Syria civil war - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Syria civil war

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ISIS attack kills 12 US-backed fighters in east Syria

Nov 04, 2018 - 11:44 PM

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says 14 civilians and 9 ISIS jihadists were killed Saturday, November 3, in coalition air strikes in Hajin and the nearby towns of Sousa and Al-Shaafa.

CIVIL WAR. Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and US soldiers gather in the Kurdish-held town of Al-Darbasiyah in northeastern Syria bordering Turkey on November 4, 2018. Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

First aid since January reaches displaced Syrians near Jordan border

Nov 03, 2018 - 10:59 PM

(UPDATED) 'The UN and SARC are delivering humanitarian assistance to 50,000 people in need at Rukban camp in southeast Syria,' the UN says in a statement

BORDER. In this file photo taken on March 1, 2017, Syrian refugee patients from the makeshift Rukban camp, which lies in no-man's-land off the border between Syria and Jordan in the remote northeast, cross over to visit a UN-operated medical clinic immediately on the Jordanian-side for checkups. File photo by Khalil Mazraawi/AFP

Tearful Syrians in rebel enclave begin new evacuation

Mar 25, 2018 - 11:56 PM

More civilians and rebels are forced to leave their ravaged neighborhoods in Eastern Ghouta

Syrian people walk down a street past a destroyed building as civilians and rebels prepare to evacuate the town of Ain Tarma in the eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus, on March 25, 2018. Nearly 2,000 Syrian rebels and civilians began leaving a ravaged pocket of Eastern Ghouta on Matrch 25, in fresh evacuations that further emptied the former rebel bastion. Five weeks since the Syrian regime launched an all-out assault on Ghouta, it holds more than 90 percent of the onetime opposition stronghold on the edge of Damascus.  / AFP PHOTO / STRINGER

Fresh violence mars first day of Syria enclave 'truce'

Feb 28, 2018 - 8:01 AM

The first day of a 5-hour daily 'pause' that was ordered by President Vladimir Putin Sunday and kicked off at 9 am local time (0700 GMT) is marred by violence

BOMBARDED. A picture taken on February 27, 2018, shows smoke plumes rising during reported regime bombardment Syrian rebel-held town of Douma, in the besieged Eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus. Hamza al-Ajweh/AFP

Pummeled civilians in Syria enclave await Russia's first daily truce

Feb 27, 2018 - 1:43 PM

Russia says it will organize a daily 5 hour pause in the fighting to allow civilians to escape through 'humanitarian corridors'

TARGET. Smoke billows following Syrian government bombardments on Kafr Batna, in the besieged Eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus on February 22, 2018. Amer Almohibany/AFP

Strikes, clashes rock Syria's Ghouta despite ceasefire call

Feb 26, 2018 - 7:10 AM

Fresh regime air strikes and heavy clashes shake rebel-held Eastern Ghouta, despite a UN demand for a ceasefire to end one of the most ferocious assaults of Syria's civil war

VICTIMS. Doctors tend to ten-year-old Omar who was injured in an air strike that killed several members of his family on their home in Otaybah, in Syria's rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta, as his father and 7-year-old sister, Manar, watch on at a make-shift hospital on February 25, 2018. Amer Almohibany/AFP

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Putin urges 'compromise' ahead of new Syria peace talks

Nov 23, 2017 - 7:15 AM

New talks should happen soon, Putin says after a summit with Iran's President Hassan Rouhani and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, insisting that they will reinvigorate a hobbled peace process

PUSH FOR SYRIA PEACE. Russian President Vladimir Putin (C), Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani pose during a trilateral meeting on Syria in Sochi on November 22, 2017. Mikhail Metzel/Sputnik/AFP

Putin briefs Trump on Syria after surprise Assad talks

Nov 22, 2017 - 8:01 AM

During the phone call with Trump the Kremlin says Putin stressed the 'need to keep Syria's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity intact'

TALKING. In this file photo, US President Donald Trump (L) chats with Russia's President Vladimir Putin as they attend the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting, part of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' summit in the central Vietnamese city of Danang on November 11, 2017.  Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik/AFP

Putin meets Assad ahead of Syria talks with Turkey and Iran

Nov 21, 2017 - 2:31 PM

(UPDATED) Russia's president Vladimir Putin met with his embattled Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, the Kremlin says

SOCHI MEETING. Russia's President Vladimir Putin (2nd R), accompanied by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (R), meets with his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad (2nd L) in Sochi on November 20, 2017. Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik/AFP

Aid enters besieged Syria region hit by hunger crisis

Oct 31, 2017 - 7:59 AM

Eastern Ghouta was once a prime agricultural region, but the rebel stronghold has been under a tight government siege since 2013, causing shortages of food and medicine

SCRAMBLE FOR HELP. A member of the Syrian Arab Red Crescent tries to organize Syrians waiting to be seen by a doctor at a hospital in Kafr Batna on October 30, 2017, after a convoy carrying aid for some 40,000 people entered the besieged rebel-held Eastern Ghouta region outside Syria's capital Damascus. Abdulmonam Eassa/AFP

UN's De Mistura wants new round of Syria talks in coming weeks

Sep 28, 2017 - 7:50 AM

The UN special envoy says he intends to convene an eighth round of talks on the bloody more than 6-year conflict no later than the end of October or early November

DESTROYED. In this file photo, Syrians walk down a destroyed street in Aleppo's al-Akroub neighborhood on December 17, 2016. Youssef Karwashan/AFP/File

Deadly rocket fire hits near Damascus trade fair

Aug 20, 2017 - 7:56 PM

UPDATED The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says 6 people were killed and around a dozen wounded

U.S. ready to work with Russia on Syria 'no-fly zones' – Tillerson

Jul 06, 2017 - 10:32 AM

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says Russia has a special responsibility to help create stability on the ground – or risk hobbling the fight against the Islamic State ISIS group

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at the State Department on June 29, 2017 in Washington, DC. Mandel Ngan/AFP

U.S.-backed forces breach ISIS defenses in heart of Syria's Raqa

Jul 04, 2017 - 11:55 AM

3rd UPDATE The landmark advance in ISIS s notorious Syria bastion comes as the jihadists face an expected defeat within days in Iraq s second city Mosul

NEAR RAQA. In this file photo, a fighter from the Syriac Military Council (SMC), a small minority of Christian fighters supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces in the combat against the Islamic State (ISIS) group, walks in the suburb of al-Rumaniya on the western outskirts of Raqa on June 27, 2017, after the area was seized from the jihadists. Delil Souleiman/AFP

US says Assad may be preparing chemical attack

Jun 27, 2017 - 10:47 AM

UPDATED The White House says the preparations are similar to those undertaken by the Assad regime ahead of an apparent chemical attack on a rebel held town

The flag of the Syrian Arab Republic (centre right) flying at United Nations headquarters in New York, July 2016. UN Photo/Loey Felipe

U.S.-led coalition downs Iran-made drone in Syria

Jun 21, 2017 - 7:52 AM

The incident prompts growing international concern over rising tensions between the the US led coalition and pro Syrian regime forces

FIGHTER JET. This file photo taken on August 10, 2009 shows an F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jet at the Bagram AirBase, Afghanistan. Manan Vatsyayana/AFP

Russia warns U.S. after Syrian warplane downed

Jun 20, 2017 - 7:20 AM

The downing of the jet and Russia s response come as the US led coalition and allied fighters battle to oust the Islamic State ISIS jihadist group from its Syrian bastion Raqa

SYRIAN WARPLANE. A picture taken on March 23, 2017, shows a Syrian army jet firing rockets over the village of Rahbet Khattab in the Hama province.  Omar Haj Kadour/AFP

Daunting aid challenges as civilians flee Syria's Raqa

Jun 14, 2017 - 10:39 AM

A key problem is getting aid supplies to the relatively remote desert region in Syria s north with just a trickle of assistance currently crossing from neighboring Turkey and Iraq

ESCAPE. Displaced Syrians walk at a temporary camp in the northern Syrian village of Ain Issa on June 10, 2017, where many people who fled the Islamic State (ISIS) group stronghold of Raqa are taking shelter. Delil Souleiman/AFP

Russian warship, sub fire cruise missiles at ISIS in Syria – Moscow

May 31, 2017 - 8:16 PM

The frigate Admiral Essen and submarine Krasnodar carry out 4 strikes against military hardware and fighters from the jihadist group who had left its de facto capital Raqa

FIRE. A missile is fired from the Russian Navy submarine Krasnodar towards the ISIS stronghold of Raqa, May 31, 2017. Frame grab from video of the Russian Ministry of Defense

Macron, Putin hold 'frank' talks on Syria, Ukraine

May 29, 2017 - 8:57 PM

UPDATED France s President Emmanuel Macron and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin seek to improve their countries strained ties

MACRON AND PUTIN. Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and French President Emmanuel Macron (L) wave upon their arrival at the Versailles Palace, near Paris, on May 29, 2017, ahead of their meeting. Photo by Christophe Archambault/AFP

Syria army seizes airbase from ISIS – military source, monitor

May 13, 2017 - 6:31 PM

The army takes control of more than 170 villages and towns in the area according to Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor

Turkey angered by U.S. move to arm Syrian Kurds

May 10, 2017 - 6:04 PM

The issue risks further stoking tensions between Ankara and Washington less than a week before President Recep Tayyip Erdogan heads to Washington to meet his US counterpart Donald Trump

Members of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), made up of an alliance of Arab and Kurdish fighters, patrol next to boats at the Lake Assad, an enormous reservoir created by the Tabqa dam, on April 29, 2017, as they advance in their battle for the Islamic State's (IS) stronghold in nearby Raqa. Delil Souleiman/AFP

First evacuations from Damascus rebel district

May 09, 2017 - 8:21 AM

The evacuation began days after regime backers Russia and Iran and rebel supporter Turkey signed a deal to implement de escalation zones where the government and opposition will halt hostilities

DEPARTURE. A handout picture released by the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on May 8, 2017, shows the first batch of militants and some of their family members leaving from Damascus' Barzeh neighborhood following a deal to evacuate the area. SANA/AFP

Trump, Putin discuss first meeting, Syria during 'very good call'

May 03, 2017 - 7:18 AM

The US and Russian leaders spoke by telephone focusing on the 6 year old Syrian conflict which has pitched Moscow and Washington into rival camps

TRUMP AND PUTIN. This combination of pictures shows a file photo US President Donald Trump (L); and a file photo of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Don Emmert and Natalia Kolesnikova/AFP

Pope urges end to Syria 'horror' in Easter address

Apr 16, 2017 - 10:00 PM

The pontiff also speaks out against the hostilities and famine in South Sudan Sudan Somalia and the Democratic Republic of Congo

In this file photo, a Syrian man carries his two girls as he walks across the rubble following a barrel bomb attack on the rebel-held neighborhood of al-Kalasa in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo on September 17, 2015. Karam al-Masri/AFP

Dozens of children dead in Syria evacuees bombing

Apr 16, 2017 - 7:40 PM

UPDATED At least 68 children are among the 126 people killed in the attack says the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

Syria's Assad says chemical attack '100% fabrication'

Apr 13, 2017 - 9:50 PM

President Bashar al Assad says the fabrication intends to justify a US strike on Syrian forces He insists his forces had turned over all their chemical weapons stocks years ago and would never use the banned arms

TREATMENT. An unconscious Syrian child receives treatment at a hospital in Khan Sheikhun, a rebel-held town in the northwestern Syrian Idlib province, following a suspected toxic gas attack on April 4, 2017. File photo by Omar Haj Kadour/AFP

UN Security Council to vote on Syria gas attack probe

Apr 12, 2017 - 10:06 AM

The vote comes as US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is in Moscow to pressure Russia to reconsider its support for Syrian President Bashar al Assad

YOUNG VICTIM. An unconscious Syrian child receives treatment at a hospital in Khan Sheikhun, a rebel-held town in the northwestern Syrian Idlib province, following a suspected toxic gas attack on April 4, 2017. Omar Haj Kadour/AFP

G7 backs Tillerson ahead of Syria talks in Moscow

Apr 11, 2017 - 2:44 PM

UPDATED The G7 ministers say they aim to send a clear and coordinated message to Moscow where Tillerson is due to hold talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov

FOREIGN MINISTERS' SUMMIT. The G7 Ministerial Working Session in Lucca, Italy, on April 10, 2017. US State Department photo/Public Domain

U.S. steps up pressure on Syria ahead of Russia talks

Apr 10, 2017 - 12:55 AM

UPDATED US President Donald Trump s top advisers set the stage for a diplomatic confrontation in Moscow

TILLERSON. US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks on visa travel at the US Customs and Border Protection Press Room in the Reagan Building on March 6, 2017 in Washington, DC. Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP

#ThewRap: Things you need to know, April 7, 2017

Apr 07, 2017 - 10:59 AM

Hello Here are the stories you shouldn t miss this Friday

U.S. launches missile strike on Syria airbase

Apr 07, 2017 - 10:45 AM

UPDATED President Donald Trump orders the massive military response in retaliation for the deadly April 4 chemical attack being blamed on the Assad regime

MISSILE STRIKE. The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Ross fires a tomahawk land attack missile while conducting naval operations in the Mediterranean Sea, April 7, 2017. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Robert S. Price

'Suddenly, she fell to the ground': Tales of horror from Syria gas attack

Apr 06, 2017 - 7:57 AM

We put some masks on but it didn t do anything People just started falling to the ground

YOUNG VICTIM. An unconscious Syrian child receives treatment at a hospital in Khan Sheikhun, a rebel-held town in the northwestern Syrian Idlib province, following a suspected toxic gas attack on April 4, 2017. Omar Haj Kadour/AFP

U.S. warns of 'own action' after Syria chemical massacre

Apr 06, 2017 - 7:20 AM

Ambassador Nikki Haley: When the United Nations consistently fails in its duty to act collectively there are times in the life of states that we are compelled to take our own action

'HORRIFIC ACTS' Nikki Haley (center), United States Permanent Representative to the UN and President of the Security Council for April, addresses the meeting of the council on the alleged use of chemical weapons in an April 4 airstrike in Idlib, Syria, April 5, 2017. UN Photo/Rick Bajornas

Russia defends Syria against 'chemical attack' outcry

Apr 04, 2017 - 4:08 PM

4th UPDATE The incident brings swift international condemnation with France and Britain demanding an emergency UN Security Council meeting and President Francois Hollande denouncing a massacre

Arab leaders denounce 'foreign interference'

Mar 30, 2017 - 7:35 AM

The leaders of the 22 member Arab League also call for the settlement of conflicts that are tearing the region apart

LEADERS' SUMMIT. A general view shows the Arab League summit in the Jordanian Dead Sea resort of Sweimeh on March 29, 2017. Khalil Mazraawi/AFP

Engineers set to to enter ISIS-held parts of Syria dam

Mar 29, 2017 - 5:52 PM

The fighting between the US backed Syrian Democratic Forces and ISIS has raised fears for the integrity of Tabqa Dam which holds back a vast reservoir in the Euphrates Valley

JUST CHECKING. A Syrian Arab Red Crescent member is seen examining water levels on March 28, 2017 at the Tabqa dam which has been recently partially recaptured by US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), as part of their battle for the Islamic State (ISIS) group's stronghold in nearby Raqa. Delil Souleiman/AFP

UN-backed Syria peace talks to restart in Geneva

Mar 23, 2017 - 1:16 PM

On the agenda for this round are issues of governance – a political transition the constitution and elections as well as counter terrorism at the request of Damascus

IN RUINS. A picture taken on March 22, 2017 shows a general view of destruction in the Syrian town of Suran in the countryside of the central province of Hama, which was taken by rebel forces after an offensive started the day prior. Omar haj kadour/AFP

Clashes in Syria capital after surprise rebel assault

Mar 20, 2017 - 1:45 AM

Steady shelling and sniper fire are heard across Damascus as rebel factions allied with Fateh al Sham Front launch an attack on regime positions

Smoke billows following a reported air strike in the rebel-held parts of the Jobar district, on the eastern outskirts of the Syrian capital Damascus, on March 19, 2017. Heavy clashes rocked eastern districts of Damscus as rebels and jihadists tried to fight their way into the city centre in a surprise assault on government forces. / AFP PHOTO / Mohammed EYAD