Syrians fly for pilgrimage as ties thaw with Saudi Arabia

For the first time in more than a decade, thousands of Syrians are travelling directly from government-held parts of their country to Saudi Arabia for the Hajj pilgrimage, a signal of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s gradual reintegration into the Arab fold, Reuters has reported. After Syria’s civil war erupted in 2011, Saudi Arabia cut ties with Assad and backed figures
| Middle East, News, Saudi Arabia

New Syria intelligence appointments benefit Russia at expense of Iran

The Syrian regime’s security and intelligence services appointed a number of officers close to Russia in sensitive positions to be responsible for the Air Force Intelligence branches in Homs, Hama and the coastal region. An anonymous source from the monitoring and follow-up units of the Syrian opposition told Al-Araby Al-Jadeed: “The regime forces appointed Colonel Duraid Awad, who is from
| Europe & Russia, Iran, Middle East

Syria’s first astronaut dies in Turkiye aged 73

The first Syrian and Muslim astronaut to enter space has died at the age of 73 in Turkiye, 14 years after fleeing Syria and becoming the most prominent revolutionary and critic of the Assad regime. According to Syrian opposition and Turkish media outlets, Muhammed Ahmed Faris passed away on Friday from a longstanding illness which has not yet been revealed.
| Europe & Russia, Middle East, News

Israel ramps up security at its embassies around the world

Israel has decided to “enhance security” at its embassies and missions around the world “in anticipation of a possible Iranian attack” after a senior Iranian official was killed in Syria earlier this week, local media reported yesterday. Iran has accused Israel of targeting its official in Damascus, with the US saying it had no prior knowledge of the attack. Security
| Iran, Israel, Middle East

New on Board: Yemen’s Ansarullah Powerful Arm Backing Palestinian Liberation

Islam Times - With the intensification of the Israeli regime’s crimes in Gaza and the attempts for a ground offensive into the besieged enclave, it seems that the war domain is no longer limited to the occupied Palestinian territories and has taken a regional aspect. After Lebanese Hezbollah’s attacks on the Israeli positions and strikes by the Iraqi resistance groups
| Yemen

FM: Syria supports Arab tribesmen in their battle against SDF

Syrian Foreign Minister, Faisal Al-Miqdad, has confirmed Damascus’ support for the Arab tribes in their battle against US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in Deir Ez-Zor, Russia’s Sputnik agency reported. “The American occupation will end thanks to the efforts of the people of Deir Ez-Zor and Al-Hasakah, along with the Syrian army and allies,” Al-Miqdad said on Monday, adding that the Syrians are
| Asia & Americas, Middle East, News

Report: Israel attacked Syria 25 times this year

Israel has attacked Syria 25 times since the beginning of the year, Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported yesterday. Eighteen of the attacks were aerial and seven were ground-to-ground, with 60 targets hit throughout Syria and 61 people killed, the report said. Damascus was bombed 12 times, Quneitra six times, Homs three times, Aleppo three times, and Tartous twice. Israel has intensified its air
| Israel, Middle East, News

Leaked documents reveals size of Syria's debts to Iran

Documents leaked from Iran's Foreign Ministry revealed that Syria owes Iran $50 billion in funds spent to support the regime of President Bashar Al-Assad over the past ten years in the forms of both military and civilian support. The documents were leaked by the hacktivist group 'Uprising till Overthrow', affiliated with the Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK) opposition group. According to the
| Iran, Middle East, News

Syria regime launches campaign of arrests in Khan Sheikhoun

Syrian regime forces launched a campaign of arrests in the city of Khan Sheikhoun in Idlib's southern countryside, detaining 47 men wanted for not serving in the military reserves. The military observatory, a site specialised in monitoring developments in the city of Khan Sheikhoun, confirmed that Syrian regime forces arrested the men while others escaped. Dozens of young men have
| Middle East, News, Syria

3 children kidnapped by YPG in Syria:opposition says

Local sources have accused the People's Protection Units (YPG) in Syria of forcibly abducting three children and subsequently enlisting them into their armed ranks. The YPG seized two 14-year-olds, identified as M.A.H. and A.F., from the Manbij district in Syria's Aleppo province yesterday, Redor Al-Ahmed, spokesperson for the opposition group known as the Independent Kurdish Order, told the Anadolu Agency. The same day,
| Europe & Russia, Kurdistan, Middle East

London woman disappears in Syria during visit to Assad regime territory, raising fears of abduction

A Syrian woman from London has disappeared upon her visit to western Syria which is under the control of Bashar al-Assad's regime, sparking fears that she may have been abducted or detained. According to local Syrian and opposition news outlets, Aline Ali – whose age has not been specified – traveled to Syria's western Lattakia province this week and was
| Europe & Russia, Middle East, News

Tahrir Al-Sham Terrorist Group Re-branding for Closeness to the West

Islam Times - After long-time silence and inaction by the terrorist groups controlling Idlib in northeastern Syria, news reports recently published from their inner circles show that they have started new political moves to secure their stay in the future Syria developments amid paralysis they were hit by following Turkey and Arab abandonment of backing to them. In this regard,
| Syria

Anger and fear among Syrians amid Turkiye opposition anti-immigrant campaign

Like many Syrians in Turkiye, Ghaith Sameer is awaiting the result of Sunday's election runoff with trepidation, fearing a win for an opposition candidate who promises to swiftly repatriate migrants, Reuters reports. Sameer fled Syria's civil war in 2012 and is now one of over 3.4 million Syrians living in neighbouring Turkiye, where economic woes have aggravated a rising tide of hostility
| Europe & Russia, Middle East, News

Israel planes drop flyers warning Syria against supporting Hezbollah's presence in region

The Israeli occupation air force dropped flyers over Syrian territory yesterday warning the Assad regime against the presence of Lebanon's Hezbollah inside its territory. Local sources noted that the flyers were dropped on the Quneitra province and included a warning to the regime if it does not change its policy towards Hezbollah. According to the sources, the occupation addressed the
| Iran, Israel, Middle East

Israel: 'more rockets' fired at occupation state 'in one day than past year,' says Bennett

Former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has said that more rockets were fired at the occupation state on Tuesday alone than were fired in the past year when he was in office. He made his comment on Twitter alongside criticism of current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's "weak" response to the Palestinian resistance. "The Netanyahu government 'contained' rockets from Lebanon, Syria
| Israel, Middle East, News

Post-Abraham Accords, Israel's foes are reconciling with their rivals

The Middle East has been in turmoil for decades, with conflicts often fuelled by historic rivalries, sectarianism and geopolitical interests. However, in recent months, there have been some significant developments that have the potential to shift the regional dynamics. The China-brokered Saudi-Iran normalisation agreement, Syria's reconciliation with neighbouring states and possible return to the Arab League, and Turkish-Egypt reconciliation efforts
| Africa, Article, Asia & Americas

Assad flees to the embrace of his master on the anniversary of the revolution

On the twelfth anniversary of the wounded Syrian revolution against which those closest to it conspired, the Syrian butcher fled to his protector and master, the de facto president of Syria, to escape from the memories of the people's revolution that almost overthrew him and his corrupt family. The butcher of Syria, Bashar Al-Assad, was on the verge of being
| Article, Europe & Russia, Middle East

Turkiye's presidential candidate pledges to expel Syria refugees

Kemal Kilicdaroglu, Turkiye's opposition candidate for the presidency, yesterday pledged to expel Syrian refugee from the country should he became president, RT Arabic reported. Kilicdaroglu, the candidate of the opposition Nation Alliance, gave these remarks during a press conference held at the Turkish-Syrian borders. He stressed that the Syrian refugees in Turkiye would be returned to their country within two years after he becomes president. "We will
| Afghanistan, Asia & Americas, Europe & Russia

Air strike hits north-west Syria, kills 2 in first aerial bombardment since earthquake

At least two people were killed in an air strike on a motorcycle in the rebel-held zone of north-west Syria on Friday, the local civil defence said, in the first aerial bombing on the area since a devastating earthquake nearly three weeks ago, Reuters reports. The rescue force that operates in opposition-held parts of Syria said two unidentified people were
| Middle East, News, Syria

Assad approved Syria quake aid with a UAE nudge - sources

President Bashar Al-Assad ceded to calls for more aid access to Syria's north-west with prodding from the United Arab Emirates, sources say, a diplomatic win for the Gulf State which has rebuilt ties with Damascus, despite US disapproval. Assad's decision to approve wider aid access for UN convoys into the north-west from Turkiye marked a shift from his long-standing opposition
| Asia & Americas, Europe & Russia, International Organisations

Germany offers temporary visas to Syrians, Turks affected by earthquake

Germany is offering temporary three-month visas to anyone who has been affected by the earthquakes, so they can stay with relatives. Interior Minister Nancy Faeser told Bild: "This is emergency aid. We want to allow Turkish or Syrian families in Germany to bring their close relatives from the disaster area to their homes without bureaucracy." There are around 924,000 Syrians
| Europe & Russia, Germany, International Organisations

Syria: opposition says UN handling of earthquake response was politicised

The National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces has said that the UN handling of the earthquake disaster in Syria "was politicised" and called on the international community to take "effective action" to provide relief to those affected by the disaster. "The UN response did not take into account the needs of each area," said the coalition. "Support was
| Europe & Russia, International Organisations, Middle East

Syrian White Helmets chief slams UN earthquake response

The head of the Syrian White Helmets emergency response group today accused the United Nations of failing to deliver appropriate humanitarian aid to opposition-held areas of the country ravaged by a major earthquake and its aftershocks, Reuters reports. Raed Al Saleh, who leads the group, said the area had not received any aid from the UN since Monday's earthquake aimed at disaster
| Middle East, News, Syria

Israel is trying to win a PR battle through its fake rescue mission in Turkiye

Following the devastating magnitude 7.8 earthquake ripped through Turkiye and Syria on Monday, dozens of countries rushed to offer humanitarian assistance to help rescue survivors, treat the wounded and shelter the displaced. Israel was among them, with its army's rescue teams dispatched to earthquake-stricken southeastern Turkiye. The Israeli occupation army said that its rescue team consisted of several delegations, each with
| Article, Europe & Russia, ICJ

As death toll climbs, Syrians continue to wait for aid

Over two days since a massive earthquake hit Turkiye and Syria, international aid is not reaching northwest Syria. In the early hours of Monday morning a 7.8 magnitude earthquake destroyed homes and infrastructure. The death toll from the two countries is almost 10,000. In Syria, the earthquake hit both government-controlled territory and the last area held by the opposition, the
| Amnesty International, Europe & Russia, International Organisations

UK presses UN to open new aid routes into Syria amid earthquake crisis

Britain is urging the United Nations to open up new aid routes to Syria, amid the continuing death toll and humanitarian crisis caused by yesterday's earthquake centred in south-eastern Turkiye. Following the earthquake and its aftershocks, over 5,000 people have been confirmed dead, so far, throughout both countries, with thousands more wounded and many still stuck under the rubble of
| Europe & Russia, International Organisations, Middle East

Power shortage exacerbates in Damascus as Iran restricts cheap oil supply

Demand on candles has grown due to severe power shortage in the Syrian capital, Damascus, and other areas under the Assad regime's control amid a fuel crisis that disrupted not only power plants but also civilians' generators. With the start of the civil war in 2011, the electricity infrastructure in Syria was severely damaged by the intense attacks of the
| Article, Asia & Americas, Europe & Russia

Syria: Protests against potential reconciliation between Damascus, Ankara

Syrians in most areas controlled by the Syrian opposition took to the streets on Friday to protest against the possible reconciliation between Damascus and Ankara, news agencies reported. The protesters dismissed Head of the National Coalition of Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces Salem Al-Meslet from the city of Azaz, northwest of Aleppo. Senior leader of the Syrian Opposition Mohammed Sarmini
| Europe & Russia, Middle East, News

Assad says Turkiye talks must be based on ending 'occupation'

Syrian President, Bashar Al-Assad, has said talks with foe, Turkiye, should be based on the aims of ending the occupation of Syrian land and halting support for what he called terrorism, an apparent reference to Ankara's Forces in northern Syria and its support for rebels, Reuters reports. In his first publicly reported remarks on landmark talks overseen by his ally Russia, Assad
| Europe & Russia, Middle East, News

Syria unearths 'rarest' ancient Roman-era mosaic near Homs

Archaeologists in Syria have discovered a massive, mostly intact mosaic dating back to the Roman era, which authorities have described as one of the "rarest" and the most important archaeological finds since the country's conflict 11 years ago. The mosaic, which includes Roman depictions of ancient Amazon warriors and scenes from the Trojan War was found in the former opposition
| International Organisations, Lebanon, Middle East

Syrian opposition allows Kurdish language course at university in northern Syria

The Syrian opposition has allowed the Kurdish language to be taught at a university in northern Syria, in a move both criticised and hailed as a step towards greater rapprochement between Kurds and Arabs in the liberated areas. The Free Aleppo University in the northern Syrian city of Azaz announced the programme last month, and will run the two-month course
| Middle East, News, Syria

Syria regime arrests family days after returning from Turkiye, betraying reconciliation vows

Security services for the Syrian regime of Bashar Al-Assad have arrested a family which returned from Turkiye to the city of Homs, in yet another case of betrayal of the promise of reconciliation for those who return to the war-torn country. According to the Syrian opposition news outlet, Nedaa Post, local sources told it that a family that returned to
| Europe & Russia, Middle East, News

Israel had details of Syrian nuclear site 5 years before bombing it

The Israeli military yesterday released intelligence documents kept secret for two decades which show Tel Aviv had warned in 2002 against Syria launching a military nuclear programme, local media reported. According to the documents, the Israeli occupation attacked and destroyed a site in the Syrian city of Deir Ez-Zor in 2007 in what was called 'Operation Outside the Box'. The site, the document stated, was razed to the ground,
| Asia & Americas, Israel, Middle East

FM: Turkiye has no preconditions for dialogue with Syria

Turkiye has no pre-conditions for dialogue with Syria but any talks should focus on security on their border, Foreign Minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, said on Tuesday, in a further softening of Ankara's stance towards Damascus after a decade of hostility, Reuters reports. Turkiye has backed rebels fighting to topple Syria's President Bashar Al-Assad, and cut diplomatic relations with Damascus early in
| Europe & Russia, Middle East, News

Syria: Book Fair kicks off in opposition-held Idlib

A Book Fair kicked off yesterday in the opposition-controlled Syrian city of Idlib, north-west of Syria, with 14 publishing houses and 40,000 books participating in it. The Book Fair will continue for eight days. In addition to books, the Fair includes handicrafts, miniature replicas of religious and historical monuments, as well as mosaics, according to Anadolu Agency. The exhibition's organiser,
| Middle East, News, Syria

What are Erdogan's intentions for Syria?

The recent statements by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about the need to "take further steps with Syria", a reference to the murderous regime of Bashar Al-Assad, destroyed our last glimmer of hope. Those of us who love the Syrian people and Erdogan himself were shocked by his words, as we saw him as the protector of the Syrian revolution.
| Article, Europe & Russia, Iran

Syria: Israel's shelling injures 2 in Quneitra

Two civilians have been injured due to an Israeli shelling targeting a site in the Quneitra suburb in Syria on Friday. Israeli media labelled the targeted site as belonging to Lebanon's Hezbollah, which was using it for surveillance. The Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) confirmed that: "Two civilians were wounded when a tank belonging to the Israeli occupation forces fired
| Israel, Middle East, News

Citizen Lab Response to the U. N. Working Group on the Use of Mercenaries

The Citizen Lab’s response to the questionnaire of the U.N. Working Group on the use of mercenaries on the provision of military and security products and services in cyber space by cyber mercenaries and related actors and its human rights impact. In a recent report to the General Assembly (A/75/259), the Working Group on the use of mercenaries identified “cyber mercenaries”
| News, NSO Group, United Nations

Syria's White Helmets awarded funds to produce coronavirus prevention equipment

The award-winning NGO will produce millions of pieces of personal protective equipment to protect volunteers, healthcare workers and displaced Syrians from Covid-19. Syria 's Nobel Prize-nominated White Helmets have received more than $1 million in funding to produce lifesaving personal protective equipment  (PPE). The Syria Civil Defence , a volunteer first responder organisation popularly known
| News

History whispers to blockading Arab states as GCC rift is resolved

Comment: As blockading states agree to end their irrational boycott of of Qatar, Rami Khouri highlights how diplomacy and statecraft also helped preserve the ancient Nabataean Arab Kingdom. This week's agreement to end the boycott  of Qatar by four Arab countries is important and historic, and reflects a striking combination of old ways and new realities in
| Comment

Syria Stresses Sovereign Right in Golan, Calls for The End Of ‘Israeli’ Occupation

Islam Times - Syria’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Bashar al-Jaafari, reiterated that Syria calls on the UN to take urgent measures to put its resolutions into force and end the ‘Israeli’ occupation of the Arab territories, affirming that Syria’s sovereign right on the occupied Golan Heights is non-negotiable, inalienable and can’t be prescribed.
| Syria

Turkey's Erdogan stays silent as world leaders congratulate Biden

The Turkish president has yet to follow suit with other world leaders by congratulating Democratic President-elect Joe Biden. Turkey 's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has yet to join a chorus of world leaders congratulating Joe Biden on his victory in the US election. While leaders from Canada , the United Kingdom, the
| News

Syrian journalist killed in Russian airstrikes in Syria

Syrian journalist killed in Russian airstrikes in Syria A Russian airstrike on the northern Syrian city of Ma’arat al-Naasan killed Abdul Nasser Haj Hamdan, a photographer working for the Media Office in Binnish, a pro-civil rights opposition outlet in Syria Russian and Syrian military forces must ensure the safety of journalists and other civilians and... The post Syrian journalist
| Arab News, Arab World, Journalism

Assad Predicts Victory After Gains in Northern Syria

DAMASCUS, Syria — Syrian President Bashar Assad congratulated his forces Monday for recent gains in northwestern Syria that led to his troops consolidating control over Aleppo province, pledging to press ahead with a military campaign to achieve complete victory “sooner or later.” Assad, who rarely appears in public, said in a televised address that the onetime economic hub of Aleppo,
| aleppo, humanitarian crisis, idlib province

American Citizens Killed and Tortured by Israel?

No one is ever held accountable One of the principal functions of a United States Embassy overseas is to provide citizen services, which includes coming to the assistance of Americans who are treated badly by the local government. It is a responsibility that most embassies take seriously, with the exception of the facility
| Commentary & Analysis, Philip Giraldi

U.S. Media Conveniently Overlooks the World’s No. 1 Sponsor of Terrorism

After the illegal assassination of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani , FAIR ( 1/9/20 ) noted that the corporate media offered no moral objections to murdering another country’s high-ranking state official. The media consensus was that Soleimani was a despicable “terrorist” responsible for the deaths of “hundreds of Americans”—a formula that buried the crucial distinction between terrorism and armed resistance ,
| cnn, fox news, isis

The Companies Profiteering From Palestinian Oppression

This piece originally appeared on Informed Comment . The UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights on Wednesday released a long-awaited list of 112 companies that do business with Israeli squatters on the Palestinian West Bank. These squatters have most often been covertly sent in by the Israeli government itself to steal Palestinian land, build
| News

The Zionist War without End

A reiteration of the war on Palestine, on the Arab world, on the Muslim world, on international law and human rights. There is no other way to describe the Trump-Kushner-Netanyahu ‘deal.’ Media comment centers on the last opportunity for the Palestinians. Will they take the scraps they are offered, or will they miss yet another opportunity to have something taken
| Articles, Commentary, Middle East