Syrian Islamist insurgents launch battle to seize government-held Aleppo


BEIRUT - Syrian insurgents led by Islamist groups began a major offensive to gain full control of the divided northern city of Aleppo, a monitor and rebels said on Thursday.

Syria rejects UN criticism of barrel bombs, says 'technical' issue

GENEVA - Syria rejected a U.N. Human Rights Council resolution condemning its aerial bombing tactics record on Thursday, saying the use of barrel bombs was a "technical" issue that was no business of the Geneva-based body.

World, 02 Jul 2015

Islamic State looting Syrian, Iraqi sites on industrial scale - UNESCO

LONDON - Islamic State militants are looting ancient sites across Iraq and Syria on an industrial scale and selling on treasures to middlemen to raise cash, Irina Bokova, the head of the U.N. cultural agency UNESCO said on Thursday.

World, Iraq 02 Jul 2015

Child labour on the rise among Syrian children as crisis spirals - agencies

NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - The number of Syrian children being forced to work keeps growing as the conflict drags on, with those as young as six reportedly working in Lebanon, two aid agencies warned on Thursday.

World, 02 Jul 2015

Analysis - Talk of Syria action may be Erdogan's latest gambit to pressure the West

ANKARA - Alarmed by Syrian Kurds' advances against Islamic State, and irked by Western reluctance to tackle Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, President Tayyip Erdogan has once again raised the prospect of a Turkish military intervention in Syria.

World, 01 Jul 2015

Syrian Kurds say thwart big Islamic State attack on border town

BEIRUT - A Syrian Kurdish militia said on Wednesday it had recovered full control of the border town of Tel Abyad after Islamic State fighters raided its outskirts the day before in preparation for a larger assault.

World, 01 Jul 2015

Syria mediator to brief U.N. chief next week on peace prospects

UNITED NATIONS - United Nations Syria mediator Staffan de Mistura will brief Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon next week on his talks with Syria's warring parties and world powers on how to end the country's four-year conflict, a U.N. spokesman said on Tuesday.

World, 01 Jul 2015

Islamic State scores up gains and losses in Syrian fighting

AMMAN - Islamic State fighters stormed the Syrian town of Tel Abyad on the Turkish border on Tuesday and captured a neighbourhood from the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, but suffered setbacks in the northeastern city of Hasaka, a monitor and the army said.

World, 01 Jul 2015

Kuwait detains 60 suspected of Islamist militant links - newspaper

KUWAIT - Kuwait has detained 60 people and closed a local charity for alleged violations in raising funds for Syrians, local media said Tuesday, as part of a crackdown on suspected militant links after the Gulf Arab state's worst ever suicide bombing.

World, 30 Jun 2015

Israel says Syria's Assad may be left with rump state

TEL AVIV - A senior Israeli defence official said President Bashar al-Assad controlled just a fifth of Syria and may end up in charge of a rump state dominated by his minority Alawite sect.

World, Israel 30 Jun 2015

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Kurdish fighters secure Syria's Kobani

Syrian Kurdish fighters say they have fully secured the town of Kobani near the Turkish border and killed more than 60 Islamic State militants. Yiming Woo reports.