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 [...]

It’s official: U.S. will build new Syrian rebel force to battle Islamic State

McClatchy, By Hannah Allam, October 15

Washington — John Allen, the retired Marine general in charge of coordinating the U.S.-led coalition’s response to the Islamic State, confirmed Wednesday what Syrian rebel commanders have complained about for months – that the United States is ditching the old Free Syrian Army and building its own local ground [...]

U.S.-led air war in Syria is off to a difficult start

Washington Post, By Liz Sly, October 10

Reyhanli, Turkey — The U.S.-led air war in Syria has gotten off to a rocky start, with even the Syrian rebel groups closest to the United States turning against it, U.S. ally Turkey refusing to contribute and the plight of a beleaguered Kurdish town exposing the limitations of [...]

Turkish action against IS in Syria ‘unrealistic’

BBC, October 9

Turkey’s foreign minister says it cannot be expected to lead a ground operation against Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria on its own.

Mevlut Cavusoglu also called for the creation of a no-fly zone over its border with Syria after talks in Ankara with new Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg.

Turkey is under [...]

US ‘set to launch air strikes’ on senior Isis terror chiefs in Syria

White House will ‘take action’ against threats as Turkey comes under pressure to halt flow of jihadists across its border

The Observer, By Toby Helm & Martin Chulov, August 23

The United States was said to be considering air strikes aimed at eliminating individual leaders of Islamic State as Turkey came under mounting pressure to [...]

Islamic State kills 270 in Syrian gas field ‘massacre’

Militant jihadist group kills dozens of Syrian troops and workers in its largest attack yet on the regime

Reuters, July 19

Jihadists have killed 270 Syrian regime fighters, civilian security guards and employees since seizing a gas field in Homs province, a monitoring group said Friday.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights described Thursday’s takeover [...]

UK military’s secret plan to train Syrian rebels to topple Bashar al-Assad

General Sir David Richards’ bid for 100,000-strong force had support from US heavyweights but was shelved as too risky

The Guardian, By Ewen MacAskill, July 4

The British military drew up a secret plan two years ago to train a 100,000-strong Syrian rebel force aimed at toppling president Bashar al-Assad.

The plan was the brainchild [...]

Obama Proposes $500 Million to Aid Syrian Rebels

Program to Train and Equip Moderate Opposition Would Expand U.S. Role in Civil War.

The Wall Street Journal, By Julian E. Barnes, Adam Entous & Carol E. Lee, June 26

Washington — The White House on Thursday proposed a major program to train and arm moderate Syrian rebels, in a significant expansion of the U.S. [...]

UN says 10.8 million Syrians need humanitarian aid

AP, By Edith M. Lederer, June 21

United Nations – The humanitarian situation in Syria is worsening and the number of people needing urgent help has reached 10.8 million – almost half of Syria’s population of 22 million, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said Friday.

Ban’s monthly report to the U.N. Security Council said the current [...]

The Problem with Iraq: Too Much Mustard

We note that the latest news from Iraq is that radical Muslims, the ISIS, ISIL, or whomever, in natty Black uniforms, and Nissan pickup trucks mounted with 50 caliber machines guns, are the latest terrorists in Iraq and fighting Assad in Syria.

This rag-tag bunch of well-uniformed men have defeated the Iraqi army, (which was [...]

Iraqi PM asks for state of emergency after insurgents take Mosul

Fighters believed to be from ISIL have taken over most of Iraq’s second-largest city and freed 1,400 prisoners

Al Jazeera, June 11

Iraq’s Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has called on parliament to declare a state of emergency after armed fighters believed to be part of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) seized [...]

U.N. Chief Urges Aid Deliveries to Syria Without Its Consent

NYT – UNITED NATIONS — The Syrian government is “failing in its responsibility to look after its own people,” the secretary general of the United Nations said in a confidential report to the Security Council, in which he urged it to authorize the delivery of food and medicine to Syria without the government’s consent.

The [...]

Four French journalists freed after Syria kidnapping

RFI, April 19

Four French journalists are safe and in good health, after being held hostage in Syria since June 2013. The hostages were found overnight Friday by Turkish soldiers on the border between Turkey and Syria, where they had been tied-up and blindfolded.

French President François Hollande declared his huge relief on Saturday, in [...]

Syria On Track To Become World’s Largest Source Of Refugees

NPR, By Michelle Keleman, February 28

Masses of refugees wait in line to receive food aid distributed in the Yarmouk camp on Jan. 31 in Damascus, Syria. (United Nation Relief and Works Agency/Getty Images)

A photo from Syria is grabbing the world’s attention: a sea of people lining up for food amid the rubble of [...]

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