bashar al assad - updates

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Vowing new Syria campaign, U.S. sanctions dozens including Assad wife

Jun 17, 2020 - 9:23 PM

'We anticipate many more sanctions and we will not stop until Assad and his regime stop their needless, brutal war against the Syrian people,' US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says

SANCTIONS. A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) shows Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (R) speaking next to his wife Asma as they receive members of the army and their mother's to celebrate Mother's Day in the capital Damascus on March 21, 2016. AFP PHOTO/HO/SANA

Putin, Erdogan agree to ceasefire in Syria's Idlib

Mar 05, 2020 - 11:43 AM

(4th UPDATE) 'The object is to avoid the humanitarian crisis getting worse,' Erdogan says, though he adds that Turkey reserves the right to 'retaliate with all its strength against any attack' by Damascus

SHAKE ON IT. Russian President Vladimir Putin(R) and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan shake hands during a joint press conference following their talks in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on October 22, 2019. Photo by Sergei Chirikov/AFP

Turkey says pursuing military operation against Syrian regime

Mar 01, 2020 - 8:29 PM

Though Turkey has reported striking targets in Syria since dozens of its troops were killed there, it is the first confirmation of a full and continuing operation

SIEGE. Turkey-backed Syrian fighters ride a tank in the town of Saraqib in the eastern part of the Idlib province in northwestern Syria, on February 27, 2020. Photo by Bakr Alakasem/AFP

Turkey-Russia tensions soar after deadly Syria strike

Feb 28, 2020 - 8:59 PM

Both Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan appear keen to scale down the tensions, expressing 'serious concern' about the situation in their telephone talks

Trump calls for Russia to stop backing Syrian 'atrocities'

Feb 17, 2020 - 9:04 AM

A Russian-backed offensive has triggered the largest wave of displacement in Syria's civil war, with 800,000 people fleeing since December, the United Nations says

BLACK CLOUD. Smoke billows following reported bombardment by Syrian regime forces on the town of Kafr Ruma in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib, on January 27, 2020. Photo by Omar Haj KadourAFP

Syria regime helicopter downed as Ankara threatens Damascus

Feb 12, 2020 - 10:26 AM

The advance marks another step in President Bashar al-Assad's campaign to retake Syria's last rebel-held pocket

REMAINS. Syrian rebel fighters gather around the burning remains of a military helicopter after it was shot down over the village of Qaminas, about 6 kilometres southeast of Idlib city in northwestern Syria on February 11, 2020. Photo by Omar Haj Kadour/AFP

Israeli strikes kill 23 Syrian, foreign fighters in Syria

Feb 06, 2020 - 11:58 PM

The reported Israeli strikes come as government forces press a blistering offensive against Syria's last major rebel bastion, in the Idlib region in the northwest

ISRAELI STRIKES. This image grab taken from a video released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency on February 6, 2020, shows an explosion following an Israeli air strike on an undisclosed location in Syria. AFP PHOTO/HO/SANA

Erdogan urges Russia to 'assume its obligations' in Syria's Idlib

Feb 04, 2020 - 10:09 AM

Turkey, which already hosts more than 3.7 million Syrians, fears a further influx of refugees fleeing violence in Idlib

SITE. A Syrian man clears debris at the site of helicopter gunfire which reportedly killed nine people near the northwestern Syrian village of Barisha in the Idlib province along the border with Turkey on October 27, 2019, where "groups linked to the Islamic State group" were present, according to a Britain-based war monitor with sources inside Syria. Photo by Omar Haj Kadour/AFP

Syria's Assad says he does not want Turkey as an 'enemy'

Nov 01, 2019 - 2:16 PM

However the Syrian president says that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan himself was an 'enemy' due to policies hostile to Syria

NOT ENEMY. A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on October 31, 2019 shows President Bashar al-Assad speaking during a special broadcast interview in Syria's capital Damascus. Photo by SANA/AFP

Syria government, opposition open 'historic' constitutional review

Oct 30, 2019 - 11:17 PM

The United Nations-brokered constitutional review committee includes 150 delegates – divided equally among President Bashar al-Assad's government, the opposition, and civil society

HISTORIC. Members of the Syrian government delegation attend the first meeting of the new Syrian Constitutional Committee at the United Nations in Geneva on October 30, 2019. Photo by Denis Balibouse/Pool/AFP

Kurdish forces start Syria-Turkey border pullback

Oct 24, 2019 - 10:54 PM

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reports that the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces have pulled out of some areas at the eastern end of the border

SYRIA CONFLICT. Mourners attend the funeral of 3 Syrian Democratic Forces' fighters killed in battles against Turkey-led forces in the flashpoint town of Ras al-Ain along the border, on October 24, 2019 in the Syrian Kurdish town of Qamishli. Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

Russia announces ceasefire in Syria's Idlib

Aug 30, 2019 - 8:44 PM

The Russian Reconciliation Center for Syria says the ceasefire aims 'to stabilize the situation' in Idlib and urged anti-government fighters to 'abandon armed provocations and join the peace process'

CEASEFIRE. This file photo shows Syrian civilians flee on August 21, 2019 a conflict zone in Syria's rebel-held northwestern region of Idlib, where government bombardment has killed hundreds since late April. File photo by Omar Haj Kadour/AFP

Assad regime forces mass in northwest Syria – monitor

Aug 24, 2019 - 6:51 PM

Russian-backed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces gather north of the key town of Khan Sheikhun in a bid to take more territory from Turkish-backed rebels

Anti-Assad fighters withdraw from key area of northwest Syria

Aug 21, 2019 - 11:42 AM

After 8 years of civil war, the Idlib region on the border with Turkey is the last major stronghold of opposition to Assad's Russia-backed government

Syrian government forces gather near the town of Khan Shaykhun in the southern countryside of the rebel-held Idlib province on August 18, 2019. A Turkish military convoy crossed into jihadist-run northwest Syria on August 19, it's path blocked by advancing regime troops as tensions soared between Damascus and Ankara, which said its forces were targeted by an air strike. AFP

Regime forces advance towards key town in northwest Syria

Aug 14, 2019 - 11:31 PM

President Bashar al-Assad's fighters are just a few kilometers away from Khan Sheikhun, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights

KEY TOWN. This picture taken on August 5, 2019 shows smoke billowing above buildings during a reported air strike by pro-regime forces on Khan Sheikhun in the south of the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib. File photo by Omar Haj Kadour/AFP

Syria resumes Idlib air strikes after scrapping ceasefire

Aug 06, 2019 - 12:43 AM

The northwestern region of some 3 million people is one of the last major centers of resistance to President Bashar al-Assad's regime after 8 years of war

FAREWELL. Children wave goodbye as displaced Syrians who fled from their villages near the village of Jibala in the south of Idlib province to escape bombing by Syrian government forces, return home shortly before a truce fell apart between rebels and President Bashar al-Assad's regime, on August 4, 2019. File photo by Aaref Watad/AFP

Top Oman diplomat meets Assad in rare Syria visit

Jul 07, 2019 - 7:05 PM

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met with Oman's state minister for foreign affairs Yusuf bin Alawi bin Abdullah to discuss bilateral relations and regional security

Erdogan in Moscow for talks with Putin on Syria safe zone

Jan 23, 2019 - 9:58 PM

Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he will discuss with Vladimir Putin the creation of a Turkish-controlled 'security zone' in northern Syria, suggested by Donald Trump

SYRIA WAR. In this file photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan answer journalists' questions during a press conference in Konstantinovsky Palace outside Saint Petersburg on August 9, 2016. File photo by Alexander Nemenov/AFP

The world in 2018

Dec 19, 2018 - 10:00 AM

A look back at some of the major events that marked 2018

Central American migrants -mostly Hondurans- moving in a caravan towards the United States in hopes of a better life, head to Tijuana in Mexico's Baja California State, after leaving Mexicali on November 19, 2018. - US President Trump has sent about 5,800 troops to the border to forestall the arrival of large groups of Central American migrants travelling through Mexico and towards the US, in a move critics decry as a costly political stunt to galvanize supporters ahead of midterm elections earlier this month. (Photo by PEDRO PARDO / AFP)

Iran deal, Saudi murder: Turbulent year shakes up Middle East

Dec 16, 2018 - 10:00 AM

In another turbulent year for the tinderbox region, Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad appear ever more powerful and Washington's promised Israeli-Palestinian peace plan seem ever more elusive

Syria downs Russian plane, Moscow blames Israel

Sep 18, 2018 - 12:23 PM

(UPDATED) The incident, which happened late Monday, is the worst case of friendly fire between the two allies since Russia's game-changing military intervention in September 2015

Syria war has killed more than 360,000 – monitor

Sep 13, 2018 - 10:54 PM

The toll represents an increase of about 13,000 people in the past 6 months

SYRIA BOMBARDMENT. A Syrian man carries an infant injured in government bombing in the rebel-held town of Hamouria, in the besieged Eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus, on February 19, 2018. File photo by Abdulmonam Eassa/AFP

Trump warns Syria, Russia and Iran against Idlib 'tragedy'

Sep 04, 2018 - 9:51 AM

The warning comes as Iran's foreign minister Mohammad Javed Zarif meets with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad in a surprise visit to Damascus ahead of the looming offensive

WARNING. In this file photo, US President Donald Trump addresses the Pledge to America's Workers event at the White House in Washington, DC. File photo by Brendan Smialowski/AFP

Kurds eye decentralized Syria in talks with government

Jul 28, 2018 - 7:37 PM

(UPDATED) The Syrian Democratic Forces alliance says it it has agreed with the government to form joint committees and forge a 'roadmap leading to a democratic and decentralized Syria'

RUBBLE. Members of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) walk amidst the rubble of destroyed buildings in the northern Syrian town of Manbij on August 7, 2016, as they comb the city in search of the last remaining jihadists, a day after they retook it from the Islamic State group. Photo by Delil Souleiman/AFP

Syria state media confirms deal with rebels for Daraa city

Jul 12, 2018 - 1:23 PM

Under the deal for opposition-held areas of Daraa city, rebels are to hand over their heavy and medium-sized weapons

DEAL. Displaced Syrians from the Daraa province come back to their hometown in Bosra, southwestern Syria, on July 11, 2018. Photo by Mohamad Yusuf/AFP

Syria's Assad to meet Kim in North Korea – KCNA

Jun 03, 2018 - 10:11 PM

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad potentially can become the first head of state to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inside the isolated country

Pentagon warns Syria's Assad against attacking Kurdish-led forces

Jun 01, 2018 - 1:25 PM

Lieutenant General Kenneth McKenzie's remarks come after Syrian President Bashar al-Assad told Russian broadcaster RT he would not hesitate to use force to retake the 3rd of the country held by the Syrian Democratic Forces

Putin meets Assad, calls for 'political process' on Syria

May 18, 2018 - 11:35 AM

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov tells reporters that 'there were detailed discussions' between the two leaders

DIPLOMACY. Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) speaks with his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad during their meeting in Sochi on May 17, 2018. Photo by Mikhail Klimentyev/AFP

Chemical inspectors await all-clear to begin work in Syria's Douma

Apr 18, 2018 - 9:10 AM

Syrian Ambassador Bashar Jaafari tells a meeting of the UN Security Council that the team of experts will begin work on Wednesday, April 18, once they receive the all-clear from the security detail

DOUMA. The former rebel Syrian town of Douma on the outskirts of Damascus is seen on April 17, 2018 after the Syrian army declared that all anti-regime forces have left Eastern Ghouta, following a blistering two month offensive on the rebel enclave. AFP/STRINGER

U.S. takes aim at Russia over alleged Syria chemical attack

Apr 08, 2018 - 1:55 PM

The US State Department says Russia, 'with its unwavering support' for the Syrian regime, would be ultimately responsible

A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on April 7, 2018, shows a wounded woman arriving at a hospital in the Syrian capital Damascus, after rockets fired from Douma killed at least four civilians in various neighbourhoods across the capital. / AFP PHOTO / SANA AND AFP PHOTO / STRINGER / == RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / HO / SANA" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS ==

Trump says U.S. withdrawing from Syria 'very soon'

Mar 30, 2018 - 12:40 PM

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert is asked if she was aware of any decision for the US to pull out of Syria. 'I am not, no. No,' she says.

US President Donald Trump walks to Marine One prior to departure from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC, February 16, 2018, as he travels to Florida for the weekend. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB

Syria's Assad says Ghouta campaign must go on

Mar 05, 2018 - 8:30 AM

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's remarks come as the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said regime air strikes on Eastern Ghouta killed 34 civilians including 11 children on Sunday

SOLDIERS. Syrian government forces brandish their weapons while standing on an armoured personnel carrier after entering al-Shifoniya as they advance in the rebel-held Eastern Ghouta area on March 4, 2018. Photo by AFP

Fresh violence mars first day of Syria enclave 'truce'

Feb 28, 2018 - 8:01 AM

The first day of a 5-hour daily 'pause' that was ordered by President Vladimir Putin Sunday and kicked off at 9 am local time (0700 GMT) is marred by violence

BOMBARDED. A picture taken on February 27, 2018, shows smoke plumes rising during reported regime bombardment Syrian rebel-held town of Douma, in the besieged Eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus. Hamza al-Ajweh/AFP

New strikes hit Syria's Ghouta despite ceasefire call

Feb 25, 2018 - 5:31 PM

The bombing campaign on Eastern Ghouta has been one of the heaviest of the seven-year civil war that has pitted President Bashar al-Assad's regime against a range of rebel groups

STRIKE. Smoke billows following a regime air strike on the besieged Eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus, late on February 23, 2018. Syrian regime air strikes and artillery fire hit the rebel-held enclave of Eastern Ghouta for a sixth straight day killing 32 civilians, as the world struggled to reach a deal to stop the carnage. Photo by Anmar Suleiman/AFP

Nearly 200 dead in Syria enclave as UN warns situation 'out of control'

Feb 20, 2018 - 7:14 PM

(UPDATED) At least 194 civilians have been killed, among them 57 children, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says

SYRIA RAIDS. A man weeps over his child at a make-shift morgue in Douma who was killed in air strikes on the Syrian village of Mesraba in the besieged Eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus, on February 19, 2018. Photo by Hamza Al-Ajweh/AFP

77 dead as Syria enclave pounded ahead of expected ground assault

Feb 19, 2018 - 11:34 PM

(UPDATED) The escalation comes as pro-government forces are also expected to enter the northern Kurdish-controlled enclave of Afrin, to take a stand against a month-old Turkish assault there

SYRIA BOMBARDMENT. A Syrian man carries an infant injured in government bombing in the rebel-held town of Hamouria, in the besieged Eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of the capital Damascus, on February 19, 2018. Photo by Abdulmonam Eassa/AFP

Syria regime strikes kill 6 civilians in Ghouta – monitor

Feb 11, 2018 - 4:50 PM

President Bashar al-Assad's regime intensifies its bombardment of the besieged region outside Damascus

DESTROYED. Members of the Syrian Civil Defense search for victims amid the rubble of a destroyed building following reported air strikes in the rebel-held Qatarji neighbourhood of the northern city of Aleppo, on October 17, 2016. Photo by Karam Al-Masri/AFP

Turkey says Assad must go 'at some point'

Feb 03, 2018 - 11:31 PM

But there needs to be a 'political transition in Syria', leading to a new constitution and elections, says President Erdogan's spokesperson

ASSAD. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Photo from AFP

UN hosts 'critical' Syria peace talks in Vienna

Jan 25, 2018 - 10:39 PM

The two days of talks in Vienna come after 8 previous rounds in Geneva, during which the two sides failed to even meet each other

PEACE TALKS. UN envoy Staffan de Mistura (C) looks on before the start of talks on Syria in Vienna on January 25, 2018. Photo by Alex Halada/AFP

Two Russian servicemen killed in Syria mortar attack

Jan 04, 2018 - 6:34 PM

The latest killings raises to 44 the number of Russian military casualties in the Syria campaign

RUSSIAN ARMY. This file picture taken during a press tour provided by the Russian Armed Forces on September 15, 2017 shows Russian soldiers standing guard in a central street in Syria's eastern city of Deir Ezzor, as locals pass by. Photo by  Dominique Derda/France2/AFP

Putin calls for 'pragmatic cooperation' in New Year wishes to Trump

Dec 30, 2017 - 7:31 PM

(UPDATED) The Russian president also sends messages to other heads of state, including Syrian president Bashar Al-Assad

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and US President-elect Donald Trump (R). AFP / Aris Messinis (Putin) / Jeff Kowalsky (Trump)

On Mideast trip, Putin orders partial withdrawal from Syria

Dec 12, 2017 - 7:03 AM

This comes after Vladimir Putin said last month that efforts to end the war are entering a 'new stage' as the focus shifts from military intervention to political reforms

IN CAIRO. Russian President Vladimir Putin looks on during a press conference with his Egyptian counterpart (unseen) following their talks at the presidential palace in the capital Cairo on December 11, 2017. Alexander Zemlianichenko/Pool/AFP

UN restarts Syria peace talks but Assad regime absent

Nov 28, 2017 - 9:48 AM

The 8th round of talks is seen as a chance for the UN to revitalize its push to end the 6-year war, which has killed more than 340,000 people and left Syria in ruin

PEACE EFFORTS. In this file photo, Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel al-Jubeir (R) sits next to UN special envoy for Syria crisis Staffan de Mistura (C) during the Syrian opposition meeting in Riyadh, on November 22, 2017. Fayez Nureldine/AFP

UN aims to restart Syria talks with unified opposition

Nov 26, 2017 - 9:51 AM

The UN-brokered talks to end the war that has killed more than 340,000 people since 2011 have achieved little through 7 previous rounds

IN RUINS. In this file photo, a member of the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), backed by US special forces, talks on the radio near Raqa's stadium as they clear the last positions on the frontline on October 16, 2017 in the Islamic State (ISIS) group jihadists crumbling stronghold. Bulent Kilic/AFP

Putin urges 'compromise' ahead of new Syria peace talks

Nov 23, 2017 - 7:15 AM

New talks should happen soon, Putin says after a summit with Iran's President Hassan Rouhani and Turkish leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan, insisting that they will reinvigorate a hobbled peace process

PUSH FOR SYRIA PEACE. Russian President Vladimir Putin (C), Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani pose during a trilateral meeting on Syria in Sochi on November 22, 2017. Mikhail Metzel/Sputnik/AFP

Putin briefs Trump on Syria after surprise Assad talks

Nov 22, 2017 - 8:01 AM

During the phone call with Trump the Kremlin says Putin stressed the 'need to keep Syria's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity intact'

TALKING. In this file photo, US President Donald Trump (L) chats with Russia's President Vladimir Putin as they attend the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting, part of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) leaders' summit in the central Vietnamese city of Danang on November 11, 2017.  Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik/AFP

Putin meets Assad ahead of Syria talks with Turkey and Iran

Nov 21, 2017 - 2:31 PM

(UPDATED) Russia's president Vladimir Putin met with his embattled Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi, the Kremlin says

SOCHI MEETING. Russia's President Vladimir Putin (2nd R), accompanied by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (R), meets with his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad (2nd L) in Sochi on November 20, 2017. Mikhail Klimentyev/Sputnik/AFP

UN's De Mistura wants new round of Syria talks in coming weeks

Sep 28, 2017 - 7:50 AM

The UN special envoy says he intends to convene an eighth round of talks on the bloody more than 6-year conflict no later than the end of October or early November

DESTROYED. In this file photo, Syrians walk down a destroyed street in Aleppo's al-Akroub neighborhood on December 17, 2016. Youssef Karwashan/AFP/File

Syria at UN says 'victory is now within reach'

Sep 23, 2017 - 11:55 PM

'The liberation of Aleppo and Palmyra, the lifting of the seige of Deir Ezzor and the eradication of terrorism from many parts of Syria prove that victory is now within reach,' Syrian foreign minister Walid al-Muallem tells the General Assembly

Syria's Foreign Minister Walid Muallem arrives to meet with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on September 21, 2017 at the United Nations in New York. / AFP PHOTO / ANGELA WEISS

No relations with Syria for countries backing rebels – Assad

Aug 20, 2017 - 8:08 PM

The United States and most European countries shut their embassies in Damascus after the government s bloody crackdown on protests that erupted in March 2011