Bashar al-Assad

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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 »

Report: Assad Didn't Give It All Up

Last year's mission to find chemical weapons controlled by Assad regime: inspectors

(Newser) - Syria continues to have a substantial—and growing—chemical weapons arsenal despite an international mission to rid the country of such munitions last year, reports the Wall Street Journal . In an in-depth piece, the newspaper talks to the international inspectors and others involved in that much-hyped mission and concludes that... More »

At Heart of Assad War Crimes Case: Smuggled Reports

Investigators also uncover traces of sarin, ricin in Syria

(Newser) - Documents smuggled out of Syria over three years contain enough evidence to put President Bashar al-Assad and 24 senior officials in front of a war crimes tribunal, investigators say. The Commission for International Justice and Accountability, working with 50 Syrian investigators, managed to get its hands on half a million... More »

Rescue Workers: Syria Still Using Chemical Weapons

Witnesses say chlorine gas keeps coming, but UN won't officially point finger

(Newser) - In 2013, Syria agreed to get rid of its chemical weapons , a promise allegedly broken multiple times last year . Now more evidence reported by rescue workers and citizens has piled up that toxins continue to be deployed via chlorine bombs in the war-torn country, the New York Times reports. The... More »

Syria: We Shot Down US Drone

US not sure how Predator went down

(Newser) - Syria's air defenses have shot down a US reconnaissance aircraft in a northwestern province along the Mediterranean coast, according to state media. A US official says a Predator drone went down in Syria yesterday, but it's not clear whether it was shot down. The official, who spoke on... More »

Assad: Syria's in the Loop on Anti-ISIS Airstrikes

But there's no dialogue with the US, Syrian president says

(Newser) - Bashar al-Assad says his government is receiving messages from the US-led coalition about airstrikes against ISIS taking place in his country. In a BBC interview today, the Syrian president admits that there hasn't been direct cooperation, and the messages are coming from third parties—including Iraq—not the US... More »

McCain Tweet-Brags That Syria Whined About Him

Gleefully boasts about Assad regime's annoyance with him

(Newser) - John McCain has put together quite the résumé for himself lately, and it includes the wrath of Vladimir Putin, ISIS, Fidel Castro, and now the regime of Bashar al-Assad. McCain added those latest bragging rights after Bashar Ja'afari, the Syrian ambassador to the UN, yesterday asked the Security... More »

Syria: Israeli Airstrikes Just Hit Us

Israel says it won't comment on 'foreign reports'

(Newser) - Israeli warplanes carried out two airstrikes today near Damascus, one near the city's international airport and a second outside a town close to the Lebanese border, Syria's state news agency said. SANA called the attack "an aggression against Syria" and said there were no reports of casualties.... More »

What ISIS Likes to Drink to Stay Awake

Militants fueled by Red Bull have taken control of Turkish-Syrian border trade

(Newser) - Red Bull gives you wings, and if you're an Islamic militant, apparently, extra stamina to keep fighting. Turkish traders are shipping the energy drink and other items into Syria across borders that are controlled by rebels belonging to ISIS, the Free Syrian Army, and the Islamic Front, and business... More »

Obama: Here's the Plan for Iraq

President discusses ISIS, immigration, and his love for politics

(Newser) - The latest addition of 1,500 US troops to Iraq "signals a new phase" in the fight against ISIS (or ISIL, or Islamic State), but not one that includes Americans engaging in combat, President Obama says in a wide-ranging discussion with Bob Schieffer on Face the Nation, CBS News... More »

7 Questions About the ISIS Airstrikes, Answered

Why Raqqa, and more

(Newser) - The US and five Middle Eastern allies have begun airstrikes against ISIS in Syria , with the military reporting 22 airstrikes in the country—though they didn't all target ISIS. Who else was in our crosshairs? The answer to that, and more:
  • Did Syria get a heads-up? It says it
... More »

US Seeks Allies in ISIS Fight —but Not Assad

Obama may greenlight military action in Syria, expanded airstrikes in Iraq

(Newser) - After OKing airstrikes in Iraq and spy flights over Syria in an attempt to rein in ISIS, President Obama has started rallying international allies to expand efforts against the militant Sunni group—efforts that may include even more airstrikes in Iraq and possible military action in Syria, reports the New ... More »

Syria Likely Gassed Civilians 8 Times in April: UN

Independent commission also says country is plagued by 'crimes against humanity'

(Newser) - The Assad regime likely used chlorine gas eight times on its own people in northern Syria villages in April, according to a report released today by an independent UN commission, the AP reports. The report also indicates that the Syrian people have been besieged by crimes against humanity at the... More »

Eye on ISIS, US Begins Flights Over Syria

Regime warns against striking ISIS without its consent

(Newser) - Less than a year after President Obama made the case for striking Bashar al-Assad's regime in Syria , the US now appears poised for strikes on one of the regime's opponents. Obama authorized manned and unmanned surveillance flights over Syria over the weekend to gather intelligence on ISIS militants,... More »

White House Wants $500M for Syrian Opposition

Request to Congress says recipients will be vetted

(Newser) - President Obama promised back in May to help the Syrian opposition in its fight against Bashar al-Assad, and today he made that promise a lot more tangible. The White House asked Congress for $500 million to train and equip the opposition forces, reports USA Today . With the conflict spilling over... More »

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