Jul 21, 2014

In Damascus, semblance of normal life returns

Each evening, Zakaria Orchi has been meeting up with friends at a favorite cafe to lounge away the hours, just as they used to during Ramadan nights in Syria’s capital before war broke out. “We get together to chat, smoke a hookah (water pipe), ...

Iraqi Christians flee Mosul militant threat

Jul 19, 2014

Iraqi Christians flee Mosul militant threat

Thousands of Christians poured into Kurdistan as they fled a Saturday ultimatum by jihadists who overran northwestern Iraq last month and proclaimed a caliphate. As militants attempted to break government defenses in strategic areas and edge closer to Baghdad, Christians joined hundreds of thousands ...

In Syria's Aleppo, children swim in bomb craters

Jul 16, 2014

In Syria's Aleppo, children swim in bomb craters

In Syria’s second-largest city, Aleppo, craters blasted by regime air raids on opposition-held areas have been transformed into improvised swimming pools for children to cool off in raging summer temperatures. Although the water is filthy, the war-weary children of the country’s one-time commercial capital ...

Jul 15, 2014

Islamic State fighters dislodge rival rebels in east Syria

Militants from the Islamic State, formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), seized opposition-held areas of a provincial capital in Syria near the border with Iraq on Monday after expelling rival fighters from an al-Qaida-linked group, activists said. The ...

Jun 24, 2014

Syria teens 'recruited to fight,' report says

Syrian rebel factions have recruited teenagers as young as 15 to fight in the country’s civil war, using them in roles ranging from soldiers and snipers to stretcher bearers and suicide bombers, a rights group said. Human Rights Watch said rebel groups across the ...

Syria hands over last declared chemical weapons

Jun 24, 2014

Syria hands over last declared chemical weapons

Syria finished handing over to Western powers Monday the 1,300 tons of chemical weapons it acknowledged possessing, completing a deal reached last fall under threat of U.S. airstrikes. The most dangerous material will be transferred to an American ship, which will move into international ...

Iraqi, Syria conflicts feed off each other

Jun 22, 2014

Iraqi, Syria conflicts feed off each other

In a reflection of how intertwined the conflicts in Syria and Iraq have become, thousands of Shiite Iraqi militiamen helping President Bashar Assad crush the Sunni-led uprising against him are returning home, putting a strain on the overstretched Syrian military as it struggles to ...