DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — From Syria to Turkey and beyond, President Donald Trump's abrupt declaration that Washington will recognize Israel's sovereignty over the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights drew...
BEIRUT (AP) — The Latest on developments in Syria (all times local):
Russia's defense minister has visited Damascus to deliver a letter from President Vladimir Putin to...
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syria's defense minister on Monday slammed what he called the "illegitimate" U.S. military presence in his country, vowing that Damascus has a right to self-defense, while...
Assad: Only the state can protect groups in northern Syria
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Only the Syrian state can protect groups in northern Syria and the army will "liberate every inch of Syria" from foreign troops, Syrian President Bashar Assad said Sunday.
He did not specifically mention the planned withdrawal of 2,000 American troops from northern Syria, but in a televised speech in Damascus he said no one should bet on protection from the Americans.
Rights groups hail arrest of 3 Syrian torture suspects
BERLIN (AP) — Human rights groups on Wednesday hailed the arrests in Europe of three suspects in bloody secret police crackdowns on Syrian opposition activists, including a senior figure in the Syrian security service alleged to have run a facility where detainees were systematically tortured.
Syria says Israel shells southern region, no casualties
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syrian state media is reporting that Israel has bombarded the southern province of Quneitra, causing material damage but no casualties.
SANA news agency says Israeli troops fired several shells on Quneitra's abandoned hospital and a nearby observation post.
Last month, the Israeli military confirmed attacking Iranian military targets in Syria, hours after carrying out a rare daylight air raid near the Damascus International Airport.
Aid convoy headed to isolated Syrian camp near Jordan
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — The United Nations and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent are dispatching more than 100 trucks of humanitarian aid from Damascus to Syrians stranded near the border with Jordan.
The convoy is described in a statement Wednesday by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent as the largest to reach more than 40,000 residents of the Rukban camp. It's carrying food, medicine and educational materials.
Legislator blasts verdict blaming Syria for journalist death
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — A U.S. court verdict that blamed the Syrian government for the killing of an American journalist was based on "fortune telling" rather than an investigation in accordance with the law, a senior Syrian legislator said Friday.
Syria's deputy Parliament Speaker Najdat Anzour reiterated to The Associated Press previous statements by government officials that Marie Colvin had entered the country illegally.
Syria air defenses target suspected drones over Russia base
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syria state media said Sunday the country's air defense systems intercepted and destroyed three "hostile" targets over a Russian air base in the country's coastal region.
There were no more details about the suspected attack or who was behind it, but it comes amid rising violations of a cease-fire in Syria's west negotiated by Turkey and Russia and in place since September.
Syria wants Turkish withdrawal to revive security agreement
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syria called on Turkey on Saturday to withdraw its troops from Syria's northern territories and end support for armed opposition groups in order to revive a two-decade-old bilateral security agreement.
Russia has encouraged Turkey and Syria to refer to the 1998 treaty to deal with security concerns along their shared borders in the wake of a planned U.S troop withdrawal from northern Syria.
Fire kills 7 siblings in Syrian capital Damascus
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Seven siblings were asleep in their apartment in the Syrian capital when a fire broke out and spread quickly, suffocating six in their bedroom and burning to death the seventh, a girl, who was stuck under a false ceiling that collapsed as she tried to flee, first responders said.
Syria: Blast in coastal city of Latakia kills 1
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — A car bomb exploded at a busy intersection in the coastal city of Latakia on Tuesday, killing a civilian and wounding 14, Syrian state-run media said.
The blast was the second in government-controlled areas of Syria in two days, shattering a sense of relative calm in government-controlled areas that had somewhat stabilized after major advances by troops against insurgents in different parts of the country with Russian and Iranian help.
Syrian businessman on US sanctions list hosted by UAE
BEIRUT (AP) — The United Arab Emirates has hosted a Syrian trade delegation led by a businessman and lawmaker on the U.S. Treasury sanctions list since the country's civil war erupted in 2011.
The high-profile meeting comes weeks after the UAE reopened its embassy in Damascus for the first time in seven years __ a break with its US ally which shuns restoring ties with Syrian President Bashar Assad's government.
Israel confirms attacking Iran forces in Syria
In rare move, Israel confirms attacking Iran forces in Syria
JERUSALEM (AP) — In an extraordinary statement, the Israeli military confirmed early Monday that it attacked Iranian military targets in Syria, hours after carrying out a rare daylight air raid near the Damascus International Airport.
The statement was issued hours after Israeli missile defenses intercepted an incoming missile over the Golan Heights in the wake of the airport raid.
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The Latest: Israel announces attacks on Iran forces in Syria
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — The latest on the Syrian conflict (all times local):
In a very unusual move, the Israeli military has issued a statement saying it is attacking Iranian military targets in Syria. It is also warning Syrian authorities not to retaliate against Israel.
The army issued the statement early Monday, hours after Israel carried out a rare daylight air raid near the Damascus international airport.
Weather front brings sandstorms, hail, rain to Middle East
CAIRO (AP) — A harsh weather front brought sandstorms, hail and rain to parts of the Middle East on Wednesday, with visibility down in the Egyptian capital as an orange cloud of dust blocked out the sky and pedestrians covered their faces from the wind gusts.
The winter's first snow fell on the Syrian capital Damascus by evening, after a day of heavy rain and strong winds. All ports on the Syrian coast were closed due to the prevailing weather conditions.
Erdogan pledges Syria ‘safe zone’ as new UN envoy arrives
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Turkey's president said Tuesday that his troops will establish a 20-mile- (32-kilometer-) wide "safe zone" in northern Syria, adding that Turkey would seek logistic and financial assistance from the United States and other allies to create the zone.
The announcement by Recep Tayyip Erdogan came as the United Nations' new special envoy for Syria arrived in Damascus, his first visit to the war-torn country since he took over in January.
The Latest: Kurdish official rejects ‘safe zone’ in Syria
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — The Latest on developments in Syria's civil war (all times local):
A senior Kurdish official has categorically rejected a "safe zone" that the Turkish president says his troops plan to set up in northern Syria.
Arab nations inch toward rehabilitating Syria’s Assad
BEIRUT (AP) — He has survived eight years of war and billions of dollars in money and weapons aimed at toppling him. Now Syrian President Bashar Assad is poised to be readmitted to the fold of Arab nations, a feat once deemed unthinkable as he forcefully crushed the uprising against his family's rule.
The Latest: Israeli PM confirms weekend strikes in Syria
JERUSALEM (AP) — The Latest on Israel's operation along its border with Lebanon (all times local):
Israel's prime minister says the country struck an Iranian weapons storage facility over the weekend at the Damascus International Airport.
Benjamin Netanyahu's comments on Sunday at his weekly Cabinet meeting mark a rare public acknowledgement of Israeli activity in Syria.
Syrian army shells areas held by insurgents in northwest
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Artillery shelling by government forces pounded parts of the northwestern Idlib province on Saturday, thwarting an infiltration attempt by militants as tension rises in the region following victories by al-Qaida-linked militants against Turkey-backed opposition fighters, Syria's state news agency reported.
The violence came as officials in neighboring Turkey said efforts are being exerted to maintain stability in Idlib.
Syria says Israeli warplanes hit Damascus airport warehouse
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Missiles fired by Israeli warplanes struck a warehouse at Damascus International Airport late Friday, causing damage but no casualties, a Syrian military official said.
The unidentified official was quoted by Syrian state media as saying Israeli aircraft coming from the south fired several missiles at areas near Damascus about 45 minutes before midnight. He said Syrian air defense units shot down most of the missiles, but gave no details on other sites targeted.
Syrian Kurds and government discuss post-US withdrawal
BEIRUT (AP) — Talks are ongoing between the Syrian government in Damascus and Kurdish officials to reach a deal on how to fill the gap following the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country, a Syrian Kurdish official said Saturday.
Syria’s Assad authorizes Iraqi forces to strike IS in Syria
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syrian President Bashar Assad authorized Iraqi forces on Sunday to attack the Islamic State group inside Syria without waiting for permission from authorities in Damascus, the state news agency SANA said, as the two allies coordinate their fight against extremists ahead of a planned U.S. withdrawal from Syria.
Bahrain says embassy work in Syria continues after UAE move
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Bahrain on Friday announced that "work is continuing at its embassy" in Syria, reflecting a new push by Gulf Arab states to improve relations with President Bashar Assad as the war winds down.
UAE reopens embassy in Syrian capital closed in 2011
BEIRUT (AP) — The United Arab Emirates reopened its embassy in Syria's capital on Thursday for the first time in seven years, a reflection of improved relations between President Bashar Assad and some of his Arab foes as the war winds down.
On Thursday afternoon, UAE's charge d'affaires Abdul-Hakim Naimi visited the embassy and witnessed his country's flag being raised again on the compound in central Damascus.
The Latest: Israeli official says Israel carried out strike
JERUSALEM (AP) — The Latest on an Israeli airstrike near the Syrian capital (all times local):
An Israeli security official has confirmed that Israel carried out an overnight airstrike in Syria, saying a series of Iranian targets were hit.
Report: Israeli attack near Syrian capital wounds 3 soldiers
BEIRUT (AP) — Israeli warplanes flying over Lebanon fired missiles toward areas near the Syrian capital of Damascus late Tuesday, hitting an arms depot and wounding three soldiers, Syrian state media reported, saying that most of the missiles were shot down by air defense units.
Sudan president lands in Syria in 1st visit by Arab leader
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Sudan's president on Sunday became the first Arab League leader to visit Syria since civil war erupted there nearly eight years ago.
Omar al-Bashir was greeted at the Damascus airport by Syrian President Bashar Assad before they both headed to the presidential palace, where they held talks on bilateral relations and the latest developments in Syria and the region, according to the state-run news agency.
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Parents of US journalist missing in Syria hopeful about fate
BEIRUT (AP) — The parents of American journalist Austin Tice, who went missing in Syria in 2012, said Tuesday they are hopeful the Trump administration will work on releasing their son, in the same way it did with Americans held in North Korea.
Marc and Debra Tice told reporters in Beirut that they have met U.S. officials including President Donald Trump and "they have each made a commitment to us that they're determined to bring Austin home safely."
Syria sends UN complaints over Israeli, US-led airstrikes
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syria has sent the U.N. Security Council complaints over the latest Israeli airstrikes that targeted an area home to military bases south of Damascus, saying such "aggression" aims to prolong the Syrian crisis.
Syria state TV says air defenses repelled missile attack
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syria's air defenses confronted an aerial "aggression" over the country's south late Thursday, shooting down several targets and preventing them from carrying out their mission in the first such attack since Syria received a Russian air defense system last month, state TV said.
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.
Syrian government forces take southern region from IS
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syrian government forces captured a southern region from the Islamic State group on Monday after weeks of fighting that left scores dead on both sides, a government-linked media outlet reported.
Syrian Central Military Media said the army retook the rugged Tulul al-Safa region, the last pocket of territory held by the extremists in the country's south. It said troops are now clearing away explosives and booby-traps left behind by the militants.
A luxury city shows blueprint for Syria’s rebuilding plans
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — At a building site in Damascus, trucks and bulldozers zigzag back and forth ferrying sand and stones for a luxury development of residential high-rises and shopping centers.
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Syria reopens national museum closed 6 years by civil war
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syrian officials, foreign archeologists and restoration specialists attended the reopening ceremony of the Syria's National Museum in the heart of Damascus on Sunday, more than six years after the prominent institution was shut down and emptied as the country's civil war encroached on the capital.
Syria tells outgoing UN envoy to stay out of constitution
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syria's top diplomat told the outgoing U.N. envoy Wednesday to stay out of matters concerning the war-torn country's constitution, state media reported, while the U.N. official said they had "a very intense exchange of opinions."
Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem reportedly told U.N. envoy Staffan de Mistura that the constitution is a "sovereign" matter and that Damascus will not allow any foreign intervention or meddling in it.
Syria displays artifacts retrieved from rebel-held areas
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — An exhibition in Syria's capital is showcasing hundreds of artifacts that officials say were retrieved from areas formerly held by rebels and from abroad, amid recent gains by the military.
Syria hopes to jumpstart rebuilding despite massive hurdles
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — With back-to-back trade fairs held in Damascus this month, Syria is hoping to jumpstart reconstruction of its devastated cities by inviting international investors to take part in lucrative opportunities.
But the absence of significant Western participants, the challenges posed by international sanctions and the lack of a political solution to the seven-year-old conflict point to massive hurdles ahead.
Via arms and trade, Russia plots long-term Syrian future
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The same day that Russian diplomats struck a deal with Turkey over a demilitarized zone in Syria's last rebel-run region, dozens of Russian businessmen were flying home from Damascus, contracts in hand for trade with a postwar Syria.
Syrian official says S-300 defenses will give Israel pause
BEIRUT (AP) — Israel should think carefully before attacking Syria again once it obtains the sophisticated S-300 defense system from Russia, a Damascus official said.
The warning followed pledges from Moscow to deliver the missile system after last week's downing of a Russian plane by Syrian forces responding to an Israeli airstrike.
Syria's Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad said late Tuesday that the S-300 should have been given to Syria long ago.
Syria’s government and opposition welcome Idlib deal
BEIRUT (AP) — Both Syria's government and its opposition welcomed the Turkey-Russia deal declaring a de-militarized zone around the major rebel stronghold Idlib, saying Tuesday the agreement stemmed more bloodshed.
Still, the government vowed it will keep up its campaign against "terrorism," either militarily or with reconciliation deals.