Syrian civil war

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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 »

Saudi Arabia 'Full Partner' in Fight Against ISIS

Kingdom to arm, train militant group's foes

(Newser) - Islamic state versus Islamic State: Saudi Arabia has agreed to help step up the fight against ISIS and will host a training camp for moderate Syrian rebels fighting the extremists as well as the Syrian regime, reports the New York Times . A senior Obama administration official says details are still... More »

ISIS Eyed as Blast Wipes Out Syria Rebel Leaders

Suicide bomber takes out hardline Islamist group

(Newser) - The leadership of a hardline Islamist group battling the Syrian regime has been wiped out by a suicide bomber—and suspicion has fallen on the even more hardline Islamists of ISIS. The blast hit a meeting of Ahrar al-Sham, a powerful member of the Islamic Front rebel coalition, killing leader... 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 »

Sotloff Family Grieves After Release of Video

Journalist was aware of Syria dangers, colleagues say

(Newser) - The family of American journalist Steven Sotloff is aware that ISIS has released a video it claims shows his beheading and is "grieving privately," a spokesman says. The State Department says it is "sickened" and is trying to determine whether the video is genuine, reports the AP... More »

US: Dozen Americans Fighting for ISIS

Abdirahmaan Muhumed named as 2nd slain US fighter

(Newser) - ISIS has stunned the world with its brutality and rapid advance in recent months—and the publicity has also attracted more foreign fighters, including around a dozen Americans that US intelligence services have been able to identify, officials say. The recruits—who seem to be getting younger—see the militants... More »

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 »

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