Latest Syria News

  • UN aid chief makes final appeal to end Syria's despair
    UN aid chief makes final appeal to end Syria's despair 2 hours 11 minutes ago

    Outgoing UN aid chief Valerie Amos made a final appeal Thursday to world powers to take action to end Syria's four-year war, saying it had brought more despair than ever thought possible. More »

  • Rebels capture last Syrian town in Idlib province
    Rebels capture last Syrian town in Idlib province 2 hours 11 minutes ago

    By Suleiman Al-Khalidi AMMAN (Reuters) - The Syrian army has pulled back from the northwestern city of Ariha after a coalition of insurgent groups seized the last city in Idlib province in northwestern Syria near the Turkish border that was still held by the government. Syria's al Qaeda offshoot Nusra Front is a major part of the coalition. The Syrian army said intense fighting was going on with Nusra forces that had infiltrated Ariha. More »

  • Syria: Europeans block it from UN culture protection measure 2 hours 12 minutes ago

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Syria's U.N. ambassador said Thursday that a newly adopted General Assembly resolution on the Islamic State group's threat to Iraqi cultural heritage doesn't address the same threat to his country because member states threatened to reject the measure. More »

  • Syrian army pulls out of Ariha city in north western Syria - state TV 2 hours 37 minutes ago

    AMMAN (Reuters) - The Syrian army withdrew from the strategic city of Ariha, its last remaining stronghold in the north western province of Idlib, after heavy battles waged with al Qaeda's Syrian offshoot Nusra Front, an army source said on Thursday. The source quoted on state television was the first admission that the city of Ariha, the last bastion of government forces in the province that borders Turkey, had fallen to insurgent groups whom it says are financed and equipped by Turkey. (Reporting by Suleiman Al-Khalidi; Editing by Chris Reese) More »

  • Outgoing U.N. aid chief paints harrowing portrait of Syria war
    Outgoing U.N. aid chief paints harrowing portrait of Syria war 3 hours ago

    By Louis Charbonneau UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations' outgoing humanitarian chief on Thursday painted a harrowing portrait of savagery in Syria's civil war, now in its fifth year, and urged the Security Council to take collective action to put an end to the carnage. The Syrian war has killed more than 220,000 people. Of the country's roughly 23 million people, some 12.2 million are in need of humanitarian aid, including 5 million children. More »

  • Islamic State settles into Ramadi, but the lull unlikely to last
    Islamic State settles into Ramadi, but the lull unlikely to last 4 hours ago

    When the evening prayer was over, the man, whose head was shrouded in black, delivered a speech to the faithful, hailing the Islamic State's capture of the capital of Anbar Province -- its greatest victory over Iraqi forces in almost a year. Ali Attiya al-Jubouri, widely known as "the blind judge", is one of Islamic State's most senior figures and his presence in the mosque signalled the group's dominance over the city, which it seized on May 17 from hapless government forces. "By the blessing of God, we now have an open road between Ramadi and Raqqa," he said, referring to the ultra hardline group's de-facto capital in neighbouring Syria. More »

  • Here’s What Happened Today: Thursday
    Here’s What Happened Today: Thursday 4 hours ago

    Smacking, Aer Lingus (still), and a nifty smartphone had everyone talking today. More »

  • Kurdish fighters in Syria on the march against IS militants
    Kurdish fighters in Syria on the march against IS militants 4 hours ago

    BEIRUT (AP) — In contrast to the Iraqi army's failures, Kurdish fighters in Syria are on the march against the Islamic State group, capturing towns and villages in an oil-rich swath of the country's northeast under the cover of U.S.-led airstrikes. More »

  • Syria's al-Qaida chief says no plans to attack the West 4 hours ago

    BEIRUT (AP) — Al-Qaida's branch in Syria has no plans to attack the West but warns of retaliation if U.S.-led airstrikes continue to target its fighters, the leader of the group said in an interview with an Arab TV station. More »

  • Study says girls seek sisterhood _ not just marriage _ in IS
    Study says girls seek sisterhood _ not just marriage _ in IS 4 hours ago

    LONDON (AP) — The notion that young women are traveling to Syria solely to become "jihadi brides" is simplistic and hinders efforts to prevent other girls from being radicalized, new research suggests. More »

  • British Girls In Syria 'No Longer Together'
    British Girls In Syria 'No Longer Together' 5 hours ago

    Three schoolgirls from London who crossed into Syria in February are no longer together, their families' solicitors have revealed. Shamima Begum, Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana left their east London homes for Syria, two months after a fellow pupil is thought to have left to join IS there. It comes after a senior female commander from Islamic State told Sky News she has no doubt the trio were groomed by a team of social media experts in Raqqa. More »

  • UN nations agree to action to save Iraqi cultural sites
    UN nations agree to action to save Iraqi cultural sites 5 hours ago

    UN member-states on Thursday declared that the destruction by jihadists of Iraqi cultural sites may amount to war crimes and agreed to take steps to curb the trade of stolen ancient artifacts. More »

  • Qaeda-led rebels take Idlib's last Syria regime bastion
    Qaeda-led rebels take Idlib's last Syria regime bastion 5 hours ago

    A rebel coalition led by the Syrian affiliate of Al-Qaeda stormed and seized the last regime-held city in Idlib province Thursday, as Iraq exhumed the remains of 470 jihadist victims. More »

  • Obama meets with family of reporter killed by Islamic State
    Obama meets with family of reporter killed by Islamic State 6 hours ago

    MIAMI (AP) — President Barack Obama has met with the family of an American journalist who was killed last year by the Islamic State group. More »

  • Pan-Muslim group condemns jihadist groups, IS
    Pan-Muslim group condemns jihadist groups, IS 7 hours ago

    A conference of Muslim states on Thursday condemned main jihadist groups in Syria and Iraq and studied a plan for developing an effective strategy against "terrorism and extremism". More »

  • U.S., allies target Islamic State with 26 air strikes - statement 7 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S.-led coalition has staged 26 air strikes since early Wednesday targeting Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq against, according to the Combined Joint Task Force leading the air operations. In Iraq, 20 air strikes struck near 10 cities, including five near Mosul, three by Falluja and one near Ramadi, the task force said in a statement released on Thursday. Six air strikes in Syria targeted areas near al Hasaka and Dayr az Zawr, it said. (Reporting by Washington Newsroom) More »

  • Russian, U.S. positions on Syria are getting closer, Lavrov says
    Russian, U.S. positions on Syria are getting closer, Lavrov says 8 hours ago

    MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian and U.S. positions on Syria are getting closer, Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Thursday after several high-level contacts between Moscow and Washington this month over the conflict. "Indeed, I think our positions with the United States are getting closer, first and foremost in regard to statements that there can be no alternative to a political solution in Syria," Lavrov told a news conference. ... More »

  • African migrants heading for Europe die of hunger and thirst in Sahara desert …
    African migrants heading for Europe die of hunger and thirst in Sahara desert … 8 hours ago

    The number of people attempting to cross the vast desert to reach Libya and then Europe could more than double this year to 100,000, according to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM). The town of Agadez in Niger is one of the main transit points in the Sahara for migrants leaving impoverished West African nations in search of a better life. Migrants, some of them just teenagers, scramble onto the back of a truck in Agadez, jostling for a place on the journey north across 1,200km of dunes to Sabha in southern Libya – a route plagued by bandits and scorched by the relentless desert sun. More »

  • Former Tajik police chief reappears as IS fighter in video
    Former Tajik police chief reappears as IS fighter in video 9 hours ago

    A man claiming to be the former head of ex-Soviet Tajikistan's special forces police division appeared in a video Wednesday saying he has joined the Islamic State jihadist group in Syria. More »

  • Rebels storm last regime-held city in Syria's Idlib: monitor
    Rebels storm last regime-held city in Syria's Idlib: monitor 9 hours ago

    A rebel coalition led by Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate edged into the last remaining government-held city in the northwest province of Idlib on Thursday, a monitoring group said. More »

  • Chobani CEO pledges to donate most of wealth
    Chobani CEO pledges to donate most of wealth 9 hours ago

    Chobani founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya says he will join some of the world's richest individuals in pledging to give away at least half his wealth, which has been estimated at $1.41 billion. The Turkish-born ... More »

  • Iran opposes Syria no-fly zone
    Iran opposes Syria no-fly zone 9 hours ago

    A senior Iranian official Thursday rejected the idea of ??a Syria no-fly zone, which Turkey wants, saying it would be "a mistake" and would not restore security to the region. More »

  • Al-Qaeda's Syria branch seeks image makeover in West
    Al-Qaeda's Syria branch seeks image makeover in West 9 hours ago

    Al-Qaeda's Syria franchise is striving to reinvent itself as a legitimate opposition force that is more acceptable to the West, but it is unlikely to succeed, analysts said Thursday. More »

  • UK twin girls 'influential' in IS
    UK twin girls 'influential' in IS 10 hours ago

    Teenage twin sisters from Manchester have assumed "influential roles" among a group of British women who have travelled to Islamic State (IS, or Isil) territory, according to a report. More »

  • EU extends Syria sanctions, adds senior official to list 10 hours ago

    The European Union added a high-ranking Syrian military official to its sanctions list on Thursday as it extended measures against supporters of President Bashar al-Assad for another year. The EU began imposing asset freezes and travel bans on Assad and his supporters in 2011 to protest a government crackdown on Assad's opponents. With Syria's civil war now in its fifth year, the sanctions list has grown to more than 200 people and 70 organisations. More »

  • 10 Things to Know for Today
    10 Things to Know for Today 10 hours ago

    Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: More »

  • Global chemical weapons stockpile '90% destroyed'
    Global chemical weapons stockpile '90% destroyed' 10 hours ago

    The world's chemical watchdog said on Thursday that 90 percent of the global chemical weapons stockpile has been destroyed, calling it a "major milestone". More »

  • EU extends Syria sanctions by 1 year over rights abuses
    EU extends Syria sanctions by 1 year over rights abuses 11 hours ago

    BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union is extending sanctions against Syrian President Bashar Assad and his closest allies for another year, citing continued repression and human rights abuses. More »

  • No exit: For female jihadis, Syria is one-way journey
    No exit: For female jihadis, Syria is one-way journey 12 hours ago

    PARIS (AP) — When three British schoolgirls trundled across the Syrian border; when a pregnant 14-year-old ran away from her Alpine home for the second time; when a sheltered girl from the south of France booked her first trip abroad — they were going to a place of no return. More »

  • Syria says Al Jazeera's Nusra interview promotes militant group 12 hours ago

    A Syrian envoy said Al Jazeera's interview with the leader of Nusra Front violated U.N. counterterrorism resolutions and was an attempt by Qatar to whitewash the image of the al Qaeda affiliate, Syria's state news agency reported on Thursday. Syria's United Nations ambassador, Bashar al-Jaafari, said the interview was used "to promote terrorism and make threats to the government and people in Syria," SANA agency said, quoting remarks made before the U.N. Security Council in New York. More »

  • U.S. training of Syria rebel fighters expands to Turkey - source 12 hours ago

    By Phil Stewart WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. military has started training Syrian opposition fighters in Turkey to combat Islamic State, an expected expansion of a programme that first launched in Jordan weeks ago, a U.S. official told Reuters on Thursday. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, did not offer details on the size of the first group of recruits undergoing training in Turkey or the specific start date. The Pentagon declined to comment. More »

  • Pentagon mulls improving Iraqi troop training after fall of Ramadi
    Pentagon mulls improving Iraqi troop training after fall of Ramadi 12 hours ago

    By David Alexander ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT (Reuters) - Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Thursday Pentagon officials have begun to examine how the U.S. military could better equip and train Iraqi troops after the recent fall of the Iraqi city of Ramadi to Islamic State insurgents. Carter told reporters on his plane to Asia that he had convened a group of defence policy officials and military officers from U.S. Central Command and the Pentagon's Joint Staff to look at how "we can enhance, hasten" the mission to train and equip Iraqi forces. More »

  • Palmyra caught between two histories
    Palmyra caught between two histories 12 hours ago

    The Assad regime gets away with heinous crimes as the world turns to Twitter to save Palmyra's centuries-old ruins. More »

  • Western women who join Islamic State defy 'jihadi bride' stereotype … 13 hours ago

    By Michael Holden LONDON (Reuters) - Western women joining Islamic State are increasingly from comfortable backgrounds and often well educated with romantic notions of adventure often quickly dispelled by the harshness of life as a "Jihadi bride", according to a British research report. Some 550 women from Western countries have left their homelands to join Islamic State, which has captured swathes of Syria and Iraq, said the report by the Institute for Strategic Dialogue and the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation at King's College, London. More »

  • IS Commander Who Helped British Girls In Syria
    IS Commander Who Helped British Girls In Syria 13 hours ago

    A senior female commander from Islamic State has told Sky News she has no doubt that three London teenagers who crossed into Syria in February were groomed by a team of social media experts in Raqqa. The woman, who calls herself Um Asmah and who defected from IS just days ago, was the first person to contact foreign girls crossing the border. Her job was to introduce the new recruits to life under Islamic State's strict and brutal regime. More »