Latest Damascus News

FILE - In this file photo released Monday Nov. 9, 2019 by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian President Bashar Assad speaks in Damascus, Syria.  The global chemical weapons watchdog issued a report Wednesday 'April 8, 2020, blaming the Syrian air force for a series of chemical attacks using sarin and chlorine in late March 2017 and OPCW Director-General Fernando Arias said it is now up to the organization, “the United Nations Secretary-General, and the international community as a whole to take any further action they deem appropriate and necessary.”(SANA FILE via AP)

Syria denies its air force is behind 2017 chemical attacks

Apr. 9, 2020 12:53 PM EDT

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syria denounced Thursday as misleading the first report from the global chemical weapons watchdog blaming its air force for a series of attacks using sarin and chlorine on a rebel-held town in 2017. The investigative team of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons...

FILE - In this file photo dated Tuesday, April 2, 2019, Fernando Arias, Director-General of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) speaks during talks in Moscow, Russia. The global chemical weapons watchdog issued a report Wednesday April 8, 2020, blaming the Syrian air force for chemical attacks using sarin and chlorine in late March 2017 on the central town of Ltamenah, and Arias said it is now up to the organization, “the United Nations Secretary-General, and the international community as a whole to take any further action they deem appropriate and necessary.” (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, FILE)

Watchdog: Syrian air force responsible for chemical attacks

Apr. 8, 2020 1:19 PM EDT

THE HAGUE (AP) — The global chemical weapons watchdog issued a report Wednesday blaming the Syrian air force for a series of chemical attacks using sarin and chlorine in late March 2017 on the central town of Latamneh. The report marks the first time the Investigation and Identification Team, set up in...

FILE - In this Dec. 1, 2019 file photo, Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani gives a press conference in Tehran, Iran. Iran's parliament said Thursday, April 2, 2020 that speaker Ali Larijani has tested positive for the new coronavirus and is in quarantine. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi, File)

Iran parliament speaker, Israeli health minister have virus

Apr. 2, 2020 3:12 PM EDT

TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iran’s parliament speaker has contracted the new coronavirus, the country's highest-ranking government figure yet to catch the disease, while in Israel, several top officials entered quarantine when the health minister tested positive on Thursday. Iran's parliament announced Ali...

FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2006 file photo, former Syrian vice president and foreign minister Abdul-Halim Khaddam speaks during an interview with The Associated Press, in Paris, France. Khaddam who was one of the most influential figures in Syria before he defected in 2005 to France has died in Paris Arab media outlets reported Wednesday, April 1, 2020. He was 87. (AP Photo/Remy de la Mauviniere, File)

Syrian ex-VP, foreign minister dies of heart attack in Paris

Apr. 1, 2020 11:48 AM EDT

BEIRUT (AP) — Abdul-Halim Khaddam, a former Syrian vice president and foreign minister who was one of the most influential figures in the country before defecting in 2005 to France, has died of a heart attack in Paris, his son said Wednesday. He was 87. Jihad Khaddam told The Associated Press his father...

FILE - In this Aug. 22, 2015 file photo, a Muslim Brotherhood member waves his hand from a defendants cage in a courtroom in Torah prison, southern Cairo, Egypt. In some cells in Iran, Egypt, Syria and other countries in the Middle East, prisoners are crammed in by the dozens, with little access to hygiene or medical care. So if one infection gets in, the novel coronavirus could run rampant. (AP Photo/Amr Nabil, File)

Crammed in filthy cells, political prisoners fear infection

Mar. 31, 2020 2:05 AM EDT

CAIRO (AP) — Reza Khandan got the word from friends locked away in Iran’s most feared prison, Evin. A prisoner and a guard in their cell block had been removed because they were suspected of having coronavirus, and two guards in the women’s ward had shown symptoms. It was frightening news....

Syria, UAE leaders discuss coronavirus, a thaw in relations

Mar. 27, 2020 4:24 PM EDT

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syria's president and one of the United Arab Emirates' most powerful leaders spoke on the phone on Friday — signalling a major thaw in Damascus' troubled relations with Arab countries, which had mostly boycotted President Bashar Assad and backed his opposition. The official...

Palestinian security forces are deployed to enforce new government measures against the coronavirus, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Monday, March 23, 2020. On Sunday, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh declared a two week set of strict precautionary measures that include confining residents to their homes, restricting movement between cities and deploying security forces, along with other measures to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

War-torn Syria braces for lockdown after first virus case

Mar. 23, 2020 3:17 PM EDT

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syrians rushed to stock up on food and fuel Monday amid fears that authorities would resort to even stricter measures after reporting the first coronavirus infection in the country, where the health care system has been decimated by nearly a decade of civil war. The arrival of the...

In this photo provided by the Turkish Defense Ministry, Turkish and Russian troops patrol on the M4 highway, which runs east-west through Idlib province, Syria, Sunday, March 15, 2020. Turkish and Russian troops began joint patrols Sunday on a key highway in northwest Syria, Turkey's Defense Ministry said. Patrols are part of a cease-fire agreed between the Turkey and Russia after an escalation in fighting that saw the Turkish military in direct conflict with Syrian government troops. (Turkish Defense Ministry via AP)

Syria's Assad discusses Idlib truce with Russian minister

Mar. 23, 2020 12:45 PM EDT

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syria's president hosted Russia's defense minister on Monday to discuss a recent cease-fire in rebel-held northwestern Syria, which ended rare direct fighting between Syrian and Turkish troops. The cease-fire deal was brokered between Russia and Turkey, which back opposing sides in...

FILE - In this Dec. 5, 2016 file photo, Syrian army soldiers fire their weapons during a battle with rebel fighters at the Ramouseh front line, east of Aleppo, Syria. In a world gripped by a pandemic, global unrest and a fast-moving news cycle, it can be difficult to remember that the war in Syria is still happening. (AP Photo/Hassan Ammar, File)

Syrian war, rumbling into 10th year, still has global impact

Mar. 15, 2020 7:35 AM EDT

BEIRUT (AP) — In a world gripped by a pandemic, global unrest and a fast-moving news cycle, it can be difficult to remember that the war in Syria is still happening. Even before the coronavirus outbreak took over daily lives around the globe, the conflict, which began in early 2011, had largely fallen off...

This Saturday, March. 7, 2020 photo, released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows a fuel tanker that collided with two passenger buses and several other cars on the Damascus-Homs road near the capital Damascus, killing tens of people, Syria's official news agency said. Syria's Interior Minister Mohammed Khaled Rahmoun, who visited the area late Saturday, told reporters faulty brakes apparently caused the driver to lose control of the fuel tank. He said at least 15 other vehicles were damaged. (SANA via AP)

At least 26 Iraqis among killed in Syria road accident

Mar. 8, 2020 7:20 AM EDT

BAGHDAD (AP) — At least 26 Iraqis were among those killed in a Syrian highway accident last week, in which a fuel truck collided with passenger buses and other cars, Iraqi's foreign ministry spokesman said Sunday. Ahmad al-Sahhaf said at least 16 Iraqis were also injured in what he described as a...