Latest Damascus News

FILE - In this Monday, Oct. 5, 2015 file photo, a thick blanket of early morning fog partially shrouds the skyscrapers of the Marina and Jumeirah Lake Towers districts of Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Travel agencies in countries across the Middle East and Africa say the United Arab Emirates has temporarily halted issuing new visas to their citizens, a so-far unexplained ban on visitors amid both the coronavirus pandemic and as the UAE normalizes ties with Israel. (AP Photo/Kamran Jebreili, File)

Travel agents in Mideast, Africa say UAE is blocking visas

Nov. 27, 2020 12:47 PM EST

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Travel agencies in countries across the Middle East and Africa say the United Arab Emirates has temporarily halted issuing new visas to their citizens, a so-far unexplained ban on visitors amid both the coronavirus pandemic and the UAE's normalization deal with Israel. ...

Report: Syria claims Israeli attack on post south of capital

Nov. 24, 2020 6:20 PM EST

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syria's military said suspected Israeli warplanes struck locations south of the capital Damascus late Tuesday, causing only material damage, state-run media reported. The report, which quotes an unidentified military official, said the warplanes struck shortly before midnight south...

Israel strikes Syria, killing 3 troops, after finding bombs

Nov. 18, 2020 7:42 AM EST

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli warplanes struck Iran-linked targets in Syria overnight after troops uncovered roadside bombs along the frontier in the Golan Heights, the Israeli military said Wednesday. Syrian state media said the strikes killed three Syrian soldiers. A Syrian war monitoring group said the...

FILE - In this Aug. 30, 2018, file photo, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem gestures as he speaks to the media in Moscow, Russia. Al-Moallem, a career diplomat who became one of the country's most prominent faces to the outside world during the uprising against Syria's President Bashar Assad, died Monday, Nov. 16, 2020. He was 79. (AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko, File)

Syria’s longtime Foreign Minister al-Moallem dies at age 79

Nov. 16, 2020 7:37 AM EST

BEIRUT (AP) — Syria’s longtime Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem, a career diplomat who became one of the country’s most prominent faces to the outside world during the uprising against President Bashar Assad, died on Monday. He was 79. Al-Moallem, who served as ambassador to Washington for...

FILE - In this July 20, 2017, file photo, Marc and Debra Tice, the parents of Austin Tice, who has been missing in Syria since August 2012, hold up photos of him during a new conference, at the Press Club, in Beirut, Lebanon.   A top Lebanese security official, Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim said Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020,  that after returning from Washington recently he visited Syria for two days where he spoke with officials about American journalist Austin Tice who has been missing in the war-torn country since 2012.   (AP Photo/Bilal Hussein, File)

Lebanese general was in Syria over missing American reporter

Nov. 14, 2020 8:17 AM EST

BEIRUT (AP) — A top Lebanese security official said Saturday that he visited Syria for two days to speak with officials there about American journalist Austin Tice, who has been missing in the war-torn country since 2012. Maj. Gen. Abbas Ibrahim did not give further details in an interview with the local...

CORRECTS DATE TO NOV. 11, 2020 -- This photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, shows Syrian President Bashar Assad virtually addressing the opening session of a two-day international conference on the return of refugees to Syria, organized by Russia, in Damascus, Syria, Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2020. The Syrian government is working to secure the return of millions of refugees who fled war in their country, but Western sanctions are hindering the work of state institutions, complicating those plans, Assad said Wednesday. (SANA via AP)

Assad blames West for hindering return of refugees to Syria

Nov. 11, 2020 10:46 AM EST

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — The Syrian government is working to secure the return of millions of refugees who fled war in their country, but Western sanctions are hindering the work of state institutions, complicating those plans, President Bashar Assad said Wednesday. His comments came at the opening session...

Russian President Vladimir Putin, listens to Syrian President Bashar Assad, right on screen, during their talks via video conference at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. (Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

EU snubs Russia-backed event on returning refugees to Syria

Nov. 10, 2020 11:46 AM EST

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union said Tuesday that it will not take part in an international conference this week on the return of refugees to Syria, insisting that the first priority should be to make it safe for people to go back to the conflict-ravaged country. The two-day conference, organized by...

Russian President Vladimir Putin, listens to Syrian President Bashar Assad, right on screen, during their talks via video conference at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. (Alexei Nikolsky, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Russia's Putin says time for Syrian refugees to return home

Nov. 9, 2020 7:31 AM EST

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Millions of Syrian refugees who fled their country's civil war should start returning home to help rebuild Syria now that large parts of the Arab nation enjoy relative peace, Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday. Putin’s comments came in a video call with Syrian...

In this photo provided by the official Facebook page of the Syrian Presidency, Syrian President Bashar Assad, right, and first lady Asma Assad, center right, speaks with people during his visit to the Producers exhibition, in Damascus, Syria, Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2020. Assad said much of the current economic distress in Syria is a direct result of the banking crisis in neighboring Lebanon, where many Syrian businessmen have traditionally kept their money. He added that between $20 billion- and $ 42 billion held by Syrians were estimated to be stuck in Lebanese banks.(Syrian Presidency Facebook page via AP)

Assad blames Syria's current economic woes on Lebanese banks

Nov. 5, 2020 8:23 AM EST

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syrian President Bashar Assad said much of his country's current economic distress is a direct result of the banking crisis in neighboring Lebanon, where many Syrian businessmen have traditionally kept their money. Assad said that between $20 billion and $42 billion held by Syrians...

FILE - In this Monday, Sept. 7, 2020 file photo released by Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad gestures while speaking to Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during their talks in Damascus, Syria. U.N.-backed investigators in the 21st report from the Commission of Inquiry on Syria, pointed Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2020, to signs that Syria’s government continues to perpetrate rape, torture and murder as the country’s nine-year conflict grinds on, while citing possible war crimes by a Turkey-backed coalition of rebel groups and calling on Ankara to do more to help prevent them. (Russian Foreign Ministry Press Service via AP, File)

Russia delegation calls for conference on refugees in Syria

Oct. 29, 2020 11:58 AM EDT

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syrian President Bashar Assad on Thursday met with a high-level Russian delegation advocating for jointly hosting an international conference on refugees in the capital Damascus next month. Western nations and many of the more than 5.6 million Syrian refugees are against an...