Syrian civil war

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Russia: 2nd Pilot Rescued in Syria

Putin says man from downed plane will get state award

(Newser) - A Russian pilot whose plane was shot down by Turkey on Tuesday is alive and safe at a Russian base in Syria, Vladimir Putin says. Russia says the man was rescued from Syrian rebels during a 12-hour overnight operation involving Syrian and Russian forces. "I understand he is already... More »

US Pledges Nearly $100M to Support Syrian Opposition

US has given nearly $500 million since 2012

(Newser) - The United States ramped up its support for Syria's opposition with a pledge of nearly $100 million in fresh aid on Saturday. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia's top diplomat described the timing of the departure of Syrian President Bashar Assad and the withdrawal of foreign fighters as top sticking points... 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 »

NATO: We're Ready to Defend Turkey

Alliance meeting to consider 'troubling' Syria-Russia situation

(Newser) - NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg says alliance defense ministers on Thursday will consider the implications for NATO's own security of the "troubling escalation of Russian military activities" in Syria. "NATO is able and ready to defend all allies, including Turkey, against any threat," Stoltenberg said Thursday.... More »

NATO Not Buying Russia's Turkish-Airspace Story

Turkey incursion was no accident, alliance's chief says

(Newser) - Russia is rapidly stepping up its involvement in Syria, and NATO is worried—especially by Russian violation of Turkish airspace . NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg told reporters Tuesday that he doesn't believe Moscow's claim that the incursions on a NATO member's airspace were a mistake, reports Reuters... More »

Turkey Scrambles Jets to Meet Russian Intruder

Country warns Moscow that Syria strikes are unacceptable

(Newser) - Turkey summoned the Russian ambassador to protest the violation of its airspace by a Russian warplane near the border with Syria over the weekend, and demanded that Moscow avoid future infringements, the Foreign Ministry said Monday. The Russian plane violated Turkey's airspace on Saturday, prompting Turkey to scramble two... 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 »

Trump: I'll Send All Syrian Refugees Back

They could be ISIS army in disguise, he says

(Newser) - People fleeing the Syrian civil war no longer have a place in Donald Trump's America. The candidate has done a U-turn on his refugee policy and now says he'll send them all back to Syria because they could be ISIS militants in disguise, the BBC reports. "I'... More »

Shattered Syria May Never Be Put Back Together

Analysts say partition is starting to look inevitable

(Newser) - Syria has already been shattered by more than four years of civil war, and with no solution in sight, some players on the ground and observers outside have concluded its fate will be to break up along sectarian or regional lines—in a best-case scenario, tenuously held together by a... More »

'Doomsday Vault' Sees Its First Withdrawal

Spurred by the Syrian civil war

(Newser) - The "Doomsday Vault" just got its first bit of doomsday press: coverage of its first-ever withdrawal of seeds. Since 2008, the vault has sat on a Norwegian island in the Svalbard archipelago, 800 miles from the North Pole where the soil is always frozen. It's a place so... More »

US Rethinks Rebel Training After Disastrous Launch

US-trained fighters killed, kidnapped within weeks

(Newser) - The Pentagon plans a total revamp of its plan to train an army of moderate Syrian rebels after a disastrous start to the program. Officials had aimed to train thousands of fighters in the first year, but only a few dozen made it through the vetting process , and many of... More »

One Country Starts Fence to Keep Out Migrants

It's not their first fence, either

(Newser) - Israel has begun building a fence along part of the country's eastern border with Jordan as Syrian civil war refugees and other migrants flee their countries. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today: "We see today what happens when countries lose control of their borders." He seemed to... More »

Syria Refugee Crisis Passes Tragic Milestone

This is worst crisis in a generation, UN says

(Newser) - The number of Syrians who have fled abroad since the outbreak of civil war in their country has risen to more than 4 million, the largest number from any crisis in almost 25 years, the United Nations says. A recent wave of people leaving Syria and an update of Turkish... 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 »

Syria: Nusra Front Commander Killed

Blast hits meeting of al-Qaeda affiliate's leaders

(Newser) - The military commander of al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate was killed yesterday in an explosion targeting a meeting of senior militants that also killed and wounded a number of other fighters, according to a state-run Syrian news agency. SANA says Abu Hommam al-Shami was killed in a military operation carried out... More »

Texas Plumber's Truck Ends Up With Syria Fighters

Business phone number is still on the side

(Newser) - Texas plumber Jeff Oberholtzer has some important advice for business owners: Take company logos off your vehicles before they're traded in. He didn't, and now a Ford F-250 pickup truck he traded in at a dealership in Houston last year has ended up in the hands of Islamic... More »

Senate OKs Bill With $63B for Ongoing Wars

Defense hawks, Western state Republicans carry the day

(Newser) - Congress today sent President Obama a massive defense policy bill that endorses his stepped-up military campaign of air strikes and training of Iraqis and moderate Syrian rebels in the war against Islamic State militants. The Senate overwhelmingly approved the bill that authorizes funds for basic military operations, including construction of... More »

UN: ISIS Atrocities Loom in Besieged Border Town

World must act now to save Kobani, envoy warns

(Newser) - The world has seen the "massacres, humanitarian tragedies, rapes, horrific violence," and other atrocities that unfold when ISIS seizes a town—and it needs to act now to stop the same happening in the Syrian border city of Kobani , a UN official warns. The UN special envoy for... More »

CIA: Here's How Many Fighters ISIS Has

Recruitment has surged, agency says

(Newser) - The CIA says the number of fighters it believes ISIS can muster in Iraq and Syria has tripled in the space of months. The new estimate of between 20,000 and 31,500 fighters on the ground is based on intelligence gathered between May and August, reports the BBC . "... More »

45 Peacekeepers Held Captive in Syria Are Freed

Qatar says it helped broker release

(Newser) - Al-Qaeda-linked militants have released 45 Fijian peacekeepers captured two weeks ago in Syria , ending the UN's fourth crisis over abducted soldiers in the Golan Heights since March 2013. The Fijians were captured on the Syrian-controlled side of the contested buffer zone between Syria and Israel by fighters from the... More »

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