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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

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 »

Syrian Truce Might Be Crumbling Already

Four people killed in first few hours of four-day 'ceasefire'

(Newser) - Just hours after it began, fighting broke out during what was supposed to be a four-day ceasefire between Syrian troops and rebel fighters in honor of the Eid al-Adha holiday, reports Reuters . Activists say four people were killed by tank fire and snipers in a Damascus suburb, and a Reuters... More »

Reporter Killed by Sniper in Syria During Live Broadcast

As military HQ is hit by 2 explosions

(Newser) - Damascus has been rocked by bombings for the past two days, with at least two large blasts hitting Syria's military headquarters there this morning. The Free Syrian Army claimed responsibility for the attack, said to be the largest since July explosions killed President Bashar al-Assad's brother-in-law and other... More »

Syrian Regime Attacks Schools, Tortures Kids: UN

Meanwhile, Iran allegedly used Iraqi airspace to send weapons to Assad

(Newser) - Forces for the Syrian regime have attacked schools, tortured and sexually assaulted children, and denied boys and girls access to hospitals, the UN's envoy for Children and Armed Conflict told the Security Council yesterday—adding that the torture and sexual violence can go for weeks, CNN reports. Rebels aren'... More »

Putin Explains Why Group Sex Is Great

...something about not having to 'hit the ball all the time'

(Newser) - Ladies of Russia, take note: Vladimir Putin might just be into orgies. In an interview with Russia Today , Putin threw out an off-handed comment on the upside of group sex while discussing Pussy Riot, the Telegraph notes. Putin says that Pussy Riot—which he faults for making "everyone say... More »

'Smell of Death' Permeates Daraya

Meanwhile, rebels say they shot down government copter as revenge

(Newser) - A government helicopter crashed today in Damascus, with rebel groups claiming they shot it down. "It was in revenge for the Daraya massacre," a spokesman for the Free Syrian Army told AFP . A video posted online shows the burning helicopter falling to the ground, reports the AP . Syria'... More »

UN Panel: Syria Has Committed War Crimes

Rebels have too, but on a smaller scale, panel concludes

(Newser) - As violence continues to pummel Syria, a UN panel has concluded that President Bashar Assad's forces have carried out war crimes and crimes against humanity, and that the highest levels of government have likely been involved in the murders, torture, sexual violence, and other atrocities. Specifically, it blames the... More »

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