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.
VIENTIANE, Laos — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said progress is being made with Russia on a potential military partnership that could strengthen a faltering truce in Syria despite grave doubts expressed by the Pentagon and joint chiefs of staff. Speaking Tuesday after meeting Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Laos, Kerry made no... more
Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford said Monday that he doesn't trust the Russians to live up to agreements and was wary of plans to cooperate with them on ending Syria's civil war. At a Pentagon news conference with Defense Secretary Ashton Carter, Dunford said he was well aware of Secretary of State John Kerry's ongoing efforts to reach... more
Syria's regime intensified air strikes on rebel-held areas of Aleppo province Monday as a UN envoy prepared to meet US and Russian officials to try to revive peace talks. France called for an immediate humanitarian truce in Aleppo city after civilian deaths in the provincial capital and after four hospitals were bombed there on Sunday. On Mond... more
MANAMA, Bahrain -- The aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and the embarked Carrier Air Wing 3 renewed operations against the Islamic State group on Friday, after a brief break while transiting from the Mediterranean to the Persian Gulf, a Navy statement said. From June 28 to July 8, Ike launched 116 sorties from the Eastern Mediterranean... more
Russian warplanes reportedly bombed a secret military base in Syria used by elite American and British forces last month. The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that the Russian strike on the CIA-linked site was part of a campaign by Russia to pressure the White House to agree to closer cooperation in the Syrian skies, U.S. military and inte... more