Syria gripped by hostage drama, rocket strike

Deutsche Welle (Reuters, AP), January 28

Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon warned the President Bashar al-Assad’s government against further rocket attacks on Wednesday as the focus remained on a Japanese hostage held in Syria by Islamic State (IS) extremists.

Israel evacuated its Mount Hermon ski resort on the Golan Heights on Tuesday after at least […]

U.S.-led forces launch 31 air strikes in Iraq, Syria

Reuters, By Doina Chiacu, January 22

Washington – U.S.-led forces attacked Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) targets with 21 air strikes in Iraq and 10 in Syria since Wednesday, the American military said.

Coalition strikes pound ISIS targets in Syria, Iraq

Al Arabiya, January 13

U.S.-led coalition military forces launched a total of 27 air strikes on territories controlled by the militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria group (ISIS), an operation report said Monday.

Coalition forces conducted 11 air strikes on ISIS-held positions in Syria over the past 24 hours, including Kobane and […]

New Year bomb attack on ISIS: America launches TWENTY NINE air strikes over Syria and Iraq in blitz against extremists

In total 17 bombs were dropped on Syria and another 12 on Iraq targets. Raids destroyed vehicles, buildings and units belonging to Islamic State. Onslaught brings number of strikes since Christmas to more than 100.

Daily Mail, By Chris Pleasance, January 1

U.S. and Arab war planes launched 29 air strikes against Islamic State […]

Massive ancient underground city discovered in Turkey’s Nevşehir

Hurriyet Daily News, By Erdinç Çelikkan, December 28

Ankara – With 2014 soon coming to an end, potentially the year’s biggest archeological discovery of an underground city has come from Turkey’s Central Anatolian province of Nevşehir, which is known world-wide for its Fairy Chimneys rock formation.

The city was discovered by means of Turkey’s Housing […]

ISIS ‘executed’ nearly 2,000 in Syria since June: human rights monitoring group

AFP, December 29

Beirut – The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) extremist group have murdered nearly 2,000 people in Syria – half of them from an important Sunni tribe – since announcing their “caliphate” in June, a monitoring group said Sunday.

“The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has documented the execution by ISIS […]

Christmas in Lebanon

doesn’t look very cheerful this year.

Blue and white Christmas lights twinkle over the shops near my apartment in Beirut’s Christian quarter; pricy boutiques display elaborate nativity scenes. But people are having trouble getting into the festive mood. ‘Do you think the war will come here?’ asks my landlady nervously, not for the first […]

U.N. official: We have ‘run out of words’ to describe conflict in Syria

CNN, By Lorenzo Ferrigno, December 16

A top United Nations official on Monday told the Security Council she has “run out of words” to describe the worsening situation in Syria.

“Every time we use a new figure in relation to the Syrian crisis, we say that it is unprecedented. We have run out of words […]

Israel strikes near the Syrian capital: Syrian TV

Reuters, By Oliver Holmes, December 7

Beirut – Syrian state television said on Sunday that Israeli jets had bombed areas near Damascus international airport and in the town of Dimas, near the border with Lebanon.

An Israeli army spokesman said he would not comment on the “foreign reports”.

Israel has struck Syria several times since […]

Hagel Stepping Down as Defense Chief Under Pressure

New York Times, By Helene Cooper, November 24

Washington – Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is stepping down under pressure, the first cabinet-level casualty of the collapse of President Obama’s Democratic majority in the Senate and a beleaguered national security team that has struggled to stay ahead of an onslaught of global crises…

The officials described […]

Fence-mending in Turkey, Biden commits to ‘transition’ in Syria

McClatchy, By Roy Gutman, November 22

Istanbul — Vice President Joe Biden assured Turkey Saturday that the U.S. plans to strengthen Syrian rebels and ensure a political transition “away from the Assad regime,” but he stopped short of committing to regime change in Damascus demanded by Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

On a fence-mending trip […]

Group: Death toll of U.S.-led airstrikes in Syria tops 900

CNN, By Salma Abdelaziz & Mariano Castillo, November 23

In the two months since the United States and coalition allies first launched airstrikes against ISIS targets inside of Syria, the missions have killed more than 900 people, nearly all militants, a monitoring group said Saturday.

But 52 civilians, including eight children and five women, are […]

Syria conflict: ‘200 air force strikes’ in 36 hours

BBC, October 22

The Syrian military has stepped up air strikes on rebel areas dramatically, carrying out more than 200 in recent days, opposition activists say.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the raids took place mostly in western areas between midnight on Sunday and noon on Tuesday.

The UK-based group said there were […]

Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

The Voice of America, By Scott Bobb, October 19

Suruc, Turkey -The offensive by Islamic State militants against the northern Syrian city of Kobani has caused hundreds of thousands of residents to flee to Turkey. They receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed.

Morning in Suruc, southeastern Turkey. Rojava […]

U.S. airstrikes in Syria are now dwarfing those in Iraq, thanks to the fight for one town

Washington Post, By Dan Lamothe, October 19

The Syrian border town of Kobane is still in danger of falling to the Islamic State, more than a week after the U.S. military began launching airstrikes on militants there regularly. Hundreds of fighters have been killed, the Pentagon’s press secretary said Wednesday, but even more are swarming […]

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