Syria - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Syria


Russia warns Turkey, blocks U.N. bid to end Syria bloodshed

Feb 20, 2020 - 9:36 AM

Syrian aid workers call urgently for a ceasefire and international help for nearly a million people fleeing the regime onslaught

TUNNEL. Turkish-backed Syrian fighters inspect a tunnel, said to have been built by Kurdish fighters, in the Syrian border town of Tal Abyad, on October 21, 2019. Photo by Bakr Alkasem/AFP

First civilian flight since 2012 lands in Aleppo

Feb 19, 2020 - 8:27 PM

The flight comes days after the government announced it had wrested the entire region around the second city of Aleppo back from jihadists and their rebel allies

FIRST CIVILIAN FLIGHT. The cockpit of the plane that carried out a flight from the Syrian capital Damascus to Aleppo is pictured upon the plane's arrival at the airport of the northern city that reopened today for the first time since the war forced its closure in 2012. Photo by Louai Beshara/AFP

Russia warns against Turkey operation in Syria

Feb 19, 2020 - 6:42 PM

(UPDATED) President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to launch an operation in Idlib by the end of the month if Damascus fails to withdraw its troops behind Turkish military positions

WARNING. Turkish military M60T tanks drive through the village of Matarim in the south of Syria's northwestern province of Idlib, near the M4 motorway that connects Aleppo with Latakia, on February 17, 2020. File photo by Omar Haj Kadour/AFP

Trump calls for Russia to stop backing Syrian 'atrocities'

Feb 17, 2020 - 9:04 AM

A Russian-backed offensive has triggered the largest wave of displacement in Syria's civil war, with 800,000 people fleeing since December, the United Nations says

BLACK CLOUD. Smoke billows following reported bombardment by Syrian regime forces on the town of Kafr Ruma in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib, on January 27, 2020. Photo by Omar Haj KadourAFP

Syria parliament recognizes Armenian genocide

Feb 14, 2020 - 10:03 AM

The Armenians seek international recognition that the mass killings of their people under the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1917 amounted to genocide. They say 1.5 million died.

MEMORIAL. In this file photo taken on May 7, 2018, a man visits the Tsitsernakaberd Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan. Photo by Sergei Gapon/AFP

Syrian air defense intercepts missile attack – state media

Feb 14, 2020 - 7:46 AM

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights blames the attack on Israel, which has not claimed responsibility

CONFLICT. This image grab taken from a video released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on February 6, 2020, shows an explosion following an Israeli air strike on an undisclosed location in Syria. Photo by SANA/AFP

Turkey, Russia trade accusations as Syria tensions rise

Feb 12, 2020 - 6:13 PM

(UPDATED) Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatens to strike Syrian regime forces 'everywhere' if his soldiers come under renewed attack

TENSION. Syrian government forces deploy near the Damascus-Aleppo highway in the southern part of Syria's northern Aleppo province on February 10, 2020. AFP file photo

Syria regime helicopter downed as Ankara threatens Damascus

Feb 12, 2020 - 10:26 AM

The advance marks another step in President Bashar al-Assad's campaign to retake Syria's last rebel-held pocket

REMAINS. Syrian rebel fighters gather around the burning remains of a military helicopter after it was shot down over the village of Qaminas, about 6 kilometres southeast of Idlib city in northwestern Syria on February 11, 2020. Photo by Omar Haj Kadour/AFP

Idlib displacement worst since start of Syria war – U.N.

Feb 11, 2020 - 9:23 PM

'In just 10 weeks, since 1 December, some 690,000 people have been displaced from their homes in Idlib and surrounding areas,' says the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

INTERNALLY DISPLACED. A truck loaded with a family's belongings drives on the outskirts of the town of Deir Ballut as Syrians fleeing air strikes by pro-regime forces on rebel-held areas of the Idlib province head toward safer zones near the Turkish border, on February 6, 2020. File photo by Rami al Sayed/AFP

Syrian regime shelling kills 5 Turkish soldiers in Idlib

Feb 10, 2020 - 11:11 PM

The barrage also wounds 5 soldiers in the violence-plagued northwest, prompting the Turkish military to respond by 'destroying targets'

SYRIA'S IDLIB. A Turkish military convoy passes through the town of Binnish in Syria's northwestern province of Idlib, near the Syria-Turkey border on February 10, 2020. Photo by Muhammad Haj Kadour/AFP

Israeli strikes kill 23 Syrian, foreign fighters in Syria

Feb 06, 2020 - 11:58 PM

The reported Israeli strikes come as government forces press a blistering offensive against Syria's last major rebel bastion, in the Idlib region in the northwest

ISRAELI STRIKES. This image grab taken from a video released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency on February 6, 2020, shows an explosion following an Israeli air strike on an undisclosed location in Syria. AFP PHOTO/HO/SANA

Northwest Syria violence displaces 500,000 in 2 months

Feb 05, 2020 - 9:32 AM

According to the UN, the vast majority – 80% – are women and children

ESCAPE. Syrian refugees carry their belongings as they wait to enter Jordanian side of the Hadalat border crossing, a military zone east of the capital Amman, after arriving from Syria on May 4, 2016. Photo by Kahlil Mazraawi/AFP

Rocket fire targets Syria oil facilities – state media

Feb 04, 2020 - 6:00 PM

Oil Minister Ali Ghanem says the targeted facilities were the Ebla and south central region gas plants, as well as the Al-Rayyan gas station and a refinery in the central province of Homs

Erdogan urges Russia to 'assume its obligations' in Syria's Idlib

Feb 04, 2020 - 10:09 AM

Turkey, which already hosts more than 3.7 million Syrians, fears a further influx of refugees fleeing violence in Idlib

SITE. A Syrian man clears debris at the site of helicopter gunfire which reportedly killed nine people near the northwestern Syrian village of Barisha in the Idlib province along the border with Turkey on October 27, 2019, where "groups linked to the Islamic State group" were present, according to a Britain-based war monitor with sources inside Syria. Photo by Omar Haj Kadour/AFP

HIGHLIGHTS: Philippines vs Morocco - Dubai International Championship Semifinals

Jan 31, 2020 - 5:00 PM

Mighty Sports Philippines vies for a championship berth versus Morocco's AS Sale in Dubai at 11 pm on Friday, January 31

Flawless Mighty Sports crushes Syria's Al Wathba to reach Dubai semis

Jan 31, 2020 - 3:22 AM

Mighty Sports gets a balanced scoring production from its veterans and young guns to remain unbeaten in the Dubai International Basketball Championship

ON A ROLL. Andray Blatche and Mighty Sports cruise into their fifth straight win. Photo release

HIGHLIGHTS: Philippines vs Syria - Dubai International Championship Quarterfinals

Jan 30, 2020 - 6:00 PM

Mighty Sports Philippines targets a Final Four spot versus Syria's Al Wathba Sport Club at 1 am on Friday, January 31

Syria regime forces recapture most of key rebel-held town

Jan 29, 2020 - 10:13 AM

Maaret al-Numan is a semi-deserted town of symbolic and strategic importance in Syria's last major rebel-held bastion

BLACK CLOUD. Smoke billows following reported bombardment by Syrian regime forces on the town of Kafr Ruma on the outskirts of Maaret al-Numan, in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib, on January 27, 2020.Photo by Omar Haj KadourAFP

Fil-Am Williams erupts in 2nd half as Mighty sweeps Dubai elims

Jan 29, 2020 - 3:23 AM

Mighty Sports clinches its 4th straight win to top Group A heading into the knockout quarterfinals

RED-HOT. Mikey Williams puts on a shooting clinic for Mighty Sports. File photo from Instagram/

Trump ignores critics, to unveil Israel-Palestinian peace plan

Jan 28, 2020 - 9:48 AM

Netanyahu, praising Trump as 'the greatest friend that Israel's had in the White House,' describes the peace plan as 'the deal of the century'

SLAMMING TRUMP. Palestinian demonstrators chant slogans against US President Donald Trump during a protest against his expected announcement of a peace plan, in Rafah in the southern Gaza strip on January 28, 2020. Photo by said Khatib AFP

Mighty catches fire in 1st half, survives Syria for 2nd Dubai win

Jan 25, 2020 - 2:18 AM

Propped up by Andray Blatche and Renaldo Balkman, Mighty Sports Philippines outlasts Syria for a 2-0 start in Dubai

HIGHLIGHTS: Philippines vs Syria - Dubai International Basketball Championship

Jan 24, 2020 - 4:59 PM

After an opening-day escape, Mighty Sports Philippines shoots for a more convincing win versus Syria's Al Ittihad Aleppo on Friday, January 24

Syria says Israel behind aerial attack against military airport

Jan 15, 2020 - 7:21 AM

The attack adds to the growing tension in the Middle East after a US drone killed Iranian general Qasem Soleimani

Israeli soldiers and armoured vehicles are pictured on November 19, 2019 near the border with Syria in the annexed Golan Heights. - Israel's anti-missile defence system intercepted four rockets fired from neighbouring Syria on Tuesday, the army said. "Four launches were identified from Syria towards Israeli territory which were intercepted by the Israeli air defense systems," the Israeli army said in a statement. (Photo by JALAA MAREY / AFP)

King of Jordan warns Islamic State on rise again

Jan 13, 2020 - 3:23 PM

Jordan, whose stability is seen as vital for the volatile Middle East, hosts some 1.3 million refugees from neighboring war-torn Syria

KING. A handout picture released by the Jordanian Royal Palace on October 21, 2018 shows Jordanian King Abdullah II speaking during a meeting with local political figures in the capital Amman. (Yousef Allan/Jordanian Royal Palace/AFP)

ISIS claims deadly attack on police in Russian Caucasus

Jan 02, 2020 - 8:14 PM

The Amaq statement on Telegram says the men are 'two fighters from Islamic state' who killed two officers and injured others

Syria regime fire kills 8 in school turned shelter

Jan 01, 2020 - 9:15 PM

(UPDATED) The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says part of the building in the town of Sarmeen was turned into a shelter for the displaced

U.S. strikes on pro-Iran group in Iraq kill 25, sparking anger

Dec 30, 2019 - 9:47 AM

(UPDATED) Iraqi leaders fear their country could become a battleground between Tehran and Washington, in a context where they are also grappling with huge street protests against corruption

US STRIKES. In this file photo taken on May 31, 2019 Iraqi Shiite fighters from the Iran-backed armed group, Hezbollah brigades, march during a military parade marking Al-Quds (Jerusalem) International Day in Baghdad. The US bombed the headquarters of the group in Iraq and Syria, according to the Pentagon, after a series of attacks in Iraq against American interests. File photo by Ahmad Al-Rubaye/AFP

Syria regime must halt 'escalation of violence' – EU

Dec 29, 2019 - 8:00 PM

'All parties have the obligation to protect civilians. The regime and its allies must cease indiscriminate military attacks and respect international humanitarian law,' says the European Union

Turkey says will not withdraw from army posts in Syria's Idlib

Dec 29, 2019 - 4:34 PM

(UPDATED) 'We respect the agreement reached with Russia and we expect Russia to abide by this agreement,' says Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar

NOT BACKING DOWN. In this file photo, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar looks on before posing for a family picture during the NATO Defense Ministers meeting in Brussels on June 27, 2019. Photo by Aris Oikonomou/AFP

Women of the Eastern Caliphate: By blood and marriage

Dec 28, 2019 - 9:28 PM

(UPDATED) Part 2: Their men fight at the frontlines, but by blood and marriage, these women played a crucial role in the Marawi siege and the establishment of an ISIS caliphate in the Philippines

Women of the Eastern Caliphate: Hiding in plain sight

Dec 27, 2019 - 7:00 PM

(UPDATED) Part 1: From hapless accomplices, women are becoming willing and enthusiastic actors in jihad

Children among 8 killed in Russian strikes on Syria's Idlib

Dec 24, 2019 - 10:28 PM

The strikes targeted a village in southern Idlib province, killing civilians sheltering in a school and nearby

Car bomb kills 8 in Turkey-controlled Syria town

Dec 24, 2019 - 12:05 AM

Turkish defense ministry puts the blame on Kurdish forces who controlled the town before troops and Syrian proxies seized it during a military offensive in October

Syrian defenses fire on 'hostile missiles' from Israel – state media

Dec 23, 2019 - 9:13 AM

At least two missiles come down near Aqraba, a suburb southeast of Damascus

SYRIA. A drone picture taken on December 22, 2019 shows a deserted playground and damaged buildings in the town of Maaret Al-Numan in the northwestern Idlib province. Photo by Omar Haj Kadour / AFP

Russia, China veto U.N. extending Syria cross-border aid

Dec 21, 2019 - 1:57 PM

Humanitarian aid currently flows into Syria through UN-designated checkpoints without the formal permission of the regime in Damascus, but that authority is due to expire on January 10

HARDSHIP. A displaced Syrian woman from Raqa walks at a camp for internally displaced people in Ain Issa. File photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

'Wide-scale' Israeli strikes kill 11 fighters in Syria – monitor

Nov 20, 2019 - 5:34 PM

The Israeli army says they carried out dozens on strikes against the Iranian elite Quds Force and the Syrian military, in response to 4 rockets fired at Israel a day before

SYRIA STRUCK. A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on November 20, 2019 shows destruction at a house in the suburb of Qudsaya, west of Damascus, which was reportedly caused by an Israeli air strike. Photo by SANA/AFP

Syria sweeps Azkals in FIFA World Cup Qualifiers 2nd round opener

Nov 20, 2019 - 12:10 AM

The Philippines heads home without a win, but the Azkals prevent another serious drubbing from Group A leader Syria

RECOVERY. The Azkals prevent another drubbing by 2022 FIFA World Cup Asian Qualifiers Group A leader Syria. File photo courtesy of the Philippine Football Federation

Israel intercepts rocket fire from Syria, reportedly hits back

Nov 19, 2019 - 6:52 PM

The flareup comes after a major escalation in and around Gaza following Israel's targeted killing of a commander of Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad, which is allied with Damascus

ISRAEL AND SYRIA. Israeli soldiers and armored vehicles are pictured on November 19, 2019, near the border with Syria in the annexed Golan Heights. Israel's anti-missile defense system intercepted four rockets fired from neighboring Syria, the army says. Photo by Jalaa Marey/AFP

U.S. to keep around 600 troops in Syria – Pentagon chief

Nov 14, 2019 - 1:17 PM

Pentagon chief Mark Esper says the numbers could fluctuate, particularly if European allies strengthen their presence in the country

MARK ESPER. In this file photo taken on August 28, 2019 US Defense Secretary Mark Esper speaks during a press briefing at the Pentagon in Washington, DC. File photo by Jim Watson/AFP

Turkey says it captured sister of dead ISIS leader

Nov 05, 2019 - 10:18 PM

A senior Turkish official says the arrest could be 'an intelligence gold mine'

CAPTURED. This handout undated picture taken and released by the press service of the Turkish government shows Rasmiya Awad, believed to be the sister of slain Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who was captured in the northern Syrian town of Azaz by Turkish security officials, seen in an unknown location. HANDOUT / TURKISH GOVERNMENT / AFP

U.S. military calls on Kurdish forces in northeast Syria

Nov 02, 2019 - 11:17 PM

'They're coming to set up a major military post in Qamishli,' a source tells Agence France-Presse

RETURN IN SYRIA? A convoy of US troops is pictured in the Kurdish-majority city of Qamishli, in Syria's northeastern Hasakeh province on November 2, 2019. AFP photo

Turkey begins joint patrols with Russia in northern Syria

Nov 01, 2019 - 7:25 PM

The soldiers head to the east of Derbasiyeh in a convoy of Turkish and Russian military vehicles to patrol a strip of territory several dozen kilometers long, according to Turkish military sources

PATROL. A picture taken on November 1, 2019 shows Turkish and Russian military vehicles driving on a road during a joint patrol near the Turkish border town of Kiziltepe, in Mardin province. Photo by Ilyas Akengin/AFP

Syria's Assad says he does not want Turkey as an 'enemy'

Nov 01, 2019 - 2:16 PM

However the Syrian president says that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan himself was an 'enemy' due to policies hostile to Syria

NOT ENEMY. A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on October 31, 2019 shows President Bashar al-Assad speaking during a special broadcast interview in Syria's capital Damascus. Photo by SANA/AFP

Syria government, opposition open 'historic' constitutional review

Oct 30, 2019 - 11:17 PM

The United Nations-brokered constitutional review committee includes 150 delegates – divided equally among President Bashar al-Assad's government, the opposition, and civil society

HISTORIC. Members of the Syrian government delegation attend the first meeting of the new Syrian Constitutional Committee at the United Nations in Geneva on October 30, 2019. Photo by Denis Balibouse/Pool/AFP

PH has most number of unsolved journalist killings – report

Oct 29, 2019 - 9:31 PM

The 2019 Global Impunity Index lists 41 unsolved media killings in the Philippines over the last 10 years

9 YEARS. Candles lit in the shape of number 9 in commemoration of the 9 years since Maguindanao Massacre. Photo by Jaira Krishelle Balboa/Rappler

Trump confirms death of ISIS leader Baghdadi

Oct 27, 2019 - 9:21 PM

(4th UPDATE) 'He died like a dog. He died like a coward. The world is now a much better place,' Trump says in a televised broadcast announcing the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the world's most wanted man

Syria faction closes off suspected Baghdadi operation site

Oct 27, 2019 - 8:55 PM

Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, an organization that includes former operatives from Al-Qaeda's Syria affiliate, seals off the village of Barisha near the Turkish border

Russian ISIS women appeal to Putin to bring them home

Oct 27, 2019 - 7:29 PM

One woman says she fears she could be beaten up by other women in the camp who still support ISIS

ISIS head Baghdadi believed dead after U.S. strike in Syria

Oct 27, 2019 - 1:14 PM

(5th UPDATE) US media cites multiple government sources as saying Baghdadi may have killed himself with a suicide vest as US special operations forces descended

BELIEVED DEAD. 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 in April 2019. Photo from AFP

At least 15 dead in Syria clashes between pro-Turkish forces, Kurds

Oct 27, 2019 - 9:13 AM

9 pro-Turkish fighters and 6 members of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces are killed in a zone between the towns of Tal Tamr and Ras al-Ain

FLASHPOINT. This picture taken on October 14, 2019 shows smoke rises from the Syrian town of Ras al-Ain, from the Turkish side of the border at Ceylanpinar district in Sanliurfa. Photo by Ozan Kose/AFP