Latest Syria News

  • Rockets land in Israel, Egypt's IS affiliate claims responsibility 5 hours ago

    By Maayan Lubell and Mostafa Hashem JERUSALEM/CAIRO (Reuters) - Militants in Egypt's Sinai peninsula fired rockets into southern Israel on Friday in an incident that caused no casualties but appeared to be linked to fighting between Islamist insurgents and Egyptian security forces. Islamic State's Egypt affiliate, Sinai Province, said in a statement posted on Twitter by supporters that it had launched three Grad rockets towards "occupied Palestine". An Israeli military source earlier said the rockets had been fired from Sinai, which borders Israel, the Gaza Strip and the Suez Canal. More »

  • UNESCO condemns IS destruction of Syria's Palmyra antiquities
    UNESCO condemns IS destruction of Syria's Palmyra antiquities 7 hours ago

    UNESCO on Friday condemned the destruction of antiquities by Islamic State jihadists in the Syrian city of Palmyra, describing it as an attempt to strip the people of their heritage in order "to enslave them". More »

  • IS says it destroyed archaeological pieces from Palmyra
    IS says it destroyed archaeological pieces from Palmyra 9 hours ago

    BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic State group militants have destroyed six archaeological pieces from the historic town of Palmyra that were confiscated from a smuggler, the group said. More »

  • Britain falls silent for Tunisia attack victims
    Britain falls silent for Tunisia attack victims 9 hours ago

    Britain's Queen Elizabeth II and Prime Minister David Cameron led a nationwide minute's silence on Friday, a week after a jihadist gun massacre in Tunisia in which 30 out of the 38 victims were Britons. More »

  • Successful rocket launch a reminder that Russia, US can cooperate 9 hours ago

    The United States and Russia may be at sharp odds with each other over Ukraine, Syria, and Edward Snowden. After two failed attempts – one American, one Russian – in recent weeks to send a food, water, and toothpaste-laden chuck wagon to the space station’s crew, Friday’s problem-free liftoff was applauded all around – no matter what flag the rocket bore. Yes, the US is threatening Russia with even tougher sanctions over its aggressive stance toward Ukraine. More »

  • Magazine: Dreams of Kurdistan
    Magazine: Dreams of Kurdistan 9 hours ago

    A journey through Kurdish identity. More »

  • Militants, rebels in Syria announce new push for Aleppo 9 hours ago

    BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic militants and rebels in Syria launched fresh attacks on government-held neighborhoods in Aleppo on Friday, setting off some of the heaviest fighting in months in the contested northern city, activists and state media said. More »

  • After Tunisia attack, sun-seekers switch to Spain, Bulgaria and Greece
    After Tunisia attack, sun-seekers switch to Spain, Bulgaria and Greece 11 hours ago

    By Victoria Bryan BERLIN (Reuters) - Fearing for their safety in Tunisia after a gunman killed dozens of tourists, sun-seeking Europeans are switching to destinations such as Spain, Bulgaria or even Greece for holidays this year. Tunisia's tourism industry had been recovering after the Arab Spring unrest, and had become a popular lower-cost beach holiday spot for Europeans. Long-haul destinations are unlikely to pick up tourists originally destined for Tunisia, said travel analyst Angelo Rossini from market research firm Euromonitor. More »

  • U.N. calls on Israel, Palestinians to prosecute Gaza war crimes
    U.N. calls on Israel, Palestinians to prosecute Gaza war crimes 11 hours ago

    By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA (Reuters) - The United Nations called on Israel and the Palestinians on Friday to prosecute alleged war crimes committed in the 2014 Gaza war and to cooperate with the International Criminal Court's preliminary investigation. The 47-member U.N. Human Rights Council adopted a resolution, presented by Muslim states, by a vote of 41 to one, with five abstentions. Israel's closest ally, the United States, was the only country to vote against. More »

  • Syrian army bombards rebels trying to seize Aleppo
    Syrian army bombards rebels trying to seize Aleppo 12 hours ago

    By Tom Perry and Suleiman Al-Khalidi BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian government forces carried out heavy air strikes on rebel positions in and around the northern city of Aleppo on Friday, aiming to repel a major Islamist-led offensive on areas controlled by President Bashar al-Assad. Thursday's attack, the most intense insurgent offensive in Aleppo in three years, aimed to build on recent advances against Assad by an array of groups fighting on separate fronts, including Islamic State and rebels backed by his regional foes. Aleppo, 50 km (30 miles) south of the Turkish border, was Syria's most populous city before the country's descent into civil war. More »

  • Islamist alliance in battle for Syria's Aleppo
    Islamist alliance in battle for Syria's Aleppo 12 hours ago

    A new Islamist rebel alliance, including Al-Qaeda's Syrian affiliate, was locked in a fierce battle Friday to seize government-held areas of Aleppo, the divided former economic capital. More »

  • Saudi policeman killed in raid, IS flags found: ministry
    Saudi policeman killed in raid, IS flags found: ministry 12 hours ago

    A Saudi policeman was shot dead on Friday during a raid in which three people were arrested and flags of the Islamic State group were found, the interior ministry said. More »

  • Turkey reinforces Syria border, PM says no incursion planned
    Turkey reinforces Syria border, PM says no incursion planned 13 hours ago

    By Orhan Coskun ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey has deployed additional troops and equipment along part of its border with Syria as fighting north of the city of Aleppo intensifies, security sources said, but Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said there were no immediate plans for any incursion. Ankara has mooted the creation of a 'secure zone' on Syrian territory due to concerns about Syrian Kurd advances and the presence of Islamic State militants, as well as the possibility of a fresh wave of refugees fleeing conflict. Security sources and officials in the capital Ankara said the Turkish army had stepped up security, also sending in special forces, due to the heavy fighting. More »

  • UN agency worries as Hungary rushes to tighten asylum rules
    UN agency worries as Hungary rushes to tighten asylum rules 15 hours ago

    BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Changes to Hungary's asylum system being rushed through parliament and the government's plan to build a fence on the border with Serbia could have "fatal consequences" for refugees fleeing war, the U.N. refugee agency said Friday. More »

  • Hungary's asylum bill blow to refugee protection - Council of Europe, U … 15 hours ago

    The United Nations and the Council of Europe both criticised Hungary's planned changes to its asylum rules on Friday, saying they would harm asylum-seekers' right to seek safety there and put them at risk. The European human rights watchdog said the legislation would strike a blow to refugee protection in Hungary if adopted in its current form. The right-wing government of Prime Minister Viktor Orban wants to shorten the time frame for screening asylum claims and to reject claims from those migrants who on their journey from Syria, Afghanistan or Iraq have already passed through safe countries without requesting asylum. More »

  • U.S., allies target Islamic State in 24 air strikes in Syria, Iraq 15 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and its allies have conducted 24 air strikes against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria on Thursday, the coalition leading the operations said in a statement on Friday. In Syria, coalition forces targeted Islamic State positions with nine strikes near the cities of Hasakah, Ar Raqqah and Tal Abyad, destroying tactical units, fighting positions, vehicles and structures, it said. In Iraq, 15 strikes struck Islamic State targets near the cities of Al Huwayjah, Bayji, Fallujah, Haditha, Makhmur, Mosul, Rawah, Sinjar and Tal Afar. ... More »

  • Turkey reappoints former defense minister to post 15 hours ago

    ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has reappointed a 75-year-old former defense minister to the same post, to replace Ismet Yilmaz who was elected Turkey's new parliament speaker this week. More »

  • Israel accuses Hamas of aiding Islamic State in Egypt
    Israel accuses Hamas of aiding Islamic State in Egypt 15 hours ago

    An Israeli general has accused members of Hamas in Gaza of providing support to militants linked to Islamic State in Egypt's Sinai peninsula, where the Egyptian army has fought deadly battles with Islamist insurgents in recent days. Major-General Yoav Mordechai, who oversees Israel's civilian policy towards Gaza, named members of Hamas's military wing he said were involved in training fighters of Islamic State, also known as ISIS, and smuggling wounded from Sinai into Gaza for treatment. More »

  • Syrian regime hits rebel offensive in Aleppo with heavy airstrikes 15 hours ago

    Syrian government forces hit the city of Aleppo with heavy airstrikes late Thursday and into Friday in an attempt to push back a rebel offensive earlier Thursday. Recommended: How much do you know about the Islamic State? Aleppo, 50 km (30 miles) south of the Turkish border, was Syria's most populous city before the country's descent into civil war. More »

  • Analysis: Root of tattered US-Russia ties date back decades
    Analysis: Root of tattered US-Russia ties date back decades 16 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — The stumbles and policy chaos that have sent increasingly frosty U.S.-Russia relations into what many now call a new Cold War might have been inevitable. More »

  • Goodbye Washington, hello Moscow? Saudi Arabia finds friendly face in Putin … 16 hours ago

    As the world's two biggest oil producers, Russia and Saudi Arabia working together have the potential to dominate the globe's petroleum markets. Some experts perceive signs of an "emerging partnership" driven by shifting global winds, in which Saudi cash helps Moscow dodge Western sanctions, while Russian arms, engineering expertise, and diplomatic support assist the energetic new Saudi king to wean his country from dependency on an increasingly uncooperative US. Recommended: Sochi, Soviets, and tsars: How much do you know about Russia? More »

  • Turkey names defence minister amid rising Syria border tension 17 hours ago

    Turkey on Friday reappointed a former defence minister who occupied the post for nearly a decade, after his successor was elected as parliamentary speaker. Vecdi Gonul comes back into the job as Turkey deploys more troops along part of its border with Syria, following an intensification of fighting north of the Syrian city of Aleppo. Members of parliament on Wednesday elected Ismet Yilmaz, who had served as defence minister since served since 2011, as their speaker. More »

  • Turkish PM denies plans for imminent intervention in Syria
    Turkish PM denies plans for imminent intervention in Syria 17 hours ago

    Turkey has no plans to intervene militarily in Syria anytime soon, Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said, refuting media speculation about an imminent operation to create a buffer zone along the Turkish-Syrian border. More »

  • Silent Tribute To Be Held For Tunisia Victims
    Silent Tribute To Be Held For Tunisia Victims 18 hours ago

    A minute's silence will be observed across the country at midday – one week on from the Tunisian terror attack which killed 30 British tourists. Flags are being flown at half-mast over Buckingham Palace and government buildings, as an RAF operation to repatriate their bodies continues. The Queen will be joining people across the country in the act of remembrance, and will mark the silence during a visit to the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow. More »

  • U.N. aiming for pause in Yemen fighting for humanitarian relief 18 hours ago

    By Michelle Nichols UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - The United Nations has alerted aid groups to be prepared for a possible humanitarian pause in fighting in Yemen, starting as early as Friday, that would allow them to deliver assistance to some of the 21 million people in need. A Saudi Arabia-led coalition of Arab states has been bombing the Iranian-allied Houthi rebel movement since late March in a bid to restore to power Yemen's elected president, who is backed by neighbouring Saudi Arabia and has fled to Riyadh. A senior U.N. aid official in Yemen wrote in an email to aid groups, sent on Wednesday and seen by Reuters, that U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon "is calling for the pause to start as soon as this Friday, 3 July." U.N. special envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed is currently in Jeddah to meet with Saudi officials, the U.N. said. More »

  • Fear, loathing and Australian politics
    Fear, loathing and Australian politics 20 hours ago

    Tony Abbott's proposed security measures are not making Australians feel any safer. More »

  • Obama's counterterrorism policy facing mounting criticism
    Obama's counterterrorism policy facing mounting criticism 20 hours ago

    WASHINGTON (AP) — At the CIA's Counterterrorism Center, it was a cause for celebration: Meticulous intelligence analysis backed by Hellfire missiles had paid off, once again. More »

  • Iraqi musicians play ancient oud to soften din of war
    Iraqi musicians play ancient oud to soften din of war 20 hours ago

    BAGHDAD (AP) — In a Baghdad workshop plastered with black-and-white photos from a more peaceful time, Mahmoud Abdulnabi hand-carves a wooden oud, a string instrument with ancient roots that has fallen silent in much of the war-torn country. More »

  • Bahrain tightens security amid ISIL threats
    Bahrain tightens security amid ISIL threats 20 hours ago

    Security beefed up around mosques after ISIL says "Bahrain is next" following deadly attack in neighbouring Kuwait. More »

  • Is ISIL winning the psychological battle?
    Is ISIL winning the psychological battle? 21 hours ago

    Global opposition can counter ISIL's psychological campaign by taking away its mythos of fear. More »

  • Children tortured and used as fighters in Syria's war
    Children tortured and used as fighters in Syria's war Fri, Jul 3, 2015

    UN says hundreds of boys under 18 have been recruited to fight with groups including FSA, ISIL, Nusra Front and YPG. More »

  • Cash-strapped UN food agency reduces help to Syrian refugees Fri, Jul 3, 2015

    CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The United Nations' food agency is cutting back on assistance to thousands of Syrian refugees after an appeal for a ceasefire to enable Syrians feed themselves went unheeded, World Food Program Executive Director Ertharin Cousin said on Friday. More »

  • ISIL looting heritage sites on 'industrial scale'
    ISIL looting heritage sites on 'industrial scale' Fri, Jul 3, 2015

    Warning from UNESCO comes as Syria's antiquities director says famous lion statue in Palmyra has been destroyed. More »

  • Hunt urges 'robust' action on IS
    Hunt urges 'robust' action on IS Fri, Jul 3, 2015

    Failing to take on Islamic State (IS) in its Syrian heartland could be seen as "weakness" by the jihadis, a Cabinet minister has claimed as the Government moved towards recommending British military action to take on the terror group. More »

  • Syria rejects U.N. criticism of barrel bombs, says 'technical' issu …
    Syria rejects U.N. criticism of barrel bombs, says 'technical' issu … Fri, Jul 3, 2015

    Syria rejected a U.N. Human Rights Council resolution condemning its aerial bombing tactics record on Thursday, saying the use of barrel bombs was a "technical" issue that was no business of the Geneva-based body. The United States and 10 European and Arab countries backed the resolution decrying the use of chemical weapons such as chlorine gas and the Syrian authorities' use of cluster munitions, ballistic missiles and barrel bombs. Syrian Ambassador Hussam Eddin Aala said critics of Damascus were hypocrites who were supporting the "terrorists" on Syrian soil and said their resolution was selective and biased. More »