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Putin expanding naval presence with new Syria deals

President Vladimir Putin has ordered Russia’s defence and foreign ministries to hold talks with Syria for Moscow to obtain additional facilities and maritime access in Syria, the Interfax news agency cited a government resolution as saying on Friday. Russia has two permanent military facilities in Syria, an air base in …

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Syria blocks Israeli missile attack on Halab

Syrian air defences thwarted an Israeli missile attack on a research centre and a military base in the northern province of Aleppo state media said on Monday in the fifth such strikes in two weeks on suspected Iranian targets. The Syrian army said in a statement that Israel hit military …

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Syrian regime turns on its business allies

Sanctions-hit Syrian tycoon Rami Makhlouf on Sunday said that security forces were arresting employees at his diversified companies in what he said was “mounting pressure” on him days after Syrian authorities asked him to pay hefty taxes. Makhlouf, a maternal cousin of President Bashar al-Assad and widely considered part of …

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Israeli helicopter strike on Syria

Israeli helicopters fired several rockets from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on targets inside southern Syria, Syrian state media reported on Friday, the latest in what intelligence sources say is an increase of strikes against Iranian-backed militias. Opposition sources in the area said several militia posts near Quneitra were targeted in …

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Syrian puppet show in fight against coronavirus

Standing in colourful hula hoops carefully spaced to illustrate social distancing, young children in a camp in war-torn Syria give an enthusiastic welcome to a puppet show staged to teach them about the coronavirus. Volunteers visited the camp for displaced Syrians in the northwestern town of Maarat Masrin, where they …

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Virus ‘Disaster in the Making’ in war-torn Syria

As Europe and the United States struggle to contain the coronavirus pandemic, experts warn that disaster looms in war-torn Syria, where hospitals are unable to meet existing needs and hygiene conditions are dire. The outbreak has infected more than 1.8 million people and killed more than 112,000 around the world …

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Syria categorically rejects chemical weapons charges

Syria on Thursday dismissed a report by a global watchdog that said Syrian jets had carried out a series of chemical attacks on an opposition-held town, under orders from the top military command. The report from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said Syrian air force pilots …

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OPCW team charges Syrian airforce with chemical attack

Syrian Arab Air Force pilots flying Sukhoi Su-22 military planes and a helicopter dropped bombs containing poisonous chlorine and sarin nerve gas on a village in the country’s western Hama region in March 2017, a new team at the global chemical weapons watchdog concluded in its first report. The special …

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UN blames Syrian forces for school attacks

It is “highly probable” the government of Syria or its allies carried out attacks on three healthcare facilities, a school and a refuge for children in northwest Syria last year, according to a summary of an internal United Nations inquiry seen by Reuters on Monday. The inquiry also found it …

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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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Turkish-Russian patrol meets protest in Idlib

Russia and Turkey cut short their first joint patrol in Syria’s Idlib on Sunday after rebels and civilians opposed to a ceasefire agreement cut off a main roadway to block its path, according to witnesses and Russian news agencies. The patrol on the M4 highway in Idlib province was the …

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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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