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Syria &#39;Now 3 Countries&#39;
 Syria Is 'Now 3 Countries' 

Syria Is 'Now 3 Countries'

'As a distinct single entity, Syria has ceased to exist,' analysts say

(Newser) - As Syria's bloody civil war grinds on, the country is now split into three parts—each boasting its own flags, security agencies, and judicial system—and the longer the conflict lasts, analysts say, the more difficult it will be to piece together a coherent Syrian state from the wreckage....

Syrian Rebels Turn on Each Other

Infighting breaks out amongst moderates and Islamic extremists

(Newser) - Syrian rebel groups are no longer just battling government forces; some are now fighting a second front: other rebel groups. Infighting has broken out amongst the rebels, with the Western-aligned Free Syrian Army clashing with al-Qaeda-aligned groups the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant, reports the AP . There has been...

Syria Fighting Destroys 12th-Century Minaret

Both sides trade blame over shelling of mosque in Aleppo

(Newser) - An ancient minaret at a mosque in Syria has been reduced to a pile of rubble, reports AP . Insurgents are blaming the government, and the government is blaming insurgents, but either way the minaret of the 12-century Umayyad Mosque is history. The mosque is located in Aleppo's Old City,...

Gunmen Seize 2 Syrian Bishops
 Gunmen Seize 2 Syria Bishops 

Gunmen Seize 2 Syria Bishops

Prominent Christian clerics abducted in rebel-held region

(Newser) - Unknown gunmen abducted two prominent Syrian bishops as they traveled through rebel-held territory from the Turkish border, according to both state media and the opposition leadership. Christians make up around 10% of Syria's population and the kidnapped pair—the Syriac Orthodox and Greek Orthodox archbishops of Aleppo, Yohanna Ibrahim...

Chemical Weapon Fired in Syria: Report

Rebels blame regime, regime blames rebels; no verification yet

(Newser) - Both the government and rebels in Syria say a chemical weapon has been fired—but each side blames the other, the AP reports. Official Syrian news said "terrorists" (its term for the rebels) blasted a rocket "containing chemical materials" in Aleppo province today, killing 15, mostly civilians. Meanwhile,...

Syria Warns It May Strike Lebanon

Assad's regime says rebels are crossing back and forth over border

(Newser) - With Syrian militants crossing back and forth across the northern Lebanon border, the Syrian foreign ministry has told Lebanon to put a stop to it or else face military strikes, reports Reuters via the Christian Science Monitor . "Syrian forces have so far exercised restraint from striking at armed gangs...

Dozens of College Students Killed in Syria Bombing

Blasts at university in Aleppo leave about 80 dead

(Newser) - The University of Aleppo had somehow managed to avoid much of the violence engulfing Syria—until today. At least two huge blasts struck the university as exams were beginning, reports the Wall Street Journal . Most accounts put the death toll at about 80, with another 150 or so wounded. Most...

Syrian Rebels Overrun Aleppo Base

35 troops killed in latest rebel advance

(Newser) - Syrian rebels are now in full control of a sprawling military base they stormed two days earlier and have killed 35 government troops in the fighting, an activist group says. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the battle for the Sheik Suleiman base near the northern city of...

15 Dead After Warplanes Hit Near Aleppo Hospital

Was one of the last remaining sources of medical help for civilians there

(Newser) - Syrian warplanes flattened a building next to a hospital last night, killing at least 15 people and damaging one of the last remaining sources of medical help for civilians in Aleppo, activists said. Once a private clinic owned by a businessman loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, the Dar al-Shifa became...

Syria Bombs Cities During 'Ceasefire'

But a state news agency blames rebels for renewed fighting

(Newser) - A four-day ceasefire in Syria further eroded today as government forces bombed neighborhoods and killed at least eight people, according to residents, rebels, and human rights observers. People in Damascus posted video footage of a fighter jet apparently striking suburban areas, and activists in Deir al-Zor and Aleppo say government...

Rebels, Jihadists Capture Syrian Air Base

Following the deadliest day regime forces have yet suffered

(Newser) - Syrian rebels, fighting alongside Islamist militants, captured a regime air defense base near Aleppo today after an overnight battle, Haaretz reports. The group, dubbed Jabhat al-Nusra, has ties to al-Qaeda, and has claimed responsibility for a number of bombings since the uprising began. Rebels were also fighting today to hold...

Four Blasts in Aleppo Kill 40
 Four Blasts in Aleppo Kill 40 

Four Blasts in Aleppo Kill 40

Explosions only minutes apart rock volatile Syrian city

(Newser) - Four separate explosions rocked the Syrian city of Aleppo today, claiming at least 40 lives and wounding more than 90 others in a government-controlled district where rebels have been clashing with forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, reports Reuters by way of the country's state-run news agency. Three of...

Syria Fire Ravages Centuries-Old Market

Aleppo's medieval shops going up in flames

(Newser) - Fires sparked by clashes between government troops and rebels raged through the medieval marketplace of Aleppo today, destroying hundreds of shops lining the vaulted passageways where foods, fabrics, perfumes, and spices have been sold for centuries. Some described the overnight blaze as the worst blow yet to a historic district...

Syrian Rebels Report New 200+ Massacre

More than 200 executed by Syrian forces in Daraya

(Newser) - Another grisly massacre is being reported from Syria today, with activists saying that more than 200 bodies killed execution-style have been discovered in Daraya, a blue-collar Sunni town southwest of Damascus, reports Reuters . Government tanks swept into Daraya on Aug. 23 , killing many, and were apparently followed by house-to-house raids...

Syrian Rebels: We Need a No-Fly Zone

20 killed near Damascus yesterday

(Newser) - As clashes continue in Aleppo and Damascus, a Syrian rebel leader is reaching out to the West for help: It's time for a no-fly zone, says Syrian National Council head Abdelbasset Sida. The opposition is making gains, "but the problem is the aircraft, in addition to the artillery...

Syrians' New Woe: Soaring Crime

Ban Ki-moon warns: No one will win this war

(Newser) - As the Syrian conflict rages on, police officers have abandoned their stations and the civilian infrastructure has all but disappeared. The result: soaring crime. Despite rebel attempts to monitor the situation, kidnapping and theft have become commonplace, the New York Times reports, relaying the tale of a kidnapped businessman (released...

Fight for Aleppo Intensifies as Both Sides Claim Advantage

Assad appoints new PM

(Newser) - Syrian government troops launched a fresh ground assault to retake Aleppo yesterday, and shelling continues today, but conflicting reports on the state of the fight persist. State media claims "huge numbers" of rebels have been killed and that Bashar al-Assad's forces control the particularly strategic Salah al-Din district,...

Regime to Wage Huge Attack on Aleppo in Days: Rebels

Assad's forces are pounding city, but more troops are apparently en route

(Newser) - Assad's forces continue to pound Aleppo today, with state TV announcing that the regime is "cleansing the terrorist filth" from the country. Reuters reports that tanks are shelling the city as a helicopter sprays the rebels with machine-gun fire, and a correspondent there reported violent street fighting in...

Syrian Forces Pound Aleppo, Damascus

Government wants to retake two most important cities

(Newser) - The UN General Assembly may have formally condemned the violence in Syria yesterday, but today Bashar al-Assad's regime made clear what it thinks of the rebuke: Not much. Government forces are reportedly waging a fierce assault on rebel positions in Aleppo, and they've also launched an attack on...

Assad AWOL as Executions Rumored in Aleppo

Free Syrian Army gains anti-aircraft missiles

(Newser) - As the battle for Aleppo grinds on in Syria, President Bashar al-Assad's location remains a big question mark. Today, to mark Armed Forces Day, Assad published a message in the military's magazine encouraging his troops. But, though the president has been seen on TV, he has not appeared...

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