Syrian - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Syrian

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U.N. says nearly 5 million children born into Syria war

Mar 15, 2020 - 10:20 PM

UNICEF also says close to 5,000 children were recruited into the fighting

Syrian children play as they sit on the tip of an abandoned missile at the Ash'ari camp for the displaced in the rebel-held eastern Ghouta area outside the capital Damascus on October 25, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Amer ALMOHIBANY

Putin, Erdogan agree to ceasefire in Syria's Idlib

Mar 05, 2020 - 11:43 AM

(4th UPDATE) 'The object is to avoid the humanitarian crisis getting worse,' Erdogan says, though he adds that Turkey reserves the right to 'retaliate with all its strength against any attack' by Damascus

SHAKE ON IT. Russian President Vladimir Putin(R) and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan shake hands during a joint press conference following their talks in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on October 22, 2019. Photo by Sergei Chirikov/AFP

U.N. probe highlights Russia, Turkey roles in Syria 'war crimes'

Mar 03, 2020 - 11:44 AM

'You have children in open air with their families, without a tent, without shelter, without blankets, UN's Syria commission chair says, lamenting that 'children are freezing to death'

CHILD. 11-year-old Syrian girl Rawan poses on a destroyed tank with her stuffed bear near the village of Yazi Bagh. Photo by Nazeer Al-Khatib/AFP

Turkish drones kill 19 Syrian government soldiers as tensions soar

Mar 02, 2020 - 9:13 AM

The report comes hours after Turkey shot down two Syrian warplanes

SIEGE. Turkey-backed Syrian fighters ride a tank in the town of Saraqib in the eastern part of the Idlib province in northwestern Syria, on February 27, 2020. Photo by Bakr Alakasem/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

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

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

'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

ISIS chief Baghdadi buried at sea by U.S. military

Oct 29, 2019 - 8:35 AM

The US military basks in success after the eliminating the founder and spiritual guide of the Islamic State group, capping a years-long campaign to crush the Sunni Muslim extremist organization

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA - OCTOBER 28: U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper (L) and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley hold a news conference at the Pentagon the day after it was announced that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was killed in a U.S. raid in Syria October 28, 2019 in Arlington, Virginia. The leader and self-proclaimed caliph of the Islamic State, al-Baghdadi reportedly blew himself up with explosives when cornered by a U.S. Special Operations team at his compound in Syria. Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/AFP CHIP SOMODEVILLA / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFP

Kurdish forces start Syria-Turkey border pullback

Oct 24, 2019 - 10:54 PM

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports that the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces have pulled out of some areas at the eastern end of the border

SYRIA CONFLICT. Mourners attend the funeral of 3 Syrian Democratic Forces' fighters killed in battles against Turkey-led forces in the flashpoint town of Ras al-Ain along the border, on October 24, 2019 in the Syrian Kurdish town of Qamishli. Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

More than 100 Islamic State prisoners have escaped in Syria – US envoy

Oct 24, 2019 - 7:27 AM

'We would say the number is now over 100. We do not know where they are,' James Jeffrey, the State Department point man on Syria

James Jeffrey, State Department special representative for Syria engagement and special envoy to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS, testifies before the State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subcommittee on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on October 23, 2019. NICHOLAS KAMM / AFP

Turkey outlines 'safe zone' plan ahead of key deadline

Oct 21, 2019 - 11:28 PM

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, meanwhile, accuses Western countries of 'standing by terrorists' in failing to support Turkey's operation

INSPECTION. 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

Turkey-led strikes kill 14 civilians in northeast Syria

Oct 19, 2019 - 12:04 AM

Syrian Democratic Forces spokesman Mustefa Bali says Turkey is clearly violating the terms of the agreement reached during a visit to Ankara by US Vice President Mike Pence

INJURED. A man who was injured during the ongoing Turkish offensive against Kurdish-controlled areas of northeastern Syria receives treatment at a hospital in Tal Tamr, near the Syrian Kurdish town of Ras al-Ain, October 18, 2019. Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

Turkey assault in northeast Syria displaced 300,000 – monitor

Oct 17, 2019 - 3:08 PM

'More than 300,000 civilians have been displaced since the start of the offensive,' Rami Abdel Rahman, head of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, says

RAISING THE FLAG. Syrian government forces raise a national flag and an image of President Bashar al-Assad at Tabqa air base in norther Syria's Raqa region on October 16, 2019.  Photo by AFP

Syria Kurds defend key town as Turkey ignores U.S.

Oct 15, 2019 - 4:12 PM

(3rd UPDATE) Syria's regime dispatches more troops to the northeast to contain Ankara's advance – their most significant deployment in the Kurdish-controlled region since they started withdrawing from the area in 2012

CONFLICT. 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, on the sixth day of Turkey's military operation against Kurdish forces. Photo by Ozan Kose/AFP

U.S. slaps sanctions on Turkey as Syrian regime returns to north

Oct 15, 2019 - 8:16 AM

The actions come hours after regime troops returned for the first time in years to parts of northeastern Syria, invited by Kurdish fighters desperate for protection as the United States pulls out

Turkey-backed Syrian fighters gather around a Turkish army US-made M60 tank in the northern outskirts of the Syrian city of Manbij near the Turkish border on October 14, 2019, as Turkey and its allies continue their assault on Kurdish-held border towns in northeastern Syria. Turkey wants to create a roughly 30-kilometre (20-mile) buffer zone along its border to keep Kurdish forces at bay and also to send back some of the 3.6 million Syrian refugees it hosts. Zein Al RIFAI / AFP

Syria regime steps in to halt Turkish assault on Kurds

Oct 14, 2019 - 7:33 PM

(UPDATED) Washington says it is planning to pull out 1,000 troops – almost the entire ground force – from Syria's north, in a move welcomed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as 'a positive approach'

DEAL. Members of the special forces of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces are pictured during preparations to join the front against Turkish forces, on October 10, 2019, near the northern Syrian town of Hasakeh. Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

Arms embargoes won't stop Turkey's Syria operation – Erdogan

Oct 13, 2019 - 8:55 PM

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says 'those who think they can make Turkey turn back with threats are gravely mistaken'

Smoke rises from the Syrian town of Tal Abyad, in a picture taken from the Turkish side of the border where the Turkish flag is seen in Akcakale on October 10, 2019, on the second day of Turkey's military operation against Kurdish forces. Turkey has vowed to destroy the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) which controls much of northeastern Syria, and set up a "safe zone" for the return of Syrian refugees. A total of 70 people were so far reported injured across Turkish areas. Families were evacuating and streets emptying in Akcakale, as local authorities called on people to take shelter. BULENT KILIC / AFP

Turkey to begin Syria offensive 'shortly' despite mixed U.S. signals

Oct 09, 2019 - 12:37 PM

Istanbul sends more armored vehicles to the border with Syria, with a large convoy of dozens of vehicles seen in the Turkish town of Akcakale

A Turkish army's tank drives down from a truck as Turkish armed forces drive towards the border with Syria near Akcakale in Sanliurfa province on October 8, 2019. Turkey said on October 8, 2019, it was ready for an offensive into northern Syria, while President Donald Trump insisted the United States had not abandoned its Kurdish allies who would be targeted in the assault. Trump has blown hot and cold since a surprise announcement two days before that Washington was pulling back 50 to 100 "special operators" from Syria's northern frontier. BULENT KILIC / AF

9 jihadists killed in Russia strikes on Idlib – monitor

Oct 05, 2019 - 8:27 PM

Six of the dead were members of the Al-Qaeda linked Hurras al-Deen

6 civilians killed in northwest Syria despite truce

Sep 14, 2019 - 4:49 PM

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports regime fire in various parts of southern Idlib, including close to a Turkish military observation post

Assad regime forces mass in northwest Syria – monitor

Aug 24, 2019 - 6:51 PM

Russian-backed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces gather north of the key town of Khan Sheikhun in a bid to take more territory from Turkish-backed rebels

Regime forces advance towards key town in northwest Syria

Aug 14, 2019 - 11:31 PM

President Bashar al-Assad's fighters are just a few kilometers away from Khan Sheikhun, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

KEY TOWN. This picture taken on August 5, 2019 shows smoke billowing above buildings during a reported air strike by pro-regime forces on Khan Sheikhun in the south of the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib. File photo by Omar Haj Kadour/AFP

Air strikes stop in Syria's Idlib after truce announced

Aug 02, 2019 - 10:57 PM

(UPDATED) The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says Syrian and Russia aircraft were no longer seen flying over Idlib following the truce hailed by Moscow

Air strikes kill 15 civilians in northwest Syria

Jul 27, 2019 - 10:54 PM

Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says 7 children among 11 civilians are killed in Syrian air strikes that targeted two residential buildings

WAR. Members of the Syrian Civil Defense (White Helmets) carry the body of a victim at the site of a reported air strike on the town of Ariha, in the south of Syria's Idlib province on July 27, 2019. Photo by Omar Haj Kadour/AFP

U.S. calls on Germany to send ground troops to Syria

Jul 07, 2019 - 7:19 PM

The United States expects an answer from Germany this month

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

Top Oman diplomat meets Assad in rare Syria visit

Jul 07, 2019 - 7:05 PM

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met with Oman's state minister for foreign affairs Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah to discuss bilateral relations and regional security

Syria says 4 killed in Israeli missile strikes

Jul 01, 2019 - 11:42 AM

Syria's state news agency says the missiles struck near Damascus and in Homs province

Syria regime air strikes kill 4 civilians – monitor

Jun 23, 2019 - 9:11 PM

The region is supposed to be protected by a September buffer zone deal

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

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

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

Pope Francis urges Libya peace, return of refugees to Syria

Apr 21, 2019 - 7:41 PM

'I urge the parties involved to choose dialogue over force and to avoid reopening wounds left by a decade of conflicts and political instability,' Pope Francis says during his traditional Easter Sunday address

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

Jihadists emerge from tunnels to surrender after 'caliphate' falls

Mar 25, 2019 - 9:52 AM

(UPDATED) An AFP reporter says he saw dozens of people – mostly men – file out of the battered jihadist encampment in the remote village of Baghouz near the Iraqi border to board pickup trucks

Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) walk in the village of Baghouz in Syria's eastern Deir Ezzor province near the Iraqi border on March 24, 2019, a day after the Islamic State (IS) group's "caliphate" was declared defeated by the US-backed Kurdish-led SDF.  Delil souleiman / 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 ==

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

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

The week in photos: March 2-8, 2019

Mar 09, 2019 - 6:34 PM

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

FESTIVAL PREPS. A Nepali sadhu (Hindu holy man) applies face paint near the Pashupatinath temple during the Hindu festival Maha Shivaratri in Kathmandu on March 4, 2019. Photo by Prakash Mathema/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

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

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