Syria

 Free Syrian Army fighters take their positions during clashes with government forces in Qusair, Homs province, Syria, Sunday, Jan. 20, 2013.

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.

FBI: 3 Teen Denver Girls May Have Tried to Join Jihadis in Syria

fighters from ISIL

DENVER -- Authorities are investigating whether three teenage girls from suburban Denver who may have been trying to join Islamic State militants in Syria have friends or associates with similar intentions. A U.S. official said the evidence gathered so far made it clear that the girls -- two sisters, ages 17 and 15, and their 16-year-old frien... more

Report: US Policy Shifts From Killing ISIS Fighters to Saving Kobani

Smoke and flames from an airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition rise in Kobani, Syria, as seen from a hilltop on the outskirts of Suruc, at the Turkey-Syria border, on Monday. (AP photo)

U.S. and Kurdish commanders are collaborating closely to ensure that the Syrian border town of Kobani does not fall to Islamic State militants, in a change of earlier policy, according to a published report. According to The Wall Street Journal, U.S. and Syrian Kurdish military leaders are coordinating air and ground operations around Kobani, w... more

Syria's Assad Exploits US War against ISIS

In this Friday, Jan. 11, 2013 file photo, rebels from al-Qaida affiliated Jabhat al-Nusra sit on a truck full of ammunition at Taftanaz air base, which was captured by the rebels in Idlib province, northern Syria. Citizen photo via AP

BEIRUT — Syrian President Bashar Assad is taking advantage of the U.S.-led coalition's war against the Islamic State group to pursue a withering air and ground campaign against more mainstream rebels elsewhere in the country, trying to recapture areas considered more crucial to the survival of his government. As U.S. and allied jets swoop free... more

ISIS Fighters Seize Airdropped Weapons Meant for Kurds

Smoke and flames from an airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition rise in Kobani, Syria, as seen from a hilltop on the outskirts of Suruc, at the Turkey-Syria border, on Monday. (AP photo)

Fighters with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militant group seized at least one cache of weapons airdropped by U.S.-led coalition forces that were meant to suppy Kurdish militiamen battling the extremist group in a border town, activists said Tuesday. The cache of weapons included hand grenades, ammunition and rocket-propelled grena... more

US Airdrops Arms to Kurdish Militia on Syrian Border

Smoke from a fire rises after a shell landed in Kobani in Syria as fighting intensifies between Syrian Kurds and the militants of Islamic State group, Oct. 6, 2014 (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

REPORTING FROM WASHINGTON -- The U.S. military said late Sunday it used cargo planes to drop weapons, ammunition and medical supplies to Kurdish militia forces in the Syrian border town of Kobani to help them in their fight against Islamic State militants, who have been trying to overrun the town for weeks. The aircraft delivered arms and suppl... more

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