NEWS ABOUT: Syrian rebels

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White House Wants $500M for Syrian Opposition

Request to Congress says recipients will be vetted

(Newser) - President Obama promised back in May to help the Syrian opposition in its fight against Bashar al-Assad, and today he made that promise a lot more tangible. The White House asked Congress for $500 million to train and equip the opposition forces, reports USA Today . With the conflict spilling over... More »

Symbolic Assad Win: Rebels Flee Revolution's 'Capital'

Evacuations take place under new ceasefire

(Newser) - The central city of Homs was once known as the "capital of the revolution" against Syria's Bashar al-Assad, notes the BBC . No more: Buses began evacuating fighters and anti-government civilians from some of their last strongholds today, a move that marks "a de-facto end of the rebellion... 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 »

UN Rescue Operation Shot At in Homs

Accusations fly over attack as new ceasefire negotiated

(Newser) - A UN convoy seeking to bring aid to, and evacuate civilians from the rebel-held "Old City" section of Homs came under mortar and sniper fire yesterday, in violation of a negotiated ceasefire. At least four civilians awaiting evacuation were killed in the attack, but the convoy ultimately managed to... More »

Al-Qaeda Disowns Deadly ISIS Faction

Even as offshoot kills 2 Syrian rebel leaders

(Newser) - The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria is "not a branch of al-Qaeda," Ayman al-Zawahiri declared in a statement posted online yesterday. "Al-Qaeda is not responsible for ISIS' actions," and has "no connection" to it, al-Qaeda General Command said, according to the BBC . It added... More »

FBI Thinks Americans Are Training for Terror in Syria

And it's watching them like a hawk

(Newser) - The FBI is keeping a close watch on Americans who have traveled to and returned from the war in Syria. The US believes that al-Qaeda affiliates in the war-torn country are actively attempting to recruit Americans there and train them to carry out attacks back home, senior intelligence and counterterror... 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 »

Iraqi Troops Fight al-Qaeda, Leaving 34 Dead

In Syria, opposition fighters battle rebels linked to extremists

(Newser) - The Iraqi military tried to dislodge al-Qaeda militants in Sunni-dominated Anbar province today, unleashing airstrikes and besieging the regional capital in fighting that killed at least 34 people, officials said. A series of bombs in Shiite neighborhoods of Baghdad, meanwhile, killed at least 20 people. The recent gains by 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 »

'Very, Very Important' Syrian Rebel Leader Killed

Abdulkader al-Saleh led Qatar-backed force

(Newser) - The New York Times describes Abdulkader al-Saleh as a Syrian rebel leader "who brought together one of the most effective and organized factions" against Bashar al-Assad. No wonder, then, that his death is being described as a major setback for the rebels. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights today... More »

Syrian Rebels Accidentally Behead a Syrian Rebel

Al-Qaeda linked group apologizes

(Newser) - Everybody makes mistakes at work. Here at Newser, that means making a typo. For fighters in al-Qaeda-affiliated rebel groups, it means beheading the wrong guy. Militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria posted a video online recently in which they showed off a severed, bearded head, saying it... More »

NC Man Charged With Trying to Join al-Qaeda in Syria

Pakistani native had online relationship with undercover FBI worker

(Newser) - A North Carolina man was on his way to Lebanon to join an al-Qaeda-linked group when he was arrested, federal prosecutors say; his father says there's "no truth" in the allegations. Pakistan-born Basit Javed Sheikh, 29, is a legal permanent US resident, the News & Observer reports. He... More »

Angry Over Syria, Saudis Back Away From US

Intelligence chief wants more aggressive approach against Assad

(Newser) - Following his country's decision to reject a UN Security Council seat , Saudi Arabia's intelligence chief is edging away from the US specifically: Prince Bandar bin Sultan al-Saud told European officials that his country will reduce its secret work with the CIA on training Syrian rebels, reports the Wall ... More »

Russia Rips UN's Syria Report: 'Biased,' 'One-Sided'

Says it has evidence rebels used chemical weapons—courtesy of Assad

(Newser) - Just when it seemed like the US and Russia were suspiciously close to seeing eye-to-eye on Syria, things move back to more familiar territory. A Russian government minister has slammed the UN report findings that chemical weapons were used in Syria as "biased and one-sided," while claiming it... More »

We're Finally Sending Weapons to Syrian Rebels

CIA shipments have been entering country over last 2 weeks, rebels deny

(Newser) - In mid-June, the US said it would send weapons to the Syrian rebels; after many weeks of delay (much to the recent consternation of Sen. Bob Corker and other lawmakers), we've apparently made good on the promise, at least according to US officials and "Syrian figures" who spoke... 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 »

Why Congress Is Divided on Syria

Extremist rebels, regime atrocities leave lawmakers no easy options

(Newser) - Congress is decidedly skittish about the prospect of military action against Syria—sources tell Politico's Playbook that if the vote were held today, it would fail—and the reason why has a lot to do with the thought of potentially bolstering men like Abdul Samad Issa, aka "The... More »

Is This Man the Key to Taking Down Assad?

Assad warns US intervention will fail 'like Vietnam'

(Newser) - As the US weighs military action in Syria , the Saudis have put one of the Arab world's canniest geopolitical operators in charge of their attempts to oust Bashar al-Assad, the Wall Street Journal finds. Prince Bandar bin Sultan—the kingdom's current intelligence chief and its ambassador to the... More »

American: I Escaped 7 Months' Captivity in Syria

Matthew Schrier tells 'NYT' he was robbed, beaten by Syrian rebels

(Newser) - Matthew Schrier was a freelance photographer covering his first war when he was abducted by Syrian rebels. Now back in the US after seven months of captivity, Schrier, 35, gives a jarring and incredibly rare firsthand account of the dangers foreigners face among some anti-Assad forces. Schrier tells the New ... More »

Syrian Rebels: We Hit Assad's Motorcade

President's reps say attack missed him entirely

(Newser) - It's he said/he said in Syria today after rebels claimed to have struck President Bashar Assad's motorcade this morning with mortar shells, Al-Jazeera reports. A regime-linked TV station said shells did hit Assad's upscale Damascus neighborhood, hurting two guards, but presidential reps insist his presidential convoy was... More »

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