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.

US Monitoring Reports of Russian Troops in Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin takes part in a news conference after meeting with Swiss Federal President Didier Burkhalter in the Kremlin in Moscow, Wednesday, May 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Sergei Karpukhin, Pool)

The White House said it was monitoring reports Russian troops and aircraft have been deployed to Syria to assist President Bashar Assad's forces. The comments came after Syrian state media reported Russian troops were working alongside the country's military to fight rebels. Images believed to be Russian planes and drones in Syria's Idlib provi... more

Blast at Syria's Palmyra Prompts Fears for Famed Temple

Palmyra historic site in Syria.

A powerful blast in the ruins of Syria's ancient Palmyra raised fears Monday that the Islamic State group has damaged another of the Middle East's most treasured heritage sites. Both Syria's antiquities chief and a monitor reported Sunday's explosion in the UNESCO World Heritage site, but there was conflicting information on the fate of its fam... more

US Drone Strike in Syria Reportedly Kills Top ISIS Online Recruiter

ISIS propaganda image

A U.S. drone strike in Syria Tuesday reportedly killed a fugitive British computer hacker who had become one of ISIS' top online recruiters. The Wall Street Journal reported the death of Junaid Hussein late Wednesday, citing two people familiar with the operation. The officials said that Hussein was killed by a targeted airstrike near the Syria... more

Pentagon IG Investigating Possibly Skewed Intelligence on ISIS Strikes

A F/A-18F Super Hornet lands aboard the aircraft carrier USS Bush after conducting strike missions against ISIL, September 23, 2014. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Brian Stephens/U.S. Navy)

The Pentagon's Inspector General has been investigating allegations that the military skewed intelligence to back frequent reports from the command of incremental but solid progress in the campaign against ISIS. Defense Department officials and the office of Inspector General Jon Rymer declined comment on a New York Times report that overly ... more

Islamic State Images Purport to Show Destroyed Syrian Temple

This file photo released on Sunday, May 17, 2015, by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows the general view of the ancient Roman city of Palmyra, northeast of Damascus, Syria. (SANA via AP, File)

BEIRUT — The Islamic State group released propaganda images Tuesday that purport to show militants laying explosives in and then blowing up the 2,000-year-old temple of Baalshamin in Syria's ancient caravan city of Palmyra. The images, posted on social media by supporters of the group, showed militants carrying barrels of explosives, and laying... more

© 2015 Military Advantage