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U.S.-backed Syrian militia makes gains against Islamic State


BEIRUT A Kurdish and Arab Syrian militia backed by the United States has captured the town of Karama as it prepares for an assault on the Islamic State stronghold of Raqqa that it expects to take place in early April, it said on Sunday.

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.

World, Russia, Turkey, Mar 25 2017

Evacuation of Syrian Homs rebels delayed: governor

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.

World, Mar 25 2017

Air strike kills 16 in Syrian prison: Observatory

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.

World, Mar 25 2017

Syrian army pushing back insurgent offensive, military source says

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.

World, Mar 25 2017

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

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.

World, Mar 24 2017

Russia, Turkey, Iran must hold talks to stop Syria violence: U.N.

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.

World, Russia, Turkey, Mar 24 2017

U.S.-led coalition helps train Raqqa police: Syrian Kurdish officials

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.

World, Mar 24 2017

Syrian negotiator puts 'terrorism' at center of Geneva talks

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, labeling them all "terrorists".

World, United Nations, Mar 24 2017

Russians bombing Syrian rebels near Hama, Syrian military source says

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.

World, Russia, Mar 24 2017

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Iran ups game in Yemen's proxy war

Iran is sending advanced weapons and military advisers to the Shi'ite Houthis in Yemen, sources have told Reuters, stepping up Tehran's involvement in a civil war that could change the regional balance of power. Reuters' Jonathan Saul reports.