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.
GENEVA — The U.N. special envoy for Syria on Friday urged Russia to leave the creation of humanitarian corridors around Aleppo to the United Nations and its partners, issuing a gentle snub to Moscow, which had made the proposal a day earlier as pro-government troops tightened their encirclement of rebel-held parts of the northern Syrian city. R... more
The head of U.S. Central Command said Thursday that a recent trove of captured intelligence out of Syria is providing a "deeper" insight into the Islamic State's war machine. "I think it is extraordinarily important. ... It is beginning to provide us deeper understanding of certainly their tactics and techniques," Gen. Joseph Votel, CENTCOM com... more
U.S. Central Command released the results of several casualty assessments Thursday showing that at least 14 civilians were killed and one was injured in six separate U.S. airstrikes from July 28 last year through April in Iraq and Syria. The results were in response to queries from reporters at a Pentagon briefing Wednesday at which it was anno... more
BEIRUT — The leader of Syria's Nusra Front said in a recording aired Thursday that his group is changing its name, claiming it will have no more ties with al-Qaida in an attempt to undermine a potential U.S. and Russian air campaign against its fighters. The announcement is the first time that an entire branch of al-Qaida has said it is leaving... more
BEIRUT — After months of fighting to encircle its opponents in Aleppo, Syrian authorities backed by Russia on Thursday offered safe corridors out for residents and rebels in the northern city's besieged quarters, underlining the government's determination to seal off the metropolis and force an eventual surrender by the opposition. Many residen... more