Syria extends major offensive to retake territory in west


BEIRUT - Syrian troops and allied militia backed by a fresh wave of Russian air strikes and cruise missiles fired from warships attacked rebel forces on Thursday as the government extended a major offensive to recapture territory in the west of the country. | Video

Russian cruise missile strikes fired without advanced notice - U.S. 4:47pm BST

WASHINGTON - Russia fired cruise missiles at Syrian targets this week without giving any advanced notice, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Thursday, describing a trend of unpredictable military action that has put the United States and its allies on edge.

Turkey urges NATO to keep up its Patriot defences 1:40pm BST

BRUSSELS - Turkey appealed to its NATO allies on Thursday to shore up missile defences in the country aimed at shooting down Syrian rockets, as Germany said again that it will withdraw its Patriot batteries and the United States was set to do the same.


'Tsar Putin' - as secure as he seems? 11:35am BST

PARIS - Vladimir Putin turned 63 this week with his now traditional display of sporting prowess, and an announcement that Russian naval vessels had launched a wave of missiles against Islamic State in Syria.


Exclusive - Congress probing U.S. spy agencies' possible lapses on Russia 6:06am BST

WASHINGTON - Senior U.S. lawmakers have begun probing possible intelligence lapses over Moscow’s intervention in Syria, concerned that American spy agencies were slow to grasp the scope and intention of Russia’s dramatic military offensive there, U.S. congressional sources and other officials told Reuters.


Russia backs Syrian forces in major assault on insurgents 12:23am BST

BEIRUT - Syrian troops and militia backed by Russian warplanes mounted what appeared to be their first major coordinated assault on Syrian insurgents on Wednesday and Moscow said its warships fired a barrage of missiles at them from the Caspian Sea, a sign of its new military reach. | Video

No decision made on no-fly zone in Syria - U.S. State Department 12:23am BST

WASHINGTON - There has been no decision to move forward with a no-fly zone in Syria, the U.S. State Department said on Wednesday, following reports that Secretary of State John Kerry has raised the option of a no-fly-zone to protect civilians.

After Syria coordination talks with Israel, Russia beckons to Turkey, U.S. 07 Oct 2015

JERUSALEM - Russia ended high-level military talks with Israel on Wednesday with a call on other countries, including a suspicious United States and aggrieved Turkey, to coordinate operations in Syria.

As Russia escalates, U.S. rules out military cooperation in Syria 07 Oct 2015

ROME - The United States on Wednesday ruled out military cooperation with Russia in Syria's war, accusing Moscow of pursuing a "tragically flawed" strategy that would force it to limit military talks to basic pilot safety. | Video

Climate change risks endemic conflict, migration, says new defence think-tank chief 07 Oct 2015

STOCKHOLM (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - From upheavals in Syria to Egypt, climate change is leading to endemic insecurity with crises like migration, food prices and water access that may be overlooked in a global summit focussed on emissions, the new head of a leading defence think-tank said.

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Inside US intel's big Russia-Syria failure

Reuters investigative reporter Mark Hosenball explains why Russia's military actions in Syria took the US intelligence community by surprise.