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Syria

Brothers against Brothers

THE LEVANT  -Syrian refugee Ibrahim Abbas Ali and his family awoke in the middle of the night to the sound of gunfire outside their tent in Lebanon, and for a second time they raced off into the fields, fleeing a war that now seems to have followed them across the …

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Obama says ready to strike ISIL in Syria

THE LEVANT – US President Barack Obama on Wednesday ordered a “relentless” war against the Islamic State, including air strikes in Syria and expanded operations in Iraq to “destroy” the marauding jihadist army. Obama — who hoped to go down in history for ending wars, not starting an open-ended escalation …

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Historic buildings blown up in Syria’s Aleppo

THE LEVANT – Several historic buildings, including a colonial-era structure, have been blown up in Syria’s second city of Aleppo, where fighting has wrought massive destruction, reports said Wednesday, September 3. Rebel fighters destroyed “several old buildings on Tuesday night by placing explosives in a tunnel leading under the Old …

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72 Hour Ceasefire Announced in Darayya

THE LEVANT – The Syrian Arab Army and representatives of the Islamic Front have agreed to a 72 hour ceasefire in the Darayya District, after heavy clashes  the last two days. The ceasefire was called in order for the two parties to negotiate a reconciliation agreement that would permanently end the violence and restore …

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Rebels attack peacekeepers in Golan Heights

THE LEVANT – Clashes erupted between al-Qaida-linked Syrian rebels and U.N. peacekeepers in the Golan Heights on Saturday after the militants surrounded their encampment, activists and officials said, as the international organization risked being sucked further into the conflict. Other U.N. peacekeepers were able to flee from a different encampment that …

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Syrian refugee crisis reaches all-time high

THE LEVANT – The number of refugees from the conflict in Syria now tops three million, the United Nations said Friday, as US President Barack Obama admitted he still has no strategy to tackle advancing jihadists. UN refugee agency chief Antonio Guterres said Syria had become the “biggest humanitarian emergency …

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Breaking News – Heavy clashes in Golan Heights – video

THE LEVANT – Syrian activists say government warplanes are targeting rebels near the country’s frontier with Israel in the Golan Heights, a day after opposition fighters captured a crossing point there. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the Syrian airstrikes struck several areas near the border in Quneitra province, …

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Syria’s Christians stand in the line of fire

THE LEVANT – Jabhat Al-Nusra has began their siege of the Christian village of Mhardeh, two days after their capture of Halfaya in the Hama Governate. Mhardeh is an imperative city that is the gateway to the provincial capital of Hama from the north. The summer offensive for Jabhat Al-Nusra began …

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UN worries over Syria

THE LEVANT – The Syrian government has likely used chlorine gas to attack civilians while the Islamic State group has committed crimes against humanity with attacks on civilians in two provinces in the country, an independent U.N. commission said Wednesday. The report from the commission, which has been tasked to investigate …

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Syria retaliates against Israel?

THE LEVANT – “At least five rockets fired from Syria hit different locations across the Golan Heights,” the Israeli army said in a statement on Sunday. An army spokeswoman told AFP that it was not known who launched the rockets and the Israeli military did not return fire. She said there …

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Fighting rages on at Syrian airbase – video

THE LEVANT – Fighters from the Islamic State group have taken over an air base in northeast Syria, capturing it from government forces after fighting that cost more than 500 lives, a monitoring group and state media have said. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), a London-based monitoring group, said at least 346 Islamic State …

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West poised to join Syria against Islamists

THE LEVANT –  By Patrick Cockburn – Islamist forces are fighting their way into western Syria from bases further east, bringing forward the prospect of US military intervention to stop their advance. If Isis, which styles itself Islamic State, threatens to take all or part of Aleppo, establishing complete dominance over …

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Syrian airbase falls to Islamic State

THE LEVANT – Islamic State fighters captured a major military air base in northeastern Syria on Sunday, eliminating the last government-held outpost in a province dominated by the extremist group, activists and state media said. The jihadis launched their long-anticipated offensive last week to seize the sprawling Tabqa air field, located …

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Syria’s civil war death toll rises

THE LEVANT-  The death toll from Syria’s civil war has risen to more than 191,000 people killed between March 2011 and April 2014, the United Nations reported Friday. The figure is the first issued by the U.N.’s human rights office since July 2013, when it documented more than 100,000 killed. …

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Syrian army slays Jihadists

THE LEVANT – Syrian troops killed dozens of jihadi fighters, including a prominent media activist, in heavy clashes on Thursday around a sprawling northern air base that the Islamic State group is trying to seize, activists and state media said. Islamic State fighters began a long-anticipated offensive on Wednesday to seize …

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The hunt for Foley’s killer

THE LEVANT- The Islamic militant in a video showing the death of American journalist James Foley took great care to disguise his identity, dressing head-to-toe in black, with a mask leaving only his eyes visible. But police and intelligence services in Britain and the United States have a plethora of clues …

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Syria – Confession of a rebel militant

[embedplusvideo height=”450″ width=”450″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/1qpon48″ standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/KT8KXA-XF4w?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=KT8KXA-XF4w&width=450&height=450&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep3458″ /] THE LEVANT – Sharif as-Safouri, abducted by Al-Nusra Front in July, confesses to receiving antitank weapons in return for protecting the border Free Syrian Army commander, arrested last month by the Islamist militia Al-Nusra Front, told his captors he collaborated with Israel …

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US journalist beheaded by ISIL

THE LEVANT  – Journalist James Foley was believed to have been arrested by militias loyal to the Syrian Government in late 2012; however, video footage from the Islamic State media confirmed he was not in the Syrian Air Force Intelligence’s custody. A gruesome video posted by the Islamic State shows Foley …

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Syrian army hits ISIL hard in Raqqa

THE LEVANT – Syrian government forces struck ISIL positions in and around the eastern Syrian city of Raqqa, residents said on Monday, part of a growing campaign against militants who control a third of the country. Raqqa is a major stronghold of  ISIL, which took one of the Syrian army’s last …

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Japanese national remains in the hands of ISIL

THE LEVANT  – Japan’s government said Monday it was investigating a video posted online that appears to show a kidnapped Japanese man being roughly interrogated by Syrian militants. The video, which surfaced over the weekend, shows a man who identified himself as Haruna Yukawa lying on the ground with blood …

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Trauma Kits and Body Bags Now Fill Aleppo School

THE LEVANT – By Shelly Kittleson – Volunteer civil defense units operating here in Syria’s largest city careen through crater-pocked routes of precariously hanging, pancaked concrete where barrel bombs have struck. Greyish dust blankets the dead, the alive and the twisted steel jutting out.  The panicked confusion immortalised in innumerable …

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ISIL the butcher of Syria

THE LEVANT – Those executed are all members of Al-Sheitaat tribe, Syrian Observatory for Human Rights director says. ‘Some were arrested, judged and killed.’ The Islamic State militant group has executed 700 members of a tribe it has been battling in eastern Syria during the past two weeks, the majority of …

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UNSC goes to vote on Islamic terrorism

THE LEVANT – The UN Security Council is set to vote on Friday on a resolution aimed at weakening Islamists in Iraq and Syria by choking off funding and the flow of foreign fighters. The measure proposed by Britain would be the council’s toughest response yet to the jihadists who …

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Wounded Syrian baby saved from mother’s womb

THE LEVANT – Syrian government air raids killed 12 people on Sunday and wounded 23, including a mother and a baby boy removed from her womb, according to a monitoring group and amateur video. The video, broadcast by militants in the city of Raqa in northeastern Syria and whose authenticity could …

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Women stoned to death in Syria for adultery

THE LEVANT – A cleric read the verdict before the truck came and dumped a large pile of stones near the municipal garden. Jihadi fighters then brought in the woman, clad head to toe in black, and put her in a small hole in the ground. When residents gathered, the fighters …

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