Armenia sends mine-clearing experts, doctors to Syria
YEREVAN, Armenia (AP) — Armenia has sent a team of experts to Syria on a Russia-backed mission to help clear mines and provide medical assistance, the Armenian Defense Ministry said Saturday.
The ministry's spokesman, Artsrun Hovhannisyan, said the team of 83 includes de-mining experts, medical personnel and security officers. He said it will defuse mines and provide medical help to residents of Aleppo, in northern Syria, emphasizing that they will stay outside areas of fighting.
Building collapses in Syria’s Aleppo killing 11
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — A building damaged during years of war in the Syrian northern city of Aleppo collapsed Saturday, killing 11 people, including four children, said Syria's state news agency.
SANA said the five-story building collapsed early Saturday, killing most of those who were inside and only one person was rescued alive.
The report said the building is in the eastern Salahuddin neighborhood, once held by rebels.
Fighting erupts between rival insurgent groups in Syria
BEIRUT (AP) — Clashes broke out between two powerful insurgent groups in northern Syria on Tuesday, leaving up to seven people dead in the most serious fighting in months in the last major rebel stronghold in the country.
The al-Qaida-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham — Arabic for Levant Liberation Committee — and the Turkey-backed Nour el-Din el-Zinki group blamed each other for triggering the fighting in the northern province of Aleppo.
US says Syrian forces likely fired tear gas on civilians
WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. on Friday accused forces backed by the Syrian government and Russia of firing tear gas at civilians and falsely claiming it was a rebel chemical weapons attack.
Russian warplanes strike rebels after alleged gas attack
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Russian warplanes attacked rebel-held areas in northern Syria for the first time in weeks on Sunday, as Syrian officials said more than 100 people were treated at hospitals for a suspected poison gas attack in the northern city of Aleppo that Damascus and Moscow blamed on rebels.
Syria state TV: 50 injured in rebel poison gas attack
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — At least 50 civilians were being treated Saturday following a suspected poison gas attack by Syrian rebel groups on the government-held Aleppo city in the country's north, according to reports in Syrian state media.
Most of those admitted to hospitals had breathing problems and blurred vision, doctors told state TV. One doctor said two were in critical condition, including a child. State TV showed footage of medical professionals treating men and women on hospital beds.
The Latest: Syrian rebels dismiss poison-gas claims
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — The Latest on the Syrian conflict (all times local):
Syrian rebels have dismissed government accusations they used poison gas to attack government-held Aleppo city.
Rebel commander Abdel-Salam Abdel-Razak says the opposition doesn't possess poisonous gases or the capabilities to lob them. Abdel-Razak served in Syria's chemical weapons program before defecting to join the opposition in the early years of the conflict, which began in 2011.
Assad property law complicates Syrians’ plans to return home
BERLIN (AP) — Mohammed swipes the screen on his smartphone and zooms in on a street map showing a neighborhood in Aleppo.
"That's my house, that's where we lived," said the Syrian refugee in Germany, before his smile turns sad. "This area belongs to the regime now."
PBS series seeks to link Syrian, Central American refugees
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Rarely has art attempted to link the plight of refugees in the Middle East with those in Central America.
Refugees in both regions face similar challenges: they are often fleeing violence and political upheaval and share similar journeys in crossing heavily armed borders with no certain future. But the differing cultures, religions even social classes sometimes mask some of the human elements that make the heart-wrenching migration universal.
The Latest: President says Turkey in talks on Idlib
MOSCOW (AP) — The Latest on the Syrian conflict (all times local):
Turkey's president says his country is engaged in talks with Iran and Russia to avoid a humanitarian disaster in Syria's rebel-held region of Idlib similar to one that unfolded in Aleppo in 2016.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke Thursday a day after meeting with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and ahead of a planned meeting between the Turkish, Russian and Iranian leaders next month.
Syria: At least 22 killed in Idlib and Aleppo airstrikes
BEIRUT (AP) — Government airstrikes on opposition-held territory in northwest Syria killed at least 22 people, a monitoring group said Friday, as the U.N.'s children's agency warned a new battle in the war-torn country could affect the lives of 1 million children.
Government forces unleashed a wave of airstrikes across Idlib, Aleppo and Hama provinces after days of building up ground forces at the edge of opposition territory, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
Home may be forever lost for displaced within Syria
JARABLUS, Syria (AP) — When Hikmat's mother managed to sneak back into their home city of Aleppo, now controlled by government forces, she found a single word spray-painted in red on their house: "Confiscated." Same with the family store and another house. Their farm, south of the city, is probably lost to them as well, in territory recently recaptured by Syrian forces.
Syrian orphans who fled Aleppo find new home
JARABLUS, Syria (AP) — Nearly 50 children orphaned by the Syrian war escaped the hell that was their hometown of Aleppo after they appeared in a distressing video and appealed for their lives as government forces moved in under a hail of fire.
BEIRUT (AP) — Syria's military said Wednesday it has restored government control over a large area in central Syria, securing a power station, a refinery and a cement factory after uprooting the armed opposition.
With the latest military victory, Syrian government forces secure roads between the country's three main cities — Damascus, Aleppo and Homs — for the first time since the civil war began in 2011.
BEIRUT (AP) — A missile attack on government outposts in northern Syria killed more than a dozen pro-government fighters, many of them Iranians, a war monitoring group and an Iranian news agency said Monday. The strikes came amid soaring tensions between regional archenemies Israel and Iran.
There was no official confirmation of the death toll or what was the target. The Sunday night strikes sparked speculation on who carried it out, with most reports suspecting Israel was behind it.
BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian government forces on Sunday briefly captured four villages east of the Euphrates River in the eastern province of Deir el-Zour after rare clashes with U.S.-backed Kurdish-led fighters, then lost the area in a counteroffensive by the Kurdish-led force.
The area close to the border with Iraq has been the site of recent clashes between the two sides that had been focusing on fighting the Islamic State extremist group. The IS had declared its caliphate in parts of Syria and Iraq.
BEIRUT (AP) — The latest on the conflict in Syria (all times local):
Syrian TV is reporting a "new aggression," with missiles targeting military outposts in northern Syria.
The state-run television reported early Monday that the missiles targeted military outposts in the Hama and Aleppo countryside. It did not say who fired the missiles or whether there were any casualties or damage.
- The Washington TimesU.S. watching Syria closely as new chemical weapons allegations swirlNovember 26, 2018
- The Washington TimesU.S. watching Syria closely as new chemical weapons allegations swirlNovember 26, 2018
- Houston ChronicleAre 300 recipes enough to counter anti-Muslim sentiment? One author is giving it a tryAugust 6, 2018
- The Washington TimesLatest round of missile strikes in Syria ratchets up regional tensionsApril 30, 2018
Syrian-American Hopes US Hits Assad Hard
BEIRUT (AP) — For the first time since its meteoric rise in 2012 amid the chaos of war, al-Qaida's branch in Syria is in retreat, battling rival militant groups in the north and fighting for survival in a key foothold near the capital, Damascus.
Over the past three weeks, the extremist group has been driven from nearly all of the northern province of Aleppo, losing dozens of fighters in battles there and in nearby Idlib province.
BEIRUT (AP) — A top U.N. aid official appealed to the Syrian government and its Russian backers for a cessation of hostilities in eastern Ghouta on Thursday when a second convoy with desperately needed aid was postponed after government forces split the enclave in two, creating an evolving, unpredictable situation on the ground.
Jan Egeland said it is "impossible" to deliver aid to the rebel-held eastern suburbs of Damascus amid the current fighting, which he described as the worst ever.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Bryan Fogel's sports doping documentary "Icarus," which exposed the state sponsored doping program of Russia's Olympic athletes won best documentary at the Academy Awards Sunday.
It beat out both Agnes Varda's feel-good "Faces Places," which took the Film Independent Spirt Award Saturday, and the harrowing White Helmets documentary "Last Men in Aleppo."
2 lions saved from Mideast wars head to South Africa refuge
SOUF, Jordan (AP) — Two African lions rescued from war zones in Iraq and Syria are heading to a permanent home in South Africa, after resting in Jordan where they recuperated from physical and psychological trauma.
The lions were coaxed with mouthfuls of meat into metal crates Sunday before being loaded into a cargo truck taking them to Jordan's international airport.
AP Explains: Syria’s starved, rebellious suburb under attack
BEIRUT (AP) — The airstrikes came at a rate of one a minute, with horrible results: civilians fleeing collapsing buildings, children trapped under slabs of concrete, paramedics grimly rushing the bloodied victims away on stretchers. At least 100 people were killed in one day.
Still a trickle, but refugees sick of exile return to Syria
ALEPPO, Syria (AP) — Desperate to escape Syria's terrors, Ammar Maarawi bolted. In early 2016, he paid smugglers and endured a dangerous sea crossing to Greece and an exhausting journey by train, bus and foot through Europe.
Two years later, the 36-year-old is back home in Aleppo. He returned last summer — depressed, homesick and dreading another winter, he couldn't bear life in the German city of Suhl.
Turkey-backed forces push into Syrian Kurdish enclave
BEIRUT (AP) — Intense battles raged Thursday as Kurdish fighters attempted to repel a new advance by Turkish troops and allied Syrian fighters on their encircled enclave in northwestern Syria.
Meanwhile, Syrian government forces pushed into Idlib province, an opposition stronghold nearby, inching closer to a key highway that connects Syria's two largest cities, Damascus and Aleppo.
Why ignoring mental health needs of young Syrian refugees could harm us all
(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.)
Life slowly returns to Aleppo, shattered by Syrian civil war
ALEPPO, Syria (AP) — Aleppo's largest square was packed with people of all ages: young men performing a folk dance, children playing, others buying ice cream, popcorn, peanuts and salted pumpkin seeds. A giant sign spelled out in colorful English letters, "I love Aleppo."
‘Last Men’ filmmaker reflects on historic Oscar nomination
BEIRUT (AP) — The maker of the documentary "Last Men in Aleppo" has made Oscars history for his war-torn country, Syria.
The 90-minute documentary is the first Syrian film to be nominated for an Academy Award. Firas Fayyad, the Syrian director and writer of the film who is also from Aleppo, called the nomination "a big shout out to justice" because it documents what he calls "war crimes" of the Syrian and Russian governments.
The Latest: ‘Last Men’ director reflects on Oscar nomination
BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on the announcement of nominees for the 90th annual Oscar nominations announced Tuesday by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences from Beverly Hills, California (all times local):
The maker of the "Last Men in Aleppo" has made Oscars history for his war-torn country, Syria.
In Syria’s Aleppo, old bazaar struggles to come back to life
ALEPPO, Syria (AP) — Fighting has long died down in Syria's largest city, but Aleppo's centuries-old market has yet to come back to life, more than a year after government forces retook rebel-held neighborhoods around the Old City.
Few shops have reopened in the once sprawling bazaar in the historic quarter, with UNESCO estimating that as much as 60 percent of the Old City was severely damaged and 30 percent destroyed.
The first thing that most customers of the Regal Barbershop notice are the scissors. No matter the requested style— a fade, a crew cut or a classic taper — it's the scissors, not the clippers, that come out.
1st immigrant of Armenian descent on US bench retiring
CHICAGO (AP) — The U.S. District Court for northern Illinois says the first immigrant of Armenian descent to sit on the federal bench is retiring.
The Chicago-based court announced Monday that 65-year-old Samuel Der-Yeghiayan's (YAY'-gee-yahnz) retirement takes effect Feb. 17.
Activists: Airstrike on rebel-held Syrian town kills 53
BEIRUT (AP) — At least 53 people were killed in a ferocious attack on a market in north Syria on Monday that left rescuers and survivors digging late into the evening to search for residents still buried under the rubble.
Buses upended in Berlin evoke suffering of Syrian refugees
BERLIN (AP) — A Syrian-born artist has upended three buses next to Berlin's Brandenburg Gate, an installation meant to evoke the suffering of civilians in Syria.
Manaf Halbouni's "Monument" mirrors a barrier made of buses that was placed on a street in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo to protect residents from sniper fire.
Syrian-American musicians raise voices as homeland suffers
DETROIT (AP) — When Samer Saem Eldahr finished university, he was ready to spread his wings and start his career. He planned a month away from home to discover and pursue his craft.
It's a similar story to many college graduates, with a notable exception: There would be no realistic option to return from Lebanon to his home in Aleppo, Syria, which was descending into war. He left behind his music and art studio containing most of his equipment and paintings.
Tigers from war-torn Aleppo settle into new Dutch home
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — Two tigers rescued from a zoo near Aleppo have arrived in their new home in the Netherlands to recover from their ordeal in the conflict-torn Syrian city.
The organization that saved the tigers, Sultan and Sayeeda, said Tuesday they are settling into the FELIDA Big Cat Center in Nijeberkoop, 130 kilometers (80 miles) northeast of Amsterdam, where they will receive special care and monitoring to help them overcome their traumatic past.
Red Cross warns hospitals hit as fighting in Syria escalates
BEIRUT (AP) — Intensified fighting in Syria in recent weeks has damaged more hospitals, with at least 10 medical facilities hit over the past 10 days and hundreds of thousands of people cut off from health care, the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Thursday.
Activists: Airstrikes hit dozens of towns in northern Syria
BEIRUT (AP) — Airstrikes hit towns and villages in northern Syria Friday killing and wounding dozens of people, opposition activists and pro-government media said. Clashes meanwhile in the country's center and east with the Islamic State group led government forces to secure a main highway linking the capital Damascus with eastern Syria.
Airstrikes hit Syria’s Aleppo despite ceasefire
BEIRUT (AP) — Airstrikes have targeted rural Aleppo in northern Syria Sunday for the first time in months since a cease-fire took hold in the province, killing one, activists and a war monitoring group said.
Also Sunday, the Central Military Media, affiliated with the Syrian government, reported that Iranian drones successfully struck vehicles of the Islamic State group along the Syria-Iraq border in the south. The report didn't say when the strike occurred, but showed purported footage of it.
AP PHOTOS: A selection of pictures from the past week
Here's your look at highlights from the weekly AP photo report, a gallery featuring a mix of front-page photography, the odd image you might have missed and lasting moments our editors think you should see.
This week's gallery includes images of boys collecting recyclables amid rubble in Aleppo, Syria; a woman lit by a lantern in her home during a power outage in Florida; and the moon Enceladus setting behind Saturn as the Cassini spacecraft heads toward the planet.
Aleppo still badly scarred by war, months after rebel defeat
ALEPPO, Syria (AP) — "Aleppo is in my eyes," says a billboard depicting President Bashar Assad looking out over two men and a boy repaving the main Saadallah al-Jabiri Square — once a front line in one of the deadliest episodes of the Syrian civil war.
The recapture of eastern Aleppo in December 2016 was a landmark victory for Assad's forces in the conflict, now in its seventh year, but it left the area in ruins.
Syria signs Aleppo power plant contract with Iran
BEIRUT (AP) — Syria's government signed a contract with an Iranian company on Tuesday to import five gas-fired power plants to the war-battered city of Aleppo, in an early sign of the major role Tehran is expected to play in Syria's reconstruction.