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Only ceasefire can save Syria from virus, says UN

The U.N. Special Envoy for Syria called on Tuesday for an immediate nationwide ceasefire across Syria to enable an “all-out-effort” to stamp out COVID-19. In a statement, Geir Pedersen also appealed on humanitarian grounds for “large-scale releases of detainees and abductees” in Syria and access for medical workers to detention …

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Russian defence minister in talks with Assad over Idlib

Russia’s Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad discussed ensuring a lasting ceasefire in the Idlib region during talks in Syria, the Russian defense ministry said on Monday. The two talked about Russia providing humanitarian aid to Syria and enabling the country’s economic recovery with the help of …

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Syria tells WHO it is ready for coronavirus

Syria, already shattered by nine years of war, has banned entry for foreigners arriving from many countries hit by the coronavirus as part of widening measures to combat the epidemic. Although the government says it has yet to document any infections, Syria is seen at high risk. “We have vulnerable …

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Another Turkish soldier killed in Idlib

ne Turkish soldier was killed in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib, the governor’s office in Turkey’s central Sivas province said on Thursday. It did not provide additional details. Turkey, which backs rebels opposed to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, agreed a ceasefire with Russia two weeks ago after months of fighting …

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Coronavirus scare postpones Syrian elections

Syria will postpone parliamentary elections to May 20 from April 13 as a precautionary step against the spread of coronavirus, a statement from the president’s office said on Saturday. Syria has said it has no confirmed cases but is taking preventative steps such as shutting schools and public venues as …

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Turkey, Russia resolve most disputes over Idlib

Turkish and Russian officials have largely reached an agreement on details of a ceasefire in Syria’s Idlib region during talks in Ankara, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar was quoted as saying by state media on Thursday. Last week, Turkey and Russia agreed on the ceasefire meant to halt an escalation …

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Syria-Iraqi border attacked by unidentified aircraft

Unidentified jets hit targets south east of the Syrian town of Albukamal along a strategic border crossing with Iraq with only material damage, state media said late on Wednesday. It gave no details. Western intelligence sources say the border town lies on a strategic supply route for Iranian-backed militias who …

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Turkey, Russian to patrol north syria

Turkey’s military will patrol to the north of a security corridor being set up around a highway in northwest Syria’s Idlib province and Russian forces will patrol the southern side, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday. Agreement on the corridor was part of a ceasefire deal reached by …

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Iranian revolutionary guard reported killed in Syria

A senior member of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Farhad Dabirian, was “martyred” in Syria on Friday, Fars news agency reported, without giving details of how he died. The agency, which is close to the Revolutionary Guards, described Dabirian as a “defender of Sayida Zainab shrine,” the holy Shi’ite Muslim site south …

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Putin and Assad in phone conversation

Russian President Vladimir Putin told Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in a phone call on Friday that agreements reached between Russia and Turkey at recent talks would stabilize the situation in Syria’s Idlib province, the Kremlin said. “Bashar al-Assad rated the outcome of the talks between the leaders of Russia and …

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Erdogan to talk Syrian peace with Putin

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan flew to Moscow on Thursday for talks with Russia’s Vladimir Putin over a potential ceasefire in Syria’s Idlib, where their militaries are facing off in a war that has displaced nearly a million people in three months. A senior Turkish official told Reuters that a ceasefire …

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Syria shoots down new Israeli missiles

Syrian air defenses intercepted Israeli missiles over Quneitra province in the country’s southwest, state media reported early on Thursday. “At 00:30 on Thursday our air defense monitored Israeli warplanes coming from northern occupied Palestine toward Saida, and several missiles were fired from Lebanese airspace toward the central area,” state media …

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Russia accuses Turkey of common front wih Idlib rebels

Russia’s Ministry of Defence said on Wednesday that fortified rebel positions in Syria’s Idlib province had merged with Turkish observation posts, and that artillery attacks on nearby civilian areas and Russia’s air base in Syria had become daily. The allegations, made by Major-General Igor Konashenkov, are likely to increase tensions …

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Russia strenously denies UN’s Syria war crimes charge

The Kremlin on Tuesday rejected allegations by the United Nations that Russia may have committed war crimes in Syria last year, saying the U.N. investigators are in no position to know what is happening on the ground. “We strongly reject these claims,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov. “It’s obvious that …

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Turkey claims it downed Syrian warplane

The Turkish Defence Ministry said on Tuesday that a warplane of the Syrian government forces had been shot down in the course of a Turkish-led military offensive launched in northwest Syria to push back the forces of President Bashar al-Assad. The ministry described the downed jet as an L-39 warplane. …

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Turkey wants pariot missile umbrella in Idlib

Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Ankara wants the United States to send Patriot missiles to Turkey for back-up in Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib. Cavusoglu made the comment to reporters on Saturday in the Qatari capital Doha after a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Attacks by Syrian …

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Ponpeo thinking about how to help Turkey

The United States is reviewing options to assist Turkey after an attack by Russian-backed Syrian government forces killed 33 Turkish soldiers in Syria’s Idlib province, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday. “The United States is engaging with our Turkish Allies and reviewing options to assist Turkey against …

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UN stands in solidarity with Turkey over Syria

U.N. chief Antonio Guterres on Friday described an increase in fighting in northwest Syria that killed dozens of Turkish troops as “one of the most alarming moments” of the nine-year-old war and – along with most U.N. Security Council members – called for a ceasefire. The 15-member Security Council met …

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NATO wants Russia, Syria out of Idlib

NATO head Jens Stoltenberg urged Russia and Syria on Friday to halt their Idlib offensive and said the military alliance stood in solidarity with member state Turkey, which lost 33 soldiers in an air strike by Syrian government forces. Syrian government forces, backed by Russian air power, have launched an …

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Russia sending cruise missile warships to Syrian waters

Russia is sending two warships equipped with Kalibr cruise missiles to the Mediterranean Sea towards the Syrian coast, the Interfax news agency cited Russia’s Black Sea Fleet as saying on Friday. The deployment comes amid mounting tensions between Russia, Turkey and Syria over the Syrian province of Idlib. Source: Reuters

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Israeli drone attack targets Golan Hights

An Israeli drone struck a car in a Syrian village in the Golan Heights, killing a civilian, Syrian state news agency SANA reported on Thursday. An Israeli military spokeswoman declined to comment on the reported incident, which SANA said took place in the village of Hadr. The village is located …

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Turkish-backed rebels recapture towns in Idlib

Syrian rebels backed by the Turkish military have seized the town of Nairab in northwest Syria’s Idlib province, Turkish and rebel officials said on Tuesday, the first area to be taken back from advancing Syrian government forces. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, supported by Russian air power, are trying to …

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UN needs Turkey to help Idlib survivors

The United Nations is in talks with Turkey to boost cross-border aid flows into northwest Syria and allow more evacuations of those in urgent need of medical help, such as babies in incubators, as shelling draws closer. More than three million people are trapped in northwest Syria between the Turkish …

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Israeli jets attack Syria and Gaza

Israeli fighter jets launched air strikes on suspected Islamic Jihad positions in Syria, the Israeli military said on Monday, after the militant group and Israel exchanged rockets and air strikes around Gaza. An Israeli military statement said its forces had “struck Islamic Jihad terror targets south of Damascus” in addition …

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Latest Turkish casualty in Idlib

A Turkish soldier was killed in Syria’s Idlib region in a bomb attack by Russian-backed government forces, the defence ministry said on Saturday, Turkey’s 16th military death during a month in which talks between Ankara and Moscow have stalled. The rising Turkish military death toll, including two on Thursday, could …

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Russian, Turkish defence ministers talk Idlib

Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu has discussed the situation in Syria’s Idlib with his Turkish counterpart Hulusi Akar, Russian news agencies reported on Saturday. “During the telephone conversation they discussed issues of stabilization of the situation in Idlib de-escalation zone,” Interfax agency reported, citing a statement from the Defence Ministry. …

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UN want immediate halt to bloodshed in Idlib

The United Nations reiterated its appeal on Friday for a halt to hostilities in northwest Syria, saying it feared that the violence “may end in a bloodbath”. Some 60% of the 900,000 people who have fled but are trapped in a shrinking space are children, OCHA spokesman Jens Laerke told …

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Merkle, Macron call for decisive action in Idlib

The leaders of Germany and France called Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday to express their concern about the humanitarian situation in Syria’s Idlib region, urging an end to the conflict there, a German spokesman said. German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron spoke together by phone with …

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Turkey, Russia may jointly patrol Idlib

Turkey and Russia are discussing possible joint patrols as one way to reach a deal to halt fighting and stem an exodus of civilians in Syria’s Idlib region, a Turkish official said on Thursday, a day after Ankara threatened military action to push back Syrian government forces. Turkey and Russia, …

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Erdogan warns Russian forces advancing in Syria

Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday a Turkish military operation to push back a Syrian government offensive against rebel strongholds in northwest Syria was now “a matter of time” after talks with Russia failed to halt the assault. Turkish troops have already massed inside Syria ready to act and …

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Turkey resumes joint Syria patrols with Russia

Turkey has restarted joint patrols with the Russian military in northeast Syria after a two-week hiatus, Russia said late on Monday, as a Syrian government offensive in the Idlib region continued to strain Moscow’s ties with Ankara. Turkey and Russia have jointly patrolled Syrian territory near the Turkish border since …

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More Israel missiles shot down by Syrians

Syrian air defenses downed several missiles coming across the occupied Golan Heights from Israel before they hit their targets in the capital Damascus, Syrian state television said on Thursday. “The hostile missiles came from the occupied Golan … and they were downed before they reached their targets,” an army statement …

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US coalition in Syria engages Islamic State

The U.S.-led coalition fighting Islamic State militants said its troops opened fire on Wednesday at a checkpoint in northeast Syria after they came under small arms fire. The coalition said in a statement the situation had calmed down and the patrol had returned to the base. “After coalition troops issued …

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UN claims 700,000 Syrian forced out by Russians campaign

Nearly 700,000 civilians have been displaced by a renewed Russian-backed Syrian government offensive against the rebel-held northwest since early December, including nearly 100,000 in the last week alone, the United Nations said on Monday. David Swanson, a spokesman for the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, said the …

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Turkish outpost attacked in Syria

Syrian government forces attacked a Turkish military post in the Taftanaz area of northwest Syria’s Idlib on Monday, Turkish officials said, and broadcaster NTV cited the Turkish Defense Ministry as saying five soldiers were killed. The officials told Reuters that Turkish forces were retaliating after the strike on Taftanaz, where …

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Civilians killed in Idlib truck blast

A bomb detonated on a truck containing diesel-filled barrels and killed eight civilians and wounded seven more, including children, in northwestern Syria’s Idlib region on Monday, the Turkish Defense Ministry said. The ministry said on its Twitter account that the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, which Turkey designates as a terrorist …

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Iran ready to mediate between Syria, Turkey

Iran is ready to help Ankara and Damascus resolve their disputes, the Iranian Foreign Ministry said on Saturday. In a meeting between the visiting United Nations’ special envoy for Syria, Geir Pedersen, and Iranian officials, Tehran underlined the importance of resolving issues in Syria through diplomacy, it said on its …

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