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U.S.-backed militias claim big advance against Islamic State in Syria's Tabqa


BEIRUT U.S.-backed militias said on Sunday they had made a big advance in Tabqa, a strategically vital town controlling Syria's largest dam, in their campaign to drive Islamic State from its stronghold of Raqqa, 40km (25 miles) downstream.


Syrian rebel groups clash in besieged Damascus enclave 29 Apr 2017

BEIRUT Fighting between rebel groups in the biggest insurgent stronghold near the Syrian capital Damascus entered a second day on Saturday while government forces pressed an offensive, a war monitor said.


U.S. forces to monitor situation along Syria-Turkey border - YPG commander 29 Apr 2017

DARBASIYA, Syria A commander of the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia said on Friday U.S. forces would begin monitoring the situation along the Syria-Turkey frontier after cross-border fire between the Turkish military and YPG this week.

Turkey's Erdogan will tell Trump Turkey could help retake Raqqa 28 Apr 2017

ISTANBUL President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday he would try to convince Donald Trump next month that Turkish-backed forces should be used to retake the Syrian city of Raqqa from Islamic State rather than Kurdish militia Ankara views as a terrorist threat.


Syrian youth find freedom in Parkour 28 Apr 2017

INKHIL, Syria Leaping over bombed roofs and jumping through damaged window frames, a group of teenagers run and swing their way through buildings left dilapidated by six years of war in the southern Syrian town of Inkhil.


U.S.-backed forces push against Islamic State in slowed Raqqa campaign 28 Apr 2017

BEIRUT U.S.-backed forces fighting Islamic State in Syria took several neighbourhoods from the militant group in the town of Tabqa on Friday, they said in a statement, part of a campaign to oust Islamic State from its stronghold in Raqqa city.


Israel strikes arms depot near Damascus airport - sources 28 Apr 2017

AMMAN/BEIRUT Israeli warplanes struck a weapons supply hub operated by Lebanese group Hezbollah near Damascus airport on Thursday, targeting arms sent from Iran in commercial and military cargo aircraft, Syrian rebel and regional intelligence sources said. | Video


Jets bomb two hospitals in Syria's Idlib - medics, witnesses 27 Apr 2017

AMMAN Jets believed to be Russian or Syrian hit two hospitals in rebel-held Idlib province on Thursday following several other strikes on medical facilities in northwestern Syria in recent weeks, residents, medical workers and activists said.


At U.N., U.S. calls for pressure on Russia to try to end Syria war 27 Apr 2017

UNITED NATIONS The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, pushed the U.N. Security Council on Thursday to focus "all eyes and all pressure" on Russia to try and end the Syrian conflict and pressed for council action even if it faces a veto by Moscow.


Syrian refugee Olympic swimmer becomes UNHCR ambassador 27 Apr 2017

GENEVA She escaped the bombs of Syria, and almost drowned when her dinghy capsized off Greece, but Yusra Mardini then competed at the Olympics and has now been appointed a U.N. goodwill ambassador to be a voice for people seeking shelter from war.

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Israel seen behind Damascus air strike

A huge airstrike hit an arms supply hub operated by the Lebanese group Hezbollah near Damascus airport on Thursday, and Israel has come close to admitting it was behind it.