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.

Special Forces in Syria Ordered to Take Off 'Unauthorized' YPG Patches

FILE - In this Nov. 2, 2014 photo, pictures adorn the walls of a position held by Kurdish popular protection and women's defense units of fighters who have been lost in the battles against ISIS in Kobani, Syria. (AP Photo/Jake

U.S. Special Forces troops in Syria have been ordered to stop wearing the arm patches of a Kurdish rebel group regarded as an offshoot of a terrorist organization by Turkey, a U.S. military spokesman said Friday. "Wearing those patches was unauthorized and inappropriate and corrective action has been taken. We have communicated as much" to NATO... more

Pentagon Denies US Special Forces on 'Front Lines' in Syria

Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook conducts a press briefing with reporters at the Pentagon, May 26, 2016. (DoD Screengrab)

The Pentagon pushed back Thursday against Agence France Presse photos appearing to show U.S. Special Forces troops at or near the front lines in Syria with mostly-Kurdish forces moving towards the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa. "They are not at the front line," but "they have to be in a position to be able to provide the kind of advice needed" to th... more

Russian Attack Helicopters Destroyed in Syria

Russian Mi-24 helicopter. Getty Images

The Russian military suffered a setback in Syria when fires destroyed four Mi-24 attack helicopters last week, but U.S. officials tell Fox News the intelligence community believes it was an "accident," not an Islamic State terror attack. The fires also destroyed more than a dozen trucks at an air base in Tiyas, roughly halfway between Homs and ... more

Tony Blair Says Defeating ISIS Requires 'Proper Ground War'

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair takes part in a discussion on Britain in the World, in London, Tuesday May 24, 2016. (Stefan Rousseau / PA via AP)

LONDON  — The Islamic State group will be defeated only with a ground war involving Western troops, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said Tuesday. Blair said airstrikes alone wouldn't defeat the militants. Instead, "you are going to have to go and wage a proper ground war against them," with British, American and other Western troops pl... more

Hospitals a Deadly Target in Middle East Conflicts

In this May 3, 2016 file photo, released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian citizens and firefighters gather at the scene where one of rockets hit the Dubeet hospital in the central neighborhood of Muhafaza in Aleppo, Syria. (SANA via AP)

BEIRUT — As one of the few pediatricians remaining in the Syrian city of Aleppo, Dr. Mohammed Wassim Maaz offered hope to tens of thousands of children and their parents trapped in the horror and misery of the five-year civil war. But last month, an airstrike widely believed to have been carried out by the Syrian government destroyed the al Quds... more

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