Erdogan: we will “strangle” U.S.-backed force in Syria “before it’s even born”

By Ellen Francis and Ezgi Erkoyun BEIRUT/ISTANBUL Jan 15 : Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan threatened on Monday to “strangle” a planned 30,000-strong U.S.-backed force in Syria “before it’s even born,” as Washington’s backing for Kurdish fighters drove a wedge into relations with one of its main Middle East allies. The United States announced its support on […]

Syrian, Iranian backed forces advance in border area near Israel

By Suleiman Al-Khalidi AMMAN, Dec 25 : Syrian army forces backed by Iranian-backed militias pushed deeper into the last rebel-held enclave near a strategic border area with Israel and Lebanon in a new expansion of Tehran’s influence in the war-torn country. The army and the Shi’ite forces advanced east and south of the Sunni-rebel held […]

UN calls Syria talks a ‘big missed opportunity’, seeks new ideas

By Tom Miles and Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA, Dec 14 : A round of Syria peace talks that ended on Thursday was a big missed opportunity but there may be more talks next month if ideas can be found to encourage President Bashar al-Assad’s government to engage, U.N. mediator Staffan de Mistura said. He said neither […]

Putin must nudge Syria into U.N. peace deal, mediator says

By Stephanie Nebehay GENEVA, Dec 13 : U.N. Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura urged Russia on Wednesday to convince its ally the Syrian government of the need to clinch a peace deal to end the nearly seven-year-old war. De Mistura, speaking on Swiss television station RTS, said failure to make peace quickly through […]

Syrian, Russian jets bomb residential areas in eastern Ghouta -witnesses, monitor

By Suleiman Al-Khalidi AMMAN, Dec 4 : – Jets believed to be Syrian and Russian struck heavily crowded residential areas in a besieged rebel enclave near Damascus, killing at least 27 people and injuring dozens in the third week of a stepped-up assault, residents, aid workers and a war monitor said on Monday. Civil defence […]

Mattis eyes moving away from arming Syrian Kurdish fighters

By Idrees Ali ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT, Dec 2 : US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Friday that as offensive operations against Islamic State in Syria entered their final stages, he expected the focus to move towards holding territory instead of arming Syrian Kurdish fighters. Speaking with reporters on a military plane en […]