Latest Syria News

  • Kuwait emir pledges $500 million for Syrian humanitarian crisis
    Kuwait emir pledges $500 million for Syrian humanitarian crisis 1 hour 8 minutes ago

    Kuwait will donate $500 million (339 million pounds) towards easing Syria's humanitarian crisis, its leader told an international summit in the Kuwaiti capital on Tuesday. "I am pleased to announce the pledge by the state of Kuwait of $500 million from the government and private sectors to support the humanitarian situation for the brotherly Syrian people," Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmed al-Sabah said in a speech broadcast live on state television. The United Nations, which is holding the summit, says aid is needed to help 18 million people both in Syria and scattered through the region, as well as the countries and communities struggling to host them. The number of people needing humanitarian aid has increased by 2.9 million in just 10 months. More »

  • IS 'executes at least 30 civilians' in central Syria
    IS 'executes at least 30 civilians' in central Syria 1 hour 10 minutes ago

    The extremist Islamic State group Tuesday executed at least 30 civilians, including two children, in a raid on a regime-held village in Syria's central province of Hama, a monitor said. More »

  • Austria charges 14-year old with terror offences 1 hour 26 minutes ago

    Austria has charged a 14-year old boy with terror offences after he researched how to build a bomb online and made contact with militants supporting Islamic State fighters in Syria, prosecutors said on Tuesday. More than 170 people have left Austria to fight in the Middle East, according to the interior ministry, some of whom have been killed. Authorities base their charges on data found on the boy's Playstation games console, including bomb-building plans downloaded from the internet, said a spokeswoman for prosecutors in Sankt Poelten, the capital of Lower Austria province. More »

  • Spain: Police arrest family, say children were to join jihad 1 hour 37 minutes ago

    MADRID (AP) — The Interior Ministry says police have arrested four members of a family, including two minors who were allegedly about to travel to Syria to become jihadi fighters. More »

  • Indonesia launches military exercises to guard against security threats 1 hour 53 minutes ago

    Indonesia has launched military exercises in the eastern island of Sulawesi, a haven for radical Islamists, as part of broader efforts to crack down on militants with suspected links to the Islamic State group, officials said on Tuesday. The drills come amid heightened government concerns over a rising number of Indonesians pledging loyalty to Islamic State (IS) and trying to join the group fighting in Iraq and Syria. "IS is a potential security threat ... so we're preparing our forces to respond to that," said military spokesman Major General Mochamad Fuad Basya. He described the exercises as routine and said similar drills would be held elsewhere in Indonesia. More »

  • Kuwait emir pledges $500 million at Syria donors meet
    Kuwait emir pledges $500 million at Syria donors meet 2 hours 10 minutes ago

    Kuwait's emir Tuesday pledged half a billion dollars at the start of a major donor conference for Syria, describing the crisis unfolding as the "biggest humanitarian catastrophe in modern history". More »

  • Spain arrests four including two teens planning to travel to Syria 2 hours 19 minutes ago

    Two young teenagers were arrested early on Tuesday in northeastern Spain, the same morning they planned to travel to Syria to fight with Islamist militants there, the Spanish interior ministry said. Police arrested the two, both aged under 16, and another two suspects in a raid in the Mediterranean city of Badalona, about 11 kilometers from Barcelona. "A brother of the minors had already traveled to Syria, recruited by jihadist groups, dying in 2014, and is believed to have formed part of the terrorist ranks supporting DAESH (Islamic State)," said the ministry in a statement. They were due to travel on Tuesday morning through Morocco to Turkey and from there onto Syria with the full knowledge of those close to them including their mother, said the ministry. More »

  • Tunisia attack inquest to open
    Tunisia attack inquest to open 3 hours ago

    An inquest is due to open into the death of a British woman killed in a terrorist attack in Tunisia. More »

  • Top Asian News at 6:30 a.m. GMT 3 hours ago

    BEIJING (AP) — China said Tuesday that it had evacuated more than 500 of its citizens from Yemen amid the growing violence in the Middle Eastern country. The Foreign Ministry said in a statement that 449 Chinese nationals left Yemen Monday evening aboard Chinese naval ships. They were headed for Djibouti on the heels of an additional 122 who arrived in the Horn of Africa nation Sunday. More »

  • Experts caution reality check on joint Arab force
    Experts caution reality check on joint Arab force 4 hours ago

    Despite an agreement at a weekend Arab summit to establish a joint military force, serious doubts remain that it will become a reality on the ground, experts say. More »

  • UN seeks billions for Syria at Kuwait donors' meet
    UN seeks billions for Syria at Kuwait donors' meet 5 hours ago

    A major UN donors' conference that aims to raise billions of dollars for Syria opens Tuesday in Kuwait with experts warning of a "humanitarian catastrophe" unfolding in the war-torn country. More »

  • Russia, Iran, Syria share same vision: Assad
    Russia, Iran, Syria share same vision: Assad 8 hours ago

    Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says he shares the same goals as Iran and Russia when it comes to the brutal war tearing apart his country. More »

  • Canada votes for air strikes on Islamic State in Syria
    Canada votes for air strikes on Islamic State in Syria 8 hours ago

    Canadian lawmakers voted Monday to extend a campaign of airstrikes against the Islamic State group and for the first time strike at them in Syria as well as in Iraq. More »

  • Canadian Parliament backs air strikes on Islamic State in Syria
    Canadian Parliament backs air strikes on Islamic State in Syria 8 hours ago

    Canadian legislators on Monday voted to back the government's plans to bomb Islamic State positions in Syria, a move that opposition parties say threatens to drag Canada into a long war. The House of Commons approved the plan 142-129. The result was never in doubt, since the ruling Conservatives have a majority in the chamber. The vote also approved the extension of Canada's six-month mission by a year to the end of March 2016. More »

  • Children's lives at stake as donors meet for Syria summit – aid chiefs
    Children's lives at stake as donors meet for Syria summit – aid chiefs 9 hours ago

    By Joseph D'Urso LONDON (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Syrian families are making "terrible sacrifices" to survive, marrying off young girls and sending children to work, aid agencies said ahead of the third global conference to raise funds for victims of the world's biggest humanitarian crisis. Nearly 80 governments and dozens of aid agencies will meet in Kuwait on Tuesday for a summit led by the United Nations which is hoping for major pledges towards an $8.4 billion (£6 billion) appeal for Syria. "It is deplorable that the world appears to have lost interest in Syria," said Barry Andrews, head of aid agency GOAL. Yet neighbouring countries and aid agencies are being left to bear the brunt of the aid effort." As the crisis enters its fifth year, some 12.2 million people inside Syria are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance along with more than 3.9 million Syrians who have fled to neighbouring countries. More »

  • Air strike kills at least 40 at Yemen camp for displaced
    Air strike kills at least 40 at Yemen camp for displaced 9 hours ago

    By Mohammad Mukhashaf and Sami Aboudi ADEN (Reuters) - An air strike killed at least 40 people at a camp for displaced people in north Yemen on Monday, humanitarian workers said, in an attack which apparently targeted nearby Houthi fighters who are battling President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. Yemen's state news agency Saba, which is under the control of the Houthis, said the camp at Haradh was hit by Saudi planes. "It could have been that the fighter jets replied to fire, and we cannot confirm that it was a refugee camp," Brigadier General Ahmed Asseri said. Hadi's Foreign Minister Riyadh Yassin earlier blamed Houthi artillery for the explosion. More »

  • Libyan oil guards demand state firm to reopen the two biggest oil ports 10 hours ago

    By Feras Bosalum and Ayman al-Warfalli TRIPOLI/BENGHAZI, Libya (Reuters) - A Libyan state oil security force has called on state oil firm NOC to reopen the Ras Lanuf and Es Sider oil ports, the country's two biggest, after a rival force pulled out from the area following months of fighting, a spokesman said on Monday. "We call on NOC to lift force majeure from the ports so the oil companies can resume work." NOC had declared the contractual waiver in December. Storage tanks at Es Sider were hit by a rocket in late December, burning for a week, as fighting raged. The region south of the ports is home to several oilfields that were attacked in recent weeks by fighters loyal to the militant group Islamic State. More »

  • Assad: Russia signed arms deals during Syria conflict
    Assad: Russia signed arms deals during Syria conflict 11 hours ago

    Syrian president appears to contradict Russian claims that Moscow supplies weapons under contracts signed before revolt. More »

  • Saudi-led forces strike Yemen rebels, blockade ports
    Saudi-led forces strike Yemen rebels, blockade ports 12 hours ago

    SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Saudi-led naval forces imposed a blockade on Yemen's ports as coalition airstrikes on Monday repelled an advance on the southern port city of Aden by Shiite rebels and forces loyal to a former president, in what appeared to be the most intense day of fighting since the air campaign began five days ago. More »

  • Why White House cannot afford to ignore Yemen civil war 12 hours ago

    With another civil war looming in the Middle East in Yemen, President Obama has been served another sharp reminder that reducing the weight of the Middle East in America’s national security portfolio is more easily envisioned than accomplished. The Syrian civil war is entering its fifth year, with the US remaining largely on the sidelines. Now fighting in Yemen between a government–on-the-run and Sunni tribesmen supported by Saudi Arabia on one side, and Iran-backed Shiite Houthi rebels on the other, threatens to turn into a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia. Two factors underscore why, and help explain why Obama’s vision of “rebalancing” US interests and foreign policy toward Asia is likely to fade further with war in Yemen. More »

  • Azerbaijan starts trial of 6 alleged Islamic State militants 13 hours ago

    BAKU, Azerbaijan (AP) — A trial of six Azerbaijani citizens accused of fighting alongside the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq has begun in Azerbaijan's capital. More »

  • Saudi Arabia, Egypt show discord over Syria
    Saudi Arabia, Egypt show discord over Syria 14 hours ago

    CAIRO (AP) — Egypt and Saudi Arabia are cooperating militarily to thwart a power grab in Yemen by Shiite rebels, but the agreement on how to deal with the region's complex and intertwined conflicts may stop there. The two countries' diverging interests were evident at the Arab summit over the weekend, particularly over the crises in Syria and Libya. More »

  • Jerusalem Palestinian charged with trying to join IS
    Jerusalem Palestinian charged with trying to join IS 15 hours ago

    Israeli prosecutors Monday charged a Palestinian resident of east Jerusalem with allegedly trying to join the Islamic State jihadist group in Syria, the Shin Bet domestic security agency said. More »

  • Insight - Iran seeks nuclear deal but not normal ties with "Great Sata …
    Insight - Iran seeks nuclear deal but not normal ties with "Great Sata … 15 hours ago

    By Parisa Hafezi LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) - Iran is not expected to normalise relations with the United States even if Tehran reaches agreement with world powers on its nuclear programme, officials and analysts said. The United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China are trying to reach a deal with Iran aimed at stopping Tehran being able to develop a nuclear bomb in exchange for an easing of sanctions that are crippling its economy. Loyalists of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, drawn from among Islamists and Revolutionary Guards who fear continued economic hardship might cause the collapse of the establishment, have agreed to back President Hassan Rouhani’s pragmatic readiness to negotiate a nuclear deal, Iranian officials said. More »

  • Nuclear deal with Iran may spur proxy wars, says EU official 15 hours ago

    A nuclear deal with Iran may spur proxy wars in the Middle East as Sunni Muslims try to counter an increasingly wealthy and powerful Shi'ite Iran, the European Union’s counter-terrorism coordinator said on Monday. Gilles de Kerchove told the European Parliament one important cause of terrorism was "this war by proxy from the Sunni world which feels a bit on the defensive because of the rise of Iran". Asked if a deal to curb Iran's nuclear ambitions being negotiated in Switzerland would have an impact, he said: "Yes, of course, because Iran will have even more money. "It is a sophisticated country, with a vision, more and more powerful in the Middle East, and therefore on the Sunni side there might be a temptation for some to support extremist groups to fight against Iran by proxy," he said. More »

  • Boko Haram did not disrupt Nigeria election - UN envoy
    Boko Haram did not disrupt Nigeria election - UN envoy 15 hours ago

    By Michelle Nichols UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Boko Haram militants were unable to disrupt Nigeria's presidential election, a United Nations envoy said on Monday, but the group's allegiance to Islamic State insurgents shows it has an agenda that goes beyond Africa's top oil producer and biggest economy. Boko Haram, which has killed thousands and displaced some 1.5 million people during a six-year campaign to carve out an Islamist emirate, committed itself this month to Islamic State, which controls swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq. "Boko Haram's recent allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIL) ... whether for publicity reasons or to tap into ISIL's support, is of concern as it is gives a clear signal that Boko Haram's agenda goes well beyond Nigeria," Mohammed Ibn Chambas, U.N. envoy for West Africa, told the U.N. Security Council. More »

  • Mortar attack on Damascus souk kills one, wounds 30: state media
    Mortar attack on Damascus souk kills one, wounds 30: state media 16 hours ago

    A mortar attack on a historic souk in central Damascus on Monday killed one person and wounded dozens, Syria's official news agency said. More »

  • Boko Haram did not disrupt Nigeria election - U.N. envoy 17 hours ago

    By Michelle Nichols UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Boko Haram militants were unable to disrupt Nigeria's presidential election, a United Nations envoy said on Monday, but the group's allegiance to Islamic State insurgents shows it has an agenda that goes beyond Africa's top oil producer and biggest economy. Boko Haram, which has killed thousands and displaced some 1.5 million people during a six-year campaign to carve out an Islamist emirate, committed itself this month to Islamic State, which controls swaths of territory in Syria and Iraq. "Boko Haram's recent allegiance to the Islamic State (ISIL) ... whether for publicity reasons or to tap into ISIL's support, is of concern as it is gives a clear signal that Boko Haram's agenda goes well beyond Nigeria," Mohammed Ibn Chambas, U.N. envoy for West Africa, told the U.N. Security Council. More »

  • Iran says US drone kills 2 advisers in Iraq; US denies claim
    Iran says US drone kills 2 advisers in Iraq; US denies claim 17 hours ago

    BAGHDAD (AP) — Iran's Revolutionary Guard says a U.S. drone strike killed two of its advisers near the Iraqi city of Tikrit, where a major offensive is underway against the Islamic State group, but the U.S. said Monday its coalition conducted no airstrikes in the area during the time of the incident. More »

  • Iran seeks nuclear deal but not normal ties with 'Great Satan'
    Iran seeks nuclear deal but not normal ties with 'Great Satan' 17 hours ago

    By Parisa Hafezi LAUSANNE, Switzerland (Reuters) - Iran is not expected to normalize relations with the United States even if Tehran reaches agreement with world powers on its nuclear program, officials and analysts said. The United States, Britain, France, Germany, Russia and China are trying to reach a deal with Iran aimed at stopping Tehran being able to develop a nuclear bomb in exchange for an easing of sanctions that are crippling its economy. Loyalists of supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, drawn from among Islamists and Revolutionary Guards who fear continued economic hardship might cause the collapse of the establishment, have agreed to back President Hassan Rouhani’s pragmatic readiness to negotiate a nuclear deal, Iranian officials said. More »

  • Shaken by Yemen, Lebanon works to keep its balance 18 hours ago

    “They are killing Shiites in Yemen,” says Hassan Masri, a Shiite supporter of Hezbollah in southern Beirut. The latest crisis in Yemen illustrates the interconnected nature of the conflicts tearing apart the Middle East, as Saudi Arabia and Iran seek influence at each other’s expense. Saudi Arabia heads a coalition of 10 Sunni-majority Arab nations ranged against Yemen’s Houthi rebels. The Houthis, members of a Shiite sect reportedly supported by Iran, hold Yemen's capital, Sanaa, and are advancing on the southern port city of Aden. More »

  • Syrian military source alleges Turkish role in Idlib offensive 18 hours ago

    BEIRUT/AMMAN (Reuters) - A Syrian military source accused Turkey on Monday of helping Islamist rebels to stage an assault on Idlib, a provincial capital which fighters seized at the weekend. The source declined to comment on the situation in Idlib, citing security considerations, but a monitoring group has confirmed the al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front and allies now control Idlib and said the Syrian air force bombed the city on Monday. The fall of Idlib, 30 km (20 miles) from the Turkish border, marks only the second time in the Syrian civil war that Damascus has lost control of a provincial capital. More »

  • UN chief Ban calls for more aid for Iraq displaced
    UN chief Ban calls for more aid for Iraq displaced 19 hours ago

    United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called in Baghdad Monday for Iraq and the international community to increase assistance for over 2.5 million people displaced by violence in the country. More »

  • US drone 'killed two Iranian troops in Iraq'
    US drone 'killed two Iranian troops in Iraq' 19 hours ago

    Two Iranian Revolutionary Guardsmen were killed by a US drone in the Iraqi city of Tikrit, Iranian state media said Monday, in a report that was denied by the Pentagon. More »

  • Ancient Petra sees few visitors as Jordan tourism declines
    Ancient Petra sees few visitors as Jordan tourism declines 19 hours ago

    PETRA, Jordan (AP) — It's high season in Petra, an ancient city hewn from rose-colored rock and Jordan's biggest tourist draw. Yet nearby hotels stand virtually empty these days and only a trickle of tourists make their way through a landmark canyon to the Treasury building where scenes of one of the "Indiana Jones" movies were filmed. More »