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Syria war

Turkey wants no-fly zone over Syria

Turkey said on Friday that world powers must impose a no-fly zone in Syria to protect hundreds of thousands of people displaced by clashes, after the killing of 33 Turkish soldiers by Syrian air strikes in the Idlib region. Turkey will no longer stop the nearly 4 million refugees it …

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Turkey wants drone access in Syria from Russians

Turkey and Russia are discussing opening Russian-controlled air space in Syria’s Idlib region for armed and unarmed drones, Turkish Defence Minister Hulusi Akar was quoted as saying on Thursday, but he added that problems over the issue persisted. Speaking to reporters in parliament, Akar said Ankara was “hopeful” about ongoing …

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Erdogan, Trump talk Idlib

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and U.S. President Donald Trump exchanged views on an immediate halt to fighting in Syria’s Idlib province Saturday, the Turkish presidency said. The two leaders agreed by phone that Syrian government forces’ attacks in the northwestern province, which killed 13 Turkish troops, were unacceptable, it said …

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Syrian troops clearing path between Aleppo and Damascus

Syrian troops began clearing barricades from the main highway between Damascus and Aleppo on Saturday after recovering full control of the road in a Russian-backed offensive, Syrian state media reported. It marks a major gain for President Bashar al-Assad, as reopening the M5 highway will restore the shortest route between …

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Turkey will punish breaches of Idlib ceasefire

Turkey will use force against those violating a ceasefire in Syria’s northwestern Idlib region including “radical” groups, Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar said on Thursday, according to state media. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that his military would strike Syrian government forces by air or ground anywhere in …

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Turkish-based Syrian rebels shoot down helicopter

Turkey-backed Syrian rebels have downed a helicopter believed to belong to the Syrian government in northwestern Syria’s Nairab town, Turkish state broadcaster TRT Haber reported on Tuesday, as clashes continued in the region. TRT Haber did not provide any further details. The incident comes a day after Syrian government forces …

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Turkey takes decisive action against Syrian forces

Turkish forces have hit 115 Syrian government targets and destroyed 101 of them in retaliation for an attack that killed five Turkish soldiers in Syria’s rebel-held northwest, the Turkish Defense Ministry said on Monday. The ministry said Turkish forces would continue to retaliate any attacks on its troops, which have …

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Pope speaks out over Idlib

Pope Francis called on Sunday for respect of humanitarian law in Syria’s Idlib province, amid an escalation of a Syrian government offensive that has displaced more than half a million in two months. He told tens of thousands of people in St. Peter’s square that the reports from Idlib were …

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Turkey not interested in pulling out of Idlib

Turkey has no plans to withdraw troops from observation posts in Syria’s northwest Idlib region even though three of the posts are in areas now controlled by the Syrian government, a Turkish security source said on Friday. Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to drive back Syrian troops in Idlib …

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Syria chemical weapons info ‘leaked’

An investigation commissioned by the global chemical weapons watchdog has found that two former employees leaked confidential information, it said on Thursday, a breach which fueled a Russian-backed theory that a deadly attack in Syria was staged. More than 40 people were killed on April 7, 2018, in the town …

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Erdogan wants Syrian forces out of Idlib

Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan threatened on Wednesday to drive back Syrian troops in Idlib unless they withdraw by the end of the month to stem an assault which he said had displaced nearly 1 million people. Shelling by Syrian government forces killed eight Turkish military personnel on Monday, prompting Turkish …

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Erdogan in Moscow to restrain Putin in Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan agreed to take immediate measures to improve coordination of their countries’ actions in Syria, the Kremlin said on Tuesday. Putin and Erdogan, in a phone call initiated by Turkey, highlighted the need to follow Russia-Turkey agreements on Syria’s Idlib that envisage …

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Turkey tells Russia to restrain Assad in Idlib

Turkey urged Russia on Tuesday to rein in Syrian government forces in the northwestern province of Idlib, a day after eight Turkish personnel were killed in an attack Ankara blamed on Russian-backed Syrian troops. The two countries back opposing sides in the war, with Russia supporting President Bashar al-Assad and …

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Turkey contemplating new offensive in Idlib

Turkey may launch a military operation into Syria’s northwestern province of Idlib if the situation in the region is not resolved immediately, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday, as attacks by Russia-backed Syrian government forces raised concern of a new refugee wave to Turkey. Speaking in Ankara, Erdogan said Turkey …

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Turkey ready to go to war with Syrian army

Turkey’s Defence Ministry said on Tuesday that it would retaliate “in the strongest way, without hesitation” against any attack on its observation posts in Syria’s northwestern Idlib province by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces. Syrian government forces entered a town south of Idlib city on Tuesday, in a significant advance for …

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Homs refinery hit by rocket attack

Rockets were fired overnight at Syria’s main Homs refinery and two gas units causing minor damage and disrupting production, oil officials said on Saturday, calling it a “terrorist attack”. Fires were extinguished after several hours and maintenance engineers had begun repair work, the refinery head, Haitham Musawkar, was quoted as …

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US completes pullout from north Syria

The United States has completed its military pullback in northeastern Syria, settling into a more stable posture of about 600 troops in the rest of the country after repositioning and reducing forces, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said. Esper’s remarks in an interview with Reuters could signal the end of a …

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Turkey adament that Syrian civilians be unharmed

All attacks against Syrian civilians, including in the rebel-held area of Idlib, must end, the leaders of Britain, France, Germany and Turkey agreed on Tuesday ahead of a NATO summit in London. “The leaders said they would work to create the conditions for the safe, voluntary and sustainable return of …

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Turkey not intent on further incursions in Syria

Turkey is fully abiding by the agreements it reached with Russia and the United States regarding northeast Syria and is not resuming its military offensive, a security source said on Monday. Ankara reached separate agreements with Moscow and Washington last month to remove the Kurdish YPG militia from a swathe …

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Syrian forces attack rebels in Idlib

An attack by Syrian government forces on the rebel-held area of Idlib in northwestern Syria killed at least 15 and wounded several at a displaced persons camp on Wednesday, rescue workers said. Syria’s northwest corner, including the Idlib region, is the last major chunk of territory still in rebel hands …

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Next UN Syria summit slotted for 25 November

A U.N. envoy concluded an opening round of talks on the political future of Syria on Friday meant to bring political reconciliation after 8-1/2 years of war, saying they went better than expected and would reconvene later this month. Acknowledging that discussions were sometimes “very painful” Geir Pedersen said the …

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ISIS Somali branch support new leader

Somalia’s Islamic State affiliate, one of the most important outposts of the militant group, swore allegiance in a statement on Sunday to the new leader named by the organization following the death of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Somalia’s Province posted pictures on Telegram of around a dozen fighters standing among trees, …

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US still eyeing Syrian oilfields

The United States is committed to reinforcing its military position in Syria with additional assets to prevent oilfields from being taken over by remnants of the Islamic State militant group or others, a U.S. defense official said on Thursday. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, did not disclose what …

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Russia says Kurds in retreat from Turkey border

Kurdish forces have begun withdrawing from areas near the Turkish frontier in Syria, Russia’s deputy foreign minister was quoted as saying on Thursday, following a deal between Moscow and Ankara that ended Turkey’s cross-border military offensive. Under Tuesday’s accord, sealed by presidents Vladimir Putin and Tayyip Erdogan in the Russian …

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US forces making way to Iraq from Syria

United States troops have crossed into Iraq from Syria through the Sahela border crossing in the northern province of Dohuk, Reuters witnesses said on Monday. An Iraqi Kurdish security source also told Reuters that U.S. troops had crossed into the semi-autonomous Kurdistan Region of Iraq. About 30 trailers and Hummers …

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Ceasefre reigns in Tutkish onslaught in syria

A fragile ceasefire was holding along Turkey’s border with Syria on Saturday, two days after President Tayyip Erdogan agreed the truce to allow Kurdish forces time to pull back from Ankara’s cross-border assault. Erdogan agreed the truce during talks in Ankara on Thursday with U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence on stemming …

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Pompeo on assurance mission to Israel

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo underscored U.S.-Israeli efforts to counter Iran in talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, in an apparent attempt to ease concerns in Israel that Tehran could exploit a U.S. military pullback in Syria. Pompeo and Netanyahu met in Jerusalem hours after Turkey agreed with …

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