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US-backed SDF ready for dialog with Syrian government: Officials

The so-called Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US-backed coalition of mainly Kurdish militants that maintains a grip on northeastern Syria, is reportedly prepared to hold talks with Damascus over the future of the territory under its control. Ilham Ahmed, the co-chair of the Syrian Democratic Council, the SDF’s political wing, suggested on Wednesday …

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Syria recognises Russian-backed Georgia regions

Syria has recognised two Russian-controlled regions of Georgia – Abkhazia and South Ossetia – as independent states, angering Georgia. The Georgian Foreign Ministry responded by saying it was breaking off diplomatic relations with Syria. Separatists in Abkhazia and South Ossetia broke away from Georgia in 2008 with massive help from …

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US warns Syrian government not to advance on south

The U.S. government says it will take “firm and appropriate measures” to protect a cease-fire in southern Syria if President Bashar Assad’s forces attack rebels there. In a statement released Friday, the State Department said it was concerned by reports that Assad’s forces were preparing for an operation near the …

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US withdrawing aid from northwest Syria

The United States is withdrawing assistance from northwest Syria as the Trump administration reviews hundreds of millions of dollars in stabilization aid to Syria, a State Department official has told CNN. The withdrawal of assistance comes as the US-led military coalition battles the remaining elements of ISIS in the Middle …

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All ‘foreign forces’ to leave Syria, Putin tells Assad

Russian President Vladimir Putin told Syrian President Bashar al-Assad Thursday that “foreign armed forces” would leave Syria, according to Syria’s state-run news agency, SANA. Assad was on a surprise visit to Russia. He and his counterpart hailed the beginning of the “political process” in Syria amid an ongoing “fight against …

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The Latest: Syrian rebels surrender north of Homs

The Latest on the Syria conflict (all times local): 10 p.m. Syrian state media say rebels have agreed to surrender an enclave near Syria’s third largest city to the government. Al-Ikhbariya TV says rebels have agreed to allow government forces into the countryside north of Homs and re-establish state institutions. Rebels will have the …

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Russia Says Will Deliver New Air Defense Systems to Syria Soon, Escalating Tensions With Israel

Russia plans to deliver new air defense systems to Syria in the near future, RIA news agency cited Russia‘s Defense Ministry as saying on Wednesday. The ministry added it plans to study a U.S. Tomahawk cruise missile captured by Syrian forces in a recent attack, in order to improve Russia‘s own missiles, RIA reported. The announcement …

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Turkish president calls snap polls in June

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday called early presidential and parliamentary elections for June, a move that will usher in a new political system increasing the powers of the president earlier than scheduled. Erdogan announced, following a meeting with Devlet Bahceli, the leader of Turkey’s main nationalist party, that elections originally scheduled for November 2019 will now …

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Syria: bottom line questions

Graham E. Fuller — The Trump administration has just delivered several dozen military strikes against Syria purportedly aimed at chemical production and storage facilities. It was an act the international community feared might lead to overt war in Syria between the US, Iran and Russia, but it came off a bit …

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Airlines warned over possible Syria strikes

Pan-European air traffic control agency Eurocontrol on Tuesday warned airlines to exercise caution in the eastern Mediterranean due to the possible launch of air strikes into Syria in next 72 hours. Eurocontrol said that air-to-ground and/or cruise missiles could be used within that period and there was a possibility of …

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Who stands to gain if Trump pulls the US out of Syria?

President Donald Trump’s unexpected announcement on Thursday that the US would “be coming out of Syria like very soon” is raising concerns among some national security officials who warn that withdrawing now would not only undermine American credibility in the region but prompt a significant escalation to an already devastating …

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Syria Partition Plans Must Be Foiled – Lavrov

During an interview with the television and radio company of Kazakhstan’s President, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has commented on a wide range of issues: from the situation in Syria to Skripal’s poisoning and beyond. While stressing that the level of violence in Syria has significantly decreased, the foreign minister emphasized that …

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