BEIRUT

United States | Previewing Secretary Pompeo’s Trip to Beirut, Jerusalem, and Kuwait City

United States (STL.News) – MODERATOR: Thank you. Good morning, everyone. Thank you for joining us for today’s background call to preview Secretary of State Pompeo’s upcoming trip to Beirut, Jerusalem, and Kuwait City. For your situational awareness only and not for reporting, we are joined today by [Senior State Department Official], who will be referred … Continue reading United States | Previewing Secretary Pompeo’s Trip to Beirut, Jerusalem, and Kuwait City

BEIRUT | Fierce battles near final IS foothold in eastern Syria

BEIRUT (AP) — Islamic State group militants cornered in their last foothold in eastern Syria fought back with suicide car bombs, snipers and booby traps Monday, slowing Kurdish fighters advancing under the cover of U.S.-led coalition airstrikes, Kurdish news agencies and a Syrian war monitor said. An Italian photographer was wounded in the clashes between … Continue reading BEIRUT | Fierce battles near final IS foothold in eastern Syria

BEIRUT | IS frees 6 hostages in exchange with Syrian government

BEIRUT — Syrian opposition activists say the Islamic State group has released two women and four children they had been holding since July in an exchange with the government. The women and children were among 30 people kidnapped by IS in the southern province of Sweida in July when they carried out a raid that … Continue reading BEIRUT | IS frees 6 hostages in exchange with Syrian government

BEIRUT | The Latest: Israeli military welcomes reopening of crossing

BEIRUT — The Latest on developments in Syria (all times local): 2:30 p.m. An Israeli military official says the opening of a crossing between the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights and Syria “re-empowers” the United Nations after being driven out of the area by Syrian rebels. Maj. Nehemia Berki spoke on Monday at a U.N. ceremony marking … Continue reading BEIRUT | The Latest: Israeli military welcomes reopening of crossing

BEIRUT | IS militants abduct scores of civilians in eastern Syria

BEIRUT  — The Islamic State group stormed a settlement for displaced people in eastern Syria and abducted scores of civilians in the latest attack by the extremists on civilians, a U.S.-backed Syrian force and a war monitor said on Saturday. The area in Syria’s eastern Deir el-Zour province has been witnessing days of intense clashes … Continue reading BEIRUT | IS militants abduct scores of civilians in eastern Syria

BEIRUT | Syrian president says Russia-Turkey Idlib deal ‘temporary’

BEIRUT— Syrian President Bashar Assad said Sunday that the Russian-Turkish deal to avert a military offensive in the northwestern province of Idlib is a “temporary one” that prevented bloodshed but that his government’s goal is to restore control over all of Syria. His comments were made during a meeting of the Central Committee of the … Continue reading BEIRUT | Syrian president says Russia-Turkey Idlib deal ‘temporary’

BEIRUT | US-backed forces storm IS-held village in east Syria

BEIRUT — U.S.-backed Syrian forces entered Saturday an eastern village held by the Islamic State group where intense clashes are ongoing a day after the extremists reportedly killed 20 fighters, the forces and a war monitor said. The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces said its fighters stormed Bagouz and are close to the center of the … Continue reading BEIRUT | US-backed forces storm IS-held village in east Syria

BEIRUT | The Latest: UN chief: A ‘bloodbath’ must be averted in Idlib

BEIRUT — The Latest on developments in Syria (all times local): 11:45 p.m. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is appealing to all parties directly and indirectly involved in Syria — especially Iran, Russia, and Turkey — to protect civilians and avoid a “bloodbath” in the last major rebel-held stronghold in Idlib. He said a full-scale battle … Continue reading BEIRUT | The Latest: UN chief: A ‘bloodbath’ must be averted in Idlib

BEIRUT | UN schools for Palestinians defy funding cuts, open on time

BEIRUT  — United Nations schools for Palestinian refugees in Lebanon are starting the new school year on time, despite the U.S. decision to cancel funding to the international body’s Palestinian relief agency. Students looked giddy as they arrived at the Haifa Intermediate School in Beirut’s Bir Hassan neighborhood on Monday and sat attentively through their … Continue reading BEIRUT | UN schools for Palestinians defy funding cuts, open on time

BEIRUT | The Latest: Turkey brands al-Qaida group in Syria terrorists

BEIRUT — The Latest on the Syrian conflict (all times local): 4:20 p.m. Turkey has named an al-Qaida affiliate in Syria a terror organization to include the group’s rebranded name. The change comes amid discussions with Russia over how to treat the Levant Liberation Committee (Hay’at Tahrir al-Sham), which controls most of Idlib, and other … Continue reading BEIRUT | The Latest: Turkey brands al-Qaida group in Syria terrorists

BEIRUT | War monitor says blasts in Syria airport killed 2

BEIRUT — A group monitoring the Syrian war says at least two military personnel were killed and 11 wounded in overnight explosions in a military airport on the edge of the capital. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Sunday the blasts that rocked Damascus are believed to have been caused by an Israeli … Continue reading BEIRUT | War monitor says blasts in Syria airport killed 2

BEIRUT | The Latest: UN warns against assault on Syria’s Idlib

BEIRUT — The Latest on the conflict in Syria (all times local): 5 p.m. The head of the U.N. agency for refugees says a potential military offensive in the last rebel stronghold in Syria threatens to cause renewed displacement and discourage refugees from returning home. U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said Friday that … Continue reading BEIRUT | The Latest: UN warns against assault on Syria’s Idlib

BEIRUT | Syria rebels destroy bridges in anticipation of offensive

BEIRUT — Syrian opposition fighters blew up bridges Friday linking areas they control to government-held territories in northwestern Syria in anticipation of a military offensive against their last stronghold in the country, activists and a war monitor said. The explosions rocked the area in al-Ghab plains, south of idlib and came after rebels detected government … Continue reading BEIRUT | Syria rebels destroy bridges in anticipation of offensive

BEIRUT | Syrian group: Death toll in blast in rebel town rises to 67

BEIRUT  — A Syrian search-and-rescue group says the death toll from an explosion that destroyed two apartment buildings in a rebel-held town in the country’s northwest the previous day has risen to 67. The Civil Defense, also known as the White Helmets, says rescuers were still searching through the rubble in Sarmada on Monday, looking … Continue reading BEIRUT | Syrian group: Death toll in blast in rebel town rises to 67

BEIRUT | The Latest: Death toll from Syria blast climbs to 36

BEIRUT  — The Latest on the Syrian conflict (all times local): 4:30 p.m. Syrian opposition activists say a mysterious blast in the country’s north has killed at least 36 people, including children. The opposition-run Syrian Civil Defense, first responders also known as the White Helmets, said Sunday’s blast occurred in the village of Sarmada near … Continue reading BEIRUT | The Latest: Death toll from Syria blast climbs to 36

BEIRUT | Blast in northern Syria kills at least 36; cause unclear

BEIRUT  — An explosion in northern Syria killed at least 36 people Sunday and wounded many others, but the cause of the blast wasn’t immediately known, opposition activists said. The opposition-run Syrian Civil Defense, first responders also known as the White Helmets, said the blast occurred in the village of Sarmada near the Turkish border, … Continue reading BEIRUT | Blast in northern Syria kills at least 36; cause unclear

BEIRUT | Blast in northern Syria kills at least 18; cause unclear

BEIRUT  — Syrian opposition activists say an explosion in the country’s north has killed at least 18 people and wounded many others. The cause of the blast wasn’t immediately known. The opposition-run Syrian Civil Defense, also known as White Helmets, says the blast occurred Sunday in the village of Sarmada near the Turkish border and … Continue reading BEIRUT | Blast in northern Syria kills at least 18; cause unclear

BEIRUT | Syria: At least 22 killed in Idlib and Aleppo airstrikes

BEIRUT  — Government airstrikes on opposition-held territory in northwest Syria killed at least 22 people, a monitoring group said Friday, as the U.N.’s children’s agency warned a new battle in the war-torn country could affect the lives of 1 million children. Government forces unleashed a wave of airstrikes across Idlib, Aleppo and Hama provinces after … Continue reading BEIRUT | Syria: At least 22 killed in Idlib and Aleppo airstrikes

BEIRUT | Lebanese diva breaks taboo with clip announcing cancer fight

BEIRUT — It was an unusual way to reveal a struggle against cancer, particularly in a part of the world where the illness is still largely considered a private matter and taboo. But a video clip released on Twitter is how Lebanese singer Elissa chose to share the news with her fans and millions of … Continue reading BEIRUT | Lebanese diva breaks taboo with clip announcing cancer fight

BEIRUT | Leaflets dropped over Syria’s Idlib call for reconciliation

BEIRUT  — Syrian military helicopters on Thursday dropped leaflets over parts of the rebel-held northwestern province of Idlib, calling on residents to reconcile with the government as warplanes pounded the region, opposition activists said. Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights posted a copy of the leaflets. They say the Syrian war “is close to an … Continue reading BEIRUT | Leaflets dropped over Syria’s Idlib call for reconciliation

BEIRUT | Report: Blast kills Syrian arms program researcher

BEIRUT— A research director at a military agency linked to Syria’s chemical weapons program was assassinated, a newspaper close to the Syrian government reported Sunday. The pro-government al-Watan newspaper reported on its website that Aziz Esber, of the Scientific Studies and Research Center, died in a blast targeting his car Saturday night, in Syria’s Hama … Continue reading BEIRUT | Report: Blast kills Syrian arms program researcher

BEIRUT | Report: Blast kills head of Syrian arms research program

BEIRUT  — A Syrian newspaper says the director of a military research agency linked to Syria’s chemical weapons program has been assassinated. The pro-government al-Watan newspaper reported on its website Sunday that Aziz Esber, of the Scientific Studies and Research Center, died in a blast targeting his car the previous night, in Syria’s Hama province. … Continue reading BEIRUT | Report: Blast kills head of Syrian arms research program

BEIRUT | Russia: Iran-backed forces withdraw from Golan frontier

BEIRUT — Russian President Vladimir Putin‘s envoy to Syria said Wednesday that an agreement with Israel that includes Russian guarantees ensures that Iran-backed fighters will remain more than 80 kilometers (50 miles) away from Syria’s frontier with the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Alexander Lavrentyev told the Russian Interfax news agency the agreement was reached in order … Continue reading BEIRUT | Russia: Iran-backed forces withdraw from Golan frontier

BEIRUT | Death toll in devastating IS attacks in Syria climbs to 216

BEIRUT — A Syrian government official says the death toll from coordinated attacks the previous day by the Islamic State group on a usually peaceful southern city and surrounding countryside has climbed to 216. It’s the worst violence to hit the area since the country’s conflict began. Mass funerals were underway for the victims on … Continue reading BEIRUT | Death toll in devastating IS attacks in Syria climbs to 216

BEIRUT | Israel shoots down Syrian jet; Syrian forces reach Golan

BEIRUT — Israel shot down a Syrian fighter jet it said had breached its airspace on Tuesday while advancing Syrian government forces retaking territory from rebels reached the Golan Heights frontier for the first time in seven years. The Israeli military said it monitored the advance of the Syrian Sukhoi fighter jet and shot it … Continue reading BEIRUT | Israel shoots down Syrian jet; Syrian forces reach Golan

BEIRUT | The Latest: Israel says downed Syrian plane was moving fast

BEIRUT — The Latest on developments in Syria (all times local): 4:15 p.m. The Israeli military says the Syrian plane it shot down departed from the Syrian T4 air base, which Israel is believed to have attacked earlier this year. Military spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus says Tuesday that the plane flew toward Israel at … Continue reading BEIRUT | The Latest: Israel says downed Syrian plane was moving fast

BEIRUT | Syrian White Helmets evacuated to Jordan through Israel

BEIRUT— The Israeli military in coordination with its U.S. and European allies evacuated hundreds of Syrian rescue workers known as the White Helmets from near its volatile frontier with Syria, in a complex and first-of-a-kind operation. The evacuees, who were hemmed in from one side by advancing hostile Syrian troops and from another by militants … Continue reading BEIRUT | Syrian White Helmets evacuated to Jordan through Israel

BEIRUT | New evacuations in southwest Syria as offensive continues

BEIRUT— A new group of rebels and their families began evacuating Saturday from the country’s southwest, activists and Syrian media said, where the government has gained new ground in its ongoing offensive. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 25 buses arrived at a crossing point to evacuate rebels who refused to accept the … Continue reading BEIRUT | New evacuations in southwest Syria as offensive continues