Qatar cuts its help for Islamists carefully

Nov 4, 2014

Qatar cuts its help for Islamists carefully

Qatar has joined the American-led coalition to fight Islamic State, yet the emirate is a haven for anti-Western groups and foreign diplomats have reported seeing cars with Islamic State logos in an affluent bay district. Such ambiguity runs through Qatari policy. When the United ...

Syria truncated, battered — but remains defiant

| Nov 4, 2014

Syria truncated, battered — but remains defiant

Syrian businessmen start from scratch after their shops and factories were destroyed. Families who lost their homes struggle to rent new dwellings and make ends meet. Along highways stretching through government-controlled areas are the bombed ruins of once-rebellious towns, now dotted with checkpoints. Government-controlled ...

Death toll in Syrian jails this year approaching 2,000: monitor

Nov 3, 2014

Death toll in Syrian jails this year approaching 2,000: monitor

Nearly 2,000 people have died in Syrian prisons of torture, starvation and lack of medical treatment so far this year, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Sunday. The Britain-based monitor said it had documented 1,917 deaths in Syrian prisons since the start ...

Fresh claims emerge of Islamic State fighters using chlorine bombs

Oct 25, 2014

Fresh claims emerge of Islamic State fighters using chlorine bombs

New allegations have emerged that extremists from the Islamic State group have expanded their arsenal with chlorine bombs and captured fighter jets — weapons that could help the militants in Iraq and Syria. Kurdish fighters in the key Syrian border town of Kobani have ...

Oct 16, 2014

U.S. reportedly hid troops' exposure to chemical agents in Iraq

The U.S. government has tried to hide the extent to which its troops were exposed to chemical weapons in the aftermath of the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the New York Times reported Wednesday, citing intelligence documents and former soldiers. American forces uncovered 5,000 warheads, ...

Oct 8, 2014

Syria declares another four chemical facilities

Syria has declared four chemical weapons facilities it hadn’t mentioned before, a special representative of the U.N. secretary-general told the Security Council on Tuesday. The news heightened concerns that the Syrian government hasn’t been fully open about its chemical weapons program. Diplomats said Sigrid ...

Battle against Islamic State creates new alliances

| Sep 30, 2014

Battle against Islamic State creates new alliances

On a recent evening, two of Jordan’s top pro-al-Qaida ideologues held court on the rooftop of a villa decorated with strings of lights. Sporting shaggy beards and clad in robes, the Muslim preachers whispered to each other and rose occasionally from plastic chairs to ...

U.S. airstrikes pile pressure on al-Qaida's Syria wing

Sep 28, 2014

U.S. airstrikes pile pressure on al-Qaida's Syria wing

Al-Qaida’s affiliate in Syria, the Nusra Front, is facing mounting pressure from its own members to reconcile with its main rival, the Islamic State group, and confront a common enemy after U.S.-led airstrikes hit both groups last week. But that move would require pledging ...

Sep 18, 2014

U.S. House approves arms for Syrian rebels

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives voted grudgingly to give the U.S. military authority to train and arm Syrian rebels on Wednesday as President Barack Obama emphasized anew that American forces “do not and will not have a combat mission” in the struggle against Islamic ...

Suicide bombing kills head of leading Syrian rebel group

Sep 10, 2014

Suicide bombing kills head of leading Syrian rebel group

The leader of an ultraconservative Islamic rebel group in Syria was killed Tuesday in a suicide bombing along with other of its top officials, its allies said, weakening the ranks of the country’s already shaky armed opposition. No group immediately claimed responsibility for the ...