Syria - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Syria

ARTICLE FINDER

Syria flare-up kills 35 fighters, 10 civilians

Jun 15, 2019 - 9:07 PM

The flare-up comes as Russian-backed regime forces tried to retake two villages seized by jihadists and allied rebels earlier in June

CONFLICT. A picture taken with a drone on June 14, 2019, shows damaged and destroyed buildings in the town of Ihsim, in Syria's Idlib region. Photo by Omar Haj Kadour/AFP

Islamic State make first claim of Mozambique presence – SITE

Jun 05, 2019 - 6:20 PM

But an insurgency expert who has declined to be named says Islamic State are unlikely to have direct contact with the local fighters

Iraq sentences all 11 French ISIS suspects to death

Jun 04, 2019 - 8:23 AM

A Iraqi court sentences to death two more French nationals for joining the Islamic State group, leaving all 11 Frenchmen transferred from Syria facing the gallows

A picture shows a courtroom at Baghdad's Karkh main appeals court building in the western sector of the Iraqi capital on May 29, 2019 where French jihadists accused of belonging to the Islamic state are being tried. The Baghdad court sentenced a Frenchman to death for joining the Islamic State group, bringing to seven the number of French jihadists on death row in Iraq. SABAH ARAR / AFP

Kurdish authorities to release 800 Syrians from Al-Hol camp

Jun 02, 2019 - 8:41 PM

It is to be the first in a larger wave of releases that aim to empty Al-Hol of its Syrian residents

Civilians evacuated from the Islamic State (IS) group's embattled holdout of Baghouz wait at a screening area held by the US-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, on February 27, 2019. - US-backed forces in eastern Syria screened and treated truckloads of suspected jihadists and relatives who left a village where the Islamic State group's "caliphate" is making its last stand. The Kurdish-led SDF struggled to cope with the flow of people exiting the very last shred of a once-sprawling proto-state that claimed dominion over millions of people. (Photo by Delil SOULEIMAN / AFP)

Israel attacks Syria over rockets fired at Mount Hermon

Jun 02, 2019 - 3:46 PM

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu orders the strike at Syria, saying 'We won't tolerate fire at our territory, and [will] respond forcefully to any aggression against us'

ISRAEL STRIKES SYRIA. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at the Knesset Israeli Parliament)in Jerusalem on May 27, 2019. Photo by Menahem Kahana/AFP

Fresh strikes on Syria jihadist enclave kill 13

May 29, 2019 - 8:16 PM

Analysts predict that the government of President Bashar al-Assad and its allies will continue to chip away at the area but not unleash a major assault that would create chaos on Turkey's doorstep

SYRIA. This picture taken on May 29, 2019 shows smoke plumes rising following reported Syrian government forces' bombardment on the town of Khan Sheikhun in the southern countryside of the jihadist-held Idlib province. Photo by Anas Al-dyab/AFP

Deadly new air strikes as Syria army battles jihadists

May 23, 2019 - 8:08 PM

The United Nations has warned that an all-out offensive on the Idlib region would lead to a humanitarian catastrophe for its nearly 3 million residents

AIR STRIKES. This picture taken on May 23, 2019, shows smoke plumes rising following reported Syrian government forces' bombardment on the town of Khan Sheikhun in the southern countryside of the rebel-held Idlib province. Photo by Anas Al-dyab/AFP

Britain at UN presses Russia to answer for Idlib hospital attacks

May 18, 2019 - 10:15 AM

The UN says at least 18 hospitals and clinics have been destroyed or damaged by air strikes and shelling over recent weeks, several of which were on UN "no target" lists that detail exact locations of the health facilities to the warring sides

AFTERMATH. A picture taken on May 5, 2019 shows in an underground hospital on the outskirts of the town of Hass, in the south of the jihadist-held Syrian province of Idlib. Photo by Omar Haj Kadour / AFP

10 million people displaced internally by conflict in 2018

May 11, 2019 - 12:01 PM

'It is really a mind-boggling figure,' NRC chief Jan Egeland tells reporters. 'It takes extreme violence and fear of disasters to force a family out of their home, their land, their property, their community.'

Somali internally displaced people (IDPs) wait in a line for food distribution in Mogadishu on May 22, 2018. File photo by Mohamed Abdiwahab / AFP

Escalation in Syria's Idlib rattles months-old truce

May 07, 2019 - 11:30 PM

The region of some 3 million people is under the control of a former Al-Qaeda affiliate, in one of the last parts of Syria which President Bashar al-Assad has yet to take back

CONFLICT. A man walks amidst the rubble of a building, destroyed during airstrikes by the Syrian regime and their allies near the town of Saraqeb in Syria's rebel-held northwestern province of Idlib on May 7, 2019. Photo by Amer Alhamwe/AFP

More Sri Lanka attacks feared as Muslims condemn Easter bombs

May 03, 2019 - 10:04 PM

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe hopes normality will return by Monday, May 6, when public schools reopen after an extended Easter vacation

ISIS chief refers to Syria defeat in first video in 5 years

Apr 30, 2019 - 12:40 AM

(UPDATED) In the video released by ISIS' Al-Furqan media arm, the man said to be Baghdadi refers to the monthslong fight for ISIS' final redoubt Baghouz, which ended in March

ISIS CHIEF. In this undated and unlocated tv grab taken from a video released by Al-Furqan media, the chief of the Islamic State group Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi appears for the first time in 5 years in a propaganda video. AFP PHOTO / SOURCE / AL-FURQAN

Jihadist attacks kill 17 Syria pro-regime fighters

Apr 27, 2019 - 3:29 PM

The assaults are done by Al-Qaeda's former Syria branch, Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, and its ally Hurras al-Deen, which remains affiliated to the global jihadist network

Sri Lanka admits 'major' lapse over deadly Islamist blasts

Apr 24, 2019 - 8:22 PM

Police have so far arrested 58 people, all Sri Lankans, and security remains heavy, with bomb squads carrying out several controlled explosions of suspect packages

'MAJOR' LAPSE. Security personnel stand guard near St. Anthony's Shrine in Colombo on April 24, 2019, 3 days after a series of bomb blasts targeting churches and luxury hotels in Sri Lanka. Photo by Jewel Samad/AFP

Israel to name Golan settlement after Trump

Apr 24, 2019 - 12:02 PM

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to name a new settlement in the occupied Golan after US President Donald Trump in appreciation of his recognition of Israel's claim of sovereignty there

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (C) holds a proclamation signed by US President Donald Trump recognizing Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights, during a weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on April 14, 2019.  RONEN ZVULUN / POOL / AFP

Special forces in search for New Zealand nurse held hostage by ISIS

Apr 15, 2019 - 9:17 AM

Details of the kidnapping had been kept under wraps until the International Committee of the Red Cross appealed for news about Louisa Akavi and two Syrian drivers kidnapped with her in October 2013

KIDNAPPED. This combination of undated handout photographs released by International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and created in Geneva Switzerland on April 14, 2019, shows (from): Syria's Alaa Rajab, New Zealand's Louisa Akavi and Syria's Nabil Bakdoune at undisclosed locations. (Handout/ICRC/AFP)

U.N. Security Council to meet on Golan at Syria's request

Mar 27, 2019 - 10:24 PM

Syria has requested the meeting in a March 26 letter sent to France, which holds the council presidency for the month of March, calling President Donald Trump's decision a 'flagrant violation' of UN resolutions

UN COUNCIL. In this file photo, the United Nations Security Council meets on January 26, 2019, at the United Nations in New York. File photo by Johannes Eisele/AFP

Rallies sweep Syria to condemn U.S. Golan move

Mar 26, 2019 - 11:24 PM

Demonstrators take to the streets across the war-torn country to protest Washington's decision

GOLAN HEIGHTS. Syrian national flags are flown in the Syrian town Ain al-Tineh across from Majdal Shams in the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights on March 26, 2019. Photo by Louai Beshara/AFP

Syria's Kurds call for international court to try ISIS jihadists

Mar 25, 2019 - 8:36 PM

(UPDATED) In this way, 'trials can be conducted fairly and in accordance with international law and human rights covenants and charters,' the Syria Kurdish administration says

ISIS IN SYRIA. Men suspected of being Islamic State fighters wait to be searched by members of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces after leaving the ISIS group's last holdout of Baghouz, in Syria's northern Deir Ezzor province on February 22, 2019. File photo by Bulent Kilic/AFP

Philippines hails fall of last ISIS territory

Mar 24, 2019 - 9:40 AM

But the Philippines, where ISIS influence persists, says the fight 'is not over'

VICTORY AT LAST. A female fighter of the US-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) flashes the victory gesture while celebrating near the Omar oil field in the eastern Syrian Deir Ezzor province on March 23, 2019. Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

LOOK: The day the ISIS 'caliphate' fell

Mar 23, 2019 - 4:56 PM

Fighters of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces raise their yellow flag in Baghouz and pronounce the death of the Islamic State group's nearly five-year-old 'caliphate'

An image grab released by the Kurdish Ronahi TV on March 23, 2019 shows the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) raising their flag atop a building in the Islamic State group's last bastion in the eastern Syrian village of Baghuz after defeating the jihadist group. - Kurdish-led forces pronounced the death of the Islamic State group's nearly five-year-old "caliphate" on March 23, 2019 after flushing out diehard jihadists from their very last bastion in eastern Syria. (Photo by Handout / RONAHI TV / AFP) / XGTY / == RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / HO / RONAHI TV" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS ==

ISIS loss affirms Pentagon plan, but end game vague as U.S. pulls out

Mar 23, 2019 - 3:41 PM

But ISIS still has thousands of battle-hardened fighters across several countries, and questions loom over whether the group's territorial loss can be parlayed into an enduring defeat

Civilians evacuated from the Islamic State (IS) group's embattled holdout of Baghouz wait at a screening area held by the US-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, on March 5, 2019. - Kurdish-led forces launched a final assault Friday on the last pocket held by the Islamic State group in eastern Syria, their spokesman said. The "operation to clear the last remaining pocket of ISIS has just started", Mustefa Bali, the spokesman of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, said in a statement using an acronym for the jihadist group. (Photo by Bulent KILIC / AFP)

ISIS 'caliphate' totally eliminated – Syria force

Mar 23, 2019 - 3:02 PM

'Syrian Democratic Forces declare total elimination of so-called caliphate and 100% territorial defeat of ISIS,' says spokesman of the US-backed Kurdish-Arab alliance

In this file picture, a Kurdish female fighter of the Women's Protection Units (YPJ) looks on at a training camp in al-Qahtaniyah, near the Syrian-Turkish border on February 13, 2015. Kurdish-led forces announced on March 23, 2019 they had fully captured the Islamic State group's last bastion in eastern Syria and declared the total elimination of the jihadists' "caliphate". DELIL SOULEIMAN / AFP

U.S.-backed Syrian forces fight last ISIS jihadists

Mar 23, 2019 - 10:06 AM

Though the WHite House says the 'caliphate' has been wiped out, the Syrian Democratic Forces say clashes are still ongoing

WAR. A fighter of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) loads an ammunition belt at a position in the village of Baghouz, near Syria's border with Iraq, in the eastern Deir Ezzor province on March 15, 2019 during the SDF's preparations to advance in the battle against the last pocket of Islamic State group jihadists. Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

Anger, grief sweep Iraq's Mosul as ferry disaster toll hits 100

Mar 22, 2019 - 8:53 PM

Residents of the northern city, scarred by years of jihadist rule, demand justice as Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi decrees 3 days of national mourning following the accident

RESCUE. Emergency personnel arrive on March 21, 2019, at the site of a popular picnic area in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul on the shores of the Tigris river, after a ferry sank leaving more than 70 people dead in Iraq's worst accident in years. Photo by Waleed Al-Khaled/AFP

Mideast anger over Trump's Golan vow 'breaking international law'

Mar 22, 2019 - 6:10 PM

(UPDATED) In an angry retort, the Syrian government says US President Donald Trump's comments disregarded international law

SYRIA REACTION. A file photo taken on the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on August 27, 2018 shows members of the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force Zone using a binocular to look towards the Syrian side of the Golan Heights as smoke billows during clashes between forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad and rebels over the control of the Quneitra border crossing. File photo by Jack Guez/AFP

Trump accepts Israeli sovereignty over Golan Heights

Mar 22, 2019 - 1:07 AM

(UPDATED) The Golan recognition is only the latest diplomatic bombshell dropped by Washington, which is Israel's principal backer, in seeking to redraw the fraught Middle East map

GOLAN HEIGHTS. In this file photo taken on June 28, 2017 the Jewish settlement of Qatzrin in the Israeli occupied Golan Heights. US President Donald Trump on March 21, 2019, announces the US should recognize Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights. File photo by Jalaa Marey/AFP

Almost 100 dead as Iraq ferry sinks on spring holiday trip

Mar 22, 2019 - 12:10 AM

(UPDATED) The accident sparks an outpouring of grief among residents who only recently resumed festivities on the banks of the Tigris after the northern city's recapture from the Islamic State group

Syria force combs last ISIS hideouts in Baghouz

Mar 21, 2019 - 11:24 PM

Syrian Democratic Forces spokesman Mustefa Bali says a victory announcement would be premature

LAST JIHADISTS. Smoke rises in the Islamic State group's last remaining position on the eastern banks of the Euphrates River (C) in the village of Baghouz during battles with the Syrian Democratic Forces, in the countryside of the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, on March 18, 2019. Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

Syria's Kurds criticize Damascus 'threats'

Mar 19, 2019 - 6:13 PM

Syrian Defense Minister Ali Abdullah Ayoub says his government will recapture all areas held by the Syrian Democratic Forces 'in one of two ways: a reconciliation agreement or...by force'

ON KURDS. A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on March 18, 2019 shows Syrian Defense Minister Ali Abdullah Ayyoub speaking during a press conference with Iraq and Iran's Chiefs of Staff in the Syrian capital Damascus. AFP PHOTO / HO / SANA

Syria force says 'thousands' still inside last ISIS pocket

Mar 18, 2019 - 8:07 AM

Tens of thousands of dishevelled women, children and men have streamed out of a small pocket in the village of Baghouz near the Iraqi border in recent weeks – and they still keep coming

A fighter of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) walks carrying a machine gun at a position close to the camp of Baghouz where remaining Islamic State (IS) group fighters and their families are holding out in the last position controlled by IS, awaiting to advance on them in the countryside of the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor on March 17, 2019.  Delil SOULEIMAN / AFP

U.N. envoy discusses Syria constitution on Damascus visit

Mar 17, 2019 - 10:34 PM

United Nations envoy for Syria says talks over the constitution should be 'led and owned' by Syrians

ENVOY. United Nations Special Envoy for Syria Geir Pedersen speaks to the press upon his arrival in the capital Damascus on March 17, 2019. Photo by Louai Beshara/AFP

Syria force locked in battle with ISIS jihadists in holdout village

Mar 17, 2019 - 12:08 AM

The makeshift camp of tents and tunnels is all that remains of a once-sprawling 'caliphate' declared in 2014 over swathes of Syria and neighboring Iraq

WAR. A fighter of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) loads an ammunition belt at a position in the village of Baghouz, near Syria's border with Iraq, in the eastern Deir Ezzor province on March 15, 2019 during the SDF's preparations to advance in the battle against the last pocket of Islamic State group jihadists. Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

Anti-ISIS Syria force boosted as jihadist holdout shrinks

Mar 15, 2019 - 11:58 PM

The country's devastating conflict enters its ninth year with more than 370,000 dead

NINTH YEAR. People said to be members of the Islamic State group by the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, exit with children from the village of Baghouz in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, on March 14, 2019. Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

U.S.-backed Syria force pummels last ISIS bastion

Mar 14, 2019 - 7:14 PM

The US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces have since March 10 rained fire on the enclave in a bend of the Euphrates River, blitzing thousands of ISIS members into surrender

FRONTLINES. Fighters with the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are pictured in the town of Baghouz, on the frontline of fighting to expel the Islamic State group from the area, in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, on March 12, 2019. Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

More surrenders from ISIS Syria bastion as end nears

Mar 12, 2019 - 11:36 PM

Airstrikes and shelling have pummelled Baghouz for two nights in a row, killing scores of fighters and prompting hundreds of jihadists and their relatives to surrender

TIME'S UP. A fighter with the Syrian Democratic Forces fires a machine gun in a position in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor outside the Islamic State group's embattled holdout of Baghouz, on March 11, 2019. Photo by Bulent Kilic/AFP

'Never-ending' numbers in last ISIS scrap shock U.S.-backed fighters

Mar 09, 2019 - 12:39 PM

Tens of thousands of dust-covered women, children and men have streamed out of the ragged tent encampment in the Syrian village of Baghouz since December – and despite that exodus they still keep on coming

Children who were captured by Islamic State (IS) group fighters, believed to be from the Yazidi community, are pictured after being evacuated from the IS' embattled holdout of Baghouz at a screening area held by the US-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, on March 6, 2019. More than 7000 people, mostly women and children, have fled the shrinking pocket over the past two days, as US-backed forces press ahead with an offensive to crush holdout jihadists. The Yazidis are a mostly Iraq-based Kurdish-speaking religious minority. The jihadists consider them heretics and in 2014, tried to exterminate them. Bulent KILIC / AFP

In Syrian riverside camp, ISIS clings to last scrap of 'caliphate'

Mar 08, 2019 - 6:35 PM

The Syrian Democratic Forces are waiting for all civilians to be evacuated before moving in to retake the last scrap of ISIS-held territory

SCREENING AREA. Civilians evacuated from the Islamic State group's embattled holdout of Baghouz wait at a screening area held by the US-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor, on March 5, 2019. File photo by Bulent Kilic/AFP

Mortar attack on major political gathering in Kabul kills 3

Mar 07, 2019 - 8:35 PM

The attack claimed by the Islamic State group represents a major security breach and marks a resumption of violence in the capital after weeks of calm

AFTERMATH. The Afghan relatives of a blast victim fight with a hospital security guard (C) who was restricting access of people trying to get inside Isteqlal Hospital following explosions that struck a large ceremony in Kabul on March 7, 2019. Photo by Wakil Kohsar/AFP

Syria force to resume evacuations after piercing last ISIS redoubt

Mar 05, 2019 - 7:58 PM

The latest evacuees also include relatives of jihadists, as well as civilians who had been held by the group as 'human shields'

SEARCH. A man (C) suspected of belonging to the Islamic State group, who spoke to AFP journalists in French, sits in the back of a truck as he waits to be searched by members of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) just after leaving ISIS' last holdout of Baghouz, in the eastern Syrian province of Deir Ezzor on March 4, 2019. Photo by Bulent Kilic/AFP

Al Qaeda-linked Syria group kills 21 regime forces – monitor

Mar 03, 2019 - 6:22 PM

It is one of the deadliest breaches of a 6-month-old truce deal, says the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

Syria's Kurds set free nearly 300 ISIS-linked Syrians

Mar 03, 2019 - 6:09 PM

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it was not the first release of ISIS-linked prisoners by Kurdish authorities, but the number was particularly large this time

LAST REDOUBT. A Syrian Democratic Forces fighter uses a binocular to inspect the embattled village of Baghouz in Syria's northern Deir Ezzor province on February 19, 2019. File photo by Bulent Kilic/AFP

The week in photos: February 23-March 1, 2019

Mar 03, 2019 - 8:55 AM

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

VIEW FROM THE OTHER SIDE. A woman in the United States takes a picture to Mexico through the border fence as residents of Anapra, a neighbourhood on the outskirts of Ciudad Juarez in Mexico, and other people attend a prayer with priests and bishops from both countries to ask for the migrants and people of the area, on February 26, 2019.  Photo by Herika Martinez/AFP

Syria force battles into last jihadist pocket

Mar 02, 2019 - 8:48 PM

'Those who have not surrendered by now will meet their fate there,' says the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces Spokespman Adnan Afrin

LAST REDOUBT. A Syrian Democratic Forces fighter uses a binocular to inspect the embattled village of Baghouz in Syria's northern Deir Ezzor province on February 19, 2019. File photo by Bulent Kilic/AFP

Syria force poised for final assault on ISIS

Feb 28, 2019 - 10:54 PM

The Syrian Democratic Forces estimates the number of people inside the last ISIS redoubt at anything from a few hundred to several thousand

Syria force to pluck more civilians from last ISIS pocket

Feb 23, 2019 - 8:52 PM

'God had promised us a caliphate and we went to it. I feel there will be no victory although they (jihadists) tell us victory is near,' says a Syrian woman who is a wife of a deceased ISIS fighter

LAST HOLDOUT. Men suspected of being Islamic State fighters wait to be searched by members of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) after leaving the IS group's last holdout of Baghouz, in Syria's northern Deir Ezzor province on February 22, 2019. Photo by Bulent Kilic/AFP

The week in photos: February 16-22, 2019

Feb 23, 2019 - 7:59 PM

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

HOMECOMING. Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray blows a kiss to well wishers during a homecoming parade in Makati City on February 21, 2019. Photo by Noel Celis/AFP

From shy student to ISIS polemicist, Hoda Muthana in U.S. crosshairs

Feb 22, 2019 - 8:15 AM

The 24-year-old says she regrets her turn to radicalism and wants to return home – but President Donald Trump personally intervenes to block her

RETURNING. An undated photograph obtained on February 20, 2019, from attorney Hassan Shibly shows Hoda Muthana, a 24-year-old woman from Alabama. Handout photo/AFP

Syria forces try to free last civilians from ISIS holdout

Feb 21, 2019 - 10:08 PM

(UPDATED) Security officials in Iraq say the Syrian Democratic Forces has handed over 130 Iraqi jihadists to Iraq on February 21, but SDF spokesman Mustefa Bali denies the claim

LAST REDOUBT. A Syrian Democratic Forces fighter uses a binocular to inspect the embattled village of Baghouz in Syria's northern Deir Ezzor province on February 19, 2019. File photo by Bulent Kilic/AFP

Convoy plucks women, children from last ISIS holdout in Syria

Feb 20, 2019 - 10:07 PM

Around 15 trucks carrying men, women, and children have exited the last patch of ISIS territory in eastern Syria, according to Agence France-Presse correspondents

ISIS' LAST HOLDOUT. Islamic State group's fighters and their families sit in the back of a truck as they leave ISIS's last holdout of Baghouz in Syria's northern Deir Ezzor province on February 20, 2019. Photo by Bulent Kilic/AFP