Barbaric Health Conditions Killing Kids by 'Thousands'

Report lays bare horrific impact of system's collapse

(Newser) - As the Syrian civil war enters its fourth year, millions of children are at risk amid harrowing conditions caused by the collapse of the country's health care system, a report from the Save the Children charity warns.
  • More than 10,000 children have died in the violence, but "
... More »

Israel: We Seized Iranian Ship Sending Missiles to Gaza

Hamas says it's not foolish enough to try to sneak through Israel's naval blockade

(Newser) - Israel raided a cargo vessel today that it says was loaded with Iranian missiles bound for Gaza. A special forces unit took the Kloc C, which is registered in Panama, in an early-morning raid personally overseen by Israeli Defense Forces chief Chief Benny Gantz, Haaretz and the Jerusalem Post report.... More »

175 Dead in One of Syrian War's Biggest Hits

Rebels ambushed by Syria military outside Damascus yesterday

(Newser) - Syrian forces ambushed a group of rebels outside Damascus yesterday, killing 175 belonging to the Islamist extremist al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, according to state news agencies, per the Wall Street Journal . The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights counted 152 dead—mostly foreigners from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Chechnya—in the raid... More »

Security Council Unites on Syria: Don't Block Aid

Russia joins in resolution, but strips it of language on sanctions

(Newser) - The UN Security Council united for the first time on a resolution on Syria's humanitarian crisis today, demanding that President Bashar al-Assad's government and the opposition provide immediate access everywhere in the country to deliver aid to millions of people in desperate need. The fate of the Western... More »

'I Am Very, Very Sorry,' Says Mediator as Syria Talks Stall

Second round hits impasse, and next steps are uncertain

(Newser) - This is not what the main mediator in Syrian peace talks hoped to say today at the end of direct negotiations: "I am very, very sorry, and I apologize to the Syrian people that their hopes which were very, very high that something will happen here." The apology... More »

UN Rescue Operation Shot At in Homs

Accusations fly over attack as new ceasefire negotiated

(Newser) - A UN convoy seeking to bring aid to, and evacuate civilians from the rebel-held "Old City" section of Homs came under mortar and sniper fire yesterday, in violation of a negotiated ceasefire. At least four civilians awaiting evacuation were killed in the attack, but the convoy ultimately managed to... More »

Syria Blows Past Chemical Weapons Deadline

Meanwhile, UN decries treatment of children in war

(Newser) - Today was supposed to be the deadline for Syria to turn over all of its chemical weapons—and it's not even close. So far Syria has handed the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons just 4% of the promised 1,433 tons of chemicals, Reuters reports, and an... More »

US Ambassadors to Syria, Russia Both Leaving

Robert Ford, Michael McFaul will be gone by the end of the month

(Newser) - By the end of the month, the Obama administration will have lost its top diplomats in two of its most important posts. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford and Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul both announced their impending resignations today, the AP reports . Here's what you should know about each: More »

Kerry Admits US Syria Policy Is a Mess, McCain Says

Off-record meeting doesn't stay off-record

(Newser) - John Kerry thinks that the administration's policy in Syria is failing and that it's time to arm the rebels … at least according to noted hawks John McCain and Lindsey Graham. The Senate pals were among 15 lawmakers in attendance at a closed-door meeting with the secretary of... More »

Al-Qaeda Disowns Deadly ISIS Faction

Even as offshoot kills 2 Syrian rebel leaders

(Newser) - The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is "not a branch of al-Qaeda," Ayman al-Zawahiri declared in a statement posted online yesterday. "Al-Qaeda is not responsible for ISIS' actions," and has "no connection" to it, al-Qaeda General Command said, according to the BBC . It added... More »

Syria Intentionally Demolishing Neighborhoods

Regime claims it's just 'urban planning,' not retaliation

(Newser) - Syrian military forces have been systematically using bulldozers and controlled explosions to level entire neighborhoods in Damascus and Hama, in what appears to be an attempt to punish citizens for their rebel sympathies, Human Rights Watch alleges in a new report based on satellite images and witness testimony. The imagery... More »

Syrian Peace Talks Hit New Stumbling Block

Meanwhile, country set to miss chemical weapons deadline

(Newser) - Geneva talks on Syria's future have been tense—and new US support for rebels isn't helping. On Monday, Reuters reported secret Congressional approval of funding to lightly arm "moderate" Syrian rebels through September. An opposition adviser reported an "outburst" by the Syrian government's lead negotiator,... More »

Syria, Opposition Meet for First Time, Silently

They don't address each other, only the UN mediator

(Newser) - Small steps: The first face-to-face meeting between Syria's government and the opposition hoping to overthrow Bashar al-Assad started and ended after barely a half-hour today. The two sides faced each other silently as a UN mediator split the distance between them and laid groundwork for talks intended to lead... More »

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