Syria Crisis - Special Reports

ISIS’ Defensive Operations In Mosul Tough For Any Army To Beat, Official Says

By Terri Moon Cronk The operation to liberate Mosul from the grasp of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria
2017-07-22 00:07 | 1, World News, Iraq | EurasiaReview

Iraqi Kurds Aim to Hold Elections in November

President Masoud Barzani , the leader of Iraq’s autonomous region of Kurdistan, has called a parliamentary and presidential election for November which could help ease a long-running political row as the Kurds push for independence from Baghdad. The elections will follow an independence referendum set for Sept. 25, a move that will strain Iraq’s federal unity and annoy neighbors Syria, Turkey and Iran, who also have sizable Kurdish populations.
2017-07-21 17:07 | NEWS, Regional News, Iraq | AlBawaba

Extremists battle rebels for control of key Syria province

A former al-Qaeda affiliate was locked in fierce clashes Friday with a leading rebel group for control of one of the last major parts of Syria not held by the regime.
2017-07-21 14:07 | Middle East | DailyStar

U.S. lawmakers want fresh sanctions on Hezbollah

Republican and Democratic U.S. lawmakers introduced legislation on Thursday seeking to increase sanctions on Hezbollah, accusing the powerful Shi’ite Muslim political group of violence in Syria and amassing rockets along Israel’s border. The bill, an amendment to existing sanctions on the group, seeks to further restrict its ability to fundraise and recruit, increase pressure on banks that do business with it and crack down on countries, including Iran, that support Hezbollah. Among other things, it would bar anyone found to
2017-07-21 13:07 | News | AbrarOnline

SitRep: Trump Pulls CIA From Syria, Russia Cheers; Trump Downplays Afghan Strategy

With Adam Rawnsley CIA pulling up stakes in Syria. President Trump has reportedly decided to scrap a long-running CIA program that armed and trained Syrian rebels, the Washington Post reports: “Officials said the phasing out of the secret program reflects Trump’s interest in finding ways to work with Russia, which saw the anti-Assad program as ...
2017-07-21 11:07 | The Cable, Middle East, Situation Report | ForeignPolicy

Hezbollah, Syria army launch attack on Lebanon border

Lebanese armed group and Syrian soldiers attempting to clear fighters from the Juroud Arsal mountainous border area.
2017-07-21 11:07 | News | Aljazeera

Trump Ends Syrian Regime Change Campaign

The headline in the Washington Post said it all: “Trump ends covert CIA program to arm anti-Assad rebels in Syria, a move sought by Moscow.” The madness that has infected what passes for journalism today could not be more starkly dramatized: everything is seen through the distorting lens of Russophobia. It doesn’t matter that that … Continue reading "Trump Ends Syrian Regime Change Campaign" The post Trump Ends Syrian Regime Change Campaign appeared
2017-07-21 04:07 | Uncategorized | AntiWar

Turkey not behind story on U.S. troop locations, Erdogan spokesman says

President Tayyip Erdogan's spokesman on Thursday said the Turkish government did not play a role in the publication by its state-run news agency of locations of what appeared to be U.S. military posts in Syria.
2017-07-20 15:07 | Middle East | DailyStar

U.S. should move bases away if it pursues sanctions – Iran guards

The head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said on Wednesday Washington should move its bases and avoid “miscalculations” over new sanctions against Tehran, Iranian agencies reported. The Trump administration imposed the new sanctions on Tuesday over Iran’s ballistic missile programme and said Tehran’s “malign activities” in the Middle East undercut any positive contributions coming from the 2015 nuclear accord. Iran says its programme to develop ballistic missiles is defensive and does not violate the nuclear accord. “If the United States wants
2017-07-20 14:07 | News | AbrarOnline

After Mosul, ISIS digs in for guerrilla warfare

ISIS militants began reinventing themselves months before U.S.- backed Iraqi forces ended their three-year reign of terror in Mosul, putting aside the dream of a modern-day caliphate and preparing the ground for a different fight. Intelligence and local officials said that, a few months ago, they noticed a growing stream of commanders and fighters flowing out of the city to the Hamrin mountains in northeast Iraq which offer hideouts and access to four Iraqi provinces. Some were intercepted but many
2017-07-20 14:07 | News | AbrarOnline

End of CIA Support for Syrian Rebels?

According to the Washington Post, the Trump administration has suspended its covert CIA policy program of support for Syrian rebel groups against the Assad regime. 
2017-07-20 13:07 | NEWS, Main Headlines, Syria | AlBawaba

Syria : Austin Tice’s family appeal to his captors, to governments

News Reporters Without Borders (RSF) and the Skeyes Centre for Media and Cultural Freedom today joined the parents of Austin Tice, a US journalist who was kidnapped nearly five years ago in Syria, in asking the US and Syrian governments to act quickly so that he can return home as soon as possible.
2017-07-20 12:07 | News | ReportersWithoutBorders

SitRep: Trump ends CIA program in Syria; Turkey Exposes U.S. Special Operations in Syria

  With Adam Rawnsley “Putin won in Syria.” In a move with huge implications for the war in Syria, President Trump has decided to shut down the CIA’s covert program to arm and train groups of Syrian rebels fighting the government of Bashar al-Assad, U.S. officials tell the Washington Post. The move — long sought ...
2017-07-20 11:07 | The Cable, Middle East, Situation Report | ForeignPolicy

SitRep: Trump ends CIA program in Syria; Turkey Exposes U.S. Special Operations in Syria

  With Adam Rawnsley “Putin won in Syria.” In a move with huge implications for the war in Syria, President Trump has decided to shut down the CIA’s covert program to arm and train groups of Syrian rebels fighting the government of Bashar al-Assad, U.S. officials tell the Washington Post. The move — long sought ...
2017-07-20 11:07 | The Cable, Middle East, Situation Report | ForeignPolicy

Revenge: Former Yezidi Slave Fights Back to Free IS Hostage Women

She was trafficked into Raqqa as a slave by ISIS but managed to escape. Now Yazidi fighter Heza is back to avenge the horrors she and thousands of others suffered. “When I started fighting, I lifted some of the worries from my heart,” she says, surrounded by fellow Yazidi women in Raqqa’s eastern Al-Meshleb district. “But it will be full of revenge until all the women are freed.”
2017-07-20 11:07 | NEWS, Main Headlines, Conflict in Syria | AlBawaba

'Trump ends CIA support for anti-Assad Syria rebels'

US president phasing out agency's programme to arm and train groups in order to get closer to Russia, say US officials.
2017-07-20 08:07 | News | Aljazeera

Risk of mass killing rose most in Yemen in 2016: report

Yemen rises as Syria tops UK-based rights group's annual 'People's Under Threat' index for third consecutive year.
2017-07-20 06:07 | News | Aljazeera

Caucasus Emirate Far From Dead But Focused Now On Syria – OpEd

The Caucasus Emirate has been so quiet in the North Caucasus in recent years that many Russian sources have declared
2017-07-20 05:07 | 1, Opinion, Caucasus | EurasiaReview

Clashes spread between Syria rebels, extremists

Fierce clashes between Syrian rebels and Al-Qaeda-linked militants spread through northwest Syria Wednesday, as the two sides jostled for control over an important border town.
2017-07-20 00:07 | Middle East | DailyStar

On hot mic, Netanyahu admits Syria strikes, raps ‘crazy’ EU

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was caught Wednesday by a live microphone making a rare public admission that Israel has struck Iranian arms convoys in Syria bound for Hezbollah dozens and dozens of times.
2017-07-20 00:07 | Middle East | DailyStar

Trump halts covert arming of anti-Assad rebels in Syria, a move sought by Moscow

Officials said the phasing out of the program reflects Trump's interest in finding ways to work with Russia.
2017-07-19 19:07 | News | TheAge

Clashes erupt between rebels, al-Qaeda in northwest Syria

Fierce clashes between Syrian rebels and al-Qaeda-linked militants spread through northwest Syria on Wednesday, as the two sides compete for control over an important border town.
2017-07-19 17:07 | Middle East | DailyStar

On hot mic, Israeli PM admits to Syria strikes on Hezbollah

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was caught by a live microphone Wednesday claiming to have conducted dozens of attacks on Hezbollah forces in Syria and railing against the European Union's "crazy" insistence on resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
2017-07-19 16:07 | Middle East | DailyStar

Hot Mic Catches a Fiery Bibi in Budapest

In a closed-door meeting, the Israeli prime minister talked tough on Syria — and even tougher on the EU.
2017-07-19 15:07 | The Cable, European Union, Hungary | ForeignPolicy

Hot Mic Catches a Fiery Bibi in Budapest

In a closed-door meeting, the Israeli prime minister talked tough on Syria — and even tougher on the EU.
2017-07-19 15:07 | The Cable, European Union, Hungary | ForeignPolicy

Turkey leaks secret locations of U.S. troops in Syria

In the latest display of Turkish anger at U.S. policy in Syria, the state news agency has divulged the locations of 10 U.S. military bases and outposts in northern Syria where the U.S. is leading an operation to destroy ISIS in its self-styled capital of Raqqa. The list published by the Anadolu news agency points to a U.S. presence from one end to the other of the Kurdish self-administration region—a distance of more than 200 miles. The Anadolu news agency
2017-07-19 15:07 | News | AbrarOnline

FAO improves livelihoods of 234,000 Syrians: UNIC

In strife-torn Syria, the food security and livelihoods situation of some 234,000 people has received a strong boost thanks to a recently completed animal health campaign led by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in collaboration with the Syria Veterinary Medical Association. According to a press release published by the FAO Representation in the Islamic Republic of Iran, the three-month campaign has protected more than 1.3 million sheep and goats and 65,000 cattle from parasites and
2017-07-19 14:07 | News | AbrarOnline

FAO, WFP report "slight" improvement in Syria's food security

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and World Food Program (WFP) reported Tuesday that food security in Syria is "slightly" better than the same time last year, but warned the situation remains worse than before the war.
2017-07-19 13:07 | News | IINA

De-escalation in Syria

WHEN a group of teenage boys scrawled “down with the regime” on their school wall they lit the powder that ignited Syria’s civil war. Ever since their torture at the hands of state-security agents in March 2011, the boys’ home city of Deraa has become synonymous with the rebellion to overthrow the regime of Bashar al-Assad. But Deraa may yet turn out to be the place where dreams of overthrowing the regime finally die. The guns fell silent over
2017-07-19 10:07 | News | Economist

Rebel-Kurd clashes kill 15 in north Syria: Observatory

More than a dozen Syrian rebels have died in hit-and-run clashes with a U.S.-backed alliance dominated by Kurdish forces in the country’s north, an activist group said Tuesday.
2017-07-19 00:07 | Middle East | DailyStar

Zarif hopes Yemen war won’t lead to Iran, Saudi direct conflict

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said Monday that he hopes Yemen’s war will not spark direct confrontation between Iran and Saudi Arabia and that they can work together to end the conflict in the country and Syria.
2017-07-19 00:07 | Middle East | DailyStar

Suicide bomb attack kills four in Kurdish-held Syrian northeast

A suicide car bomb attack claimed by Daesh (ISIS) killed four people at a checkpoint in a Kurdish-controlled area of northeastern Syria on Tuesday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
2017-07-18 20:07 | Middle East | DailyStar

Iranian Foreign Minister to Saudi Arabia: ‘We Don’t Have to Fight’

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif 'hopes' the conflict in Yemen will not lead to a confrontation with Saudi Arabia.Speaking at the Council on Foreign Relations think tank in New York on Monday, Zarif said he hopes Tehran can work together with Riyadh to end the conflicts in both Yemen and Syria.
2017-07-18 18:07 | NEWS, Main Headlines, Iran | AlBawaba

Trump keeps Iran deal, but threatens more sanctions: US officials

Donald Trump backed away from a campaign promise to scrap a major nuclear security deal with Iran on Tuesday, with officials announcing the agreement and related sanctions relief will stay in place for now. Under the terms of the two-year-old agreement, Tehran scaled back production of nuke-making material in return for massive sanctions relief. The Trump administration faced a new congressional deadline Monday to say whether Iran has curbed its nuclear weapons program in line with the accord. “The conditions,”
2017-07-18 14:07 | News | AbrarOnline

Iran’s Zarif hopes Yemen war does not lead to Iran, Saudi conflict

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Monday that he hopes Yemen’s war will not spark direct confrontation between Iran and Saudi Arabia and that they can work together to end the conflict in the country and Syria. (A Saudi Arabia-led coalition intervened in Yemen’s civil war in 2015, backing government forces fighting Iran-allied Houthis. Saudi Arabia and Iran support rival groups in Syria’s civil war. Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in May that any struggle
2017-07-18 14:07 | News | AbrarOnline

Chechnya becoming major player in rebuilding war-torn Syria

Russia's mostly Muslim republic of Chechnya is becoming a major player in rebuilding war-ravaged Syria
2017-07-18 14:07 | News | NewsDay

Lebanon preparing for military operation near Syria border

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri says the army is preparing for a security operation along a lawless section of the Syrian border
2017-07-18 13:07 | News | NewsDay

Air strikes hit Raqqa as ISIL defends stronghold

Fatalities reported among warring Kurdish-led group and ISIL fighters as heavy bombardment shakes Old City.
2017-07-18 04:07 | News | Aljazeera

EU puts sanctions on Syrian scientists, military officials

The European Union imposed sanctions on 16 Syrian scientists and military officials Monday for their suspected involvement in a chemical attack in northern Syria in April that killed scores of civilians.
2017-07-18 00:07 | Middle East | DailyStar

Here's What To Know About The Trump-Putin Syria Cease-Fire

Trump has speculated the truce may be the beginning of the end of the war. Many have doubts. And in fact, this cease-fire may even be leading to more violence in other parts of Syria.
2017-07-17 17:07 | News | NPR

Turkish military retaliates against YPG fire in northern Syria

The Turkish military on July 17 retaliated against a harassment fire by the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) opened from northern Syria, shelling its positions in the region near the border, Doğan News Agency has reported.
2017-07-17 15:07 | News | Hurriyet

US-Syrian woman keeps school going in al-Qaida-run region

Syrian-American woman works to keep school running in Syria's opposition enclave despite interference from al-Qaida-linked militants
2017-07-17 15:07 | News | NewsDay

Iranian FM says ISIS, Al-Nusra, Al-Qaeda get their money & ideology from US allies

The Iranian Foreign Minister has accused Washington’s allies in the Middle East of sponsoring terrorism. Mohammad Javad Zarif was speaking to CNN, commenting on US President Donald Trump’s apparent anti-Iranian policy in the region. In an exclusive interview with CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, Zarif said Trump’s stance towards Iran, which includes accusations of Tehran sponsoring terrorism, represented a “misplaced and misguided policy.” “We know where the terrorists are coming from. We know those who attacked the World Trade Center were citizens
2017-07-17 13:07 | News | AbrarOnline

Scientists, Military Officials Sanctioned by EU Over Syria Chemical Weapons

Sixteen individuals suspected of involvement in Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons program were added to a EU sanctions list Monday. The eight high-ranking Syrian military officials and eight scientists were identified as having a role in developing and using of chemical weapons against civilians, the EU said.
2017-07-17 13:07 | NEWS, Main Headlines, EU | AlBawaba

Israel opposes cease-fire in south Syria: Netanyahu

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Sunday that Israel opposes the cease-fire deal in southwestern Syria brokered by the United States and Russia, after a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.
2017-07-17 00:07 | Middle East | DailyStar

'No Alternative to Qatar Airbase' says US Defence Secretary

There is no need to look for an alternative airbase since the US airbase in Al Udeid in Qatar continues to operate normally despite the blockade, US Defence Secretary James Mattis said in an interview posted on the official site of the US Department of Defence. Mattis' comments come following remarks made by US President Donald Trump during an interview to  CBN News  on Wednesday, in which he said if his
2017-07-16 18:07 | NEWS, Main Headlines, Syria | AlBawaba

Shells hit Russian embassy compound in Syria

Syrian state media said that two mortar shells were fired at the Russian embassy in Damascus but reported no injuries.
2017-07-16 15:07 | News | Aljazeera

Intelligence Reports Suggest IS Leader Al-Baghdadi is Still Alive

An Iraqi intelligence officer said Sunday that Daesh leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was still alive.  Last month, the Russian Defense Ministry media said that al-Baghdadi was believed to have been killed in an airstrike in Syria.  U.S. officials, however, said they don't have any proof confirming the Daesh leader's death. 
2017-07-16 13:07 | NEWS, Main Headlines, Iraq | AlBawaba

Syria: Powerful Rebel Alliances Clash in Idlib

Two of Syria's most powerful rebel alliances have clashed in Idlib province, following weeks of tensions between the two former allies.
2017-07-16 09:07 | NEWS, Main Headlines, Conflict in Syria | AlBawaba

Air strikes kill 10 in Syria's Eastern Ghouta: SOHR

UK-based monitor SOHR describes Friday's assault as deadliest in opposition-held Eastern Ghouta region since April.
2017-07-16 06:07 | News | Aljazeera