Islamic State seizes parts of Syria's historic Palmyra city

Islamic State seizes parts of Syria's historic Palmyra city

A video posted online claims to show smoke rising over the Syrian city of Palmyra amid reports Islamic State fighters have seized around a third of the historic Syrian city that is home to UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Thursday, 21 May, 2015, 10:44am

Nine Lebanese pilgrims kidnapped in Syria freed

Murat Akpinar, one of two Turkish pilots kidnapped by armed assailants in Beirut. Photo: Associated Press

Nine Lebanese Shiite pilgrims kidnapped by rebels in Syria last year have been released, with signs that two Turkish pilots whose abduction was linked to their capture may also be freed.

“The nine Lebanese held in Syria are on their way to Turkey,” Lebanon’s Interior Minister Marwan Charbel said on Friday.

19 Oct 2013 - 2:47pm

Snipers haunt Syrian Christian town of Maalula

TOPSHOTSAFP reporter Sammy Ketz, hits the ground as a Syrian soldier runs past during snipper fire in the ancient Christian Syrian town of Maalula, on Wednesday. Photo: AFP

“Maalula, city of culture and history, welcomes you,” reads a sign at the entrance to Syria’s best known Christian town. But any semblance of welcome evaporates once inside Maalula.

20 Sep 2013 - 11:09am

Kerry seeks EU support on Syria after G20 split

US Secretary of State John Kerry. Photo: AFP

US Secretary of State John Kerry on Saturday sought to muster European Union support for military strikes against Syria, after a G20 summit failed to resolve bitter international divisions on the issue.

7 Sep 2013 - 6:14pm 1 comment

US weighs military options for Syria, says Hagel

US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel. Photo: AFP

The Pentagon is moving forces into place in case President Barack Obama opts for military action against Syria, US Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel suggested on Friday.

24 Aug 2013 - 5:25pm

Gunmen kill 11 near Syrian Christian villages

A Syrian rebel points to the sky as a regime fighter jet flies overhead in Syria's eastern town of Deir Ezzor on Saturday. Photo: AFP

Gunmen shot dead 11 people, mostly Christians, in central Syria on Saturday, state media and activists said. A witness described what appeared to be a sectarian attack indiscriminately targeting members of the minority.

17 Aug 2013 - 8:33pm

20 die in air raids in Syria’s Latakia province

Free Syrian Army fighters in action near Aleppo. Reports on Saturday say 20 people died in air raids in Latakia province. Photo: Reuters

Air strikes by the Syrian military killed at least 20 people in the northwestern province of Latakia overnight, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Saturday.

“The toll in several air strikes on the town of Salma in Jabal Akrad rose to at least 20 people,” Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman said.

10 Aug 2013 - 5:03pm

Syria rebels overrun key Aleppo air base

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Photo: AP

Rebels fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al-Assad have captured a key air base in the northern province of Aleppo after a months-long battle, a monitoring group reported on Tuesday.

“The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant [jihadist group] and other opposition groups took total control at dawn today of Minnigh air base,” said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

6 Aug 2013 - 2:50pm

UN warns of plight of women, children in Syria’s Homs

Syrian women and children talking to reporters in a refugee camp. The UN is worried about the plight of women and children in Homs. Photo: Reuters

The UN sounded the alarm on Saturday about the plight of women and children in Syria’s Homs, urging all parties in the conflict to enable access to some 400,000 trapped civilians.

3 Aug 2013 - 4:44pm

Syria’s Assad ‘sure of victory’ over rebels

Bashar al-Assad. Photo: AP

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said he was “sure of victory” over rebels fighting to topple him, in an Army Day message carried by state media on Thursday.

“If we in Syria were not sure of victory, we would not have had the will to resist nor been able to persevere in the face of more than two years of aggression,” he said.

1 Aug 2013 - 4:12pm

Syria rebels meet UN Security Council to end Assad support

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Photo: AP

Syrian rebel leaders met with the UN Security Council for the first time on Friday to discuss the country’s two-year war and appealed to Russia to stop its powerful political and military support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

27 Jul 2013 - 11:45am

Syria opposition asks John Kerry for US arms

John Kerry. Photo: AFP

Syrian opposition leaders on Thursday pressed US Secretary of State John Kerry to arm rebel groups and said there could be no peace talks while government forces kill civilians.

Kerry held his first meeting with Syrian National Coalition president Ahmad Jarba at the US mission to the United Nations in New York.

The coalition is to meet UN Security Council envoys on Friday.

26 Jul 2013 - 3:49pm

Syrian refugees face wave of racism in Egypt, Lebanon

Mohamed Morsi. Photo: AP

A wave of xenophobia is blighting the lives of thousands of Syrian refugees in countries such as Egypt and Lebanon, where they are often blamed for anything that goes wrong.

In Egypt, Syrians are accused of taking sides and interfering in the country’s political crisis, while in Lebanon they are accused of taking the jobs of Lebanese.

25 Jul 2013 - 12:42pm

US congressional hurdles lifted on arming Syrian rebels

US President Barack Obama. Photo: Reuters

President Barack Obama will move forward with a plan for the United States to arm the struggling Syrian rebels after some congressional concerns were eased, officials said on Monday.

“We believe we are in a position that the administration can move forward,” House of Representatives Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers said.

23 Jul 2013 - 1:19pm 1 comment

Syrian war creates worst refugee crisis since Rwanda genocide, says UN

A wounded man is helped by other people after what the Free Syrian Army said was an air raid by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Duma near Damascus. Photo: Reuters

Five thousand people a month are dying in Syria’s war, which has now generated the worst refugee crisis since the 1994 Rwandan genocide, UN officials said on Tuesday.

18 Jul 2013 - 2:52am