Latest Damascus News

One of the defendants, Anwar R. (57), sits in the dock of the Higher Regional Court behind Corona protective screens, hiding his face under a hood in Koblenz, Germany, Thursday, April 23, 2020. Two former members of Syria's secret police go on trial Thursday in Germany accused of crimes against humanity for their role in a government-run detention center where large numbers of opposition protesters were tortured.(Thomas Frey/dpa via AP)

Former Syrian secret police officer testifies he's innocent

May. 18, 2020 12:50 PM EDT

BERLIN (AP) — A former Syrian secret police colonel testified in a German court Monday that he was not involved in the torture of opponents of the regime of President Bashar Assad, in the first war crimes trial outside Syria linked to the country’s years-long conflict. Anwar R., 57, is accused of...

Gunmen kill 9 police in recaptured, but unruly south Syria

May. 4, 2020 4:51 PM EDT

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Unknown gunmen killed nine Syrian policemen on Monday in a southern village close to the border with Jordan, state media and an opposition war monitor said. The attack occurred in the province of Daraa where Syria’s anti-government uprising began in March 2011 before morphing...

UN warns that 'tragedy beckons' in Syria from virus

Apr. 30, 2020 1:29 AM EDT

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — The U.N. humanitarian chief said Wednesday that more than 40 cases of COVID-19 and at least three deaths have been reported in Syria, signaling that “tragedy beckons” after nine years of war that has left the country’s health care system decimated. Mark Lowcock...

Rights group: COVID-19 supplies not reaching northeast Syria

Apr. 28, 2020 5:32 PM EDT

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Human Rights Watch said Tuesday that medical supplies to prevent and treat the new coronavirus are not reaching northeast Syria because of restrictions imposed by the Syrian government and the Kurdish regional government. The international rights organization urged the U.N. Security...

In this photo taken by her son, Betty Riddle in Sarasota, Fla., Sunday, April 26, 2020, holds the T-shirt she wore on March 17, 2020, when she voted for the first time. She was barred from voting in Florida until a federal judge temporarily blocked the state from preventing her and 16 other felons from voting because of unpaid legal financial obligations. (Courtesy of Rickie Riddle via AP)

5 things to know today - that aren't about the virus

Apr. 27, 2020 8:06 PM EDT

Your daily look at nonvirus stories in the news: 1. FIVE SHOT DEAD IN MILWAUKEE HOME Police find five people shot to death inside a Milwaukee home and arrest the man who dialed 911 to report the slayings, the city’s police chief says. 2. WHERE FELONS HOPE TO WIN VOTING RIGHT A federal trial is underway in...

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, boys sit amid the rubble of a house that according to the Syrian authorities was attacked by an Israeli airstrike, in the Damascus suburbs of Hajira, Syria, Monday, April 27, 2020. The Syrian military and state media said Monday that Israeli warplanes flying over Lebanon fired missiles toward areas near the Syrian capital of Damascus, killing three civilians. An opposition war monitor says four Iran-backed fighters were also killed. The military says Syrian air defenses shot some of the missiles down. The reports said the attack happened around dawn on Monday. (SANA via AP)

Reports: Israeli strike on Syria kills 4 gunmen, 3 civilians

Apr. 27, 2020 12:15 PM EDT

BEIRUT (AP) — Israeli warplanes flying over Lebanon fired missiles toward areas near Damascus early Monday, killing three civilians, the Syrian military and state media said while a war monitoring group said four Iran-backed fighters were also killed. The military said Syrian air defenses shot down some of...

In this Sunday, April 19, 2020 photo Syrian Wassim Mukdad poses for a photograph at the Berlin offices of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, Germany. Together with more than a dozen other witnesses, Mukdad will testify before a German court in the trial of Anwar R., a former member of Syria’s secret police suspected of overseeing the abuse of detainees at a notorious jail near Damascus known as Al Khatib, or Branch 251. (AP Photo/Frank Jordans)

Syria refugees to face their torturers in German court

Apr. 21, 2020 3:00 AM EDT

BERLIN (AP) — Six years ago Wassim Mukdad fled Syria, demoralized and fearing for his life as the country spiraled ever deeper into all-out war. This week, the 34-year-old will come face-to-face with the man accused of running a government detention center where Mukdad and thousands of others were tortured...

Syria: Israel fired missile on areas near historic Palmyra

Apr. 20, 2020 5:23 PM EDT

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syrian air defenses opened fire and shot down several missiles launched by Israeli warplanes Monday night near the central historic town of Palmyra, state media said. Syrian state TV gave no further details about the attacks, the latest to hit central Syria in three weeks. The...

In this photo released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian President Bashar Assad, right, wears a mask to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, meets with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, who also wore a mask and gloves, in Damascus, Syria, Monday, April. 20, 2020. (SANA via AP)

Iran, Syria call for lifting sanctions during pandemic

Apr. 20, 2020 10:05 AM EDT

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Iran's foreign minister used a meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad Monday to call on the U.S. to lift sanctions imposed on both countries, during his first visit to the war-ravaged country in a year. Iran has been a close ally of Assad in Syria's long and bloody nine-year-long...

This photo provided on April 12, 2020, by the Syrian American Medical Society, which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows a nurse checking a man for fever and other symptoms as part of the effort to contain and trace the coronavirus, in a tent outside Idlib Central Hospital, Idlib, northern Syria. Nine years of war have broken Syria into three rival parts, and each is struggling to cope with a common enemy that knows no conflict lines. Unable to work together, their divisions are hurting frantic efforts to mobilize against the coronavirus in a country where the health sector is already devastated by war. (Syrian American Medical Society via AP)

Syria's divisions damage efforts to mobilize against virus

Apr. 20, 2020 2:09 AM EDT

BEIRUT (AP) — After nine years of war, Syria is broken into three rival parts unable to work together and ill-prepared to cope with the coronavirus, an enemy that knows no conflict lines. Medical personnel in Kurdish-run northeastern Syria have resorted to making protective gear out of garbage bags. The...