Syria

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Man Stuck in Airport Since March Is Arrested

Hassan Al Kontar of Syria was trying for seven months to find a country to issue him a visa

(Newser) - A Syrian man who found himself stuck in an airport for months after overstaying his Malaysian visa and subsequently refusing to return to his war-torn home country has been arrested. Per CBC , Hassan Al Kontar spent the last seven months living in the Kuala Lumpur airport and documenting on Twitter... More »

Moscow Blames Israel After Missile Brings Down Plane

15 killed after Il-20 caught in Syria crossfire

(Newser) - A Russian reconnaissance aircraft was brought down by a Syrian missile over the Mediterranean early Tuesday, killing all 15 people on board, the Russian defense ministry says. The ministry blames Israel for the crash, saying the plane was caught in the crossfire as four Israeli fighters attacked targets in northwestern... More »

Despite US Warning, Russia and Syria Hit Idlib

Monitoring group reports intense airstrikes at southern edge of province

(Newser) - Syrian government and Russian warplanes on Saturday targeted the southern edge of Idlib province with an intense wave of airstrikes and shelling, activists and a war monitoring group said, ratcheting up the military pressure on the densely populated rebel-held bastion. The intense air raids came a day after Iran and... More »

Trump Warns Syria, Iran, Russia Against 'Grave Mistake'

He says 'reckless attack' on Idlib would trigger crisis

(Newser) - President Trump sent a tweet Monday warning Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his allies against a "reckless attack" on Idlib province. "The Russians and Iranians would be making a grave humanitarian mistake to take part in this potential human tragedy. Hundreds of thousands of people could be killed.... More »

She Vanished in 2013. The AP Went Looking for Her

Razan Zaitouneh was kidnapped in Douma, Syria

(Newser) - Razan Zaitouneh earned enemies on all sides of her homeland's civil war. One of Syria's most well-known rights activists, she chanted in protests against President Bashar Assad, but she was also unflinching in documenting abuses by rebels fighting to oust him. Then she vanished. Her fate has been... More »

After Scientist's Murder, an International Accusation

Syria points the finger at Israel's Mossad in wake of Aziz Asbar's assassination

(Newser) - A preeminent rocket scientist is dead, and Syria says Israel is to blame. The Washington Post describes Aziz Asbar as a research director at Syria's Scientific Studies and Research Center, and intelligence officials have drawn a line between that center and Syria's chemical weapons program, though Asbar's... More »

Actress Who Was Syria's 'Scream of Hope' Is Dead

Mai Skaf reportedly has a heart attack at age 49 in Paris

(Newser) - A prominent Syrian actress who became even more well-known as a voice of opposition to Bashar al-Assad has died in exile in Paris at age 49. A colleague tells the New York Times that Mai Skaf had a heart attack, though her cousin, author Dima Wannous, cites "mysterious circumstances,... More »

Israel Just Shot Down a Syrian Fighter Jet

But Damascus says it was never in Israeli airspace

(Newser) - Israel angered Syria over the weekend when it coordinated the evacuation of members of the White Helmets civil defense group from the latter country. On Tuesday, things got even dicier, with Israel's military announcing that it shot down a Syrian jet that had crossed about a mile into Israeli... More »

Subjects of Oscar-Winning Documentary Now on the Run

Members of 'White Helmets' rescue group evacuated from Syria; hundreds still trapped

(Newser) - A mass evacuation in Syria over the weekend has called renewed attention to a group known as the White Helmets that operates in the country. Some basics:
  • The group: Formally known as the Syrian Civil Defense, the White Helmets is a largely volunteer network of Syrians who venture out after
... More »

In Unprecedented Move, Israel Evacuates White Helmets

Syria's vaunted rescuers pulled from Golan Heights frontier in 'exceptional humanitarian gesture'

(Newser) - The Israeli military evacuated hundreds of members of the White Helmets, a Syrian volunteer organization, from the volatile frontier area on the Golan Heights and transported them to Jordan, reports the AP . It was the first such Israeli intervention in Syria's lengthy civil war, now in its eighth year.... More »

Her Spy Husband Was Executed by Syria. 50 Years Later, a Gift

Eli Cohen's wristwatch has been recovered by Israel's Mossad intelligence agency

(Newser) - A "special Mossad operation" has turned up what Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu calls "a memento from a great fighter": the wristwatch worn by spy Eli Cohen, hanged in Damascus in 1965 after years of infiltrating Syria's upper political, military, and business echelons and spilling secrets to Israel,... More »

ISIS Says Leader's Young Son Killed

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's young son, Huthaifa al-Badri, was apparently an elite fighter

(Newser) - The Islamic State says the son of its leader has been killed fighting Syrian government forces. The announcement of the death of the young son of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi appeared on the group's social media accounts late Tuesday, reports the AP . It included a picture of a young boy... More »

US One of 10 Most Dangerous Countries for Women

India is No. 1

(Newser) - A new Thompson Reuters Foundation survey names the 10 countries deemed to be the least safe for women, and the Washington Post focuses on the nation that claims the title of most dangerous. "India has shown utter disregard and disrespect for women … rape, marital rapes, sexual assault and... More »

New World Leader Wants to Meet Kim Jong Un

Bashar al-Assad says he wants to visit, Kim will 'realize the reunification of Korea without fail'

(Newser) - North Korea's state-run news agency reported Sunday that Syria's President Bashar al-Assad is interested in visiting North Korea and meeting leader Kim Jong Un. The KCNA report said Assad made the comments May 30 while receiving the credentials for the North Korean ambassador, reports the AP . "I... More »

Syria Army Celebrates 'Total Recapture' of Damascus

Military in full control for first time since 2011

(Newser) - Syrian state TV says the military and police forces are celebrating recapturing the last neighborhoods in Damascus that were held by the rebels and ISIS militants. Al-Ikhbariya TV broadcast footage of a ceremonial police motorcade entering the Hajar al-Aswad neighborhood with sirens blaring on Tuesday. The state broadcaster then showed... More »

US Gives Iran New List of Demands

Secretary of state Pompeo wants Tehran to pull all troops out of Syria, among other things

(Newser) - Now that the US has withdrawn from the 2015 nuclear accord with Iran, what would it take to strike a new deal? A lot, as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revealed Monday in a speech outlining US demands, reports the Wall Street Journal , the AP , CNN , and Al Jazeera . Pompeo... More »

Direct Strikes Raise Risk of an Israeli-Iranian War

Vladimir Putin may play a central role in what happens next

(Newser) - First, Iranian forces in Syria fired 20 rockets at Israel. Then Israel retaliated with a much larger show of force, with fighter jets striking dozens of Iranian targets in Syria. Iran and Israel have been fighting what the New York Times calls a "shadow war" in Syria, but the... More »

Israel Hits 'Nearly All' Iranian Targets in Syria

It was biggest-ever confrontation between Israel, Iran

(Newser) - Israel's defense minister says the military has struck "nearly all" of the Iranian infrastructure sites in Syria. Avigdor Lieberman says Israel responded fiercely to an unprecedented rocket attack by Iranian forces in Syria against Israel. He says no one was harmed in Israel and all the rockets were... More »

Israeli Military: Iran Just Set Off Event of 'Great Severity'

IDF says Iranian forces fired 20 'projectiles' directly at Golan Heights from Syria

(Newser) - Residents in the Golan Heights are taking shelter after a report from Israel's Defense Forces that Iran on Thursday fired about 20 "projectiles" from Syria directly at the Israeli military in the occupied territory—the first time Israel has accused Iran itself (not one of its proxies) of... More »

Why Assad Is Still Able to Kill With Gas

That there was no gas leak at the target sites isn't a great sign

(Newser) - If your takeaway from the reports on Friday's air strikes on Syria's chemical weapons facilities by US, French, and British forces was that President Bashar al-Assad's ability to conduct future chemical strikes had been eliminated, you'd be wrong. In an analysis titled, "A Hard Lesson... More »

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