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.
NATO member Turkey has "temporarily" suspended airstrikes against Islamic State (ISIS) targets in Syria after the downing of a Russian warplane on the Syrian border sparked a major row with Moscow, local media reported on Friday. Turkish F-16 jets on Tuesday shot down a Russian warplane which Ankara said had breached its air space. Russia on Th... more
ANKARA, Turkey -- Turkey has released audio recordings of what it says are the Turkish military's repeated warnings to the pilot of the Russian plane before it was shot down at the border with Syria -- audio that grows increasingly more agitated. The recordings, made available to The Associated Press on Thursday, indicate the plane was warned s... more
DAMASCUS, Syria -- A Russian military pilot whose plane was shot down by Turkey and crashed in Syria arrived on Wednesday at an air base in Latakia province after being rescued by a Syrian army commando unit, Syrian and Russian officials said. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu told Russian news agencies that the man was rescued in a 12-h... more
Moscow -- Russia will deploy the S-400 air defense missile system in the Syrian airbase of Hmeimim, 30 kilometers (18 miles) from the Syrian-Turkish border, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced on Wednesday. "The S-400 air defense missile system will be brought to the Hmeimim base at the decision of the commander-in-chief," the minister sai... more
BEIRUT -- NATO will hold an emergency meeting after Turkey shot down a Russian attack aircraft along the Syrian border that Ankara said had violated its airspace. Tuesday's meeting of the North Atlantic Council, the alliance's main decision-making body, will be held at Turkey's request, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity b... more