Syria
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Syria's Assad blames Israel over downing of Russian plane

Sep 20, 2018 - 12:05 PM

The Syrian president points to Israel but the Russian plane was downed by Syria's Russian-made S-200 air defense system and all aboard were killed

Thousands head home in Syria's Idlib after deal – monitor

Sep 19, 2018 - 9:15 PM

Many head home after a deal is reached between Russia and rebel supporter Turkey to create a demilitarized buffer zone along the front line, as the first step in a wider settlement, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says

SYRIA. A Syrian motorist drives amidst ruins in Morek, a town in the northern countryside of Hama province that links regime-held areas to the south and rebel territory in neighbouring Idlib province to the north, on September 18, 2018. Photo by Omar Haj Kadour/AFP

Syria downs Russian plane, Moscow blames Israel

Sep 18, 2018 - 12:23 PM

(UPDATED) The incident, which happened late Monday, is the worst case of friendly fire between the two allies since Russia's game-changing military intervention in September 2015

Syria war has killed more than 360,000 – monitor

Sep 13, 2018 - 10:54 PM

The toll represents an increase of about 13,000 people in the past 6 months

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. File photo by Abdulmonam Eassa/AFP

Trump warns Syria, Russia and Iran against Idlib 'tragedy'

Sep 04, 2018 - 9:51 AM

The warning comes as Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Javed Zarif meets with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad in a surprise visit to Damascus ahead of the looming offensive

WARNING. In this file photo, US President Donald Trump addresses the Pledge to America's Workers event at the White House in Washington, DC. File photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP

Pope warns of 'humanitarian catastrophe' in Syrian rebel bastion

Sep 02, 2018 - 8:06 PM

Pope Francis urges the international community and other actors 'to make use of the instruments of diplomacy, dialogue and negotiations, in compliance with international humanitarian law and to safeguard the lives of civilians'

PRIVATE AUDIENCE. Pope Francis is pictured during a weekly general audience at St Peter's square on April 11, 2018 in Vatican.  Photo by Tiziana Fabi/AFP

Gilas drubs Syria for 5th place Asiad finish

Aug 31, 2018 - 8:54 PM

The national men's basketball team pens a fairly happy ending to its dramatic Asian Games campaign

WINNING EXIT. Jordan Clarkson and the Philippine basketball team close out their campaign with a victory. Photo by Adrian Portugal/Rappler

Gilas targets Syria win to cap roller-coaster campaign

Aug 30, 2018 - 9:51 PM

The Philippine men's basketball team shoots for a fifth-place finish in the 2018 Asian Games

FINAL MATCH. Paul Lee and the Philippine men's basketball team aims for a winning exit in the Asiad. Photo by Adrian Portugal/Rappler

UN Syria envoy 'ready to go to Idlib' to help civilians leave

Aug 30, 2018 - 8:55 PM

A major military operation in Idlib would pose a particular humanitarian nightmare because there is no opposition territory left in Syria where people could be evacuated to

STAFFAN DE MISTURA. UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura briefs the press after speaking to a group of Syrians holding a vigil on the first day of a new round of Syria peace talks in Geneva on February 23, 2017. File photo by Philippe Desmazes/AFP

Standhardinger rues missed medal: 'We all made mistakes'

Aug 29, 2018 - 12:27 AM

The Filipino-German workhorse believes everyone – and not just head coach Yeng Guiao – is responsible for the Philippines slipping to the consolation round

SCORING MACHINE. Christian Standhardinger vents his ire against Japan with a game-high 27 points as the Philippines secures at least a sixth-place finish in the 2018 Asian Games. Photo by Adrian Portugal/Rappler


Iran, Russia, Turkey to hold Syria summit on September 7 – Turkish TV

Aug 27, 2018 - 6:30 PM

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will travel to Iran to meet with his Russian and Iranian counterparts Vladimir Putin and Hassan Rouhani, state-run TRT Haber television says

ERDOGAN. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan gestures as he speaks during a joint press conference with the Greek prime minister in Athens on December 7, 2017. File photo by Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP

Filipino, 2 others in ISIS beheading video blacklisted by U.S.

Aug 26, 2018 - 10:52 AM

A US Treasury official says the June 2016 video was 'part of a propaganda campaign to attract radicals to join militant terrorist groups in Southeast Asia'

 ISIS VIDEO. An Indonesian, Filipino, and Malaysian behead 3 Caucasians and call Muslims to fight the jihad in Syria and the Philippines (screenshot)

ISIS chief Baghdadi urges 'jihad' in purported new recording

Aug 23, 2018 - 8:26 AM

The 'caliphate will remain, God willing,' Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi says in the recording, addressing followers in the Middle East, Asia, and Africa

Western trio warns Syria over chemical weapons use

Aug 22, 2018 - 4:20 PM

In a joint statement, the 3 powers say they are 'gravely concerned' over the military offensive in Idlib and the resulting humanitarian consequences

IDLIB. A Syrian fighter fires a rocket-propelled grenade as he attends a mock battle in anticipation of an attack by the regime on Idlib province and the surrounding countryside, during a graduation of new Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) members at a camp in the countryside of the northern Idlib province on August 14, 2018. Photo by Omar Haj Kadour/AFP

Saudi Arabia pledges $100M to U.S.-backed Syria rehab

Aug 17, 2018 - 6:26 PM

This contribution is the biggest single cash injection yet for reconstruction efforts in areas formerly controlled by the jihadists

Fighters of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) walk down a street in Raqa past destroyed vehicles and heavily damaged buildings on October 20, 2017, after a Kurdish-led force expelled Islamic State (IS) group fighters from the northern Syrian city, formerly their "capital". SDF fighters flushed jihadist holdouts from Raqa's main hospital and municipal stadium, wrapping up a more than four-month offensive against what used to be the inner sanctum of IS's self-proclaimed "caliphate", which for three years saw some of the group's worst abuses and grew into a centre for both its potent propaganda machine and its unprecedented experiment in jihadist statehood. BULENT KILIC / AFP

Children among 39 civilians killed in Syria arms depot blast

Aug 12, 2018 - 9:49 PM

The cause of the blast is not yet clear, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

Kurds eye decentralized Syria in talks with government

Jul 28, 2018 - 7:37 PM

(UPDATED) The Syrian Democratic Forces alliance says it it has agreed with the government to form joint committees and forge a 'roadmap leading to a democratic and decentralized Syria'

RUBBLE. Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) walk amidst the rubble of destroyed buildings in the northern Syrian town of Manbij on August 7, 2016, as they comb the city in search of the last remaining jihadists, a day after they retook it from the Islamic State group. Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

No military cooperation with Russia in Syria for now – Mattis

Jul 25, 2018 - 9:00 AM

For the moment, the only coordination between the US-led coalition with Russia in Syria is through a special hotline to make sure there are no mishaps involving the two sides' ground forces or planes

SYRIA. In this file photo, US Defense Minister James Mattis addresses the press during a NATO defense ministers' meetings at the NATO headquarters in Brussels on February 15, 2017. File photo by Emmanuel Dunand/AFP

Israel says it shot down a Syrian warplane

Jul 24, 2018 - 11:31 PM

Israel signals the plane's infiltration may have been the result of internal fighting in Syria's civil war, but stresses it will enforce the ceasefire lines between the two countries

MISSILES. In this file photo taken on November 8, 2017, a Patriot missile launcher is pictured during the "Blue Flag" multinational air defence exercise at the Ovda air force base, north of the Israeli city of Eilat. File photo by Jack Guez/AFP

Syrian refugee return must be voluntary – UN

Jul 24, 2018 - 1:08 PM

'It is up to people to... no one should be forced to return,' UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric says following an agreement between Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump to work together on the safe return of Syrian refugees

GOING HOME. In this file photo, a Syrian refugee rests on the side of the road as he returns to Syria with his family after crossing the Jordanian border near the town of Nasib, in the southern province of Daraa, on August 29, 2017. File photo by Mohamad Abazeed/AFP

Israel evacuates 800 White Helmets to Jordan in face of Syria advance

Jul 22, 2018 - 3:33 PM

The Jordanian government accepts the Syrian White Helmets rescuers and their families from Israel and plans to transfer them to Britain, Germany, and Canada

RESCUE. Syrian rescuers, known as White Helmets, recover bodies in Zardana, in the mostly rebel-held northern Syrian Idlib province, following air strikes in the area late on June 7, 2018. Photo by Omar Haj Kadour/AFP

Rebels reach north Syria after south evacuations

Jul 21, 2018 - 11:07 PM

Air strikes by regime ally Russia on a southern jihadist holdout kill 6 civilians

CONFLICT. Evacuated Syrians from the area of Fuaa and Kafraya in the Idlib province, look out of a broken bus window as it passes the al-Eis crossing south of Aleppo during the evacuation of several thousand residents from the two pro-regime towns in northern Syria on July 19, 2018. Photo by STR/AFP

Wife of new ISIS Southeast Asia 'emir' nabbed in General Santos

Jul 16, 2018 - 5:43 PM

Nafisa Pundog, identified by authorities as the wife of Abu Dar, has a standing warrant of arrest for allegedly possessing a blasting cap/incendiary device

NABBED. Nafisa Pundog is arrested in what is believed to be her safehouse in General Santos City. Military photo

Rebels, families begin evacuating Syria's Daraa city

Jul 15, 2018 - 6:56 PM

Hundreds of fighters and some of their relatives, carrying suitcases packed with clothes, board around 15 buses in Daraa city, more than 7 years after the country's ill-fated uprising erupted there

Syria state media confirms deal with rebels for Daraa city

Jul 12, 2018 - 1:23 PM

Under the deal for opposition-held areas of Daraa city, rebels are to hand over their heavy and medium-sized weapons

DEAL. Displaced Syrians from the Daraa province come back to their hometown in Bosra, southwestern Syria, on July 11, 2018. Photo by Mohamad Yusuf/AFP

Tens of thousands return home after south Syria ceasefire deal

Jul 09, 2018 - 9:28 AM

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says more than 60,000 people have since taken to the roads from the Jordanian frontier, heading back to their homes in the east or west of the province

REFUGEE. A child is among the displaced Syrians from the province of Daraa in a makeshift camp in the area of the village of Burayqah near the border between the Israeli-occupied Golan heights and Syria. Photo by Ahmad al-Msalam/AFP

Thousands head home in south Syria after ceasefire deal

Jul 07, 2018 - 9:08 PM

Calm reigns over the region on Saturday as the two sides finalized the ceasefire deal, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

RETURN HOME. Syrian families return to their homes in towns and villages situated on the eastern outskirts of Daraa on July 7, 2018. Photo by Mohamad Abazeed/AFP

Pope fears for Christian presence in Middle East

Jul 07, 2018 - 8:47 PM

'Indifference kills, and we desire to lift up our voices in opposition to this murderous indifference,' says Pope Francis

RELIGIOUS LEADERS. Pope Francis (L) watches as Egypt's Coptic Orthodox Pope Tawadros (Theodoros) II releases a dove after a meeting with other religious leaders at the Pontifical Basilica of St Nicholas in Bari, in the Apulia region in southern Italy, on July 7, 2018. Photo by Alberto Pizzoli/AFP

UN Security Council to hold emergency Syria talks

Jul 04, 2018 - 2:35 PM

Sweden, which holds the rotating Security Council presidency, requests the closed-door meeting along with Kuwait

UN SECURITY COUNCIL. The Security Council will hold an emergency meeting July 5 to discuss the Syria army's Russia-backed offensive against rebel groups. UN file photo by JC McIlwaine

8 south Syria towns return to regime control under deals – monitor

Jun 30, 2018 - 10:24 PM

The agreements for the 8 towns are reached even as regime air strikes on Saturday pounded other opposition holdouts

UNREST. Syrian government forces' soldiers hold their weapons at the back of a pick-up truck during a government guided tour in the village of al-Sourah, province of Daraa, on June 29, 2018. Photo by Youssef Karwashan/AFP

Iraq executes 12 death row jihadists in response to killings

Jun 29, 2018 - 8:43 PM

A statement from the office of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi does not specify how they were executed, but death sentences in terrorism-related cases are usually carried out by hanging

ORDER. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi talks during a campaign rally in the holy city of Najaf on May 3, 2018, ahead of the upcoming parliamentary elections. File photo by Haidar HAMDANI/AFP

Syria forces declare 'curfew' in Raqa, fearing ISIS attacks

Jun 24, 2018 - 4:42 PM

Raqa International Security Forces says it had received information that terrorist groups working on behalf of ISIS have 'entered Raqa to carry out attacks against stability and security'

CURFEW. The Syrian Democratic forces (SDF) recently drove the Islamic State (ISIS) group out of large parts of northern and eastern Syria, including the onetime jihadist capital of Raqa, with help from the coalition's air strikes, weapons and special forces advisors. File photo by Delil souleiman / AFP

UN chief appeals for end to fighting in south Syria

Jun 23, 2018 - 11:19 AM

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres calls for a return to ceasefire arrangements agreed by Russia, the United States and Jordan

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. File photo by Abdulmonam Eassa/AFP

Russia 'skeptical' over UN Syrian crimes against humanity report

Jun 21, 2018 - 7:17 PM

The report says forces loyal to the Syrian government had deliberately starved civilians during the siege between February and April, among other crimes.

SERGEI LAVROV. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks during a press conference after his meeting with UN Secretary General in Moscow on June 21, 2018. Photo by Yuri Kadobnov/AFP

Record 68.5 million people displaced worldwide – UN

Jun 19, 2018 - 1:21 PM

The current figure is equivalent to the entire population of Thailand, and the number of people forcibly displaced equates to one in every 110 persons worldwide

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

ISIS operatives, Tito Sotto, World Cup 2018 | Midday wRap

Jun 18, 2018 - 2:00 PM

Watch Rappler’s midday newscast with Mara Cepeda

Airstrikes, clashes between military, ISIS-Maute group in Lanao del Sur towns

Jun 18, 2018 - 8:33 AM

(3rd UPDATE) According to Colonel Romeo Brawner, current reports indicate 5 members of the Maute-ISIS group led by Abu Dar, have been killed. The military is still verifying these reports.

In war-torn Syria, 'cat man' starts rare animal clinic

Jun 04, 2018 - 8:14 PM

Meet Mohammed Alaa al-Jaleel, the Cat Man of Aleppo who runs an animal sanctuary in the war-torn, rebel-held city

FRIENDS OF FELINES. Mohammed Alaa al-Jaleel runs Ernesto's Cat Sanctuary, a makeshift animal clinic in Kafr Naha, an opposition-held town in Aleppo province in Syria. Photo by Omar Haj Kadour/AFP

Syria's Assad to meet Kim in North Korea – KCNA

Jun 03, 2018 - 10:11 PM

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad potentially can become the first head of state to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inside the isolated country

Pentagon warns Syria's Assad against attacking Kurdish-led forces

Jun 01, 2018 - 1:25 PM

Lieutenant General Kenneth McKenzie's remarks come after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told Russian broadcaster RT he would not hesitate to use force to retake the 3rd of the country held by the Syrian Democratic Forces

Protests as Syria takes chair of world disarmament body

May 29, 2018 - 8:10 AM

'The Damascus regime has neither the credibility nor moral authority to preside over the CD,' says US ambassador to the Conference on Disarmament Robert Wood

PROTESTS. US Permanent Representative to the Geneva conference, Robert Wood, during a plenary meeting of the United Nations Conference on Disarmament, on August 30, 2017 in Geneva. File photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Russia forces among dozens dead in ISIS east Syria attacks

May 27, 2018 - 8:20 PM

(UPDATED) Defense ministry says the fighting lasted for an hour and left 43 militants dead

U.S. warns Syria of 'firm' action over southern offensive

May 26, 2018 - 4:54 PM

Reports concern US State Department that the Daraa was within the boundaries of a de-escalation zone it had negotiated with Russia and Jordan last year

REBEL. Smoke rises from buildings in a rebel-held neighbourhood of Daraa in southern Syria following reported shelling by the regime on May 22, 2018. Photo by Mohamad Abazeed/AFP

U.S.-led strike hits regime positions in east Syria – state media

May 24, 2018 - 2:49 PM

'Some of our military positions between Albu Kamal and Hmeimeh were hit this morning in an aggression by American coalition warplanes,' a military source says

Israel says first to use F-35 stealth fighter jets in combat

May 22, 2018 - 9:32 PM

Calling the plane by its Hebrew name, an Israeli general says: 'The Adir aircraft are already operational and flying combat missions'

FIRST RUN. An Israeli Air Force F-35 Lightning II fighter jet performs during an air show at the graduation ceremony of Israeli air force pilots at the Hatzerim Israeli Air Force base in the Negev desert, near the southern Israeli city of Beer Sheva, on December 27, 2017. Photo by Jack Guez/AFP

ISIS begins quitting last pocket of Syria's capital

May 20, 2018 - 9:44 PM

ISIS jihadists burn their headquarters before boarding buses with their relatives to leave the area, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says

To fast or not? Free of IS, Syrians in Raqa mark relaxed Ramadan

May 20, 2018 - 12:19 PM

For more than three years, residents of Raqa were subjected to IS' ultra-strict interpretation of Islamic law – particularly stringent during the holy month of Ramadan.

RAMADAN. People buy fruits and vegetables at a market in the Syrian city of Raqa on May 17, 2018, during the holy month of Ramadan. The Syrian Democratic forces (SDF) recently drove the Islamic State (IS) group out of large parts of northern and eastern Syria, including the onetime jihadist capital of Raqa, with help from the coalition's air strikes, weapons and special forces advisors. Photo by Delil souleiman/AFP

Putin meets Assad, calls for 'political process' on Syria

May 18, 2018 - 11:35 AM

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov tells reporters that 'there were detailed discussions' between the two leaders

DIPLOMACY. Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) speaks with his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad during their meeting in Sochi on May 17, 2018. Photo by Mikhail Klimentyev/AFP

11 Iranians among dead in Israel strikes on Syria Thursday – monitor

May 12, 2018 - 3:47 PM

Among those killed are 6 Syrian soldiers and 21 foreign fighters in Israeli strikes on Thursday, May 10

Israel hits Iranian posts in Syria: What we know

May 10, 2018 - 10:19 PM

Here's what we know about what was hit, how the world reacted, and what could happen next

ARMOR. An Israeli soldier directs a M113 armored personal vehicle near the Syrian border in the Israel-annexed Golan Heights on May 10, 2018. Photo by Jalaa Marey/AFP