Saudi surge of diplomacy brings Assad, Zelenskyy to Arab summitMay 19, 2023 GMT
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Saudi Arabia hosted an Arab League summit on Friday in which Syrian President Bashar Assad was welcomed back after a 12-year suspension and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made a surprise visit to rally support against Russia.
Tunisian leader calls meeting with Syria’s Assad ‘historic,’ buries memories of Arab SpringMay 19, 2023 GMT
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Smiles, a handshake and what Tunisian President Kais Saied called a “historic meeting” with the long-ostracized Syrian leader Bashar Assad.
The talks between the two presidents, held before the start on Friday of the Arab League summit in Saudi Arabia, buried memories, and perhaps the legacy, of the Arab Spring which started in Tunisia 12 years ago.
Syria’s Assad arrives in Saudi Arabia for regional summit, sealing his return to the Arab foldMay 18, 2023 GMT
JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — Syrian President Bashar Assad arrived on Thursday in Saudi Arabia to attend a regional summit that is expected to seal Syria's return to the Arab fold, marking his first visit to the oil-rich kingdom since Syria’s conflict began in 2011.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Syria's embattled President Bashar Assad received an invitation to attend the upcoming COP28 climate talks in Dubai later this year, even as the yearslong war in his country over his rule grinds on.
Pariah no more? Arab League reinstates Bashar Assad’s SyriaMay 7, 2023 GMT
CAIRO (AP) — The Arab League agreed Sunday to reinstate Syria, ending a 12-year suspension and taking another step toward bringing Syrian President Bashar Assad, a long-time regional pariah, back into the fold.
As Assad returns to Arab fold, Syrians watch with hope, fearApril 26, 2023 GMT
BEIRUT (AP) — Syrians living on opposite sides of the largely frozen battle lines dividing their country are watching the accelerating normalization of ties between the government of Bashar Assad and Syria's neighbors through starkly different lenses.
EU targets Syrian leader’s family over amphetamine businessApril 24, 2023 GMT
BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union on Monday slapped sanctions on several Syrians, including members of President Bashar Assad’s family, accusing them of making and trafficking an amphetamine that enriches and helps to prop up the regime.
Syria’s Assad in UAE to mark ongoing thaw in relationsMarch 19, 2023 GMT
BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian President Bashar Assad arrived in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday, his first visit to the wealthy Gulf country since the devastating earthquake that struck Turkey and Syria last month.
Putin, Assad discuss rebuilding Syria, regional issuesMarch 15, 2023 GMT
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted Syrian leader Bashar Assad in the Kremlin on Wednesday for talks that focused on rebuilding Syria after a devastating civil war and efforts to stabilize the region.
Analysis: Syria rebuilding hopes dim as war enters year 13March 15, 2023 GMT
BEIRUT (AP) — The recent deadly earthquake in Turkey and Syria which caused billions of dollars in damage has boosted the prospects of Syria's once widely shunned president return to the Arab fold, but appears unlikely to jump-start large-scale reconstruction in the war-ravaged country.
Syrian president Assad arrives in Moscow, set to meet PutinMarch 14, 2023 GMT
BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian President Bashar Assad arrived in Moscow on Tuesday, where he is scheduled to meet top ally Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Russia is a main backer of Assad and has a broad presence in Syria, where a 12-year uprising-turned-civil war has killed nearly half a million people and displaced half the country’s pre-war population.
Reports: Suspected drone strike in Syria kills at least 3March 8, 2023 GMT
BEIRUT (AP) — An explosion in eastern Syria on Wednesday killed at least three people, according to reports. A war monitoring group said the blast was likely caused by a drone strike that targeted Iran-backed militiamen.
Hezbollah says it backs Christian ally to become presidentMarch 6, 2023 GMT
BEIRUT (AP) — The leader of Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah said Monday the group backs a former Cabinet minister and strong ally to become Lebanon’s next president.
It was the first time that Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah openly named Sleiman Frangieh as the candidate they support to win the top post in the crisis-hit country.
Egypt’s top diplomat in Damascus, meets with Syria’s AssadFebruary 27, 2023 GMT
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Egypt's foreign minister Monday met with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus and promised to deliver more aid to the quake-hit country.
Sameh Shoukry is Egypt's most senior official to visit Syria since 2011, a day after Cairo's parliament speaker, Hanafy el-Gebaly, and a delegation of top Arab lawmakers visited Assad in a push to end Syria’s political isolation.
Top Arab lawmakers in Syria for talks with President AssadFebruary 26, 2023 GMT
BEIRUT (AP) — Senior Arab lawmakers were in Syria on Sunday for talks with President Bashar Assad on bringing his country back into the fold of the Arab world. The visit follows a mini-summit in Baghdad that affirmed the Arab League's intentions of having Syria return to the organization despite the country's devastating civil war.
Syrian president visits Oman in 1st trip abroad since quakeFebruary 20, 2023 GMT
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syrian President Bashar Assad visited the Gulf nation of Oman on Monday on his first official visit since the deadly Feb. 6 earthquake, his office said.
Oman is one of a few Arab countries that kept normal relations with Damascus after Syria was suspended from the Arab League in 2011 over its crackdown on Arab Spring protests.
Jordanian FM visits Syria, promises more earthquake aidFebruary 15, 2023 GMT
BEIRUT (AP) — Jordan's foreign minister Tuesday met with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus, vowing to continue delivering earthquake aid and work to find a political solution to Syria's 12-year conflict, Syrian state media reported.
UN appeals for $397 million to help Syrian quake survivorsFebruary 14, 2023 GMT
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The United Nations chief launched a $397 million appeal Tuesday to help nearly 5 million survivors of last week’s devastating earthquake in rebel-held northwest Syria who have received very little assistance because of deep divisions exacerbated by the country’s 12-year war.
Syria’s Assad could reap rewards from aid crossing dealFebruary 14, 2023 GMT
BEIRUT (AP) — A convoy of 11 trucks from a United Nations agency crossed into northern Syria from Turkey on Tuesday, just hours after the U.N. and Syrian government reached an agreement to temporarily authorize two new border crossings into the rebel enclave, devastated by the region's deadly earthquake.
UN says Syria agrees to open 2 new crossings for quake aidFebruary 14, 2023 GMT
UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Syria’s president agreed to open two new crossing points from Turkey to the country’s rebel-held northwest to deliver desperately needed aid and equipment to help millions of earthquake victims, the United Nations announced Monday.
Quake brings chance for Syria’s Assad to ease isolationFebruary 10, 2023 GMT
BEIRUT (AP) — On his first public visit touring the destruction wreaked by this week’s deadly earthquake that hit Turkey and Syria, Syrian President Bashar Assad on Friday pointedly shamed the West for shunning his country.
Aid to quake-hit Syria slowed by sanctions, war’s divisionsFebruary 8, 2023 GMT
BEIRUT (AP) — Even before Monday’s devastating earthquake, getting aid to all parts of war-battered Syria was fraught with daunting political and logistical challenges.
Watchdog blames Syria’s air force for deadly chlorine attackJanuary 27, 2023 GMT
THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AP) — The global chemical weapons watchdog said Friday that its investigators found “reasonable grounds to believe” Syria's air force dropped two cylinders containing chlorine gas on the city of Douma in April 2018, killing 43 people.
Iran and Syria set to renew long-term economic agreementJanuary 14, 2023 GMT
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syria and key ally Iran agreed Saturday to renew an economic strategic arrangement between the two countries as Damascus prepares to welcome Iran’s president in the near future.
Crowd attacks Syrian rebel figure over reconciliation pushJanuary 13, 2023 GMT
BEIRUT (AP) — Angry protesters in Syria’s rebel-held enclave rallied Friday against reconciliation attempts between Turkey and Syrian President Bashar Assad’s government and scuffled with a local Syrian opposition figure involved in those attempts.
Aid convoy enters Syrian rebel area ahead of key UN voteJanuary 8, 2023 GMT
IDLIB, Syria (AP) — A humanitarian convoy on Sunday delivered urgently needed supplies to Syria's last rebel stronghold, a day before the U.N. Security Council is set to vote on a resolution that would determine whether aid deliveries to the war-stricken territory can continue.
Syrians in rebel enclave protest Turkey-Syria contactsJanuary 6, 2023 GMT
IDLIB, Syria (AP) — Thousands of Syrians held protests Friday in different parts of the rebel-held northwest against recent moves by the governments in Damascus and Ankara to improve ties.
The protests in villages and towns in Idlib and Aleppo provinces came a week after the Turkish, Syrian and Russian defense ministers held previously unannounced talks in Moscow in the first such meeting between rivals Turkey and Syria since the start of the Syrian conflict 11 years ago.
EXPLAINER: Why has Syria’s economic crisis hit a new low?January 5, 2023 GMT
BEIRUT (AP) — Syria’s economy has hit its lowest point since the start of its civil war nearly 12 years ago, with spiraling inflation, a currency plunge and severe fuel shortages in both government-run and rebel-held areas.
UAE top diplomat back in Syria as relations continue to thawJanuary 4, 2023 GMT
BEIRUT (AP) — The United Arab Emirates' top diplomat met with Syrian President Bashar Assad on Wednesday, his second visit to Damascus as relations continue to thaw between the two countries.
According to a statement from Assad's office, he and UAE's Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan discussed boosting economic ties between their nations.
2 killed, 7 wounded in rare Syria anti-government protestDecember 4, 2022 GMT
BEIRUT (AP) — Protests in Syria's Druze-majority Sweida province turned violent on Sunday leading to the deaths of a protester and a police officer, and wounding seven others.
Anti-government demonstrations are rare in Syria where President Bashar Assad stamped out a pro-democracy uprising over a decade ago.
Lebanese reformist, another lawmaker lose parliament seatsNovember 24, 2022 GMT
BEIRUT (AP) — Two newly elected Lebanese lawmakers, including an activist who had pledged to fight corruption, lost their parliament seats on Thursday following an appeals process before the country's constitutional council.
Israeli airstrikes on Syria kill 4 soldiers, injure 1November 19, 2022 GMT
BEIRUT (AP) — Israeli airstrikes hit central and coastal regions of Syria early Saturday, killing four soldiers and wounding one, the Syrian military said.
State media quoted an unidentified Syrian military official as saying that Israeli warplanes flying over the Mediterranean fired missiles toward military positions in coastal and central Syria.
UN envoy urges lifting of sanctions harming Syrian civiliansNovember 10, 2022 GMT
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — A U.N. envoy on Thursday urged Western and Arab countries to lift sanctions imposed on Syria years ago, warning that the measures are exacerbating “the destruction and trauma” Syrian civilians have been exposed to since the country's civil war started 11 years ago.
Syrian and Russian troops conduct joint drills in SyriaOctober 26, 2022 GMT
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syrian and Russian troops conducted joint military drills in Syria involving ground and air forces, Syrian state media reported Wednesday.
Russian and Syrian troops simulated attacking enemy positions under the cover of artillery shelling and airstrikes by warplanes and helicopters, according to a video released by Syria’s Defense Ministry.
Report finds sanctioned Syrians benefit from UN contractsOctober 26, 2022 GMT
BEIRUT (AP) — The United Nations has procured tens of millions of dollars in contracts with companies linked to Syrian government-backed individuals sanctioned for human rights abuses, according to a report by two non-governmental groups.
Militant Hamas group back in Damascus after years of tensionOctober 19, 2022 GMT
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Two senior officials from the Palestinian militant Hamas group visited Syria's capital Wednesday in the first such visit since the faction was forced to leave the war-torn country a decade ago over backing armed opposition fighters.
Envoy says UN to push for nationwide cease-fire in SyriaOctober 17, 2022 GMT
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — The United Nations will push for a nationwide cease-fire in Syria even after bursts of fighting in the last rebel-held region have punctured a two-year truce there, killing hundreds, a U.N.
Europe praises, Belarus scorns Nobel for rights defendersOctober 7, 2022 GMT
BERLIN (AP) — Officials in Europe and the U.S. praised the awarding of this year's Nobel Peace Prize to activists standing up for human rights and democracy in Russia, Belarus and Ukraine while authorities in Belarus scorned the move.
Syrian activists says airstrikes on Idlib province kill 7September 8, 2022 GMT
BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian government airstrikes over the country’s northwestern Idlib province on Thursday killed seven civilians and wounded at least 12, activists and first responders said.
The Syrian opposition, which now holds only a tiny sliver of the country, blamed Russian -backed warplanes for the attack.
Satellite photos: Israel attack damages Syria airport runwaySeptember 8, 2022 GMT
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — An Israeli strike on a Syrian airport tore large craters in three spots on the facility's runway, again closing the airfield after a strike days earlier also halted traffic, satellite images analyzed Thursday by The Associated Press show.
Hezbollah at 40 stronger than ever but has more enemiesSeptember 1, 2022 GMT
BEIRUT (AP) — Forty years since Hezbollah was founded at the height of Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon, the group has morphed from a ragtag organization to the largest and most heavily armed militant group in the Middle East.
Syrian state media: 2 civilians wounded in Israeli strikesAugust 25, 2022 GMT
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Israeli airstrikes over a town in the central Syrian province of Hama on Thursday wounded two civilians, Syrian state-run media reported.
The reports said Syria’s air defense systems shot down some of the missiles coming from over the Mediterranean Sea before they hit their targets.
Ship that Ukraine alleges has stolen wheat likely off SyriaAugust 18, 2022 GMT
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A Russian cargo ship that Ukraine alleges holds stolen wheat from territory seized by Moscow appears to have reached the Syrian port of Tartus, according to satellite images analyzed Thursday by The Associated Press.
Protests in northern Syria slam Turkish minister’s remarksAugust 12, 2022 GMT
ISTANBUL (AP) — Hundreds of Syrian opposition supporters rallied Friday in northwestern Syria, including outside a Turkish army post, to denounce remarks by Turkey’s foreign minister urging for a reconciliation with Syrian President Bashar Assad.
US: Syrian government is holding American journalist TiceAugust 10, 2022 GMT
BEIRUT (AP) — President Joe Biden said Wednesday the U.S. is certain that the Syrian government is holding American journalist Austin Tice, who went missing in the war-torn country a decade ago. He urged Damascus to help bring Tice back home.
Iran holds mass funeral for Guard officers killed in SyriaAugust 4, 2022 GMT
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Mourners poured out onto the streets of Tehran on Thursday to pay their respects to several Iranian officers killed in Syria, a testament to the human cost of Iran’s involvement in the civil war and a public display of nationalist fervor as nuclear talks resume in Vienna.
Ukraine urges Lebanon to block ship with grain from leavingAugust 3, 2022 GMT
BEIRUT (AP) — Ukraine's ambassador to Lebanon on Wednesday insisted a Syrian ship docked at a Lebanese port is carrying stolen Ukrainian grain and urged Lebanon to block the vessel from leaving.
The claim comes just days before the tiny cash-strapped country receives Ukraine’s first grain shipment since Russia’s invasion began over five months ago.
Ukraine says Syrian ship docks in Lebanon with stolen grainJuly 28, 2022 GMT
BEIRUT (AP) — A Syrian cargo ship, sanctioned by the United States and carrying what Ukraine says is stolen barley from the war-torn country, has docked in Lebanon, the Ukrainian diplomatic mission in the Mideast nation said Thursday.
Algeria’s top diplomat backs Syria’s return to Arab LeagueJuly 25, 2022 GMT
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Algeria’s foreign minister on Monday decried Syria’s decadelong suspension from the Arab League during a visit to Damascus, indicating support for the war-torn country's return to the organization under President Bashar Assad.
Israeli airstrike in Syria kills 3 soldiers, wounds 7July 21, 2022 GMT
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Israel launched airstrikes targeting Syrian military positions around Damascus overnight, killing three soldiers, wounding seven others, and causing material damage, state media reported Thursday.
Syria formally breaks diplomatic ties with UkraineJuly 20, 2022 GMT
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syria said Wednesday it is formally breaking diplomatic ties with Ukraine in response to a similar move by Kyiv.
Syria is a strong ally of Russia, which joined Syria’s conflict in September 2015 helping tip the balance of power in favor of President Bashar Assad.
Syria’s Assad tours once rebel-held Aleppo city, power plantJuly 8, 2022 GMT
BEIRUT (AP) — President Bashar Assad made a rare visit to the northern province of Aleppo on Friday to tour the country's largest city and inaugurate a power station that was once held by insurgents and suffered wide damages during the war, state media reported.
Iran’s top diplomat in Syria, slams Israel, Turkish threatsJuly 2, 2022 GMT
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Iran’s top diplomat condemned on Saturday Israel’s latest airstrike on Syria and criticized recent threats from Turkey about another planned incursion by Ankara into northern Syria.
Syria to recognize Ukraine’s Luhansk and Donetsk regionsJune 29, 2022 GMT
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syria said Wednesday it will recognize the “independence and sovereignty” of Ukraine’s eastern Luhansk and Donetsk regions and contacts will be established to set up diplomatic relations.
Government missile attack kills 9 insurgents in north SyriaJune 29, 2022 GMT
BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian forces conducted a missile strike on a vehicle carrying members of a Turkey-backed armed opposition faction in a rebel-held part of the country’s north Wednesday, opposition activists said, and nine gunmen were killed.
Syrian and Russian paratroopers conduct joint drillJune 26, 2022 GMT
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Hundreds of Syrian paratroopers took part in a joint drill with their Russian counterparts in the war-torn country in the second joint maneuver this month, state media reported.
Aid groups warn of grave consequences if Syria mandate stopsJune 23, 2022 GMT
BEIRUT (AP) — Unless the U.N. Security Council extends its approval of aid deliveries to rebel-held parts of northwest Syria next month, food supplies will be depleted by September in the region that is home to some 4 million people, aid agencies warned Thursday.
Syrian plane lands in base after Damascus airport attackJune 21, 2022 GMT
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — A flight by private Syrian airline Cham Wings landed on Tuesday at an airport used by Russia’s military in the coastal province of Latakia in western Syria, the country's state news agency reported.
Syrian leader receives credentials from Bahrain ambassadorJune 19, 2022 GMT
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — A new ambassador from Bahrain formally took up his post in Syria on Sunday, the country's first full diplomatic mission there in more than a decade as Damascus continues to improve its relations with Gulf Arab states.
Syria says Israel has carried out new attack near DamascusMay 20, 2022 GMT
DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Explosions were heard in the Syrian capital Friday night, which Syrian media said were the result of a new Israeli attack near Damascus.
State-run news agency SANA said Syrian air defenses confronted “hostile targets” in the skies in the Damascus countryside, a reference to Israel which has carried out hundreds of airstrikes in war-torn Syria over the past few years.