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U.N. envoy calls on powers to salvage Syrian ceasefire


GENEVA U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura called on Russia, Turkey and Iran on Saturday to salvage the tattered ceasefire in Syria that would also help keep peace talks on track.


Evacuation of Syrian Homs rebels delayed - governor 25 Mar 2017

BEIRUT The second phase of an evacuation of Syrian rebels in Homs as part of a deal to surrender the city's last insurgent pocket of al-Waer to the government has been delayed until Monday, a senior official and a war monitor said on Saturday.

Syrian army pushing back insurgent offensive, military source says 25 Mar 2017

BEIRUT Syria's army and its allies retook a village near Hama on Saturday, a Syrian military source said, as the government tries to turn back a major insurgent offensive, but bitter fighting continued, a war monitor said.

Air strike kills 16 in Syrian prison - Observatory 25 Mar 2017

BEIRUT At least 16 people died after a Friday night air strike on a prison in Syria's rebel-held Idlib province including both prisoners and staff, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based war monitor, said on Saturday.


U.S.'s Tillerson to visit Turkey as Raqqa operation heats up 24 Mar 2017

WASHINGTON U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will meet with senior Turkish officials in Ankara next week, in talks that could be vital to an advancing U.S.-backed campaign to retake the Syrian city of Raqqa from Islamic State, U.S. officials said on Friday.


Syria's Ja'afari says U.S. action on Raqqa would be illegitimate 24 Mar 2017

GENEVA A U.S.- or Turkish-backed attack on Islamic State in the Syrian city of Raqqa would be illegitimate unless coordinated with President Bashar al-Assad's government, the Syrian chief negotiator at peace talks in Geneva said on Friday.


Russia, Turkey, Iran must hold talks to stop Syria violence - U.N. 24 Mar 2017

GENEVA Russia, Iran and Turkey need to convene more Syrian ceasefire talks as soon as possible to bring the situation on the ground under control, U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said on Friday.

U.S.-led coalition helps train Raqqa police - Syrian Kurdish officials 24 Mar 2017

BEIRUT The U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State is helping to train a police force for the Syrian city of Raqqa in anticipation of its capture from the militants, two Kurdish officials said on Friday.


Syrian negotiator puts 'terrorism' at centre of Geneva talks 24 Mar 2017

GENEVA Syria's chief negotiator at U.N. peace talks in Geneva on Friday delivered a 40 minute polemic attacking the political and armed opposition and their foreign backers, labelling them all "terrorists".


Russians bombing Syrian rebels near Hama, Syrian military source says 24 Mar 2017

BEIRUT Russian warplanes are taking part in air strikes against insurgents to help repel a major attack on Syrian government-held areas near the city of Hama, a Syrian military source said on Friday.

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