Latest Syria News

Euphrates: River of hope or hate?

Euphrates: River of hope or hate?

Historic overexploitation of the river is accelerated by the violence that has gripped the region.

  • Two Swedes abducted by Nusfra Front in Syria freed - TT news agency 11 hours ago

    Two Swedes who were abducted in 2013 by Al Qaeda's Nusra Front in Syria were released on Friday, news agency TT reported on Saturday, quoting Sweden's Foreign Ministry and Palestine's ambassador to Sweden. The identities of the men were not disclosed but TT said one of them belonged to a Pentecostal church. Negotiations for their release had taken more than two months and were conducted by the Palestine security service, in cooperation with Jordanian and Swedish security services, Hala Husni Fariz, Palestinian ambassador to Sweden, told TT. More »

  • Sweden: 2 Swedish hostages released in Syria 11 hours ago

    HELSINKI (AP) — Sweden says that two of its nationals, held hostage in Syria, have been released and are reunited with their families. More »

  • Two Swedish hostages released in Syria: foreign ministry
    Two Swedish hostages released in Syria: foreign ministry 12 hours ago

    Two Swedish men held hostage in Syria have been released with the help of Palestinian and Jordanian authorities, Sweden's foreign ministry said Saturday. More »

  • Four displaced Iraqi men kidnapped, killed
    Four displaced Iraqi men kidnapped, killed 13 hours ago

    Four men who had fled Iraq's western Anbar province for Baghdad were kidnapped by gunmen Saturday and later found shot in the head, security and medical officials said. More »

  • For desperate migrants, shipwrecks a risk worth taking
    For desperate migrants, shipwrecks a risk worth taking 15 hours ago

    Syrian refugee Fares al-Bashawat knows his two daughters may drown trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe. But he says leaving them behind would be an even worse fate. More »

  • Rebels seize northwest Syrian town as government retaliates
    Rebels seize northwest Syrian town as government retaliates 16 hours ago

    BEIRUT (AP) — Hard-line Syrian rebel groups seized a strategic town Saturday in northwestern Syria, sending government troops fleeing after intense clashes that have seen the opposition take nearly all of a crucial province. More »

  • U.S., allies conduct 15 air strikes in Syria, Iraq - military 17 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S.-led forces targeted Islamic State militants in Syria with four air strikes from Friday to Saturday morning and conducted 11 strikes against the group in Iraq, the U.S. military said. All of the strikes in Syria hit targets near Kobani, destroying four fighting positions and a boat, and also hitting an Islamic State tactical unit, according to a military statement on Saturday. In Iraq, five strikes near Fallujah hit tactical units, disabled a fighting position and destroyed vehicles, machine guns and an improvised explosive device. ... More »

  • Qaeda, allies take key regime holdout in northwest Syria
    Qaeda, allies take key regime holdout in northwest Syria 17 hours ago

    Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate and its allies seized the last major government-held city in Idlib province on Saturday, in a blow that could expose the regime's coastal heartland to rebel attack. More »

  • Reports: Syria government loses stronghold in Idlib
    Reports: Syria government loses stronghold in Idlib 18 hours ago

    Security units withdraw after Jisr al-Shughur in Idlib falls to Nusra Front and its allies, Syrian Observatory says. More »

  • Islamist fighters seize Syria's Jisr al-Shughour, army says redeploys
    Islamist fighters seize Syria's Jisr al-Shughour, army says redeploys 19 hours ago

    By Mariam Karouny BEIRUT (Reuters) - Islamist insurgents including al-Qaeda's wing in Syria, Nusra Front, captured the northwestern Syrian town of Jisr al-Shughour on Saturday, for the first time in the four-year-old conflict. Opposition fighters and the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the town, on a road between the coastal city of Latakia and city of Aleppo, was now fully controlled by insurgents "All of Jisr al-Shughour is now liberated, there is no more regime there," Ahmad of the media office of the Islamist Ahrar al-Sham group, which is taking part in the battle, told Reuters. More »

  • Islamic State takes military barracks, dam in Iraq's Anbar - sources
    Islamic State takes military barracks, dam in Iraq's Anbar - sources 21 hours ago

    Islamic State militants in Iraq took partial control of a water dam and military barracks guarding it in the western Anbar province after fierce fighting through the night that continued on Saturday, security sources and witnesses said. The Iraqi government announced a new offensive this month to recapture parts of Anbar, Iraq's Sunni Muslim heartland, from Islamic State, in an attempt to build on an earlier victory against the group in the central city of Tikrit. More »

  • Syria's former spy chief dies in unclear circumstances - source
    Syria's former spy chief dies in unclear circumstances - source 21 hours ago

    BEIRUT/AMMAN (Reuters) - Rustom Ghazali, Syria's last chief of intelligence in Lebanon who was a suspect in the killing of Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, has died in Damascus, Lebanese media reported. A Lebanese source with ties to Damascus also said that Ghazali had died on Friday. Ghazali, in his 60s, succeeded Ghazi Kanaan as head of military intelligence in Lebanon in 2002 during Syria's tutelage over Lebanon, which lasted until Damascus pulled its troops from the country in 2005. More »

  • IS suicide bombers kill four at Iraq-Jordan crossing
    IS suicide bombers kill four at Iraq-Jordan crossing 21 hours ago

    The Islamic State group claimed an attack Saturday by French, Belgian and Senegalese suicide bombers on the Iraq-Jordan border that officials said killed at least four Iraqi security personnel. More »

  • Deaths raise questions about ways to aid abducted Americans
    Deaths raise questions about ways to aid abducted Americans Sat, Apr 25, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The accidental killing of two hostages in a U.S. operation against al-Qaida has put a new spotlight on the Obama administration's reliance on drones in the battle against terrorism — and has also raised pressure on the White House to revise the nation's oft-criticized strategy for dealing with abducted Americans and their families. More »

  • How the Armenians came to live among Arabs
    How the Armenians came to live among Arabs Sat, Apr 25, 2015

    The Arab communities who helped Armenian refugees 100 years ago are now hosting different traumatised refugees. More »

  • Turks join Armenians in marking 1915 mass killings
    Turks join Armenians in marking 1915 mass killings Sat, Apr 25, 2015

    Minister says government respects Armenians' pain amid events organised by Turkish and foreign groups in Istanbul. More »

  • Ex-Guantanamo detainees in Uruguay protest at US Embassy
    Ex-Guantanamo detainees in Uruguay protest at US Embassy Sat, Apr 25, 2015

    MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay (AP) — Four freed Guantanamo Bay detainees protested in front of the U.S. Embassy on Friday night, saying they were angry about being asked to leave a Uruguayan hotel that had been housing them and demanding Washington help them financially. More »

  • Thwarted French jihadist brought up on terror charges
    Thwarted French jihadist brought up on terror charges Sat, Apr 25, 2015

    An Algerian jihadist sympathiser arrested in connection with a thwarted attack on a church in France was charged with terror-related murder after five days of police questioning. More »

  • U.N. aid chief urges Syria sanctions, Jolie pleads for refugee help Sat, Apr 25, 2015

    By Michelle Nichols UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations aid chief on Friday urged the Security Council to impose an arms embargo and sanctions in Syria for violations of humanitarian law as special envoy Angelina Jolie pleaded with council members to visit millions of Syrian refugees. The aid official, Valerie Amos, also appealed to the council to mandate the United Nations' commission of inquiry on Syria to investigate besieged areas, the militarization of schools and hospitals, and attacks on those facilities. The United Nations says about 440,000 people are besieged in Syria's civil war, now in its fifth year. More »

  • Man charged with making threats in Islamic State group case Sat, Apr 25, 2015

    ST. PAUL, Minnesota (AP) — A Minneapolis man was charged Friday with threatening law enforcement officials and writing on Twitter that a "massacre" would happen if authorities did not free six men who were arrested earlier this week and accused of trying to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group. More »

  • 'Stress test' will flush out desire for Syria peace: UN envoy
    'Stress test' will flush out desire for Syria peace: UN envoy Sat, Apr 25, 2015

    The United Nations envoy to war-torn Syria said he will know by the end of June if there is any appetite among the opposing sides to find a peaceful way out of the conflict. More »

  • Obama defends US intelligence after hostage deaths
    Obama defends US intelligence after hostage deaths Sat, Apr 25, 2015

    MCLEAN, Va. (AP) — A day after revealing an intelligence failure that cost the lives of two al-Qaida hostages, President Barack Obama on Friday praised the nation's spying operations as the most capable in the world while promising a review aimed at preventing future mistakes. More »

  • Man charged by murder probe police
    Man charged by murder probe police Sat, Apr 25, 2015

    A second man has been charged by detectives investigating the murder of a Syrian-born preacher, police said. More »

  • U.N. invites Syrian parties to Geneva peace talks in May
    U.N. invites Syrian parties to Geneva peace talks in May Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    By Michelle Nichols UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations envoy to Syria said on Friday he will begin meeting in May with the country's government, opposition groups, and regional powers including Iran to assess by the end of June whether there is any hope brokering an end to the war. Staffan de Mistura briefed the U.N. Security Council on the latest bid to find a political solution to the 4-year conflict that has killed some 220,000 people, displaced an estimated 7.6 million and forced nearly 4 million to flee the country. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon asked de Mistura earlier this month to "focus much more to re-launch a political process" after his attempt to broker a local truce in the northern city of Aleppo failed to materialise. "There is nothing new telling us today that the political process will succeed or not," de Mistura told reporters. More »

  • Angelina Jolie rips world powers on Syria's refugee crisis
    Angelina Jolie rips world powers on Syria's refugee crisis Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Actress Angelina Jolie pleaded with world powers Friday to help the millions of Syrian refugees, sharply criticizing the U.N. Security Council for being paralyzed by its division over Syria's four-year conflict. More »

  • Second Man Charged In Preacher Murder Probe
    Second Man Charged In Preacher Murder Probe Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    A second man has been charged by police investigating the murder of a Syrian-born preacher in north London. Abdulhadi Arwani, 48, an outspoken critic of Syria's President Bashar Al Assad, was shot dead earlier this month. His body was found in his car in Wembley on 7 April. Scotland Yard said Khalid Rashad, 61, from Wembley, has been charged with possession of an explosive substance for an unlawful purpose. More »

  • UN envoy on Syria warns that May talks are not negotiations Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    UNITED NATIONS (AP) — A new series of talks on the Syrian war that begin next month in Geneva should not be seen as negotiations toward a peace deal, the U.N. special envoy on Syria warned the Security Council on Friday, while an Iranian diplomat indicated that his country would take part. More »

  • Oil, gas, power, prices: big themes from energy meeting
    Oil, gas, power, prices: big themes from energy meeting Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    HOUSTON (AP) — In the year since the energy industry last gathered for its big annual confab in Houston, prices for oil and natural gas took a dive that few, if anyone, saw coming. More »

  • UN envoy sees slim chances for success of Syria talks
    UN envoy sees slim chances for success of Syria talks Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    UN envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura told the Security Council Friday he sees slim chances for success in the latest round of talks next month to end the internecine conflict, diplomats said. More »

  • Angelina Jolie criticizes UN failures on Syria crisis
    Angelina Jolie criticizes UN failures on Syria crisis Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    Actress Angelina Jolie on Friday criticized the UN Security Council's failure to end the war in Syria, as she appealed for urgent help for the growing ranks of Syrian refugees. More »

  • Italy court OKs arrest of suspected smuggler captain, crew
    Italy court OKs arrest of suspected smuggler captain, crew Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    CATANIA, Sicily (AP) — A judge in Sicily on Friday confirmed the arrest warrants against the suspected captain and crew member of the smuggling boat that capsized in the Mediterranean's worst ever migrant disaster. More »

  • Damascus fair encourages people to 'buy Syrian'
    Damascus fair encourages people to 'buy Syrian' Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    A Syrian man slices traditional "halawa" sweets during an exhibit of local products in Damascus on April 14, 2015 More »

  • After drone killings, pressure for a new hostage strategy
    After drone killings, pressure for a new hostage strategy Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The accidental killing of two hostages in a U.S. operation against al-Qaida has put a new spotlight on the Obama administration's reliance on drones in the battle against terrorism — and has also raised pressure on the White House to revise the nation's oft-criticized strategy for dealing with abducted Americans and their families. More »

  • San Diego terrorism case to be sent to Minnesota Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    SAN DIEGO (AP) — A man accused of trying to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group is going to be sent from California to Minnesota to face charges. More »

  • Bulgaria is EU's other migrant pressure point
    Bulgaria is EU's other migrant pressure point Fri, Apr 24, 2015

    Braving the Mediterranean may be the main route for refugees into Europe, but large numbers are also trying their luck via a treacherous land journey through Turkey into Bulgaria, the EU's poorest country. More »