Bashar al-Assad

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Assad: Winning Back Aleppo Won't Stop the War

Syrian president vows to keep fighting rebels even if his forces liberate war-torn city

(Newser) - President Bashar al-Assad said in comments published Thursday that Syrian forces' victory in the battle for Aleppo will be a "big gain" for his government but that it won't end the country's civil war, the AP reports. Assad, in an interview published in the state-owned newspaper al-Watan,... More »

Civilians Pay the Price With Aleppo Poised to Fall

President Assad's forces on brink of reclaiming city from rebels

(Newser) - Bashar al-Assad's government forces in Syria are poised to reclaim Aleppo, and two weeks of attacks have displaced thousands of residents. Here's a look at developments:
  • The big picture: Aleppo would give Assad control of Syria's five biggest cities, meaning it's likely he's going to
... 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 »

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 »

As Syrians Die, UN Aid Flows Through Assad Cronies

Critics say aid money is propping up regime

(Newser) - United Nations aid is making the Syrian civil war a very profitable enterprise for cronies of President Bashar al-Assad, according to a Guardian investigation. The aid—tens of millions of dollars of it, in some cases—has been awarded to hundreds of businesses closely linked to the regime, some of... More »

In Russia's Strikes on Syria, a Surprising First

Bombers take off from Iran

(Newser) - Russia has been dropping bombs on Syria for nearly a year now in its bid to help President Bashar al-Assad win his civil war, but Tuesday marked an important first in the fighting: Russian bombers took off from a base in Iran for strikes on Aleppo and two other provinces.... More »

Assad's Defiant Speech Suggests More Bloodshed in Syria

'We will liberate every inch'

(Newser) - Syria's Bashar al-Assad addressed his country's new parliament on Tuesday, and he sounded very much like a confident ruler with no plans to step down. “Just like we liberated Palmyra and many other areas before it, we are going to liberate each and every inch of Syria... More »

Missiles Hit Syrian Hospitals, Killing 23—But Was It Russia?

Doctors Without Borders says it's either Russia or Syria

(Newser) - Rebel-held Syrian towns took missile fire Monday and saw at least 23 civilians die in a school and three hospitals—blood that some say is on Russia's hands, Reuters reports. Azaz, a town near Turkey, took the brunt when airstrikes killed 14 at a children's hospital and a... 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 »

Assad Says His Troops Advancing, Thanks Russia

Syrian president cites progress on 'almost every front'

(Newser) - Syrian president Bashar al-Assad says his forces are advancing on "almost" all fronts thanks to Russian airstrikes that began nearly two months ago and have tipped the balance in his favor in some parts of the country. In remarks published Sunday, Assad told China's Phoenix Television that the... More »

ISIS: Paris Attacks Were 'Miracles'

Group calls city 'capital of abomination and perversion'

(Newser) - ISIS claimed responsibility for Friday night's Paris terror attacks in a statement that analysts say appears to be genuine. The statement issued online in Arabic and French hails the "miracles" carried out by "eight brothers wearing explosive vests and assault rifles" in Paris, which the statement calls... More »

US Won't Budge on One Key Point as Syria Talks Begin

US, allies want Assad gone from Syria—and want Russia, Iran on board

(Newser) - Talks designed to seek peace in Syria began Friday in Vienna, and this time there's a new player involved in the negotiations: Iran, Bashar al-Assad's No. 1 ally, Reuters notes. "Those who tried to resolve the Syrian crisis have come to the conclusion that without Iran being... More »

Syria's Assad Makes Surprise Trip Abroad

Moscow trip is his first time out of country since war began

(Newser) - President Bashar al-Assad has traveled to Moscow to meet his strongest ally, Russian leader Vladimir Putin, in his first known trip abroad since the war broke out in Syria in 2011, Syrian and Russian media report. A statement posted on the Syrian presidency's official Facebook page says Assad met... More »

Assad: Russia Must Beat 'Terrorists' in Syria

Syrian dictator bashes Western leaders as 'lost'

(Newser) - Syria's President Bashar Assad said Sunday that the air campaign by Russia against "terrorists" in his country must succeed or the whole region will be destroyed, stressing that the fight against terrorism must precede a political process. In the interview with Iran's Khabar TV, Assad also accused... More »

Russian Strikes, Day 2: Where We're At

Moscow has continued airstrikes for 2nd day

(Newser) - Russia has begun launching airstrikes in Syria for the second straight day despite US concerns, reports the BBC . The Kremlin insisted again Thursday that the strikes are against terrorists, reports Reuters , though the US isn't buying it. American officials say Vladimir Putin is going after rebels trying to overthrow... More »

Obama at UN: Putin Needs to Get on Board With Assad Ouster

POTUS wants Assad out, says 'tyrant' isn't best choice to fight ISIS

(Newser) - "Dangerous currents" are creating a "darker world," President Obama told the UN General Assembly on Monday, touching on a slew of issues including the "apocalyptic cult" ISIS, the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, and Syria's civil war, NBC News reports. Obama underscored the need to keep... More »

Targeting ISIS, France Airstrikes 'Hit Syria'

Hollande turns firepower on Assad's territory after concerns about refugee crisis

(Newser) - France has fired its first airstrikes in Syria as it expands military operations against Islamic State extremists, President Francois Hollande's office announced today. The office said that "France has hit Syria" based on information from French reconnaissance flights sent earlier this month. France has been firing airstrikes on... More »

Russian Military May Be Joining Fight in Syria

The US and its allies are concerned

(Newser) - If reports from a number of anonymous sources are to be believed, Russia is increasing its military presence in Syria, where a four-year civil war has resulted in 250,000 deaths, and that's worrying to the United States and its allies. The Guardian reports increased sightings of Russian jets,... More »

What ISIS Does to Gay Men

Those guilty of sodomy are thrown off buildings, shot, or stoned

(Newser) - Islamic State militants track down gay people through the cellphone and Facebook contacts of their captives, then throw them from rooftops, the UN Security Council heard in a closed-door informal meeting yesterday—the first ever to address violence and discrimination against the LGBT community. "If a victim did not... More »

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