Free Syrian Army

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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 »

Turkey: ISIS Has Zero Territory Left on Border

Advances shut down key supply routes, effectively cut terrorist group off

(Newser) - Turkish troops and allied Syrian rebels expelled ISIS from the last strip of territory it controlled along the Syrian-Turkish border on Sunday, effectively sealing the extremists' self-styled caliphate off from the outside world, Turkey's state-run news agency reported. Also on Sunday, Syrian pro-government forces backed by airstrikes launched a... More »

Journo Offers Stunning Account of Kidnapping, Torture

American Peter Theo Curtis, aka Theo Padnos, tells of 22 months with al-Nusra Front

(Newser) - The world was shocked and elated when American journalist Peter Theo Curtis was released this summer after 22 months of being held in captivity in Syria by the militant al-Nusra Front group. Now Curtis, who writes under the name Theo Padnos, has penned an extraordinary account for the New York ... More »

Expert: 12K Foreigners Fighting in Syria

Conflict has drawn fighters from 74 countries

(Newser) - More than 12,000 foreigners from 74 countries have gone to fight with rebels in Syria, 60% to 70% from other Middle Eastern countries and about 20% to 25% from Western nations, a leading expert on terrorism warned yesterday. Prof. Peter Neumann, director of the International Center for the Study... More »

Who Was American ISIS Fighter Douglas McCain?

Convert's background combed for clues

(Newser) - Douglas McAuthur McCain was just one of many Americans known to have traveled to Syria—but he is the first known to have died fighting for ISIS , and his background and social media profile are being combed for clues. The 33-year-old, who converted to Islam from Christianity a decade ago,... More »

American Killed Fighting for ISIS: Report

NBC: Douglas McCain, 33, of San Diego died in Syria battle

(Newser) - A 33-year-old American has reportedly been killed while fighting for Islamic State militants over the weekend in Syria, reports NBC News , citing photos of the man's passport and body—which has a distinctive tattoo—and confirmation via an activist with the Free Syrian Army. The man in question is... 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 »

American Arrested, Accused of Plot to Join al-Qaeda

Nicholas Teausant planned flight to Syria, officials say

(Newser) - Federal prosecutors say a 20-year-old California man has been arrested near the Canadian border in Washington state and charged with trying to provide support to al-Qaeda's efforts in Syria. The Justice Department said today that Nicholas Teausant, of Acampo, Calif., was planning to travel to Canada before proceeding to... More »

Syrian Rebels' Infighting So Bad, They Need a Judge?

Al-Qaeda leader calls for Islamic court to be set up

(Newser) - Syrian rebels are locked in a bitter and violent struggle—with each other. Hostilities between Syria's more moderate rebel factions and the al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and Syria exploded into open warfare on Friday, and it's been so costly that the head of another al-Qaeda affiliate, the... More »

US, Britain Yank Aid to Syrian Rebels

Meanwhile, Islamists kidnap human rights lawyer, two journalists

(Newser) - The US and Britain have cut off aid to Syria's opposition, after Islamist rebel groups seized bases loaded with Western-provided goods from their former Free Syrian Army colleagues. The move won't affect humanitarian aid, a US embassy spokesman tells the BBC , but rather the "non-lethal" military assistance... More »

Syrian Rebels Recruit New Fighters at Refugee Camp

Jordan and the UN claim they're unaware

(Newser) - Syrain rebels in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan freely acknowledge recruiting fighters in the camp, trying to bolster rebel ranks in the face of stepped up offensives by President Bashar al-Assad's forces just across the border in southern Syria. Recruiting is banned in Zaatari, and the rebel activities... More »

Al-Qaeda Militants Capture Syrian Town—From Rival Rebels

It's more evidence of infighting among Assad's enemies

(Newser) - Al-Qaeda militants seized a town near the Turkish border today after expelling Western-backed rebels from the area, demonstrating the growing power of jihadis as they seek to expand their influence across opposition-held Syrian territory. The infighting—now engulfing many parts of northern Syria—threatened to further split opposition forces outgunned... More »

Kerry Looking to Nail Down Syria as Russia Talks Begin

Rebels, meanwhile, despair over lack of strike

(Newser) - John Kerry arrived in Geneva today for two days of talks with Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov over the Syrian disarmament plan they sort of created together. Kerry's top goal, one official tells Reuters , "is to see if there's reality here or not." To do that he'... More »

Ex-Hostage: Syria Rebels Are 'Bandits,' Fanatics

After 5 months captive, says US strike would only make them stronger

(Newser) - An Italian war reporter held hostage for five months by rebel forces in Syria has written a damning denunciation of the anti-Assad movement. "It is not the revolution that I encountered two years ago in Aleppo—secular, tolerant. It has become something else," Domenico Quirico wrote in his... More »

Syrian Rebels Turn on Each Other

Infighting breaks out amongst moderates and Islamic extremists

(Newser) - Syrian rebel groups are no longer just battling government forces; some are now fighting a second front: other rebel groups. Infighting has broken out amongst the rebels, with the Western-aligned Free Syrian Army clashing with al-Qaeda-aligned groups the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant, reports the AP . There has been... More »

CIA Training Syria Rebels: Report

LA Times says secret work started last year

(Newser) - The White House may be moving too slowly in the eyes of some critics when it comes to helping the Syrian opposition, but the CIA and special ops forces have been at it since late last year, reports the Los Angeles Times . It says the Americans have been secretly training... More »

Journo Escapes After 5 Months in Captivity

Says she was held by Syrian rebels, defends Assad's regime

(Newser) - A Ukrainian journalist who was kidnapped in Syria on Oct. 9, reportedly by rebels, managed to escape yesterday, she tells RIA Novosti . "I took a terrible risk, as I had to walk across an area leading on to minefields," Ankhar Kochneva says. "I walked and walked, and... More »

Syrian Rebels Overrun Aleppo Base

35 troops killed in latest rebel advance

(Newser) - Syrian rebels are now in full control of a sprawling military base they stormed two days earlier and have killed 35 government troops in the fighting, an activist group says. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the battle for the Sheik Suleiman base near the northern city of... More »

Syria May Be Prepping Chemical Weapons

US official says activity suggests they may intend to use weapons

(Newser) - Syria and chemical weapons: Words you don't want to hear in the same sentence, but ones that are once again making headlines. The New York Times reports that the regime appears to be moving its chemical weapons again , according to intelligence out of Syria. But the most recent reports... More »

Syrian Rebels Kill Top Assad General

Abdullah Mahmoud al-Khalidi was senior Air Force general

(Newser) - A senior Air Force general has been assassinated by members of the Free Syrian Army in Damascus late Monday, says Syria's state-run news channel. Rebels took responsibility for his death and claimed to have also killed an air force intelligence official in the fell swoop, reports the BBC . The... More »

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