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Syria seeks to crush insurgent pocket, denies evacuation deal


BEIRUT Syrian troops fought on Sunday to crush the last pockets of resistance by Islamic State militants trapped in an enclave south of Damascus, state media said, denying a report that insurgents had begun leaving in a withdrawal agreement.

U.S. to withdraw assistance from northwest Syria - U.S. officials 19 May 2018

WASHINGTON The Trump administration will withdraw assistance from northwest Syria dominated by Islamist factions and focus recovery efforts on areas where U.S.-led forces have retaken territory from Islamic State in the northeast, U.S. officials with knowledge of the decision said on Friday.


2018 worst year in Syria's humanitarian crisis - U.N. official 18 May 2018

BEIRUT The humanitarian crisis in Syria is worse this year than ever before in the country's seven-year-old civil war, a United Nations official said on Friday.


Syria's Assad flies to Russia for talks with Putin - Kremlin 18 May 2018

MOSCOW Syrian President Bashar al-Assad flew to Russian leader Vladimir Putin's summer residence on the Black Sea for talks on Thursday about the Syrian conflict, the Kremlin said, a visit that underscored Moscow's status as Assad's chief backer. | Video


Syrian rebels pull out of their last besieged area 17 May 2018

(This version of the story corrects figure on evacuations to northern Syria in paragraph 5)

Chlorine likely used in February attack in Idlib, Syria - weapons agency 16 May 2018

AMSTERDAM Banned chlorine munitions were likely dropped on a Syrian neighbourhood in February, an international body on chemical weapons said on Wednesday, after laboratory tests confirmed the presence of the toxic chemical.


Merkel backs Iran deal, cautious on euro zone reform 16 May 2018

BERLIN Germany's Angela Merkel on Wednesday defended the Iran nuclear deal following its rejection by Washington, arguing the pact is the best way to tackle concerns about Tehran's role in Syria and its ballistic missile programme.


Russia to host Syria peace talks in July 15 May 2018

ASTANA Russia, Turkey and Iran will hold the next round of their Syrian peace talks in July in the Russian city of Sochi, not in the Kazakh capital Astana like their previous meetings, the three countries said on Tuesday.


Hezbollah says rocket attack on Israeli-occupied Golan marks 'new phase' 14 May 2018

BEIRUT The leader of Lebanon's Hezbollah group said on Monday a missile salvo into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights last week marked a new phase in the Syrian war and showed Damascus and its allies would not let Israeli attacks in Syria go unanswered.


Merkel says Europe should do more to stop Syria war 12 May 2018

ASSISI, Italy Europe needs to do more to end the war in Syria, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday as she received a peace award from Franciscan monks in the birthplace of St. Francis.

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Syria's Assad flies to Russia for talks with Putin

The two leaders discussed military action in war-torn Syria. Rough cut (no reporter narration)