Syria - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Syria

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Erdogan hosts Putin, Rouhani for Syria summit

Sep 16, 2019 - 11:37 AM

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will host Presidents Vladimir Putin and Hassan Rouhani in Ankara for the latest summit on the Syrian conflict

SYRIA SUMMIT. Iranian President Hassan Rouhani (C), Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) and Russian President Vladimir Putin at press conference after a trilateral meeting in Tehran on September 7, 2018. File photo by Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP

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

UK says Iran broke word with oil transfer to Syria

Sep 10, 2019 - 11:33 PM

Britain's Foreign Office says it will raise the issue at the United Nations, with Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab warning that it is part of a 'pattern of behavior...designed to disrupt regional security'

GRACE 1. Picture shows Iranian supertanker Grace 1 off the coast of Gibraltar on August 15, 2019. File photo by Jorge Guerrero/AFP

Syrian court finds Joanna Demafelis' employer guilty of murder

Sep 09, 2019 - 5:01 PM

(UPDATED) 'There you go. Judge didn't buy the defense,' says Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr in response to the verdict over the gruesome murder of overseas Filipino worker Joanna Demafelis

JOANNA'S REMAINS. Jessica Demafelis, sister of OFW Joanna Demafelis, broke down upon seeing the crate containing her sister's body as it arrived at the cargo terminal of NAIA on February 16, 2017. File photo by Ben Nabong/Rappler

U.S., Turkey launch joint patrols in northeast Syria

Sep 08, 2019 - 4:59 PM

A joint center of operations has been established as part of the agreement for a 'safe zone' between the Turkish border and the Syrian areas controlled by the YPG

JOINT PATROL. This picture taken on September 8, 2019 shows an US army helicopter flying over Turkish (R) and US (L) armored vehicles which take part in their first joint patrol under a deal reached between Washington and Ankara, at the border with Syria near Akcakale, in the Sanliurfa province of Turkey. Photo by Bulent Kilic/AFP

Turkey says Syria Kurds withdrawal 'must be confirmed'

Aug 30, 2019 - 11:43 PM

As part of the US-Turkey deal to create a 'safe zone' in northern Syria, a joint operations center was set up and there will be joint patrols. Turkey hopes the patrols would start 'as soon as possible.'

CONFIRMATION? This file photo shows Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar looking on before posing for a family picture during the NATO Defense Ministers meeting in Brussels on June 27, 2019. File photo by Aris Oikonomou/AFP

Russia announces ceasefire in Syria's Idlib

Aug 30, 2019 - 8:44 PM

The Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria says the ceasefire aims 'to stabilize the situation' in Idlib and urged anti-government fighters to 'abandon armed provocations and join the peace process'

CEASEFIRE. This file photo shows Syrian civilians flee on August 21, 2019 a conflict zone in Syria's rebel-held northwestern region of Idlib, where government bombardment has killed hundreds since late April. File photo by Omar Haj Kadour/AFP

Putin, Erdogan meet in Moscow with focus on Syria

Aug 28, 2019 - 8:01 AM

The meeting comes ahead of a September 16 summit in Ankara that will bring together the main foreign players in Syria's conflict – Putin, Erdogan and Iran's President Hassan Rouhani

Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan (L) shakeshands with Russian President Vladimir Putin as they visit the MAKS-2019 International Aviation and Space Salon opening day in Zhukovsky outside of Moscow on August 27, 2019.  Alexey NIKOLSKY / SPUTNIK / AFP

Syria Kurds say fighters start pullback from Turkish border

Aug 27, 2019 - 8:38 PM

The so-called 'safe zone' agreed by Washington and Ankara aims to create a buffer between the Turkish border and Syrian areas controlled by the Kurdish People's Protection Units

MEETING. Mazloum Kobani (L), commander-in-chief of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), and Brigadier-General Nicholas Pond (2nd-L), a representative of the US-led coalition fighting the Islamic State (IS) group, attend a meeting with other SDF commanders in the northwestern Syrian city of Hasakah, in the province of the same name, on August 24, 2019. Syria's Kurds have said that they would support the implementation of a US-Turkey deal to set up a buffer zone in their areas along the Turkish border. File photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

Israeli jets hit targets in Syria to prevent Iranian drone attack – army

Aug 25, 2019 - 12:01 PM

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warns arch-foe Iran it had no immunity from his state's military

MORE ATTACKS. Syrian civilians flee from a a conflict zone in Syria's rebel-held northwestern region of Idlib, where government bombardment has killed hundreds since late April. File photo by Omar Haj Kadour/AFP

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

Putin, Erdogan to 'activate' cooperation on Syria – Kremlin

Aug 23, 2019 - 8:44 PM

Turkey and Russia back opposing sides in the Syrian conflict but have worked closely, along with Iran, to find a political solution for Syria

SYRIA WAR. In this file photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan answer journalists' questions during a press conference in Konstantinovsky Palace outside Saint Petersburg on August 9, 2016. File photo by Alexander Nemenov/AFP

Damascus to let civilians flee rebel-held Idlib

Aug 22, 2019 - 7:47 PM

The Idlib region, which sits on the Turkish border, is now the last major stronghold of opposition to the Russia-backed government of President Bashar al-Assad

OPEN. Syrian civilians flee on August 21, 2019 a conflict zone in Syria's rebel-held northwestern region of Idlib, where government bombardment has killed hundreds since late April. Photo by Omar Haj Kadour/AFP

Anti-Assad fighters withdraw from key area of northwest Syria

Aug 21, 2019 - 11:42 AM

After 8 years of civil war, the Idlib region on the border with Turkey is the last major stronghold of opposition to Assad's Russia-backed government

Syrian government forces gather near the town of Khan Shaykhun in the southern countryside of the rebel-held Idlib province on August 18, 2019. A Turkish military convoy crossed into jihadist-run northwest Syria on August 19, it's path blocked by advancing regime troops as tensions soared between Damascus and Ankara, which said its forces were targeted by an air strike. AFP

UK strips citizenship from 'Jihadi Jack' dual national – report

Aug 18, 2019 - 6:36 PM

Jack Letts is currently detained in Syria after being captured by Kurdish forces

ENEMY LINE. A flag of the Islamic State (IS) is seen on the other side of a bridge at the frontline of fighting between Kurdish Peshmerga fighters and Islamist militants in Rashad, on the road between Kirkuk and Tikrit, on September 11, 2014. JM Lopez/AFP

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

Damascus rejects Turkey-U.S. plan, Kurds give guarded welcome

Aug 08, 2019 - 9:59 PM

No details are provided on the size or nature of the safe zone, but the deal appears to provide some breathing room after Turkey threatened an imminent attack on the Kurdish People's Protection Units

KURDS. This file photo shows Syrian Kurdish members of the People's Protection Units (YPG) attending the funeral of a slain Kurdish commander in the northeastern city of Qamishli on December 6, 2018. File photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

Turkey, U.S. agree 'joint operation center' for north Syria

Aug 08, 2019 - 8:59 AM

The agreement contains no details on the size and nature of the safe zone, but aims to provide some breathing room after Turkey had threatened an imminent attack on the Kurdish YPG group

SAFE HAVEN. A Syrian refugee girl weeps as families board busses returning to neighboring Syria on August 6, 2019, in the Esenyurt district of Istanbul, Turkey. Photo by Ozan Kose/AFP

Syria resumes Idlib air strikes after scrapping ceasefire

Aug 06, 2019 - 12:43 AM

The northwestern region of some 3 million people is one of the last major centers of resistance to President Bashar al-Assad's regime after 8 years of war

FAREWELL. Children wave goodbye as displaced Syrians who fled from their villages near the village of Jibala in the south of Idlib province to escape bombing by Syrian government forces, return home shortly before a truce fell apart between rebels and President Bashar al-Assad's regime, on August 4, 2019. File photo by Aaref Watad/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

More than 400,000 displaced in northwest Syria in 3 months – U.N.

Jul 26, 2019 - 10:36 PM

The region under attack is home to some 3 million people, nearly half of them already displaced from other parts of the country

DISPLACED. Residents flee with their belongings during reported shelling by government and allied forces, in the southern countryside of the rebel-held Idlib province on May 3,2019. File 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

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