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 ...

Assad pursues withering campaign against rebels

Oct 23, 2014

Assad pursues withering campaign against rebels

Syrian President Bashar Assad is taking advantage of the U.S.-led coalition’s war against the Islamic State group to pursue a withering air and ground campaign against more mainstream rebels elsewhere in the country, trying to recapture areas he apparently considers more crucial to the ...

Oct 22, 2014

Syria air force strikes 200 times in 36 hours, monitor says

The Syrian air force carried out more than 200 airstrikes around the country in the past 36 hours, a group monitoring the war said on Tuesday, a rapid increase in government raids as U.S.-led forces bomb Islamist insurgents elsewhere. The intensified strikes by President ...

Islamic State forcing thousands to flee Syria, U.N. says

Oct 1, 2014

Islamic State forcing thousands to flee Syria, U.N. says

The U.N humanitarian chief on Tuesday said tens of thousands of people are fleeing Syria as the Islamic State militant group expands its grip on large parts of the country despite a U.S.-led airstrike campaign. Valerie Amos said tens of thousands more could flee ...

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 ...

U.S. Senate authorizes Obama plan to train moderate Syrian rebels

Sep 19, 2014

U.S. Senate authorizes Obama plan to train moderate Syrian rebels

Congress on Thursday passed President Barack Obama’s plan to train and arm moderate Syrian rebels to battle Islamic State jihadists, a key plank of his strategy to smash the militants. The Senate voted 78-22 to authorize the first step in Obama’s move to degrade ...

Sep 19, 2014

Assad broke chemical arms pact with chlorine gas this year: Kerry

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday accused Syrian President Bashar Assad of breaking the terms of a global pact on chemical weapons by unleashing chlorine gas this year. “We believe there is evidence of Assad’s use of chlorine, which when you use ...