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.
Associated Press | Feb 25, 2014
BEIRUT - Israeli aircraft carried out two airstrikes Monday near the Lebanese-Syrian border, Lebanon's state news agency said. There was no immediate confirmation from Lebanese security officials, and the Israeli military declined comment. Lebanon's National News Agency said the air raids took place near Nabi Sheet, a remote village in the east... more
Associated Press | Feb 25, 2014
LONDON - A former Guantanamo Bay detainee who is a well-known advocate for the rights of terrorism suspects was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of Syria-related terrorism offenses, British police said. West Midlands Police said Moazzam Begg was one of four people detained in the Birmingham area of central England. Police said Begg, 45, is suspec... more
Associated Press | Feb 20, 2014
BEIRUT - The former leader of the Western-backed Syrian opposition's military wing on Wednesday rejected his recent dismissal, and along with more than a dozen senior insurgent commanders severed ties with the political opposition-in-exile, further fragmenting the notoriously divided rebel movement. The statement from Gen. Salim Idris comes two... more
Stars and Stripes | Feb 18, 2014
The Obama administration, frustrated by the stalled Syria talks, plans to revisit military options ranging from expanding efforts to train and equip moderate rebels to setting up no-fly zones, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. Exasperated by stalled talks seeking ways to pressure the regime and its Russian allies, the administra... more
Military.com | Feb 13, 2014
The MV Cape Ray and its crew arrived at U.S. Naval Station Rota, Spain, Thursday for what was likely to be a long wait to embark on its mission to destroy Syria's chemical weapons at sea. Only about 11 percent of Syria's huge stockpile of mostly mustard gas and sarin nerve gas has been shipped out of the country to date, according to an int... more