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Tue, Oct

Syria

  • Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said late on Friday that Turkey would retaliate against any steps aimed at countering its efforts to fight terrorism, in response to the announcement of possible U.S. sanctions against Turkey.

    President Donald Trump’s administration is set to impose economic sanctions on Ankara, potentially as early as this week, for its incursion into northern Syria, one of the few levers the United States still has over NATO-ally Turkey.

  • Earlier Sunday, US President Donald Trump and British PM Theresa May said Russia and Syria were responsible for "heart-breaking human suffering" in Eastern Ghouta. With the support of Russian warplanes, the Syrian military has advanced on several fronts, retaking control of farms and villages, a military source told state media.

    Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said Sunday his forces must push on with their campaign to retake the besieged enclave of Eastern Ghouta from rebels, despite mounting international calls to end the bloodshed.

  • Tawfik Chamaa, a Geneva-based Syrian doctor with the Syria-focused Union of Medical Care and Relief Organizations (UOSSM), a network of Syrian doctors, said 150 people were confirmed dead and the number was growing. "The majority were civilians, women and children trapped in underground shelters," he told Reuters.

    A chemical attack on a rebel-held town in eastern Ghouta has killed dozens of people, medical services reported, and Washington said the reports – if confirmed – would demand an immediate international response.

  • Iran’s involvement in Syria in support of President Bashar al-Assad in a nearly seven-year-old civil war - including the deployment of Iran-backed forces near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights - has alarmed Israel, which has said it would counter any threat.

    Anti-aircraft fire downed an Israeli warplane returning from a bombing raid on Iran-backed positions in Syria on Saturday in the most serious confrontations yet between Israel and Iranian-backed forces based across the border.

  • "With the start of the political process in its most active phase, foreign armed forces will withdraw from Syrian territory," Putin said, without specifying which foreign forces.

    President Vladimir Putin held a rare meeting with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad on Thursday and said the situation in Syria is now favourable for the beginning of a "political process" which would lead to the withdrawal of foreign forces.

  • Moscow and Tehran have warned that there would be consequences for the US-led attacks on Syria.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has denounced a strike on Syria launched by the US and its allies as an "act of aggression" that will exacerbate humanitarian catastrophe in Syria.

  • Syrian state media reported “several missiles” had hit the T-4 base in central Syria just before dawn on Monday. Washington and Paris denied any involvement, and Damascus later blamed Israel.

    Syria and its Russian ally accused Israel on Monday of carrying out a deadly dawn bombing raid on a military airbase, as global outrage mounted over an alleged poison gas attack outside Damascus.

  • Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a jihadist outfit dominated by Al-Qaeda's former Syrian affiliate, has claimed responsibility for shooting down the plane.

    A Russian pilot was killed in Syria on Saturday after parachuting into rebel-held territory when his plane was shot down, the Defence Ministry said.

  • It found no evidence that the Russian strike had deliberately targeted the market, but said “this attack may amount to the war crime of launching indiscriminate attacks resulting in death and injury to civilians”, the first time it has explicitly implicated Moscow in possible war crimes.

    Air strikes by Russia and a U.S.-led coalition killed civilians in Syria on a large scale last year, while the Assad government carried out unlawful chemical weapon attacks in rebel-held eastern Ghouta, U.N. war crimes investigators said on Tuesday.

  • Trump tweeted earlier that "missiles will be coming" in response to the alleged chemical attack in Syria and added that Russia should “get ready”.

    White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Wednesday that US President Donald Trump holds Russia and Syria responsible for a suspected chemical attack in Douma and said all options were still on the table for a US response.

  • U.S President Donald Trump said on Thursday he ordered a targeted military strike against an airfield in Syria from which a deadly chemical attack was launched this week.

  • The punitive raid did not draw US forces any deeper into Syria's civil war, but nor did it dissuade Syria or its Russian and Iranian backers from pursuing their campaign against rebel groups.

    President Donald Trump warned Monday that Damascus and Moscow may be forced to pay for the latest alleged chemical weapons atrocity of the Syrian civil war, promising a decision on military action within hours.

  • But if implemented it would achieve all the main objectives Turkey announced when it launched its assault on Oct. 9: control of a strip of Syria more than 30 km (20 miles) deep, with the Kurdish militia, once U.S. allies, obliged to pull out.

    Turkey agreed on Thursday to pause its offensive in Syria for five days to let Kurdish forces withdraw from a “safe zone” Ankara had sought to capture, in a deal hailed by the Trump administration and cast by Turkey as a complete victory.

  • The news came late Sunday after President Donald Trump spoke to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan by phone earlier in the day.

    Turkey is set to invade Syria, as the country had been threatening in recent months, with the U.S. saying it will remove all of its forces from the "immediate area," according to the White House.

  • The bombing was the biggest intervention by Western countries against Assad and his superpower ally Russia, but the three countries said the strikes were limited to Syria’s chemical weapons capabilities and not aimed at toppling Assad or intervening in the civil war.

    Western powers said on Saturday their missile attacks struck at the heart of Syria’s chemical weapons program, but the restrained assault appeared unlikely to halt Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s progress in the 7-year-old civil war.

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