Syria

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Thousands of Refugees Mass at EU Border

They gather at Turkey's western border to enter Greece

(Newser) - Thousands of migrants and refugees massed at Turkey's western frontier Sunday, trying to enter Greece by land and sea after Turkey said its borders were open to those hoping to head to Europe, the AP reports. In Syria, Turkish troops shot down two Syrian warplanes after the Syrian military... More »

His Daughter Froze to Death. She Wasn't the Only One

The battle for Idlib is causing a mass exodus, and children are dying

(Newser) - If you've grown somewhat numb to the nine-year-old Syrian civil war, this week's headlines may be enough to give you a jolt: "Syria's worst humanitarian catastrophe in its ... civil war is now unfolding," proclaims Vox . "Children Freeze to Death as Attack Prompts Largest Exodus... More »

Thursday Deaths Mark Serious Escalation in Syria

Attack raises risk of Turkey, Russia confrontation

(Newser) - Turkey says a Syrian government airstrike on its forces in northwestern Syria Thursday night killed 33 of its troops, the highest number of Turkish soldiers killed in a single day since Ankara first intervened in the Syrian conflict in 2016. The deaths were a serious escalation in the direct conflict... More »

Assad Wins Back 'Coveted Prize' in Syria's Civil War

Loss of M5 is a massive blow to rebels

(Newser) - It is arguably one of the most coveted prizes in Syria's civil war, and after eight years of fighting, Syrian President Bashar Assad has got it back. The Damascus-Aleppo highway, or the M5, is known to Syrians simply as the "International Road." Cutting through all of Syria'... More »

Syria 'Evicts Terrorists' From Rebel Highway

The government takes more ground from insurgents

(Newser) - Syrian government forces captured new areas from insurgents in their efforts to control a key highway in the northwest Saturday, as Turkey sent more reinforcements into the war-torn country, state media and opposition activists said, per the AP . The weekslong government offensive has created a humanitarian crisis with about 600,... More »

Report: Airstrikes Triggered 'Huge Explosion' on Syria-Iraq Border

Activists say unidentified planes hit targets

(Newser) - Unidentified planes struck targets in Syria near the border with Iraq on Friday, reports said, triggering "a huge explosion" amid soaring tensions in the region between the US and Iran. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the planes targeted positions belonging to pro-Iran militias in the Boukamal area,... More »

Putin Visits Iran Ally Over 'Escalating' Tensions

Russia's president makes his second visit to Syria during its civil war

(Newser) - Russian President Vladimir Putin traveled to Damascus on Tuesday for a meeting with President Bashar Assad, a rare visit that comes amid soaring tensions between Iran and United States following the US drone strike that killed a top Iranian general, the AP reports. While the official statements made during the... More »

US: We Just Hit Iraq and Syria

The US is targeting militia blamed for killing an American

(Newser) - The US says it has carried out military strikes in Iraq and Syria targeting a militia blamed for an attack that killed an American contractor, the AP reports. US forces conducted "precision defensive strikes" against five sites of Kataeb Hezbollah, an Iran-backed Iraqi militia, Defense Department official Jonathan Hoffman... More »

Cause of Death for Founder of Aid Group Revealed

White Helmets' James Le Mesurier fell last month from third-floor apartment

(Newser) - One of the founders of a renowned humanitarian group died as the result of a fall from his third-story apartment in Turkey, reports the BBC . A post-mortem report on James Le Mesurier, who helped launch the White Helmets group in Syria, determined his cause of death to be "general... More »

Israel Strikes Dozens of Iranian Targets in Syria

Country says it was retaliating for rocket attack

(Newser) - The Israeli military said it struck dozens of Iranian targets in Syria in Wednesday, carrying out a "wide-scale" strike in response to rocket fire on the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights the day before. The military said its fighter jets hit multiple targets belonging to the elite Quds force, including surface-to-air... More »

Erdogan Played Anti-Kurd Film in Oval Office. It Didn't Go Well

Lindsey Graham among GOP senators left miffed

(Newser) - President Trump had to umpire a tense exchange between Republican senators and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday, which reportedly began when Erdogan aired a propaganda film against Syria's Kurds. Axios first reported that five Republican senators critical of Turkey's incursion into Syria watched as Erdogan whipped... More »

Founder of Syria's White Helmets Group Dies

James Le Mesurier helped start the volunteer rescue organization

(Newser) - A former British army officer who helped found the White Helmets volunteer organization in Syria was found dead in Istanbul early Monday, Turkish officials and the group said. James Le Mesurier's body was found near his home in the Beyoglu district, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported. The Istanbul... More »

US to Keep 500 or So Troops in Syria: General

Defeating ISIS is still the goal, Milley says

(Newser) - At least 500 US troops are staying in Syria to fight ISIS after the withdrawal ordered by President Trump, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs said Sunday. "The objective will remain the same: the enduring defeat of ISIS," Gen. Mark Milley said on ABC's This Week, the... More »

US Envoy Rips Syria Withdrawal

'We didn't try' to stop Turkey's invasion, diplomat writes

(Newser) - A senior American diplomat has written a highly critical assessment of the Trump administration's abrupt withdrawal of troops from northeast Syria last month, a decision that paved the way for an attack on US-allied forces in the area, officials said Thursday. In an internal memo, William Roebuck, the top... More »

Erdogan Announces Capture of Baghdadi Wife, With Trump Dig

Turkey's president appears to reference Trump's post-raid address

(Newser) - Turkey is heralding another victory against the Islamic State: the capture of one of former ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's wives. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made the announcement Wednesday during a speech at Ankara University, adding an apparent dig at President Trump's post-raid address to the nation. Following... More »

Woman Found in Syrian Trailer Could Be a 'Gold Mine'

Rasmiya Awad, said to have been detained by Turkish forces, is Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's sister

(Newser) - US authorities weren't able to question former ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi before his death in Syria. But they might get to question his older sister. Rasmiya Awad, 65, was seized Monday in a raid near the town of Azaz in Aleppo province, according to Turkish officials who now... More »

Video, New Details of Baghdadi Raid Released

Compound 'looks like a parking lot now'

(Newser) - The Pentagon has released dramatic video and new details of the raid that caused the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Footage released by the military shows figures approaching the compound in Syria where the ISIS leader was hiding out, the Guardian reports. The military also released video that... More »

Before ISIS Raid, an Underwear Theft

Syrian Kurds say their spy got the briefs and a blood sample to help confirm identity

(Newser) - Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's downfall began when a spy planted in his inner circle managed to steal the ISIS leader's underwear. That's according to a commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, which fought ISIS alongside the US. Gen. Mazloum Abdi tells NBC News that an informant serving... More »

US Thinks It Took Out ISIS Chief in Raid

Baghdadi believed killed in coalition raid in northern Syria; president will make announcement at 9am

(Newser) - Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the shadowy leader of the Islamic State who presided over its global jihad and became arguably the world's most wanted man, is believed dead after being targeted by a US military raid in Syria. A US official told the AP late Saturday that al-Baghdadi was targeted... More »

US Military Rolls Back Into Syria

Washington hopes to secure oil fields from ISIS

(Newser) - Syria, we just can't quit you: As planned , US troops rolled back into the war-torn nation Saturday to help protect oil fields from ISIS, the Washington Post reports. Roughly a dozen Army vehicles with big American flags entered the Deir ez-Zor region to team up with Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic... More »

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