Syria

Read recent Syrian news stories and current events on Newser.com

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Syria Issues First Statement on Austin Tice Since 2016

Country's foreign ministry denies 'it has kidnapped or is hiding any American'

(Newser) - On Tuesday, the New York Times reported on the apparent "revival" of a multinational effort to bring home US journalist Austin Tice, who disappeared a decade ago in Syria. On Wednesday, Syria made clear it's not part of that effort. In what CNN reports is its first statement...

On 10-Year Anniversary of Tice Abduction, a Message From Biden

President says 'we know with certainty' Syria has US journo, calls on Syria to 'help us bring him home'

(Newser) - Austin Tice was abducted in Syria 10 years ago this week, and no government or group has claimed responsibility or admitted to detaining him since. But on Wednesday, President Biden said "we know with certainty" that Syria has the 41-year-old US freelance journalist and Marine Corps veteran in captivity,...

Jackie Chan Producing Film Shot in Controversial Locale

The town of al-Hajar al-Aswad is now a movie set

(Newser) - A Chinese action movie that has Jackie Chan on board as executive producer is catching flak for one of its film locations: a Syrian town leveled and largely empty after years of civil war and ISIS occupation. The Guardian reports the film Home Operation is "inspired by China’s...

US Woman Pleads Guilty to International Terrorism in Rarity

Allison Fluke-Ekren led an all-female ISIS brigade in Syria

(Newser) - A US woman accused of leading a female Islamic State battalion in Syria pleaded guilty Tuesday, resolving what prosecutors called a first-of-its-kind case. Former Kansas resident Allison Fluke-Ekren, 42, "broke down sobbing" after admitting to conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization in federal court in...

Blast at US Syria Base May Have Been Insider Attack

Military says service member is a possible suspect

(Newser) - A US service member has been identified as a possible suspect in an April explosion that injured several US troops at a base in eastern Syria. Patrick Barnes, a spokesman for the Army Criminal Investigation Division, said in a statement that the potential suspect is back in the United States,...

Carvings Reveal Multicultural Procession of Ancient Gods

Archaeologists say the carvings suggest an unexpected melding of cultures

(Newser) - “I felt as if I was in a ritual when I was confronted by the very expressive eyes and majestic serious face of the storm god Hadad,” Dr. Mehmet Önal told the New York Times, describing his feelings as he viewed a “procession of almond-eyed deities”...

ISIS Captive's Letter to Dad Leaves Courtroom in 'Tears'

Peter Kassig, killed in 2014, wrote that his last thought would be of the love of his parents

(Newser) - If Peter Kassig was true to his word, the only thought running through his mind as he was beheaded by Islamic State terrorists was how much his parents loved him. Ed Kassig, the father of the US aid worker who was taken hostage in Syria in 2013 and killed a...

He Dug a Mass Grave. Then an Ice Cream Truck Showed Up

'NYT' reports on 2 mass gravesites in Syria, which could hold evidence of war crimes

(Newser) - The murdered dissidents of Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad ended up in mass graves, which could hold evidence of war crimes, the New York Times reports after speaking with four men who claim to have worked around two mass gravesites near Damascus, which the Times located using satellite images. Each one...

Putin Approves Bringing in 'Volunteer' Fighters From Syria

US officials say Russia is recruiting fighters trained in urban combat from Middle East

(Newser) - Last week, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced that an "international legion" of 16,000 volunteers had offered to come to his nation to help fight off invading Russian forces. Now, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Shoigu is claiming that an equal number of volunteers from the Middle East are stepping...

Kansas Mom of 5 Turned Alleged Jihadist Denied Bail

Allison Fluke-Ekren is charged with aiding a terrorist organization

(Newser) - Update: The so-called "all-American girl" turned alleged jihadist was denied bail during a court appearance in Virginia Thursday, the BBC reports. The judge said factors including the safety of the local community are considered during bond hearings, and Allison Fluke-Ekren did not contest the order to remain in custody...

US: ISIS Leader Blew Himself Up in Raid
ISIS Leader Died Same Way
as His Predecessor
the rundown

ISIS Leader Died Same Way as His Predecessor

US says Abu Ibrahim al-Qurayshi deliberately blew himself up amid raid

(Newser) - An overnight raid in Syria by US special-operations forces resulted in the death of the Islamic State's leader, but it wasn't American forces who killed Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi. The US says the ISIS commander detonated a bomb as the raid unfolded at his compound, deliberately blowing himself...

US Raid Reportedly Kills Civilians in Syria
Biden: We Killed ISIS
Leader in Syrian Raid
UPDATED

Biden: We Killed ISIS Leader in Syrian Raid

President says strike took out Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi

(Newser) - Update: A US special forces raid in northwestern Syria early Thursday killed the top leader of the Islamic State group, Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, President Biden said. “Thanks to the skill and bravery of our Armed Forces, we have taken off the battlefield Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi—the leader...

ISIS Stormed a Prison. There Are Hundreds of Boys Inside

Siege on Gweiran Prison shines a light on the children's plight

(Newser) - A distressing series of voice notes sent by an Australian teen from a prison in northeast Syria underscores the plight of thousands of forgotten children who remain trapped in detention facilities in Syria and Iraq. Hundreds of minors (Human Rights Watch estimates 600 boys) are believed to be holed up...

She Left the US to Join ISIS. Now, a SCOTUS Decision

Supreme Court won't hear appeal of Hoda Muthana, who went to Syria in 2014, wants to come back

(Newser) - Update: She was born in New Jersey and raised in Alabama, but it looks like Hoda Muthana won't be going back to either anytime soon. On Monday, the US Supreme Court refused, without comment, to hear an appeal from the 27-year-old—who'd left Alabama to join the Islamic...

Ex-Secret Police Officer Guilty of Crimes Against Humanity

Syrian man was convicted in German court

(Newser) - A German court has convicted a former Syrian secret police officer of crimes against humanity for overseeing the abuse of detainees at a jail near Damascus a decade ago. The verdict Thursday in the landmark trial has been keenly anticipated by Syrians who suffered abuse or lost relatives at the...

The World Has a New 'Narcostate'
Syria's Biggest Export
May Surprise You
longform

Syria's Biggest Export May Surprise You

'New York Times' alleges that Syria is a 'narcostate' pumping out amphetamine captagon

(Newser) - Last week, Syrian authorities trumpeted the seizure of a large cache of illegal amphetamine pills known as captagon and said an investigation was underway to figure out where the pills came from, notes the AP . Now, an investigation by the New York Times may provide the answer: The Syrian government...

Convicted Arsonists Are Executed En Masse in Syria

Human rights activists 'shocked' that 24 were put to death for 2020 wildfires

(Newser) - Wildfires that swept through Syria last year were intentionally lit, and now 24 individuals linked to setting them have been executed, per the country's Ministry of Justice. Al Jazeera notes that while executions aren't uncommon in Syria, so many being killed at once is unusual. It's not...

Biden Orders Airstrikes in Iraq, Syria

Targeting Iran-backed militias

(Newser) - The US military, under the direction of President Biden, has conducted airstrikes against what it said were “facilities used by Iran-backed militia groups” near the border between Iraq and Syria. Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby said the militias were using the facilities to launch unmanned aerial vehicle attacks against...

Israel Strikes Syria After Missile Lands Near Reactor

Israeli media called it an 'errant' projectile

(Newser) - A Syrian anti-aircraft missile landed in southern Israel early Thursday, setting off air raid sirens near the country's top-secret nuclear reactor, the Israeli military said. In response, it said it attacked the missile launcher and air-defense systems in neighboring Syria. It marked one of the most serious incidents of...

They Found Safety in Denmark. Now They're Told to Go
They Found Safety in Denmark.
Now They're Told to Go
THE RUNDOWN

They Found Safety in Denmark. Now They're Told to Go

Denmark becomes first EU country to revoke Syrians' residence permits

(Newser) - "I'm not a danger. I'm not a criminal." You might be inclined to agree. What Ghalia al-Asseh is is a chemistry and biotechnology student at the Technical University of Denmark, the country in which she has lived since fleeing Syria with her family in 2015. Now,...

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