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.
ANKARA, Turkey -- Turkey and the U.S. have agreed in "principle" to provide air protection to Syrian rebels being trained and equipped to fight Islamic State militants, once they enter Syrian territory for battle, Turkey's foreign minister said. The two countries agreed in February to train and equip up to 15,000 Syrians under the $500 million ... more
WASHINGTON — Two children were likely killed during an American airstrike targeting al-Qaida-linked militants in Syria last year, and two other adults were wounded, according to an investigation released Thursday by the U.S. military. The 76-page report concludes that the strikes were designed to destroy Khorasan Group extremists, bomb-making e... more
With Islamic State terrorists gaining ground in recent days in Iraq and Syria, U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine stepped up his criticism Thursday of Congress' failure to debate and vote on America's involvement in the undeclared war. During a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Capitol Hill where some senators and witnesses were critical of the admin... more
Before the sun had risen, the commandos flew back to Iraq where Abu Sayyaf's wife, Umm Sayyaf, was being questioned in U.S. custody, officials said. Abu Sayyaf was described by one official as the IS "emir of oil and gas," although he also was targeted for his known association with the group's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. U.S. officials said... more
U.S. personnel overnight killed a key Islamic State leader in a raid in eastern Syria, the White House said Saturday morning. The U.S. team, based in Iraq, killed leader Abu Sayyaf and captured his wife, Umm Sayyaf, said National Security Council spokeswoman Bernadette Meehan. Abu Sayyaf was a senior ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant)... more