Syria

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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 »

Report: Trump Now Plans to Send Tanks, More Troops to Syria

He says Kurds should 'head to oil region'

(Newser) - America will never desert Syria's oil, President Trump promised Thursday—and he suggested that if the Kurds want protection, they should move closer to the oil. Syria's oil fields "were held by ISIS until the United States took them over with the help of the Kurds,"... More »

Trump's Syria Envoy Points to Alleged 'War Crimes'

James Jeffrey talks to Capitol Hill lawmakers

(Newser) - President Trump hailed a "big success" in Syria and lifted sanctions against Turkey on Wednesday as his Syria envoy said war crimes had likely been committed there, USA Today reports. "We haven't seen widespread evidence of ethnic cleansing," said the Syria representative, James Jeffrey, per Reuters... More »

Trump Orders All Sanctions on Turkey Lifted

Says the ceasefire is permanent

(Newser) - The Turkish ceasefire in Syria that was agreed upon last Thursday is a permanent one, said President Trump Wednesday, and so sanctions against Turkey will be lifted—although he allowed that "you will also define permanent in that part of the world as somewhat questionable," reports CNBC . CNN... More »

McConnell Introduces Resolution Opposing Syria Withdrawal

But stops short of suggesting sanctions on Turkey

(Newser) - Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell introduced legislation Tuesday denouncing Turkey's invasion of northern Syria and gently prodding President Trump to halt his withdrawal of US troops from the embattled country, the AP reports. But McConnell said lawmakers should refrain from imposing sanctions on Turkey for now, saying, "We... More »

New Syria Proposal: Internationally Controlled 'Security Zone'

Ceasefire is set to expire

(Newser) - Germany's defense minister proposed Tuesday the establishment of an internationally controlled security zone in Syria, hours before a five-day ceasefire between Turkish troops and Syrian Kurdish fighters was set to expire in the war-torn country. Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer told German news agency dpa that "the creation of an internationally... More »

As US Troops Depart, Residents Pelt Them

'Like rats, America is running away,' says one man in Kurdish-dominated city

(Newser) - Angry over the US withdrawal, residents of a Kurdish-dominated Syrian city hurled potatoes at departing American military vehicles as they drove by on Monday, the AP reports. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said a small residual US military force will stay in eastern Syria to protect Kurdish-held oil fields for at... More »

Lindsey Graham Talks Impeachment

Senator backs Trump, but opens the door a crack to changing his mind

(Newser) - An interview between Axios and Lindsey Graham is causing a stir, though there's some different interpretations over his comments on the topic of President Trump's impeachment. The upshot is that Graham says he still hasn't seen evidence of an impeachable offense, but he's open to changing... More »

'Error-Ridden' Trump Tweet Draws Derision

For one thing, he called the defense secretary 'Mark Esperanto'

(Newser) - President Trump wrote an "error-ridden" tweet Sunday that inspired reporters to take it apart pretty much word by word, Newsweek reports. Now deleted—after thousands of shares—the tweet referred to Secretary of Defense Mark Esper as "Mark Esperanto" and made claims that raised a few eyebrows: "... More »

US Troops Leaving Syria Will Head to Iraq

In Kabul, Defense Secretary Mark Esper says troops will not be coming home

(Newser) - Defense Secretary Mark Esper says that all US troops leaving Syria will go to western Iraq and the American military will continue operations against the Islamic State to prevent its resurgence. Esper, who arrived in Kabul on Sunday, did not rule out the idea that US forces would conduct counterterrorism... More »

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