A country lying south of Turkey and west of Iraq, Syria has historically been a region of unrest. Syria was part of the Arab Spring, the movement in which Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen saw rulers overthrown. President Bashar al-Assad has been in power since 2000, and his family has controlled Syria since 1971.
What began as a widespread protest in March of 2011 became a full-fledged civil war. Syrian rebels are attempting to oust Assad and his Ba'ath Party which has ruled for almost fifty years. The rebels are disorganized have no clear military structure, but have so far managed to stay operational. As the conflict progresses, the weekly death toll has gone from under one hundred to nearly one thousand.
At the beginning of Syria's civil war, president Obama called for an end to the violence and called on both rebel and government forces to lay down arms. A peace treaty was attempted in April of 2012, but due to infractions on both sides, the arrangement failed. The Obama Administration has resisted calls to intervene militarily, but the U.S. is now materially assisting the rebels and there are media reports that the U.S. and some its European allies are secretly providing the insurgents with training.
LONDON -- Britain's defense minister says lawmakers should consider expanding Royal Air Force airstrikes against the Islamic State from Iraq into Syria. Defense Secretary Michael Fallon told the House of Commons on Thursday that there was a case for taking action in Syria, but the government would "not bring a motion to this House on which the... more
BEIRUT -- Syria's main Kurdish party warned Turkey on Wednesday that any military intervention would threaten international peace and said the country's main Kurdish militia is ready to face any "aggression." Meanwhile, a Syrian rebel group released a video showing 18 Islamic State militants being shot in the backs of their heads. The stateme... more
ANKARA, Turkey -- As Kurdish rebels in northern Syria rack up wins against the Islamic State group, Turkish media is abuzz with talk of a long-debated military intervention to push the Islamic militants back from the Turkish border -- a move that will also outflank any Kurdish attempts to create a state along Turkey's southern frontier. Presid... more
WASHINGTON — Fewer than 100 Syrian rebels are currently being trained by the U.S. military to fight the Islamic State group, a tiny total for a sputtering program with a stated goal of producing 5,400 fighters a year. The training effort is moving so slowly that critics question whether it can produce enough capable fighters quickly enough to ... more
U.S. Central Command maintained Friday that ISIS counter-attacks in northeastern Syria which inflicted heavy casualties were diversionary and meant to offset recent losses. "We assess these were limited, localized attacks" in Kobani and Hasakah and not part of a broader offensive intended to seize and hold ground, said Air Force Col. Pat Ry... more