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Is Russia Revving Up for a Nuclear War?

They're certainly making a show of it, anyway

(Newser) - Russia's been conducting country-wide nuclear drills, the Wall Street Journal reports. The largest of the exercises, practicing civilian evacuation and sheltering procedures, involved 40 million people, and some bomb shelters are even getting upgrades. But does Russia actually expect to start a nuclear war with the US? Commentators are... More »

Syria's President Says This Iconic Photo Is Fake

Interviewer confronts Assad with haunting image

(Newser) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad apparently believes there's such a big shortage of injured children in his country that people have to forge photos of them. In an interview with a Swiss television station this week, the leader was confronted with a haunting photo of 5-year-old Omran Daqneesh , who was... More »

How a NYC College Kid Died Fighting for ISIS

Court docs show Samy Mohammed el-Goarany, 24, reportedly died in November

(Newser) - It's a long way from SoHo to Syria, but somehow a New York City college student ended up dying there last fall fighting for ISIS, prosecutors say. Per court records, 24-year-old Samy Mohammed el-Goarany showed "an increased interest in militant forms of Islam" and headed to Syria in... More »

Syrian Terror Suspect Asks Syrian for Shelter, Gets Tied Up

Police arrest suspect after 2-day manhunt

(Newser) - German police searched for a Syrian terror suspect for almost two days—and found him Sunday night tied up in another Syrian national's apartment. Jaber Albakr, 22, came to Germany last year as an asylum seeker. After German officials got a tip from the country's intelligence service, they... More »

Russia to US: Don't Think About Striking Syrian Army

Moscow has 'taken all necessary measures'

(Newser) - The Russian military on Thursday strongly warned the United States against striking the Syrian army, noting that its air defense weapons in Syria stand ready to fend off any attack. The statement underlined high tensions between Moscow and Washington after the collapse of a US-Russia-brokered Syria truce and the Syrian... More »

4-Year-Old Girl Found a Silver Ball; It Was a Bomb

Iman, 4, died of her injuries after finding a cluster bomb in the streets of Aleppo

(Newser) - Children in war zones are still wont to play, and when 4-year-old Iman spotted what she thought was a silver ball, she picked it up—only to become the latest victim in the savage civil war raging in the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo. The "ball" was a cluster... More »

Russia Warns Against US Attacks on Syrian Forces

Says any such attack 'will lead to terrible, tectonic consequences'

(Newser) - Russia has warned the US against carrying out any attacks on Syrian government forces, saying it would have repercussions across the Middle East, the AP reports. Russian news agencies quoted Foreign Ministry spokesperson Maria Zakharova as saying that a US intervention against the Syrian army "will lead to terrible,... More »

In Simple Act, New Syrian Refugee Saves Bride's Big Day

Master tailor Ibrahim Haltl Dudu got to work right away on stubborn zipper

(Newser) - Toronto's Jo Du was stepping into her dress on her wedding day when a small disaster struck—the zipper broke. Bridesmaids fussed over it without any success and so ventured next door to look for tools that might help. It turns out that the neighbors were hosting a refugee... More »

US Threatens Russia Over Syria as UN Decries 'Slaughterhouse'

John Kerry decries Russian and Syrian attacks, says US will cut off all contact

(Newser) - Secretary of State John Kerry is threatening to cut off all contact with Moscow over Syria, unless Russian and Syrian government attacks on Aleppo end, the AP reports. The State Department says Kerry issued the ultimatum in a Wednesday telephone call to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Kerry's spokesperson,... More »

Lindsay Lohan Brings Gifts to Syrian Refugees

The actress visited refugees in Turkey over the weekend

(Newser) - Lindsay Lohan made an apparently secret visit to meet with Syrian refugees in Turkey over the weekend. TMZ reports the actress stopped by a hospital near Istanbul Sunday. She was accompanied by Abdurrahim Boynukalin, Turkey's youth and sports deputy minister, according the AP . He says Lohan offered to volunteer... More »

Attack on Syrian Aid Convoy a 'Circle of Madness'

Witness tells 'NYT' everything went 'from paradise to hell' in a flash

(Newser) - Assistance for nearly 80,000 people in the Syrian town of Uram al-Kubra was on its way in a 31-truck convoy last week when the endeavor was blown to bits by airstrikes , killing nearly two dozen people and decimating 18 of the convoy's vehicles, per the New York Times ... More »

Listen to World's Oldest Known Melody

The music dates back an astonishing 3.5K years

(Newser) - In 1950, a collection of 29 tablets was discovered in the ruins of Ugarit, an ancient city in the northern region of present-day Syria, but only one had survived the intervening centuries well enough to be deciphered. Known as H6, the 3,500-year-old clay tablet revealed a simple hymn specifying... More »

6-Year-Old's Plea to Adopt Syrian Boy Goes Viral

'We should all be more like Alex,' says Obama

(Newser) - The image of a Syrian boy covered in blood after an airstrike in Aleppo touched many—including 6-year-old Alex. In a letter to President Obama, Alex asks that the president "please go get" 5-year-old Omran Daqneesh and bring him to his family's home in New York. "We... More »

Syrian Peace Hopes Rattled by 2 Big Hits

Medical unit hit, after aid convoy, while US and Russia are sniping

(Newser) - US and Russian diplomats say there's still hope of reviving a ceasefire in Syria, but developments on the ground suggest it would be a tall order. An overnight airstrike wiped out a mobile medical unit run by a French relief organization, reports the AP . At least five staffers from... More »

Trump Jr.'s Refugee Tweet Doesn't Fly With Skittles Maker

'Skittles are candy. Refugees are people'

(Newser) - One of the most controversial moments from the campaign trail on Monday came not from either of the major candidates but from Donald Trump Jr. As CNN reports, he shared a tweet that compared the Syrian refugee problem—and the notion that terrorists might be hiding among them—to Skittles.... More »

Syria Aid Convoy 'Bombarded' in Airstrike, 12 Dead

The attack sent a red fireball into the sky

(Newser) - Syria's ceasefire has faltered further after an aid convoy was hit by airstrikes, with activists saying at least 12 people were killed in the attack, mostly truck drivers and Red Crescent workers. The strikes late Monday came just hours after the Syrian military declared the weeklong US-Russian brokered ceasefire... More »

Syria: Ceasefire Is Over

Fragile peace collapses after multiple violations in 7 days

(Newser) - Syria's military command has declared the US-Russian brokered ceasefire over, blaming the country's rebel groups for undermining the agreement that lasted seven days, reports the AP . In a statement Monday, the Syrian military said that "armed terrorist groups" repeatedly violated the ceasefire that came into effect last... More »

After Deadly US Strikes, Syria Beats Back ISIS

Assad regime regains territory lost to militants in Saturdays airstrikes

(Newser) - Syrian government warplanes and special forces on Sunday destroyed several positions of ISIS in the eastern province of Deir el-Zour. The advance regained territory lost Saturday when Syrian troops were accidentally hit with airstrikes by the US-led coalition , reports the AP . The incident has threatened an already-fragile US and Russian-brokered... More »

US Says It May Have Hit Syrian Troops While Targeting ISIS

Russia says 62 Syrian soldiers were killed in misplaced US airstrike

(Newser) - The US military said it may have unintentionally struck Syrian troops while carrying out a raid against ISIS on Saturday, which if confirmed would mark the first known direct American strike on President Bashar Assad's forces, the AP reports. US Central Command said the strike was immediately halted "... More »

US-Backed Rebels Threaten American Soldiers in Syria

Just because you accept American money doesn't mean you like America

(Newser) - US special forces soldiers got a chilly reception from Syrian rebel troops when they showed up to help them fight ISIS in the town of al-Rai on Thursday, UPI reports. According to the Telegraph , a video posted to social media shows US troops fleeing the town "under a barrage... More »

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