Pressure mounts to relieve 'hell on earth' in Syria enclave

Feb 22, 2018 - 12:56 PM

International pressure mounts to end civilian suffering in a rebel-held enclave near Damascus where Syrian jets have been raining bombs

VICTIMS. Wounded Syrian children receive treatment at a make-shift hospital in Kafr Batna following Syrian government bombardments on the besieged Eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus on February 21, 2018. Ammar Suleiman/AFP

Syria, Russia pound rebel enclave, put clinic out of service

Feb 21, 2018 - 1:34 PM

At least 250 civilians have been killed since the escalation began on Sunday, February 18, among them dozens of children, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says

UNDER ASSAULT. Smoke rises from buildings following bombardment on the village of Mesraba in the rebel-held besieged Eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus, on February 19, 2018. Hamza Al-Ajweh/AFP

Nearly 200 dead in Syria enclave as UN warns situation 'out of control'

Feb 20, 2018 - 7:14 PM

(UPDATED) At least 194 civilians have been killed, among them 57 children, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says

SYRIA RAIDS. A man weeps over his child at a make-shift morgue in Douma who was killed in air strikes on the Syrian village of Mesraba in the besieged Eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus, on February 19, 2018. Photo by Hamza Al-Ajweh/AFP

77 dead as Syria enclave pounded ahead of expected ground assault

Feb 19, 2018 - 11:34 PM

(UPDATED) The escalation comes as pro-government forces are also expected to enter the northern Kurdish-controlled enclave of Afrin, to take a stand against a month-old Turkish assault there

SYRIA BOMBARDMENT. A Syrian man carries an infant injured in government bombing in the rebel-held town of Hamouria, in the besieged Eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus, on February 19, 2018. Photo by Abdulmonam Eassa/AFP

'Do not test Israel's resolve,' Netanyahu warns Iran

Feb 19, 2018 - 12:00 AM

'We will act without hesitation to defend ourselves. And we will act if necessary not just against Iran's proxies that are attacking us, but against Iran itself,' adds Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

(COMBO) This combination of pictures created on February 18, 2018 shows Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (L) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) as they attend the Munich Security Conference on February 18, 2018 in Munich, southern Germany. Netanyahu warned Tehran over aggressions by what he called Iran and its "proxies" in Syria, while showing what he claimed was a piece of an Iranian drone shot down in Israeli airspace. / AFP PHOTO / Thomas KIENZLE

Turkey, U.S. to 'work together' in Syria after crisis

Feb 16, 2018 - 11:51 PM

'We are not going to act alone any longer, not US doing one thing, Turkey doing another,' US State Secretary Rex Tillerson says after the talks. 'We will work together... we have good mechanisms on how we can achieve this,' he adds.

WORKING TOGETHER. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu (R) and US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (L) shake hands during a press conference following their meeting in Ankara on February 16, 2018. Photo by Adem Altan/AFP

Israel warns over Iran's presence in Syria after air strikes

Feb 11, 2018 - 9:41 PM

While several analysts say they do not expect a further escalation in the coming days, some speak of the possibility of the Syrian war entering a new phase

WARNING. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a press conference at the prime minister office in Jerusalem on November 18, 2014. Photo by Gil Cohen-Magen/AFP

Syria regime strikes kill 6 civilians in Ghouta – monitor

Feb 11, 2018 - 4:50 PM

President Bashar al-Assad's regime intensifies its bombardment of the besieged region outside Damascus

DESTROYED. Members of the Syrian Civil Defense search for victims amid the rubble of a destroyed building following reported air strikes in the rebel-held Qatarji neighbourhood of the northern city of Aleppo, on October 17, 2016. Photo by Karam Al-Masri/AFP

11 Turkish troops killed in deadliest day of Kurdish offensive in Syria

Feb 11, 2018 - 9:54 AM

The fatalities follow Turkey sending troops and launching air strikes against Kurdish militia in Northern Syria

U.S.-backed Israel vows action vs Iran 'entrenchment' in Syria

Feb 11, 2018 - 9:29 AM

The United States supports Israel for its strikes in Syria, blaming Iran for escalating violence in the war-wracked country

FOR ISRAEL'S INTEREST. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a press conference at the prime minister office in Jerusalem. File photo by Gil Cohen-Magen/AFP

UN chief calls for immediate de-escalation in Syria

Feb 11, 2018 - 9:06 AM

'He calls on all to work for an immediate and unconditional de-escalation of violence and exercise restraint,' says UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric

'IMMEDIATE DE-ESCALATION'. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres calls for the end to violence in war-torn Syria. File photo by Kena Betancur/ AFP

Major Israeli air raids hit 'Iranian targets' in Syria

Feb 10, 2018 - 8:34 PM

(UPDATED) Iran, Russia and Hezbollah – the Syrian regime's main allies – issues a joint statement calling Israel's drone allegations 'lies'

F-16 CRASH. A picture taken in the northern Israeli Kibbutz of Harduf on February 10, 2018, shows the remains of an Israel F-16 that crashed after coming under fire by Syrian air defenses during attacks against 'Iranian targets' in the war-torn country. Photo by Jack Guez/AFP

The week in photos: February 3-9, 2018

Feb 10, 2018 - 1:44 PM

This week's selection of photo highlights here and around the world

Russian conceptual artist Andrey Kuzkin performs naked and headlong near the Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg, northern Germany, on February 8, 2018.The performance was part of the series "The Phenomenon of Nature or 99 Landscapes with Trees". / AFP PHOTO / dpa / Daniel Reinhardt / Germany OUT

UN Security Council considers demanding 30-day Syria truce

Feb 10, 2018 - 11:28 AM

Diplomats say it remained unclear whether Russia would resort to its veto to block the draft resolution proposing the ceasefire

UNSC ON SYRIA. The United Nations Security Council is considering a measure to impose a 30-day ceasefire in Syria. File photo by UN/Mark Garten

Death toll tops 220 in 4-day regime assault on Syria rebel enclave

Feb 09, 2018 - 12:48 PM

Violence has also flared in eastern Syria on Thursday, February 8, where the US-led coalition says it has killed at least 100 pro-regime fighters to fend off an attack on its Kurdish allies

SYRIA. A wounded man is helped out of the destruction following air strikes in the rebel-held enclave of Arbin in the Eastern Ghouta near Damascus on February 8, 2018. Photo by Abdulmonam Eassa/AFP

2 British ISIS 'Beatles' fighters captured in Syria – U.S. official

Feb 09, 2018 - 10:30 AM

Alexanda Amon Kotey and El Shafee el-Sheikh are believed to have 'participated in the detention, exploitation and execution of Western detainees'

US-led strikes kill 100 pro-regime personnel in Syria – military

Feb 08, 2018 - 3:53 PM

The strikes were to counter an 'unprovoked attack against well-established Syrian Democratic Forces headquarters,' the US Central Command says

'All indications' Syria using chlorine weapons – France

Feb 07, 2018 - 5:40 PM

'All indications... tell us today that chlorine is being used by the regime at present in Syria,' Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian tells BFM television

GAS ATTACKS IN SYRIA. A Syrian boy holds an oxygen mask over the face of an infant at a make-shift hospital following a reported gas attack on the rebel-held besieged town of Douma in the eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus on January 22, 2018. File photo by Hasan Mohamed/AFP

U.S., Russia clash at UN over Syria chlorine attacks

Feb 06, 2018 - 10:43 AM

The United States and Russia clash at the UN Security Council over a push by Washington to condemn reported chlorine gas attacks in Syria that have left many injured in recent days

SURVIVORS. A Syrian boy holds an oxygen mask over the face of an infant at a make-shift hospital following a reported gas attack on the rebel-held besieged town of Douma in the eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus on January 22, 2018. Hasan Mohamed/AFP

Russian pilot killed after plane downed over Syria

Feb 03, 2018 - 11:40 PM

(2nd UPDATE) Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a powerful jihadist-dominated alliance, says it shot down the plane on an affiliated media channel but made no mention of the pilot

Turkey says Assad must go 'at some point'

Feb 03, 2018 - 11:31 PM

But there needs to be a 'political transition in Syria', leading to a new constitution and elections, says President Erdogan's spokesperson

ASSAD. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Photo from AFP

North Korea flouts sanctions, earning $200M from banned exports – UN

Feb 03, 2018 - 10:18 AM

A UN panel of experts also finds evidence of military cooperation by North Korea to develop Syria's chemical weapons programs and to provide Myanmar with ballistic missiles

GATEWAY. In a photo taken on November 21, 2017, a truck entering the Rason Special Economic Zone makes its way across a bridge over the Tumen river marking the border between North Korea (bottom) and China (top). Ed Jones/AFP

Syria congress delayed as Russia talks with rebel groups

Jan 30, 2018 - 5:16 PM

'There have been some problems with an armed opposition group arriving from Turkey, which said its participation depended on additional requirements,' Artem Kozhin of the Russian foreign ministry says in comments reported by TASS news agency

SYRIA TALKS. A man holds up a Syrian flag as attendees wait for the start of a plenary session at the Congress of Syrian National Dialogue in Sochi on January 30, 2018. Alexander Nemenov/AFP

Exercise tracking map highlights locations of deployed troops

Jan 29, 2018 - 8:58 AM

While some US bases are well known to groups that want to attack them, the map also shows what appear to be routes taken by forces moving outside of bases – information that could be used in planning bombings or ambushes

BASE ACTIVITY. A US soldier walks past a A-10 Thunderbolt II at Kandahar Air base in Afghanistan on January 23, 2018. Shah Marai/AFP

UN will send Syria envoy to Russia peace conference

Jan 27, 2018 - 11:41 PM

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres 'is confident that the congress in Sochi will be an important contribution' to reviving the peace talks held under UN auspices in Geneva

TO RUSSIA. In this file photo, UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura briefs the press after speaking to a group of Syrians holding a vigil on the first day of a new round of Syria peace talks in Geneva on February 23, 2017. Photo by Philippe Desmazes/ AFP

Pressing Syria offensive, Turkey urges U.S. pullback

Jan 27, 2018 - 9:40 PM

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to expand the offensive against the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) to Manbij, east of Afrin

The week in photos: January 20-26, 2018

Jan 27, 2018 - 3:20 PM

This week's selection of photo highlights here and around the world

Italy's Valentina Marchei and Ondrej Hotarek perform during the Gala Exhibition at the ISU European Figure Skating Championships in Moscow on January 21, 2018. / AFP PHOTO / Yuri KADOBNOV

UN hosts 'critical' Syria peace talks in Vienna

Jan 25, 2018 - 10:39 PM

The two days of talks in Vienna come after 8 previous rounds in Geneva, during which the two sides failed to even meet each other

PEACE TALKS. UN envoy Staffan de Mistura (C) looks on before the start of talks on Syria in Vienna on January 25, 2018. Photo by Alex Halada/AFP

Turkish jets pound Kurdish militia in new Syria offensive

Jan 21, 2018 - 8:16 AM

The launch comes despite warnings that the operation could be militarily tough against an already battle-hardened foe and complicate relations with both Washington and Moscow

WITH TURKEY'S BLESSING. Turkish-backed fighters from the Free Syrian Army stand in the Tal Malid area, north of Aleppo, as they fire towards Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) positions in the village of Um al-Hosh, in the area of Afrin, on January 20, 2018. Nazeer al-Khatib/AFP

Russia voices concern over Turkey operation in Syria

Jan 21, 2018 - 12:45 AM

Russia said its troops were withdrawing from the area "to prevent potential provocation and exclude the threat to the life and wellbeing of Russian military"

OPERATION. In this file photo, smoke rises on November 13, 2014 after shelling in the Syrian city of Kobane, as seen from the Turkish border village of Mursitpinar, Sanliurfa province. Photo by Aris Messinis/AFP

Erdogan: Turkey has 'de-facto' launched ground operation on Syria's Afrin

Jan 20, 2018 - 8:49 PM

Turkey has sent dozens of military vehicles and hundreds of troops to the border area amid repeated threats from top officials that an operation could be launched soon

RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said ground operations to oust Kurdish militia in Syria has begun. Photo by Adem Altan/ AFP

Turkey hits Syria Kurd militia again after ground attack threats

Jan 20, 2018 - 6:40 PM

Turkey accuses the YPG of being the Syrian offshoot of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) which has waged a rebellion in the Turkish southeast for more than 3 decades

ERDOGAN. A banner bearing the Turkish flag and a picture of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is seen hanging from a building while Syrians wave rebel flags during a demonstration below in the rebel-held town of Azaz in northern Syria on January 19, 2018, in support of a joint rebel and Turkish military operation against Syrian-Kurdish forces in Afrin. Photo by Nazeer al-Khatib / AFP

HRW report hails resistance to Trump-style populism

Jan 18, 2018 - 4:45 PM

In its annual report, Human Rights Watch tracks unchecked abuse in unstable states like Syria and Myanmar, authoritarian trends in powers like Turkey and China – and also weighs in on year one of Trump's White House

RESIST. In this file photo, NYC Coalition to Resist US President Donald Trump holds Inauguration Day protest and march to the Trump Building on Wall Street, January 20, 2017 in New York. Bryan R. Smith/AFP

Air strikes kill at least 17 civilians in Syria rebel enclave: monitor

Jan 07, 2018 - 9:00 AM

Eastern Ghouta, one of the last remaining opposition strongholds in the country, is the target of near-daily air raids

IN SHAMBLES. This file photo shows a damaged building in the eastern Ghouta area, the target of near-daily air raids. It is one of the last remaining opposition strongholds in the country. AFP photo

Two Russian servicemen killed in Syria mortar attack

Jan 04, 2018 - 6:34 PM

The latest killings raises to 44 the number of Russian military casualties in the Syria campaign

RUSSIAN ARMY. This file picture taken during a press tour provided by the Russian Armed Forces on September 15, 2017 shows Russian soldiers standing guard in a central street in Syria's eastern city of Deir Ezzor, as locals pass by. Photo by  Dominique Derda/France2/AFP

23 civilians killed in Syria, most in Russian air strikes – monitor

Jan 04, 2018 - 8:35 AM

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says 18 people are killed by Russian strikes in the town of Misraba, while the remainder die in shelling from government forces

Regime forces advance against jihadists in northwest Syria

Dec 31, 2017 - 12:06 AM

Government and allied forces backed by Russian warplanes have since Monday, December 25, been battling mostly jihadist fighters in an area straddling the border between Idlib and Hama provinces

SEEKING SAFETY. Displaced families from a village in southern Idlib head on the Damascus-Aleppo motorway towards the northern part of the rebel-held province on December 30, 2017.  Omar Haj Kadour/AFP

Putin calls for 'pragmatic cooperation' in New Year wishes to Trump

Dec 30, 2017 - 7:31 PM

(UPDATED) The Russian president also sends messages to other heads of state, including Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and US President-elect Donald Trump (R). AFP / Aris Messinis (Putin) / Jeff Kowalsky (Trump)

Two mass graves found in Raqa – Syrian state media

Dec 30, 2017 - 10:13 AM

It is not immediately clear when the bodies found had been killed, other than while ISIS controlled the northerly province

RAQA. A member of the Syrian Democratic Forces talks on the radio near Raqa's stadium as they clear the last positions on the frontline on October 16, 2017 in the Islamic State (IS) group jihadists crumbling stronghold. Photo by Bulent Kilic/AFP

Medical evacuations begin from besieged Syria rebel bastion

Dec 27, 2017 - 6:10 PM

Red Crescent official Ahmed al-Saour says 29 seriously ill people were due to be evacuated

EVACUATE. Syrian staff from the International Committee of the Red Cross take part in an evacuation operation in Douma in the eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus on December 26, 2017. Photo by ABDULMONAM EASSA/AFP

Syria rebels reject Sochi peace initiative

Dec 26, 2017 - 6:23 PM

The 'Congress of National Dialogue' is set in Sochi on January 29 and 30

Shockwaves: The world in 2017

Dec 21, 2017 - 7:00 PM

Here is a look at some of the biggest global stories from the past year

RESISTANCE. Riot police fire rubber bullets and tear gas grenades at demonstrators protesting against President Nicolas Maduro's government in Caracas on April 8, 2017. Federico Parra/AFP

2017: The year the 'caliphate' collapsed

Dec 18, 2017 - 10:30 PM

The jihadist group lost its two main hubs, Mosul in Iraq and Raqa in Syria, earlier this year and is now only clinging to the dregs of a 'caliphate'

VICTORY IN MOSUL. This file photo taken on July 10, 2017 shows members of the Iraqi federal police celebrating in the Old City of Mosul after the government's announcement of the "liberation" of the embattled city from Islamic State (IS) group fighters. Photo by Fadel Senna/AFP

Iraq hangs 38 members of ISIS, Qaeda for 'terrorism'

Dec 15, 2017 - 1:17 PM

Rights watchdog Amnesty International has voiced repeated concerns about the use of the death penalty in Iraq, which it ranks as one of the world's top executioners behind China, Iran, and Saudi Arabia

UN blames Damascus for 'golden opportunity missed' at Syria peace talks

Dec 15, 2017 - 8:42 AM

Staffan de Mistura, UN envoy for Syria, says 'we did not have real negotiations,' blaming in particular the government delegation's apparent lack of interest in discussing anything besides the fight against 'terrorism'

On Mideast trip, Putin orders partial withdrawal from Syria

Dec 12, 2017 - 7:03 AM

This comes after Vladimir Putin said last month that efforts to end the war are entering a 'new stage' as the focus shifts from military intervention to political reforms

IN CAIRO. Russian President Vladimir Putin looks on during a press conference with his Egyptian counterpart (unseen) following their talks at the presidential palace in the capital Cairo on December 11, 2017. Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool/AFP

A Filipino humanitarian's #GiftofHope to the Rohingya, other refugees

Dec 10, 2017 - 4:02 PM

'The good thing is Filipinos are resilient. We learn from every mistake, we convert threats to opportunities, and we are able to still give when we ourselves have outstanding needs. Those are our traits.'

REFUGEES. More than 620,000 Rohingya refugees have fled to Bangladesh within 100 days since the renewed outbreak of violence in Myanmar’s northern Rakhine state. Photo by Roger Arnold/UNHCR

Lebanon PM Hariri rescinds resignation: cabinet statement

Dec 05, 2017 - 11:29 PM

'The Lebanese government, in all its political components, has committed to distance itself from all conflicts, wars, and internal affairs of Arab states,' according to the cabinet statement read by the returning Hariri

RESCINDS. Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri attends a cabinet meeting at the presidential palace of Baabda, east of the capital Beirut, on December 5, 2017. Photo by Joseph Eid/AFP

UN restarts Syria peace talks but Assad regime absent

Nov 28, 2017 - 9:48 AM

The 8th round of talks is seen as a chance for the UN to revitalize its push to end the 6-year war, which has killed more than 340,000 people and left Syria in ruin

PEACE EFFORTS. In this file photo, Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir (R) sits next to UN special envoy for Syria crisis Staffan de Mistura (C) during the Syrian opposition meeting in Riyadh, on November 22, 2017. Fayez Nureldine/AFP

UN aims to restart Syria talks with unified opposition

Nov 26, 2017 - 9:51 AM

The UN-brokered talks to end the war that has killed more than 340,000 people since 2011 have achieved little through 7 previous rounds

IN RUINS. In this file photo, a member of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), backed by US special forces, talks on the radio near Raqa's stadium as they clear the last positions on the frontline on October 16, 2017 in the Islamic State (ISIS) group jihadists crumbling stronghold. Bulent Kilic/AFP