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.

Syria Kurds Yet to be Fully Embraced by US in Anti-ISIS Fight

Kurdish Peshmerga fighters walk toward the front line with militants from the extremist Islamic State group, at the Khazer checkpoint outside of the city of Irbil in northern Iraq, Friday, Aug. 8, 2014 (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

BEIRUT — For four months, Syrian Kurdish fighters battled the Islamic State group in the rubble-strewn streets of Kobani as U.S. aircraft pounded the extremists from the skies, a joint effort that ultimately expelled the militants from the town and marked their bloodiest defeat in Syria since the air campaign began in September. The Kurds earn... more

Syria Claims to Have Shot Down a US Drone

Predator drone

The Syrian military claims to have shot down a U.S. Air Force drone. The drone, according to U.S. officials, had been lost after they lost contact with the unmanned aircraft and do not know what happened to it. If the drone was indeed shot down, it would mark the first reported loss by the United States since coalition airstrikes against the Is... more

US Air Force Vet Pleads Not Guilty to Terrorism Charges

Tairod Nathan Webster Pugh (Photo: Facebook)

NEW YORK — A U.S. Air Force veteran and airplane mechanic accused of plotting to travel to Syria to join the Islamic State group pleaded not guilty Wednesday to terrorism charges. Tairod Nathan Webster Pugh was indicted on charges of attempting to provide material support to a terrorist group and obstructing justice, federal prosecutors announ... more

ACLU Sues White House for Drone Strikes Info

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As the U.S. debates expanding its campaign against the Islamic State beyond Iraq and Syria, the American Civil Liberties Union is suing to force transparency about drone strikes and the means by which they are planned, the British Guardian newspaper reported. On Monday, the ACLU sued for access to Obama administration documents specifyi... more

In Coalition of Many, US Air Power Does the Heavy Lifting

In this photo taken Monday, March 9, 2015, Lt. Col. Joe Kramer, 34th Expeditionary Bomb Squadron commander, shows inside a B-1 bomber at al-Udeid Air Base in Doha, Qatar. Osama Faisal/AP

AL-UDEID AIR BASE, Qatar -- American refueling planes rumble into the air from this desert air base around the clock to top up coalition aircraft bombing Islamic State militants, whether they're Arab fighters flying out of regional bases or French warplanes catapulted off an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf. The al-Udeid Air Base in Qatar ... more

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