Damascus - the best personalized free web-based Email en en Damascus US airstrike hits pro-Syria government forces for first time BEIRUT (AP) — A U.S. airstrike struck pro-Syrian government forces that the coalition said posed a threat to American troops and allied rebels operating near the border with Jordan on Thursday, the first such close confrontation between U.S. forces and fighters backing President Bashar Assad. The coalition said "apparent" Russian attempts to stop pro-Assa... Thu, 18 May 2017 20:33:00 GMT 2017-05-18T20:33:00Z The Latest: US: Pro-Syrian forces hit in strike posed threat BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest Syria developments (all times local): 10:35 p.m. The U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group says it hit pro-Syrian government forces near the border with Jordan that "posed a threat" to U.S. forces and rebel groups in the area. The coalition statement late on Thursday says the coa... Thu, 18 May 2017 19:40:00 GMT 2017-05-18T19:40:00Z Syria denies US allegations of mass killings, crematorium BEIRUT (AP) — Syria on Tuesday rejected U.S. accusations it carried out mass killings at a prison near Damascus and then burned the victims' bodies in a crematorium, describing the allegations as "lies" and "fabrications." The allegations are a "new Hollywood plot" to justify U.S. intervention in Syria, Syria's Foreign Ministry said, noting what it called... Tue, 16 May 2017 19:17:00 GMT 2017-05-16T19:17:00Z The Latest: UN suspects cruel treatment in Syrian prisons BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on the conflict in Syria (all times local): 8:45 p.m. The United Nations says the Syrian government has "systematically rejected" repeated requests to visit prisons and detention centers where thousands of prisoners are believed to be subjected to cruel treatment, including torture. U.N. spoke... Tue, 16 May 2017 17:50:00 GMT 2017-05-16T17:50:00Z US Accuses Syrian Regime of Mass Executions The Trump administration is accusing the Syrian government carrying out mass killings of thousands of prisoners and burning the dead bodies in a large... Mon, 15 May 2017 19:39:00 GMT 2017-05-15T19:39:00Z Syrian activists: Airstrikes on IS-held areas kill dozens BEIRUT (AP) — Air raids on an Islamic State-held village and town in Syria have killed at least 32 civilians over the past two days, activists said Monday, underscoring the risk for hundreds of thousands of residents trapped in areas under the militant group's control ahead of the looming battle for Raqqa. The Syrian military, meanwhile, announced it had ... Mon, 15 May 2017 17:47:00 GMT 2017-05-15T17:47:00Z Evacuations of rebels from last Damascus stronghold begins BEIRUT (AP) — Hundreds of rebels and their families began leaving a northeastern neighborhood of Damascus and heading toward rebel-held areas in northern Syria Sunday, in another step that would eventually bring all parts of the capital under the control of President Bashar Assad's forces, state media and opposition activists said. The evacuations from Qa... Sun, 14 May 2017 16:47:00 GMT 2017-05-14T16:47:00Z Kurdish-led forces advance on IS-held Raqqa, say activists BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian Kurdish-led forces were closing in Saturday on the de-facto capital of the Islamic State group in Syria, seizing a cotton mill only a couple of miles north of the city and clashing with the militant group on a number of fronts, activists and Kurdish media reported. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the Kurdish... Sat, 13 May 2017 16:14:00 GMT 2017-05-13T16:14:00Z The Latest: Syria military says it seized Damascus suburb BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on the conflict in Syria (all times local): 4 p.m. Syrian State TV is reporting that the military has captured from rebel fighters a major suburb on the eastern edge of Damascus. The opposition Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says rebels remain in control of parts of the Qabo... Sat, 13 May 2017 13:00:00 GMT 2017-05-13T13:00:00Z Kurdish-led forces say they will advance on IS capital BEIRUT (AP) — A Kurdish-led Syrian force backed by the U.S. expects to advance on the Islamic State group's de facto capital of Raqqa in northern Syria this summer, a commander said Friday, following a decision by the Trump administration to supply the force with heavier weapons. The Syrian Democratic Forces have been buoyed by this week's capture of the ... Fri, 12 May 2017 18:02:00 GMT 2017-05-12T18:02:00Z US risks a backlash for its growing role in Syrian conflict BEIRUT (AP) — With the Trump administration's decision to supply Syria's Kurdish fighters with heavier weapons, U.S. troops inside Syria are in the crossfire between Turkey, a powerful NATO ally, and the Kurdish fighters that Ankara deems as terrorists. In only a few months under President Donald Trump, the U.S. has almost doubled the number of troops in ... Wed, 10 May 2017 18:06:00 GMT 2017-05-10T18:06:00Z Syrian troops shift focus to IS-held east BEIRUT (AP) — Syria's military launched a new assault Tuesday aimed at reasserting its authority in the east of the country, battling U.S.-backed opposition fighters in the remote desert near the borders with Iraq and Jordan. The government forces' ultimate goal is to insert itself in the fight against the Islamic State group in the oil-rich region. The g... Wed, 10 May 2017 01:20:00 GMT 2017-05-10T01:20:00Z Syria rejects international forces in safe zones BEIRUT (AP) — Syria on Monday dismissed the idea of foreign forces patrolling four so-called de-escalation zones that are to be established under a deal struck by Russia, Iran and Turkey, suggesting Damascus would agree only to Russian "military police" who are already on the ground. Syria planned to abide by the agreement signed in Kazakhstan last week, ... Mon, 08 May 2017 21:53:00 GMT 2017-05-08T21:53:00Z New Hamas chief tours native Gaza, highlights power shift GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The newly elected leader of Hamas paid tribute in Gaza on Monday to Palestinian prisoners being held in Israel, his first appearance in the new role and a sign of the group's internal power shift from the diaspora to the Hamas-ruled territory. Since the Palestinian group's founding 30 years ago, its top leaders had moved betwe... Mon, 08 May 2017 17:17:00 GMT 2017-05-08T17:17:00Z The Latest: Syrian FM describes Kurdish role as 'legitimate' BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest developments on the war in Syria (all times local): 1:15 p.m. Syria's foreign minister is describing the role of U.S.-backed Syrian Kurds fighting the Islamic State group in Syria as "legitimate." The comment at a news conference in Damascus on Monday is one of the strongest signs of support y... Mon, 08 May 2017 10:18:00 GMT 2017-05-08T10:18:00Z Syrian army advances at edge of cease-fire zone BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian government forces seized a village from rebels on the edge of a large cease-fire zone in the northwest on Sunday as warplanes targeted opposition positions farther inside the area, according to activists. A local media activist who goes by the name Obeida Hamawi said the government pushed opposition fighters out of the village of Zala... Sun, 07 May 2017 17:17:00 GMT 2017-05-07T17:17:00Z Syria violence kills 4, wounds child despite safe zones BEIRUT (AP) — Violence left at least four opposition fighters dead and a child wounded in central and southern Syria Saturday despite relative calm prevailing across the war-ravaged country after a deal to set up "de-escalation zones" in mostly opposition-held areas went into effect, opposition activists and government media outlets said. The casualties w... Sat, 06 May 2017 17:53:00 GMT 2017-05-06T17:53:00Z The Latest: Russia, US restore Syria 'deconfliction' channel BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on Syria developments (all times local): 6:15 p.m. Russia's Defense Ministry says its military chief of staff and the chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff have confirmed their readiness to restore a communications channel aimed at preventing midair incidents between Russian and US warplanes over Syria. ... Sat, 06 May 2017 15:11:00 GMT 2017-05-06T15:11:00Z A new type of deal to reduce violence in Syria BEIRUT (AP) — The Russian plan to create safe zones in Syria, which came into effect Saturday, is the latest in a string of efforts to ease the country's horrendous violence. After past failures, this deal provides for the first time a mechanism to observe the cease-fire: Russian, Iranian and Turkish troops are to monitor compliance on the ground. But the... Sat, 06 May 2017 06:03:00 GMT 2017-05-06T06:03:00Z Russia, Iran, Turkey sign on 'de-escalation zones' in Syria BEIRUT (AP) — Russia, Iran and Turkey agreed to establish "de-escalation zones" in Syria, signing on to a Russian plan under which President Bashar Assad's air force would halt flights over designated areas across the war-torn country. The agreement, which a Russian delegate said would go into effect on Saturday, is the latest attempt to reduce violence i... Thu, 04 May 2017 18:42:00 GMT 2017-05-04T18:42:00Z The Latest: US cautious about Syria deal struck in Astana BEIRUT (AP) — The latest on the conflict on Syria and the agreement reached on Russia-led talks in Kazakhstan (all times local): 9:10 p.m. The United States says it has "reason to be cautious" about the chances for success of an agreement signed by Turkey, Iran and Russia calling for "de-escalation zones" in Syria. St... Thu, 04 May 2017 18:10:00 GMT 2017-05-04T18:10:00Z Russia, Turkey agree to support safe-zones in Syria BEIRUT (AP) — The presidents of Russia and Turkey said on Wednesday they support the creation of safe-zones in war-torn Syria as a delegation of Syrian rebels walked out of cease-fire talks with the Damascus government underway in Kazakhstan, citing repeated violations of a similar truce agreed on in December. Meeting in the Russian resort town of Sochi, ... Wed, 03 May 2017 21:25:00 GMT 2017-05-03T21:25:00Z The Latest: Syria 'fully backing' Russia safe zones proposal BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on the Syrian conflict (all times local): 10:40 p.m. Syria's Foreign Ministry says Damascus is "fully backing" a Russian initiative to establish four areas of cease-fire in the war-torn country. The statement was carried by the state-run SANA news agency late on Wednesday. A Syrian rebel deleg... Wed, 03 May 2017 20:39:00 GMT 2017-05-03T20:39:00Z Rights group: Syria used suspected nerve agents in 4 attacks UNITED NATIONS (AP) — New evidence indicates that the Syrian government used suspected nerve agents in four chemical weapons attacks since December as part of a broader pattern of chemical weapons use, a human rights group said Monday. Human Rights Watch said in a report that the "widespread and systematic" attacks on civilians using chemical weapons coul... Mon, 01 May 2017 18:49:00 GMT 2017-05-01T18:49:00Z US-backed fighters retake more areas from IS in Syrian town BEIRUT (AP) — U.S.-backed opposition fighters led by Syrian Kurdish forces captured more territory from the Islamic State group in the northern town of Tabqa on Monday, pushing the extremists to northern neighborhoods close to one of Syria's largest dams. Tabqa is an important stronghold for the militants, located about 40 kilometers (25 miles) southeast ... Mon, 01 May 2017 13:36:00 GMT 2017-05-01T13:36:00Z Syria: Airstrike in Hama kills 8 White Helmets rescuers BEIRUT (AP) — Airstrikes struck a center of Syria's rescuers known as the White Helmets in a rebel-held area in the country's center, killing eight volunteers, opposition activists said Saturday. The airstrike was one of the deadliest against the rescuers who operate in opposition-held areas and who have garnered world attention for operating in extreme conditions, pulling s... Sat, 29 Apr 2017 19:33:00 GMT 2017-04-29T19:33:00Z Israeli strikes inside Syria pick up tempo in proxy war BEIRUT (AP) — Syria's military said Israel struck a military installation southwest of Damascus International Airport before dawn Thursday, setting off a series of explosions and raising tensions further between the two neighbors. Apparently seeking to interrupt weapons transfers to the Hezbollah group in Lebanon, Israel has struck inside Syria with incre... Fri, 28 Apr 2017 00:07:00 GMT 2017-04-28T00:07:00Z The Latest: Russia criticizes French report on Syria attack BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on Syria (all times local): 10:35 p.m. Russia's Foreign Ministry is criticizing a French report that lays blame on the Syrian government for a chemical attack on a town in northern Syria in early April that killed almost 90 people. French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault has said that chemic... Thu, 27 Apr 2017 19:43:00 GMT 2017-04-27T19:43:00Z France: Analysis shows Syrian government behind sarin attack PARIS (AP) — France said that the chemical analysis of samples taken from a deadly sarin gas attack in Syria earlier this month "bears the signature" of President Bashar Assad's government and shows it was responsible. Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said France came to this conclusion after comparing samples from a 2013 sarin attack in Syria that matc... Thu, 27 Apr 2017 04:13:00 GMT 2017-04-27T04:13:00Z In Syria, first phase of population transfer concludes BEIRUT (AP) — The first phase of a troubled population transfer concluded Friday as thousands of displaced Syrians were evacuated out of besieged areas and an agreement was reached to release hundreds of government detainees, government media and rebels said. One of the largest population transfers in Syria's civil war had been tied to the fate of 26 host... Fri, 21 Apr 2017 14:17:00 GMT 2017-04-21T14:17:00Z