Latest Syria News

  • Iraqi Kurds urge PKK to leave as Turkish strike toll mounts
    Iraqi Kurds urge PKK to leave as Turkish strike toll mounts 5 hours ago

    Turkey has killed 260 Kurdish militants in a week-long air offensive on targets in northern Iraq, official media claimed Saturday, as regional Iraqi authorities said it was time the rebels pulled out with concerns growing over civilian casualties. More »

  • AP News Guide: Death of Taliban leader roils Afghan politics
    AP News Guide: Death of Taliban leader roils Afghan politics 5 hours ago

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Afghan Taliban has confirmed the death of its reclusive longtime leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, after the Kabul government reported that he had been dead for more than two years. The move has led to a leadership crisis in the Taliban, as Mullah Omar's longtime deputy takes the helm over the objection of the former leader's relatives. More »

  • Iraqi Kurds ask Kurdistan Workers Party to 'withdraw' 5 hours ago

    BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's Kurdish regional government called on the Kurdistan Worker's Party to "withdraw" from Iraq's Kurdish territory Saturday to prevent civilian deaths amid a campaign of Turkish airstrikes targeting the group. More »

  • Kurdish militia in Syria accuses Turkey of 'provocative' attacks
    Kurdish militia in Syria accuses Turkey of 'provocative' attacks 6 hours ago

    By Sylvia Westall and Humeyra Pamuk BEIRUT/ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Kurdish militia fighting Islamic State in Syria accused Turkey on Saturday of targeting it at least four times in the past week, calling the attacks provocative and hostile. Turkey began a campaign of air strikes on Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) camps in northern Iraq and Islamic State fighters in Syria last Friday, in what Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has called a "synchronised fight against terror". The campaign has raised suspicions among Kurds that Ankara's real agenda is checking Kurdish territorial ambitions rather than fighting Islamic State. More »

  • Syrian Islamist group Ahrar al-Sham mourns Taliban leader 6 hours ago

    A conservative Islamist rebel group in Syria, which has contested its hardline image in Western newspapers, mourned the death of the leader of the Taliban in a statement distributed online on Saturday. Ahrar al-Sham, which is widely described by analysts as an ultra orthodox Salafist group, expressed "deep condolence" in the Arabic statement for Mullah Omar, who Afghanistan said on Wednesday had died more than two years ago. The statement comes after Ahrar al-Sham wrote opinion pieces last month - one published by the Washington Post and another by Britain's Daily Telegraph - in which it presented itself as a Syrian national force, distancing itself from cross-border jihadist groups. More »

  • Kerry in Cairo for Egypt security talks 6 hours ago

    CAIRO (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry is in Cairo for security talks with Egyptian officials before heading to Qatar to try to ease Arab concerns about the Iran nuclear deal. More »

  • Syrian rebel group leaves their HQ after clash with al-Qaida 6 hours ago

    BEIRUT (AP) — Clashes between members of al-Qaida's branch in Syria and a rebel faction in the country's north believed to have been trained by the U.S. government have stopped after the rebels abandoned their headquarters, activists said Saturday. More »

  • Highest number of Syria air strikes recorded in July
    Highest number of Syria air strikes recorded in July 6 hours ago

    Syria conducts 6,673 air raids, highest since start of uprising in 2011, killing 791 civilians, monitoring groups says. More »

  • New Afghan Taliban leader promises to continue insurgency
    New Afghan Taliban leader promises to continue insurgency 6 hours ago

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — Political uncertainty inside the Taliban has cast doubt on the prospects for an end to the war in Afghanistan. On Saturday the Taliban's controversial new leader vowed to continue fighting while urging unity among his followers in a message aimed at preventing a split in the group between those who want peace and those who still believe they can win. More »

  • More than 300,000 seek asylum in Germany this year so far: report
    More than 300,000 seek asylum in Germany this year so far: report 7 hours ago

    Germany has hosted more than 300,000 asylum seekers since the start of the year, said the daily Die Welt on Saturday, as Berlin prepares for a record influx of refugees in 2015. More »

  • Kerry in Egypt on first leg of Mideast tour
    Kerry in Egypt on first leg of Mideast tour 8 hours ago

    US Secretary of State John Kerry flew to Egypt on Saturday to relaunch a strategic partnership with Washington's longtime ally, at the start of a regional mini-tour, a correspondent said. More »

  • Qaeda-led court executes 10 in Syria's Aleppo: monitor
    Qaeda-led court executes 10 in Syria's Aleppo: monitor 8 hours ago

    At least 10 people were executed on Saturday in Syria's Aleppo city on the orders of a religious court dominated by Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front, a monitor said. More »

  • Iraq's Barzani condemns Turkish bombing he says killed civilians 9 hours ago

    By Humeyra Pamuk and Stephen Kalin BAGHDAD/ISTANBUL (Reuters) - The president of Iraq's Kurdistan region on Saturday condemned Turkey's bombardment of a village there which he said had killed civilians, and called for a return to the peace process. "We condemn this bombardment that led to the martyrdom of people from the Kurdistan region and call on Turkey not to bombard civilians again," Massoud Barzani said in a statement. A senior Turkish official told Reuters that Ankara was working with the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to investigate claims of civilian casualties in the village of Zargala on Friday. More »

  • Kurdish leader asks PKK to withdraw from northern Iraq
    Kurdish leader asks PKK to withdraw from northern Iraq 10 hours ago

    Iraq's Kurdish regional government condemns Turkish bombing, while asking PKK fighters to leave its territory. More »

  • UN says at least 1,332 Iraqis killed by violence in July
    UN says at least 1,332 Iraqis killed by violence in July 12 hours ago

    BAGHDAD (AP) — At least 1,332 Iraqis were killed by violence in July amid the war against the Islamic State group, a slight drop from June, according to U.N. figures released Saturday. More »

  • Top Russian, US and Saudi diplomats to meet in Qatar 12 hours ago

    MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's foreign minister has scheduled a trilateral meeting in Qatar with his U.S. and Saudi counterparts. More »

  • Russia's Lavrov to meet U.S., Saudi counterparts in Qatar
    Russia's Lavrov to meet U.S., Saudi counterparts in Qatar 13 hours ago

    MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov will hold a three-way meeting with his U.S. and Saudi counterparts, John Kerry and Adel al-Jubeir, during a working visit to Qatar on Aug. 2 and 3, Russia's foreign ministry said on Saturday. The ministry said Lavrov would also hold meetings with the emir of Qatar, Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, and foreign minister Khalid al-Attiyah. ... More »

  • Dozens dead as Syria army 'pushes back rebels near regime heartland' …
    Dozens dead as Syria army 'pushes back rebels near regime heartland' … 13 hours ago

    Nearly 40 government and opposition fighters have been killed as Syrian regime forces pushed rebels back from an area bordering President Bashar al-Assad's heartland, a monitor said Saturday. More »

  • Policy Blunders Cause Chaos In Middle East
    Policy Blunders Cause Chaos In Middle East 13 hours ago

    The Middle East was once the cradle of civilisation. Today it's the cauldron of conspiracy theories where locals believe they are victims of malevolent Magi driven by Machiavellian plots to shatter their peace and progress. It is absurd enough that, according to The New York Times, they were sent into Syria with no guarantee that there would be air support if attacked by the regime forces of Bashar al Assad. More »

  • For Druze in the Golan Heights, 'Syria is just an idea'
    For Druze in the Golan Heights, 'Syria is just an idea' 14 hours ago

    Syria's civil war has frayed the ties between Druze in the Golan Heights and their brethren in Syria. More »

  • Syrian army advances on plain after rebel offensive: monitor
    Syrian army advances on plain after rebel offensive: monitor 14 hours ago

    The Syrian army and allied militia have regained control over several northwestern villages from insurgents on a plain crucial for defending costal areas that Damascus holds, a group monitoring the war said on Saturday. The military is battling insurgents including al Qaeda's Syria wing Nusra Front and the Islamist group Ahrar al-Sham for control of Sahl al-Ghab, a plain that runs alongside the western coastal mountains as well as lying close to Hama city. The insurgents launched an attack this week in the area but the government has fought back using aerial bombardments, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. More »

  • Some 260 PKK members killed in Turkey air strikes: report
    Some 260 PKK members killed in Turkey air strikes: report 15 hours ago

    Around 260 members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) have been killed and hundreds more wounded in Ankara's week-long campaign of air strikes against targets of the group inside Turkey and in northern Iraq, the official Anatolia news agency said Saturday. More »

  • Turkish strikes on PKK in Iraq kill at least 6
    Turkish strikes on PKK in Iraq kill at least 6 15 hours ago

    Turkish air strikes against the PKK in northern Iraq killed at least six people on Saturday, officials said, as Ankara's bombardment of the Kurdish rebel group entered its second week. More »

  • Kerry off to Mideast with Egypt, Iran deal, Syria on agenda
    Kerry off to Mideast with Egypt, Iran deal, Syria on agenda 21 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry headed to the Middle East on Friday for security talks in Egypt and discussions in Qatar with Arab foreign ministers whose countries are wary of the nuclear deal struck with Iran. More »

  • Analysis: Afghan govt hopes to divide and conquer Taliban
    Analysis: Afghan govt hopes to divide and conquer Taliban 23 hours ago

    KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The new leader of the Afghan Taliban faces the twin challenges of bringing together an insurgency that he ran for years under another man's name and uniting a fractured movement that has seen fighters desert for more extreme groups such as the Islamic State. Meanwhile, the Afghan government believes it can seize on the Taliban leadership crisis it has created by announcing that Mullah Mohammad Omar has been dead for more than two years to further weaken the insurgency. More »

  • Iraq's Kurdistan laments caught in middle of Turkey-PKK fight
    Iraq's Kurdistan laments caught in middle of Turkey-PKK fight Sat, Aug 1, 2015

    Iraq's Kurdistan region is suffering the fallout as Turkey launches strikes against Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) camps in northern Iraq, the region's top diplomat said on Friday, calling for both sides to return to a ceasefire. "We are caught in between (the) two sides," Falah Mustafa Bakir, head of the Kurdistan Regional Government's department of foreign relations, told a small group of reporters in Washington. Turkey has repeatedly attacked Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) camps in northern Iraq over the past week, in what it says is a response to a series of targeted killings of police officers and soldiers blamed on the Kurdish militant group. More »

  • US and Turkey differ over post-ISIL strategy in Syria
    US and Turkey differ over post-ISIL strategy in Syria Fri, Jul 31, 2015

    Ankara and Washington disagree which Syrian opposition groups should fill the vacuum after ISIL fighters are ousted. More »

  • Seven Libyan soldiers killed in clashes with Islamic State Fri, Jul 31, 2015

    By Ayman al-Warfalli BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - Seven Libyan soldiers were killed on Friday when Islamic State militants stormed a checkpoint manned by forces loyal to the official government, military officials said. Five soldiers were killed and 15 have been missing since the Islamic State fighters attacked the checkpoint outside the eastern town of Ajdabiya, near the oil port of Brega, one military official said. Two more soldiers were killed when the government sent reinforcements. More »

  • French police foil '1,000 bids' to cross Channel
    French police foil '1,000 bids' to cross Channel Fri, Jul 31, 2015

    French police said they had prevented more than 1,000 desperate attempts by migrants to get into Britain via the Channel Tunnel Friday, as London vowed further measures to tackle the crisis. More »

  • No bail for man charged with trying to join Islamic State
    No bail for man charged with trying to join Islamic State Fri, Jul 31, 2015

    BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Arafat Nagi had made an oath to the Islamic State group, outfitted himself to fight and had a one-way ticket to the Middle East at the time of his arrest, federal authorities said Friday. More »

  • Cameroon arrests three Boko Haram suspects carrying explosives - sources Fri, Jul 31, 2015

    Cameroon officials have arrested three suspects carrying a bag containing improvised explosive devices in the northern town of Maroua where a spate of suspected Boko Haram suicide attacks killed at least 40 last week, sources said on Friday. The men were caught on Thursday evening at the entrance of the city following a tip-off, a senior military source with the Central African nation's special forces in Maroua, told Reuters. The other two are Cameroonians, according to their identity cards," another senior local government administrator said by telephone from Maroua. More »

  • Al-Qaeda in Syria attacks US-trained rebel base
    Al-Qaeda in Syria attacks US-trained rebel base Fri, Jul 31, 2015

    Al-Qaeda's Syria affiliate launched a fierce assault on the headquarters of a US-trained rebel group Friday, while claiming responsibility for capturing members of the "moderate" force earlier this week. More »

  • Al Qaeda in Syria says detains U.S.-trained rebels
    Al Qaeda in Syria says detains U.S.-trained rebels Fri, Jul 31, 2015

    By Sylvia Westall and Tom Perry BEIRUT (Reuters) - Al Qaeda's Syria wing said on Friday it had detained members of a Syrian rebel group who had just returned from U.S. training, in a direct challenge to Washington's plan to train and equip insurgents to combat the hard-line Islamic State group. In a statement that appeared to contradict comments from the Pentagon, Nusra Front said the men it was holding had entered Syria several days earlier and had been trained under the supervision of the Central Intelligence Agency. The Pentagon has denied that any of the initial group of around 60 U.S.-trained rebels known as the "New Syrian Force" had been abducted. More »

  • Early poll prospects grow as Turkish air strikes muddy coalition talks
    Early poll prospects grow as Turkish air strikes muddy coalition talks Fri, Jul 31, 2015

    By Orhan Coskun and Ercan Gurses ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey looks increasingly likely to face an early election as its air strikes against Kurdish militants in Iraq and Islamic State in Syria stir nationalist sentiment and coalition talks make little apparent progress. The NATO member launched near-simultaneous bombing campaigns in Iraq and Syria a week ago, opening up conflict on two fronts as the ruling AK Party tries to find a junior coalition partner. The AK Party founded by President Tayyip Erdogan lost its overall majority in June elections after over 10 years in power. More »

  • Al-Qaida attacks HQ of rebel group it calls US 'agents' Fri, Jul 31, 2015

    BEIRUT (AP) — Members of al-Qaida's branch in Syria launched an attack early Friday on the headquarters of a rebel faction in northern Syria believed to have been trained by the U.S. government, killing at least five fighters and wounding more than a dozen, the militants and an activist group said. The Nusra Front, which has also abducted several members of the faction known as Division 30, vowed to cut off "the arms" of the American government in Syria. More »