NEWS ABOUT: Syrian civil war

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There Haven't Been This Many Refugees Since WWII

More than 50M displaced by violence, says UN

(Newser) - For the first time since the World War II era, the number of people forced from their homes worldwide has surged past 50 million, the United Nations refugee agency says. Syrians fleeing the bloodletting at home and a fast-growing web of other crises across the world accounted for the spike... More »

Syria Begins 'Blood Election'

Assad certain to win 'sham' multi-candidate vote

(Newser) - Thousands of Syrians lined up outside polling centers in government-controlled areas around the country to vote today in a presidential election that Bashar Assad is widely expected to win but which has been denounced by critics as a sham. The balloting comes amid a devastating, three-year civil war that activists... More »

New First in Syria War: American Suicide Bomber

Attack alarms counterterror experts

(Newser) - One of the scores of American citizens believed to be fighting alongside rebels has blown himself up for the cause, US counterterrorism officials say. An al-Qaeda-linked group announced that the man, known to them as Abu Hurayra al-Amriki—Abu Hurayra the American—carried out a suicide truck bombing against government... More »

Militants Tunnel Under Syria Hotel, Destroy It

No official word yet on casualties in Aleppo attack

(Newser) - Islamic militants destroyed an Aleppo hotel used by Syrian government troops today by tunneling underneath the building and planting explosives there, the New York Times reports. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the government soldiers suffered casualties in the attack on the Carlton Citadel, where they had been based... More »

Opposition: Syria School Bombing Kills 25 Kids

As another chemical weapons deadline comes and goes

(Newser) - Twenty-five children were killed when an elementary school in Syria's largest city was bombed today, opposition activists say. Regime forces dropped barrel bombs—barrels containing a combination of explosives and items like nails—in the opposition stronghold of Aleppo, according to an opposition group; CNN describes gruesome video but... More »

Sources: Assad Dumped Chlorine From Helicopters

But no official confirmation yet

(Newser) - The US is looking into whether a toxic chemical was deployed in areas of Syria that are controlled by rebel forces seeking to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said today the chemical was likely chlorine, if it was used. She said officials were still trying... More »

US Looking Into Reports of Poison Gas in Syria

Both sides blame each other for alleged toxic gas attack

(Newser) - The US ambassador to the United Nations said today that reports of a poison gas attack in a rural village north of Damascus were so far "unsubstantiated," adding that the United States was trying to establish what really happened before it considers a response. Both sides in Syria'... More »

Priest Who Dug in With Homs 'Flock' Killed

He refused to leave rebel-held area

(Newser) - An elderly Dutch priest who refused to leave the embattled city of Homs while Christians remained has become yet another victim of the country's civil war. Frans Van der Lugt, who was in his 70s, was shot dead by unknown gunmen at his home in a rebel-held district of... More »

US to Syria Diplomats: Get Out

DC embassy, consulates shut down

(Newser) - America has told Syria to close its embassy in Washington and ordered all Syrian diplomats in the US to hotfoot it back to Damascus by the end of this month. Daniel Rubinstein, the new US special envoy for Syria, says the decision was made as the civil war enters its... More »

Syrian Army Captures Vital Rebel Stronghold

Hezbollah helps regime capture key supply town

(Newser) - Syrian government troops and Hezbollah fighters captured a strategic town near the Lebanese frontier yesterday, sending opposition fighters fleeing to Lebanon from their last stronghold in the vital border area. The fall of Yabroud—a major smuggling hub for the rebels trying to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad—is the latest... More »

Syria's Barbaric Health Conditions Killing Kids by 'Thousands'

Report lays bare horrific impact of system's collapse

(Newser) - As the Syrian civil war enters its fourth year, millions of children are at risk amid harrowing conditions caused by the collapse of the country's health care system, a report from the Save the Children charity warns.
  • More than 10,000 children have died in the violence, but "
... More »

175 Dead in One of Syrian War's Biggest Hits

Rebels ambushed by Syria military outside Damascus yesterday

(Newser) - Syrian forces ambushed a group of rebels outside Damascus yesterday, killing 175 belonging to the Islamist extremist al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front, according to state news agencies, per the Wall Street Journal . The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights counted 152 dead—mostly foreigners from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Chechnya—in the raid... More »

Where Did Syria Extremists Come From? Iraq's Prisons

ISIS ranks fueled by what it termed 'Operation Breaking the Walls'

(Newser) - The most extreme faction in Syria didn't just spring up naturally—it was purposely built through a series of daring Iraqi prison breaks, the New York Times reports. With demand for fighters high, and the US recently departed, the group now known as the Islamic State of Iraq and... More »

Assad Torturing, Killing Enemies on 'Industrial Scale'

Prosecutors base report on 55K photos taken by defector

(Newser) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime is torturing and murdering its enemies on a vast and shocking scale, according to a cache of evidence released by war crimes prosecutors, CNN reports. The report relies on thousands of photos of dead bodies that were apparently killed by strangulation, starvation, and beatings;... More »

Invite Could Kill Year-in-Making Syria Peace Talks

Opposition threatens to pull out

(Newser) - This week's Syria peace talks in Switzerland have been in the works for more than a year, but they're in danger of falling apart before they begin. United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon has invited Iran to join the talks, sparking protests from the US and causing Syria's... More »

Kerry: Syria Opposition Must Join Peace Talks

Both sides must accept future leader, he says

(Newser) - John Kerry has urged the Syrian opposition to attend next week's peace conference in Switzerland, saying any individual chosen to lead a political transition in the war-torn country must be acceptable to both the government and opposing forces.The opposition groups, which will vote today whether to attend the... More »

Now European Spies Are Meeting With Assad

Opposition is concerned about cooperation

(Newser) - For the first time since Europe withdrew its ambassadors from Syria, European intelligence agencies met recently with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to discuss extremists—and the move is sparking concern among Assad's opponents. The purpose of the meetings was to share information on European jihadists who are currently working... More »

UN: Not One Chemical Attack in Syria—There Were 5

But report doesn't say which side used them

(Newser) - Chemical weapons were probably used in four locations in Syria this year, in addition to the confirmed attack near Damascus in August that forced the government to abandon its secret chemical stockpile, according to a report from UN inspectors. The experts examined seven alleged chemical weapons attacks and said they... More »

'War on Childhood' Has Killed 11K Kids in Syria

Snipers, death squads target children as jihadists make gains

(Newser) - The horrific toll civil war is taking on the children of Syria is laid bare in the first major report to focus on the issue. At least 11,420 children, more than a tenth of the conflict's casualties, have been killed since the conflict began in March 2011, including... More »

Syria Chemical Weapons Team Can't Reach 2 Key Sites

First weapons deadline may be missed

(Newser) - The Nobel Peace Prize-winning group tasked with inspecting Syrian chemical weapons sites and destroying production equipment may miss the first major deadline of its mission. The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons says it has visited 21 of 23 sites disclosed by the Syrian government, but security concerns have... More »

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