Syria

Syria conflict: Heavy air strikes resume on Aleppo

Russian planes have resumed air strikes on rebel-held districts in the city of Aleppo, in what activists say is the heaviest bombardment in days. At least 25 people are reported to have died, including children. The bombardment follows a temporary lull called by the Syrian government, partly to allow civilians to leave rebel areas in the east of the city. ...

Syrian refugee detained in Germany for alleged attack plan

EDITED BY KALAHAN DENG A Syrian refugee detained by police in Germany had links to the ISIS militant group and was planning a bomb attack “with Islamist motives,” German officials said Monday. German police discovered 1.5 kg of extremely dangerous explosives in a flat in Chemnitz before detaining 22-year-old Jaber al-Bakr in Leipzig on Sunday, ending a manhunt that lasted ...

Russian strikes in Syria

WRITTEN BY KALAHAN DENG Why is Russia bombing Syria? Russia says the strikes are to defeat Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil). But most of their first strikes have been against non-Isil groups who are opposed to President Assad’s regime. Why would Russia bomb non-Isil groups? Russia’s spokespeople are sometimes vague – referring to Isil and terrorists in ...

IS ‘loses more than a quarter of its territory’ in Syria and Iraq

So-called Islamic State (IS) has lost more than a quarter of the territory it once controlled, new data shows. Security and defence analysts IHS say the group’s control has shrunk by 28% since its height in January 2015. In the first nine months of this year, IS’ territory fell from 78,000 sq km (30,115 sq miles) to 65,500 sq km ...

Amid Syrian chaos, Iran’s game plan emerges: a path to the Mediterranean

Not far from Mosul, a large military force is finalising plans for an advance that has been more than three decades in the making. The troops are Shia militiamen who have fought against the Islamic State, but they have not been given a direct role in the coming attack to free Iraq’s second city from its clutches. Instead, while the ...

Syria conflict: Aid convoy attack was air strike, UN expert says

Analysis of satellite imagery taken after a deadly attack on an aid convoy in northern Syria last month shows that it was an air strike, a UN expert says. At least 18 people were killed when lorries unloading at a Syrian Arab Red Crescent warehouse in a rebel-held town outside Aleppo came under fire. The US believes Russian warplanes bombed ...

The ancient tragedy John Kerry used to explain Syria

BY KALAHAN DENG In a Wednesday session on Syria at the United Nations Security Council, U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry deployed a curious historical reference. “Those who believe this crisis couldn’t get worse are dead wrong, as are those who believe that a military victory is possible,” Kerry intoned at the special session, after urging a cessation of hostilities. ...

A ferocious assault on Aleppo suggests the U.S. may be wrong on Syria

BY KALAHAN DENG Syrian and Russian warplanes launched a ferocious assault against rebel-held Aleppo on Friday, burying any hopes that a U.S.-backed cease-fire could be salvaged and calling into question whether the deal would ever have worked. Waves upon waves of planes relentlessly struck neighborhoods in the rebel-held east of the city on the first day of a new offensive ...

WHAT IS GOING ON IN SYRIA IS BEYOND OUR COMPREHENSION

REPORTED BY KALAHAN DENG The airstrike targeted a market. Syrian men evacuate a victim from the rubble of a building following an airstrike on the rebel-held northwestern city of Idlib on September 10, 2016. People search for victims at the scene of the airstrikes. In February, a cessation of hostilities negotiated between Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov fell ...

IS conflict: Turkey sends more tanks into Syria

EDITED BY KALAHAN DENG Turkey has sent more tanks into northern Syria, in an operation against the Islamic State (IS) group, Turkish media reports say. The tanks crossed the border near the Turkish town of Kilis and journalists later heard firing and saw plumes of smoke rising on Syrian territory. Civilians were seen fleeing as the Turkish military advanced. The ...

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