Latest Damascus News

Syria shells rebel-held areas ahead of possible offensive

Jun. 21, 2018 3:05 PM EDT

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian government forces shelled rebel-held areas in the south on Thursday, further undermining an international "de-escalation" agreement backed by the United States ahead of a threatened offensive, prompting a warning from the U.S. of "serious repercussions" for the violations. The U.S.,...

UN: State, rebels committed war crimes in Syria's Ghouta

Jun. 20, 2018 8:50 AM EDT

BEIRUT (AP) — The United Nations said Wednesday that the Syrian government and rebel forces both committed war crimes during the five-year government siege of the eastern Ghouta suburbs of Damascus and the two-month offensive to retake the area from insurgents earlier this year. In a report released in...

Jewish artifacts disappear from Damascus in fog of Syria war

Jun. 18, 2018 12:23 AM EDT

BEIRUT (AP) — Jewish artifacts, including ancient parchment torahs from one of the world's oldest synagogues, have gone missing from the Syrian capital amid the tumult of ongoing civil war, with some precious items reportedly surfacing abroad. Activists say the artifacts, moved from the now-destroyed Jobar...

Assad says Iran's presence in Syria is not negotiable

Jun. 13, 2018 3:58 PM EDT

BEIRUT (AP) — Syrian President Bashar Assad says Iran's presence in Syria and its relations with Damascus are not negotiable and repeated the assertion that Iran has no fixed bases in Syria. In an interview with Iran's Al Alam TV broadcast Wednesday night, he says reaching a settlement in the southwestern...

UN: Worse may still come in Syria, after airstrikes in Idlib

Jun. 11, 2018 12:22 PM EDT

GENEVA (AP) — The U.N. humanitarian agency's top official for Syria expressed concerns Monday about recent airstrikes in rebel-held Idlib province, warning that "we may have not seen the worst of the crisis" in Syria even after seven years of war. Panos Moumtzis of U.N. OCHA said military escalation could...

Sculpted head of mystery biblical king found in Israel

Jun. 9, 2018 3:34 PM EDT

JERUSALEM (AP) — An enigmatic sculpture of a king's head dating back nearly 3,000 years has set off a modern-day mystery caper as scholars try to figure out whose face it depicts. The 5-centimeter (2-inch) sculpture is an exceedingly rare example of figurative art from the Holy Land during the 9th century...

The Latest: AFP photographer wounded at Gaza protest

Jun. 8, 2018 1:35 PM EDT

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — The Latest on Gaza protests and Jerusalem Day demonstrations around the Middle East (all times local): 8:30 p.m. French news agency Agence France Press says one of its photographers was wounded at a mass rally in Gaza by what appeared to be Israeli gunfire. AFP said Mohammed...

Syrian Kurdish officials say group ready to talk to Damascus

Jun. 6, 2018 1:50 PM EDT

BEIRUT (AP) — The dominant U.S.-backed Syrian Kurdish party in control of northeastern Syria is prepared to hold talks with the Syrian government over the future of the area, senior Kurdish officials said Wednesday. A Damascus-based political group called the "Syrian Democratic Front," which is seen as...

A Syrian family finds peace, even in squalid, crowded camp

Jun. 5, 2018 9:10 AM EDT

AL-BAB, Syria (AP) — The family of seven is crammed into a single tent in a squalid and overcrowded camp for those who fled the fighting near the capital of Damascus. A shared toilet is up a dirt road. There are few opportunities for work and many still need medical care. But the Sweidan family had no...

Syria FM: Iran has no combat forces, bases in the country

Jun. 2, 2018 1:50 PM EDT

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syria's foreign minister said Saturday Iranian military advisers are embedded with Syrian troops but Tehran has no combat forces or fixed bases in the country. Walid al-Moallem's comments came amid rising tension in the region as Israel has repeatedly warned against any permanent...