Posts Tagged ‘ Syria ’

Assad: US is “not serious” about defeating Islamic State

July 14, 2016
posted by

NBC News NBC News    

"A defiant Bashar al-Assad expressed confidence that Syria's bloody war could be won within months, saying Russia's intervention has helped tip the scales toward victory. Assad spoke exclusively to NBC News on Wednesday at his office in Damascus in a wide-ranging interview about the Syrian war, ISIS, the U.S. and his legacy. He was unruffled by the State Department branding his vow to retake every inch of Syria as 'delusional,' saying it was only a matter of time until he regained full control of his country. ... according to Assad, the 'very frank' relationship he has with [Vladimir] Putin is rooted in their shared values and common interest: defeating terrorists. The Syrian president claimed that's far from true of the U.S., which he accused of not truly wanting to see ISIS'[s] defeat. 'They're not serious,' Assad said." (07/14/16)

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/bashar-al-assad-says-u-s-not-serious-about-defeating-n609036  

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Syria: Regime declares 72-hour Eid al-Fitr truce

July 7, 2016
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"The Syrian military has unilaterally declared a 72-hour truce covering the whole country, state media report. The 'regime of calm' began at 01:00 on Wednesday (22:00 GMT on Tuesday) and will last until midnight on Friday. A number of rebel groups have said they will respect the truce, which covers the Islamic festival of Eid al-Fitr." (07/06/16)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-36722942  

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The Syria “dissent” memo and US bureaucratic pressure strategy

June 29, 2016
posted by

Gareth Porter Antiwar.com
by Gareth Porter  

"The memorandum by 51 State Department officials calling for US military intervention in Syria last week has been treated in news media coverage as a case of dissent from existing Syria policy by individual officials involved in Syria policy. But the memo has all the earmarks of an initiative that had the blessing of the most senior officials in the department -- including Secretary of State John Kerry himself -- rather than having been put together by individual officials entirely on their own. And it may mark the beginning of an effort to take advantage of the presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton." (06/29/16)

http://original.antiwar.com/porter/2016/06/28/syria-dissent-memo-us-bureaucratic-pressure-strategy/  

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Lebanon: Army detains 100 Syrians after Qaa bombings

June 28, 2016
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"Lebanon's army has detained more than 100 Syrians for entering the country illegally following a series of suicide bombings in a border village. The raids took place at informal refugee camps in the Baalbek region. On Monday, at least eight bombers blew themselves up in the predominantly Christian village of Qaa, killing five people and injuring almost 30 others. No group has said it was behind the attacks, but suspicion has fallen on jihadist militants from Islamic State. IS has carried out previous suicide bombings that have killed scores of people in Lebanon." (06/28/16)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-36649779  

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Israeli intel chief: We don’t want Islamic State defeated in Syria

June 22, 2016
posted by

Antiwar.com Antiwar.com    

"In a speech at the Herzliya Conference, Israel's military intelligence chief, Major General Herzi Halevy, took Israel's long-standing position that it 'prefers ISIS' over the Syrian government to a whole 'nother level, declaring openly that Israel does not want to see ISIS defeated in the war. ... Israeli officials have regularly expressed comfort with the idea of ISIS conquering the whole of Syria, saying they find it preferable to the Iran-allied government surviving the war. At the same time, they were never so overtly supportive of ISIS and its survival." (06/21/16)

http://news.antiwar.com/2016/06/21/israeli-intel-chief-we-dont-want-isis-defeated-in-syria/  

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Syria: Islamic State forces launch counter-attacks on regime troops, US-backed rebels

June 21, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"The Islamic State group launched a counter-attack against fighters trying to capture the Syrian city of Manbij on Monday, inflicting heavy casualties on the U.S.-backed forces, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the militants said. The monitor said the militants won back three villages south of the besieged city in a surprise assault against fighters from the U.S.-backed Syria Democratic Forces. At least 28 SDF fighters were killed. ... Islamic State militants were also able to roll back the Syrian army, which had reached as close as 10 km (6.2 miles) south of the strategic town of Tabqa, an Islamic State-held city on the Euphrates River, in Raqqa province." (06/20/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-militants-idUSKCN0Z623G  

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Syria: Change the (Dissent) Channel

June 20, 2016
posted by

Thomas L Knapp -- photo by Avens O'Brien William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism
by Thomas L Knapp  

"The US State Department's 'Dissent Channel' is a mechanism through which department personnel may disagree with administration policy without fear of job retribution. On June 17, Mark Landler of the New York Times revealed the existence of a recent 'Dissent Channel' memo bearing the signatures of 51 diplomats and other department officials and calling for 'a more militarily assertive US role in Syria [versus the Assad regime], based on the judicious use of stand-off and air weapons.' Let me open my dissent to the dissent by invoking the late Pete Seeger: 'Oh when will they ever learn?'" (06/18/16)

http://thegarrisoncenter.org/archives/6336  

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Syria: Russian soldier dies of wounds

June 19, 2016
posted by

The Washington Post Washington Post    

"Russia's Defense Ministry says a Russian soldier has died of wounds he suffered in a militant suicide attack in Syria, the military's 11th casualty since the start of its campaign there. The ministry said Sunday that Sgt. Andrei Timoshenkov died at a hospital at the Russian base in Syria." (06/19/16)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/russian-soldier-dies-of-wounds-in-syria/2016/06/19/014bc9b2-362d-11e6-af02-1df55f0c77ff_story.html  

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Syria: Multiple blasts in regime stronghold kill 80

May 23, 2016
posted by

US News & World Report US News & World Report    

"A series of explosions rocked two normally quiet coastal government strongholds in Syria Monday, killing more than 80 people and wounding 200 others, state media and opposition activists said. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attacks. The deadly blasts in the peaceful pro-government cities of Tartus and Jableh were the first of their kind targeting civilians in those areas during Syria's civil war, now in its sixth year. The targets included bus stations and a hospital, and marked an escalation in the conflict as world powers struggle to restart peace talks in Geneva." (05/23/16)

http://www.usnews.com/news/world/articles/2016-05-23/syria-tv-more-than-20-killed-in-explosions-in-coastal-city  

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Activists: New airstrikes in northern Syria kill at least ten

May 10, 2016
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"Syrian activist groups say two airstrikes on a northwestern Syrian town have killed at least 10 people. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Coordination Committees said Tuesday's attack on the town of Binnish also wounded dozens. The LCC says the warplanes were Syrian while the Observatory says it wasn't clear if they were Syrian or Russian." (05/10/16)

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/05/10/activists-new-airstrikes-in-northern-syria-kill-at-least-10.html  

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Syria: Aleppo fighting rages as US, Russian regimes try to revive truce

May 10, 2016
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"Syrian government forces and their allies fought insurgents near Aleppo on Monday and jets conducted raids around a nearby town seized by Islamist rebels, a monitoring group said, as Syria's military said a ceasefire in Aleppo would be extended by 48 hours starting on Tuesday. A recent surge in bloodshed in Aleppo, Syria's largest city before the war, wrecked the 10-week-old, partial truce sponsored by Washington and Moscow that had allowed U.N.-brokered peace talks to convene in Geneva. The United States and Russia, which support rival sides in the civil war, said they would work to revive the February 'cessation of hostilities' agreement that reduced fighting in parts of the country for several weeks." (05/09/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-syria-aleppo-idUSKCN0Y00ZH  

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Syria: US declares Aleppo cease-fire, Assad regime says only for 48 hours

May 5, 2016
posted by

Fort Dodge Messenger    

"Sporadic violence persisted in Aleppo on Wednesday as U.S. officials announced an agreement had been reached with Russia to extend Syria's fragile cease-fire to the deeply contested northern city. The Syrian military said the truce would last only 48 hours. Restoration of a partial truce would bring relief to residents on both sides of Syria's largest city after two weeks of relentless violence that has killed nearly 300 people, destroyed hospitals and brought it to the brink of humanitarian disaster." (05/04/16)

http://www.messengernews.net/page/content.detail/id/1157974/US-declares-Aleppo-cease-fire--Syria-says-only-for-48-hours.html?isap=1&nav=5022  

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Syria: At least 14 Doctors Without Borders staff, patients killed in Aleppo airstrikes

April 29, 2016
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"A wave of nighttime airstrikes hit a hospital in Syria supported by Doctors Without Borders and nearby buildings in the rebel-held part of the contested city of Aleppo, killing as many as 27 people, including 14 doctors and patients -- among them children and one of the last pediatricians in war-torn Syria, the international medical aid group reported. The strikes, blamed on the embattled government in Damascus, came shortly before midnight Wednesday and hit the well-known al-Quds field hospital in the rebel-held district of Sukkari in Aleppo, according to opposition activists and rescue workers." (04/28/16)

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/04/28/at-least-27-killed-as-wave-airstrikes-hit-near-hospital-in-contested-syrian-city.html  

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Deal reached to evacuate besieged Syrians

April 20, 2016
posted by

The Washington Post Washington Post    

"Syrian activists and the Lebanese Al-Manar TV say a deal has been reached to evacuate 500 residents from four besieged Syrian communities. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Wednesday six people were evacuated on medical grounds from Foua and Kfraya villages while two were evacuated from Zabadani in the deal sponsored by the United Nations and coordinated by the Red Crescent. The U.N. declined comment. The evacuation would be the first major one since a February cease-fire, which has all but collapsed amid renewed violence." (04/20/16)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/the-latest-syrian-group-says-ceasefire-effectively-over/2016/04/20/59f35e02-06e6-11e6-bfed-ef65dff5970d_story.html  

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DoD vs. CIA: Syria edition

April 14, 2016
posted by

Abigail R. Hall Blanco Independent Institute
by Abigail R Hall Blanco  

"In 1979, the U.S. government chose to arm a rebel group sympathetic to U.S. interests in an attempt to drive out the Soviets. While the policy did have the desired short-term effects -- the USSR withdrew from the country -- the long-term consequences left much to be desired. Those same rebels, who were once described by President Reagan as 'freedom fighters,' formed the basis of the Taliban. Decades later, these once 'moderate' rebels were on the receiving end of a U.S. invasion. Alas, bureaucrats tend not to learn from their mistakes or those of their predecessors. The U.S. government began sending weapons and aid to Syrian rebel groups. They delivered some 50 tons of ammunition, in a single night alone. The U.S. government did not just arm one group, but attempted to coordinate dozens of rebel groups to achieve a common mission. What could possibly go wrong?" (04/14/16)

http://blog.independent.org/2016/04/14/dod-vs-cia-syria-edition/  

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Syria: Two pilots killed when Russian helicopter crashes

April 12, 2016
posted by

United Press International United Press International    

"Two pilots were killed in the crash of a Russian helicopter in Homs, Syria, the Russian Defense Ministry announced Tuesday. The Mil Mi-28N strike helicopter 'did not come under fire,' a ministry statement said, adding that the bodies of the two crew members were taken to Russia's Khmeimim air base near the Syrian port city of Latakia, and a team of investigators was sent to the site of the crash. An unidentified military source said the pilots were flying at night and wearing night-vision goggles over unfamiliar terrain and may have struck an obstacle, the German news agency DW.com said, citing Russia's Interfax news agency." (04/12/16)

http://www.upi.com/Top_News/World-News/2016/04/12/Russian-helicopter-crashes-in-Syria-two-pilots-killed/8571460467666/  

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Syria: With UN envoy in Damascus, Islamic State takes Syrian town from other rebels

April 11, 2016
posted by

The Olympian    

"The U.N. special envoy on Monday urged Syria's warring sides to preserve the fragile U.S.-Russia-brokered cease-fire ahead of the next round of peace talks in Geneva this week. The plea by Staffan de Mistura, who spoke after meeting Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem in Damascus, came as Islamic State fighters retook a northern town [al-Rai] along the border with Turkey from Syrian rebels and government forces and rebels clashed across northern and western Syria." (04/11/16)

http://www.theolympian.com/news/nation-world/article71108722.html  

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Syria: Islamic State militants kidnap 300 cement workers near capital

April 7, 2016
posted by

The Washington Post Washington Post    

"In a brazen assault near the Syrian capital, Islamic State militants on Thursday abducted 300 cement workers and contractors in an area northeast of Damascus, Syrian state TV reported as fighting elsewhere in the country also worsened. ... State TV said Thursday’s mass abduction of workers from the al-Badia Cement Company took place in Dumeir, an area where militants launched a surprise attack against government forces earlier this week. State-run news agency SANA quoted a source in the company as saying that there has been no success in efforts to establish contact with any of the workers." (04/07/16)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/un-aid-official-urges-syria-govt-to-live-up-to-promises/2016/04/07/9e26b17a-fcb7-11e5-813a-90ab563f0dde_story.html  

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Putin and the art of the deal

March 17, 2016
posted by

Justin Raimondo Antiwar.com
by Justin Raimondo  

"Unburdened by the conceit that the fate of the world depends on asserting his nation’s role as an international policeman, Putin is free to cannily pursue Russia’s real interests. Those interests were served by shoring up Assad’s regime, which was crumbling under a sustained assault from the US and its Islamist allies in Riyadh and Ankara (with the Israelis cheerleading from the sidelines). In the meantime, the head-chopping jihadists of al-Nusra and its spin-offs -- covertly supported by the Saudis and Turkey -- have been declared terrorist outfits by the United Nations, and negotiations are underway in Geneva while the ceasefire continues to hold (albeit somewhat shakily). It must be time for another false flag 'chemical attack' to be blamed on the Assad forces -- but, hey, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. The prospect that peace might break out in Syria has our warmongers down in the dumps." (03/16/16)

http://original.antiwar.com/justin/2016/03/15/putin-and-the-art-of-the-deal/  

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Will Russian withdrawal lead to federal Syria or more war?

March 16, 2016
posted by

OpEdNews
by Joe Lauria  

"Following the Russian withdrawal, if Obama still continues to defy his neoconservative advisers who want to overthrow Assad even at the cost of a U.S.-led invasion, what about the next occupant of the White House? At a Republican debate last week, three of the four candidates said they would support between 20,000 to 30,000 U.S. troops in Syria and Iraq, supposedly to fight the Islamic State. Once on the ground, they could easily make a detour towards Damascus. Curiously, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the last days offered to divide the task of defeating IS by inviting the U.S. to take Raqqa, an offer the US refused. It is not at all clear why Russia would want the U.S. to control the IS capital unless Moscow is pushing a federal Syria, which it has publicly supported. Assad has apparently also agreed." (03/16/16)

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Will-Russian-Withdrawal-Le-by-Joe-Lauria-Syria_Syria-Rebels_Syrian-Arab-Army_Syrian-Situation-160316-77.html  

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Report: Top Islamic State leader dies from airstrike wounds

March 15, 2016
posted by

Los Angeles Times Los Angeles Times    

"Top Islamic State commander and feared Chechen jihadi fighter Omar Shishani has died of wounds suffered in a U.S. airstrike in Syria last week, a senior Iraqi intelligence official and the head of a Syrian activist group said Tuesday. Shishani died Monday outside the Islamic State group's main stronghold of Raqqa in Syria, the two told the Associated Press. The red-bearded ethnic Chechen was one of the most prominent Islamic State commanders, serving as the group's military commander for the territory it controls in Syria." (03/15/16)

http://www.latimes.com/world/la-fg-omar-alshishani-islamic-state-leader-dies-20160315-story.html  

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Israeli regime claims Syrian regime used chemical weapons during cease-fire

March 2, 2016
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"Israel on Tuesday accused Syrian government forces of using chemical weapons against civilians since the start of a cease-fire brokered by the U.S. and Russia aimed at ending the bloody conflict. 'The Syrians used military grade chemical weapons and lately have been using materials, chlorine, against civilians, including in these very days, after the supposed cease-fire, dropping barrels of chlorine on civilians,' Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said in Tel Aviv, without providing further details." (03/02/16)

http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/03/02/israel-claims-syria-used-chemical-weapons-during-cease-fire.html  

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Regime change in Ankara? More likely than you think

February 24, 2016
posted by

CounterPunch CounterPunch
by Mike Whitney  

"On Friday, the United States rejected a draft resolution by Russia that was intended to prevent a Turkish invasion of Syria. Moscow had called for an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to address its growing concern that Turkey is planning to send thousands of ground troops and armored vehicles it has massed on its southern border, into Syria to protect Turkish-backed militants and to block the Kurdish militia, the YPG, from establishing a contiguous state in northern Syria. ... There was nothing controversial about the resolution, no tricks and no hidden meaning. The delegates were simply asked to support Syrian sovereignty and oppose armed aggression. These are the very principles upon which the United Nations was founded. The US and its allies rejected these principles because they failed to jibe with Washington’s geopolitical ambitions in Syria." (02/24/16)

http://www.counterpunch.org/2016/02/24/regime-change-in-ankara-more-likely-than-you-think/  

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Syria: Blasts kill 46 in Homs as Kerry pushes ceasefire

February 22, 2016
posted by

Yahoo! News Yahoo! News    

"A double bombing killed at least 46 people in Syria's Homs on Sunday, as US Secretary of State John Kerry said a provisional deal had been reached on the terms of a ceasefire. World powers have been pushing for a break in fighting that was meant to go into effect by Friday, but have struggled to agree how to implement it. ... Homs city has regularly been targeted in bomb attacks, including last month when a double bombing claimed by the Islamic State group killed 22 people in Al-Zahraa neighbourhood. The district's residents are mostly Alawites, the minority sect of Syria's ruling clan, including President Bashar al-Assad." (02/21/16)

http://news.yahoo.com/double-bomb-attack-kills-14-syrias-homs-075829593.html  

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Syria: US airstrikes reportedly kill 38 civilians over 48 hours

February 18, 2016
posted by

Antiwar.com Antiwar.com    

"As reported Tuesday, an early morning US airstrike against the city of Shadadi killed 15 civilians outside a bakery. This incident was the start of a flurry of US airstrikes in Syria's northeast which, over the past 48 hours, have left at least 38 civilians dead, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights." [editor's note: Usual grain of salt warning about the "Observatory" -- I do not necessarily consider its claims reliable - TLK] (02/18/16)

http://news.antiwar.com/2016/02/18/us-airstrikes-kill-38-syrian-civilians-over-48-hours/  

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