Latest Syria News

  • Nine Britons Arrested 'Trying To Enter Syria'
    Nine Britons Arrested 'Trying To Enter Syria' 1 hour 32 minutes ago

    The Turkish army says nine Britons have been arrested after allegedly trying to illegally cross into Syria. The three men, two women and four children under 12 all with British passports were detained by soldiers at a military outpost at Ogulpinar in the south of the country, Sky sources say. UK security services estimate 600 Britons have gone to Syria or Iraq to join militant groups. Bethnal Green Academy pupils Shamima Begum, Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana were last seen on CCTV at a bus station in Istanbul on 17 February. More »

  • Canada says cost of anti-ISIS mission to be least C$528 million
    Canada says cost of anti-ISIS mission to be least C$528 million 1 hour 59 minutes ago

    Canada's decision to extend its military mission against Islamic State forces by another year means the total cost of the operation will be at least C$528 million ($419 million), Defense Minister Jason Kenney said on Wednesday. Legislators on Monday approved the Conservative government's decision to extend the life of the six-month mission to April 2016 and also to expand bombing missions against Islamic State positions in Syria as well as Iraq. Canada's government has promised to balance the budget in the 2015/2016 fiscal year despite a slump in revenue caused by falling oil prices. More »

  • Qaeda-backed rebels seize post on Syria-Jordan border: monitor
    Qaeda-backed rebels seize post on Syria-Jordan border: monitor 2 hours 21 minutes ago

    Rebels backed by Syria's Al-Qaeda affiliate seized control Wednesday of the last border crossing with Jordan that had been under the control of the Damascus regime, a monitor said. More »

  • Jordan shuts border crossing with Syria after fighting 2 hours 22 minutes ago

    By Suleiman Al-Khalidi AMMAN (Reuters) - Jordan said it had temporarily closed its border crossing with Syria on Wednesday because of violence on the other side of the frontier, a move it described as a precautionary measure. The monitoring group Syrian Observatory for Human Rights had reported heavy clashes between insurgents and Syrian government forces near the Nasib crossing earlier on Wednesday after insurgents encircled the area. Syria's state news agency SANA, citing a source in the foreign ministry, said Syria held Jordan responsible for the social and economic impact of the closure, which had blocked traffic. Situated near the Jordanian border, Syria's southern province of Deraa is a vital battleground. More »

  • Syrian rebels seize Jordan crossing from government control - rebel, security … 2 hours 23 minutes ago

    Syrian rebels seized a border crossing with Jordan from government forces on Wednesday, the leader of one of the rebel groups and a security source on the government's side said, the first time Damascus has lost it since the start of the conflict. "It has been liberated," said Bashar al Zoubi, leader of the Yarmouk Army, one of the mainstream rebel groups in southern Syria that was involved in the offensive. The security source said government forces had pulled out to a nearby base. More »

  • Israel tests U.S.-backed missile shield as Iran nuclear talks churn
    Israel tests U.S.-backed missile shield as Iran nuclear talks churn 2 hours 30 minutes ago

    By Dan Williams and Andrea Shalal JERUSALEM/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A new Israeli air defence system being developed in partnership with the United States met all its objectives in a series of recent live interception tests, U.S. and Israeli officials said Wednesday, putting it on course for deployment by next year. The system, David's Sling, shot down targets simulating longer-range missiles like Scuds that could be fired at Israel from Syria and by Lebanon's Iranian-backed Hezbollah guerrillas. The latter coincided with international negotiations on Iran's disputed nuclear program that have drawn censure from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and in turn soured his relations with U.S. President Barack Obama. More »

  • Turkey detains nine Britons crossing into Syria 2 hours 39 minutes ago

    Turkish security forces arrested nine British nationals trying to cross illegally into Syria, the Turkish military said in a statement on Wednesday. In London, the Foreign Office said it was aware of the reports of the arrest. Security services estimate some 600 Britons have gone to Syria or Iraq to join militant groups, including the man known as "Jihadi John," who has appeared in several Islamic State beheading videos. Last month, three male British teenagers suspected of planning to join Islamic State militants in Syria were arrested by London police after being deported from Turkey. More »

  • Iraq hails victory over Islamic State extremists in Tikrit
    Iraq hails victory over Islamic State extremists in Tikrit 3 hours ago

    TIKRIT, Iraq (AP) — The government declared victory in Tikrit on Wednesday over extremists of the Islamic State group, and it warned the militants holding other Iraqi provinces that they would be the next to fall. More »

  • Britons held at Turkey-Syria border
    Britons held at Turkey-Syria border 3 hours ago

    Nine British nationals have been detained in Turkey after allegedly attempting to cross illegally into Syria. More »

  • Yemen FM calls for coalition to send ground troops
    Yemen FM calls for coalition to send ground troops 4 hours ago

    Yemen's foreign minister called Wednesday for a Saudi-led military coalition targeting Shiite rebels in his country to send ground troops. More »

  • 9 UK citizens headed to Syria arrested, Turkey military says 4 hours ago

    ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey's military says that nine British citizens have been arrested trying to cross into Syria. More »

  • Qaeda in Syria calls for power-sharing in Idlib city
    Qaeda in Syria calls for power-sharing in Idlib city 4 hours ago

    Islamists in Syria's northwestern city of Idlib should set aside their differences and rule the city together, the head of Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate said in an audio message published Wednesday. More »

  • U.S. reports 14 air strikes against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq 5 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and its allies conducted 14 air strikes against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq since Tuesday, according to a U.S. military statement on Wednesday. Seven air raids were conducted in Syria on targets near Kobani and Al Hasakah during a 24-hour period to Wednesday morning, the statement said. In Iraq, Islamic State targets near several cities including Mosul and Kirkuk were hit in seven strikes, it added. (Reporting by the Washington Newsroom; Editing by Eric Beech) More »

  • ISIL seizes part of Yarmouk district in Damascus
    ISIL seizes part of Yarmouk district in Damascus 5 hours ago

    Fighters reportedly take control over western area of besieged neighbourhood inhabited mainly by Palestinian refugees. More »

  • Al Qaeda in Syria signals sharia law for captured city 5 hours ago

    The al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front indicated on Wednesday that a Syrian city captured from the government in recent days would be ruled according to Islamic sharia law but the group would not seek to monopolize power there. Nusra Front's leader, Abu Mohamad al-Golani, also said residents of the northwestern city of Idlib would be treated well by his fighters and other Islamist factions that captured it on Saturday. The first was Raqqa, which the Islamic State group has turned into its de facto capital. Nusra Front, which has fought Islamic State, and other groups including the hardline Ahrar al-Sham took control of Idlib, 30 km (20 miles) from the Turkish border, after four days of fighting with government forces. More »

  • Turkey arrests 9 British nationals seeking to cross to Syria: army
    Turkey arrests 9 British nationals seeking to cross to Syria: army 6 hours ago

    Turkey has arrested nine British nationals on the Syrian border as they sought to illegally cross over from Turkey, the army said on Thursday. More »

  • Why photo of surrendering Syrian child touches hearts
    Why photo of surrendering Syrian child touches hearts 6 hours ago

    In that moment of childlike confusion, Turkish photographer Osman Sağırlı was able to capture what, in more ways than one, is the greatest casualty of Syria’s war – the loss of innocence. “I was using a telephoto lens, and she thought it was a weapon,” Mr. Sağırlı, who took the picture at the Atmeh refugee camp in Syria in December, told the BBC. Some of the most iconic war photos – such as Eddie Adams’ picture of a South Vietnamese police chief shooting a Viet Cong suspect point-blank or Huyng Cong Nick Ut's photo of a naked 9-year-old Vietnamese girl fleeing from a napalm bombing – show disturbingly graphic scenes that invite viewers to watch even as it prompts them to cringe or look away. “[I]t is the photographer's job to show some of that horror, to say: this is the real war, this is what it's like on the ground, this is what war does to you,” Mr. McCullin wrote for The Guardian. More »

  • Female genital cutting in Thailand's south
    Female genital cutting in Thailand's south 6 hours ago

    FGM is a rising cultural practice in southern Thailand and, with little regulation, concerns are at an all-time high. More »

  • IS enters Palestinian camp in Damascus; Jordan closes border
    IS enters Palestinian camp in Damascus; Jordan closes border 6 hours ago

    DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Islamic State militants infiltrated a Palestinian refugee camp in Damascus on Wednesday and were clashing with a Palestinian group, the deepest foray yet by the extremist group into the Syrian capital, seat of President Bashar Assad's power, according to opposition activists and Palestinian officials. More »

  • Report: Egypt, Nigeria led world in death sentences in 2014
    Report: Egypt, Nigeria led world in death sentences in 2014 7 hours ago

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Egypt and Nigeria accounted for well over 1,000 of the death sentences announced last year, more than a third of the world's total, Amnesty International says in its latest annual report on the death penalty. More »

  • Charities that funded Cage, one time supporter of IS's Emwazi, under pr …
    Charities that funded Cage, one time supporter of IS's Emwazi, under pr … 7 hours ago

    By Ahmed Aboulenein, Michael Holden and Simon Falush LONDON (Reuters) - The financial backers of a campaign group that had contact with the man later known as 'Jihadi John' are under pressure from British politicians and a regulator's investigation to explain why they gave it several hundred thousand pounds. The Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, a Quaker foundation, and The Roddick Foundation, set up by the late founder of beauty retailer Body Shop, are among those now being asked how they came to fund Cage, a small activist group that called Mohammed Emwazi, killer of American, British and Syrian hostages, a once "beautiful young man". "I condemn anybody who attempts to excuse that barbarism away in the way that has been done by Cage," British interior minister Theresa May told parliament in response to the comment by Cage's research boss Asim Qureshi to media last week. Cage was set up by a group of London Muslims with the aim of supporting British suspects being held by the United States in Guantanamo Bay. More »

  • US-Iran thaw spurred Saudi action on Yemen: experts
    US-Iran thaw spurred Saudi action on Yemen: experts 7 hours ago

    Wary of a rapprochement between Washington and arch-rival Iran, Saudi Arabia has taken matters into its own hands by leading an air war against Shiite rebels in Yemen, experts say. More »

  • Economics to trump politics in Turkey's rift with Iran
    Economics to trump politics in Turkey's rift with Iran 7 hours ago

    By Jonny Hogg ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey and Iran have accused each other of trying to dominate the Middle East as they back opposing sides in the crisis in Yemen, but the war of words is unlikely to permanently damage a relationship driven by deepening economic ties. Turkey's relations with Tehran have already been strained by stark differences over Syria. Ankara upped the ante last week, saying it backs the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen against Houthi militants supported by Iran. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan then accused Iran of attempting to dominate the region. More »

  • Law Student Jailed Over Bomb-Making Manual
    Law Student Jailed Over Bomb-Making Manual 7 hours ago

    Erol Incedal was jailed for three-and-a-half years for possessing a memory card with what the judge said were viable instructions for making an explosive device. Last week, the 27-year-old broke down in tears as he was found not guilty after a retrial of plotting with a terrorist in Syria to either target individuals such as former prime minister Tony Blair or carry out a "Mumbai-style" outrage using a Kalashnikov. His friend Mounir Rarmoul-Bouhadjar, also 27 and from London, admitted having an identical document. More »

  • IS Seizes Most Of Refugee Camp In Syria
    IS Seizes Most Of Refugee Camp In Syria 8 hours ago

    Islamic State militants have seized control of most of a refugee camp the Syrian capital, according to witnesses and local officials. Witnesses said that violent clashes are continuing in the Yarmouk camp in southern Damascus. Yarmouk was once home to around 160,000 Palestinian refugees, before many fled to escape the violence of Syria's civil war. The area has been besieged by forces loyal to President Bashar al Assad for more than a year. More »

  • A history of the Islamic State group as Iraq retakes Tikrit
    A history of the Islamic State group as Iraq retakes Tikrit 8 hours ago

    CAIRO (AP) — The extremist Islamic State group, which controls a third of both Iraq and Syria in its self-declared caliphate, found itself driven out of the city of Tikrit on Wednesday by an allied Iraqi force backed by U.S.-led airstrikes. More »

  • Yemen crisis: Civilian toll mounts from Saudi airstrikes 8 hours ago

    Saudi-led airstrikes hit Houthi rebel targets across Yemen Wednesday, including a dairy factory in the west where dozens of civilians were killed. As  the bombings enter their seventh day, concerns are rising that the conflict will continue to escalate and seep beyond Yemen’s borders. Shiite Houthi rebels took over Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, last year, ultimately forcing President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to flee to the southern port city of Aden. Last week, he fled Yemen’s second largest city for Saudi Arabia. More »

  • More than 30 jihadist groups 'support IS'
    More than 30 jihadist groups 'support IS' 8 hours ago

    More than 20 jihadist groups have pledged their allegiance to the Islamic State movement and 10 others have voiced their support for the extremist organisation, according to US monitoring body IntelCenter. More »

  • Student jailed over bomb manual
    Student jailed over bomb manual 9 hours ago

    A British law student cleared of plotting an attack following the UK's first secret terror trial has been jailed for three-and-a-half years for possessing a bomb-making manual. More »

  • Jordan shuts main Syria border crossing amid fighting
    Jordan shuts main Syria border crossing amid fighting 9 hours ago

    Jordan on Wednesday closed its main border crossing with Syria amid fierce clashes between rebels and pro-regime forces for control of the post. More »

  • AP names Karin Laub as Jordan bureau chief
    AP names Karin Laub as Jordan bureau chief 10 hours ago

    AMMAN, Jordan (AP) — The Associated Press has named Karin Laub, a veteran Middle East correspondent, as its chief of bureau for Jordan. More »

  • African envoy expresses concern over EU migrant center plans
    African envoy expresses concern over EU migrant center plans 10 hours ago

    BRUSSELS (AP) — Africa's envoy to the European Union warned Wednesday that EU plans to process migrants in the countries they leave or transit on their way to Europe are "a dangerous approach." More »

  • Morocco: Militant cell recruiting IS fighters is dismantled 10 hours ago

    RABAT, Morocco (AP) — Morocco's Interior Ministry has announced the dismantling of a cell that recruited young Moroccans to fight with the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq. More »

  • Far-right declines in Britain as UKIP rises
    Far-right declines in Britain as UKIP rises 11 hours ago

    Sparsely attended far-right rallies in Britain highlight the decline of a movement in disarray, but experts say that some of its ideas have found new expression in the eurosceptic UKIP ahead of elections in May. More »

  • Iran asks U.N.'s Ban to press for end to Yemen strikes 13 hours ago

    Iran's deputy foreign minister has asked United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to do everything possible to immediately halt Saudi-led air strikes in Yemen, state news agency IRNA reported. "The military path in Yemen is doomed to failure. National dialogue without external meddling is the only political solution," Hossein Amir Abdollahian was quoted as saying. Abdollahian and Ban spoke on the sidelines of an international conference in Kuwait aimed at addressing the humanitarian crisis in Syria, IRNA reported. More »