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Stories with person: Bashar Assad
  • Kurdish fighters in Syria on the march against IS militants story has photos
    Updated: May-28-15 3:42 pm

    BEIRUT - In contrast to the Iraqi army's failures, Kurdish fighters in Syria are on the march against the Islamic State group, capturing towns and villages in an oil-rich swath of the country's northeast under the cover of U.S.-led airstrikes.

  • Syria's al-Qaida chief says no plans to attack the West 
    Updated: May-28-15 3:36 pm

    BEIRUT - Al-Qaida's branch in Syria has no plans to attack the West but warns of retaliation if U.S.-led airstrikes continue to target its fighters, the leader of the group said in an interview with an Arab TV station.

  • Analysis: Against IS, airstrikes may not suffice 
    Updated: May-27-15 6:28 pm

    BAGHDAD - It's the modern era's military strategy of choice: overwhelming air power delivering precision-guided punishment backed by intelligence on the ground, with minimal exposure for soldiers of the striking side.

  • The Latest on IS: Detainees killed at theater in Syria ruins story has photos
    Updated: May-27-15 11:51 am

    6:45 p.m. (1545 GMT)

  • For an IS fighter, a paid honeymoon in caliphate's heart 
    Updated: May-26-15 3:10 am

    BEIRUT - The honeymoon was a brief moment for love, away from the front lines of Syria's war. In the capital of the Islamic State group's self-proclaimed "caliphate," Syrian fighter Abu Bilal al-Homsi was united with his Tunisian bride for the first time after months chatting online. They married, then passed the days dining on grilled meats in Raqqa's restaurants, strolling along the Euphrates River and eating ice cream.

  • Syrians try to build case against Assad in chlorine attacks 
    Updated: May-23-15 2:06 am

    BEIRUT - With only a cloth mask for protection, Firas Kayali rushed to try to rescue the residents of a house in a village in rebel-held northern Syria after a barrel bomb, suspected to be filled with chlorine gas, hit nearby.

  • Analysis: At Mideast forum, hopes for future amid chaos story has photos
    Updated: May-22-15 3:30 pm

    SOUTHERN SHUNEH, Jordan - Against a backdrop of Iraq and Syria in flames, Middle Eastern political and business leaders sought to focus on a future of growth and investment for a region that for long has lagged behind. But present-day reality proved rather difficult to ignore, with the Islamic State group wreaking havoc not far from these Dead Sea shores.

  • Iran extends new credit line to Syria 
    Updated: May-19-15 9:08 am

    BEIRUT - Syria's official news agency says Iran is extending a credit line to make up for market needs and reports that the two countries have signed several agreements in the fields of electricity, industry, oil and investment.

  • Turkey says it shot down Syrian helicopter 
    Updated: May-16-15 2:28 pm

    ISTANBUL - Turkish forces shot down a Syrian helicopter after it crossed into Turkish airspace, the country's defense minister said Saturday. Syrian state-run television denied the report, saying that a small drone was shot down.

  • Obama vows to keep Arab allies secure amid Iran deal fears 
    Updated: May-15-15 3:44 am

    WASHINGTON - Charging toward an Iran nuclear agreement, President Barack Obama is assuring Arab allies that they are safe from the threat of an empowered Tehran as he seeks to shore up some of America's most critical security partnerships. However, Obama's claim of winning Arab support for his nuclear diplomacy appears far from certain.

  • Obama not drawing new red line on Syria chemical weapons use 
    Updated: May-14-15 6:27 pm

    CAMP DAVID, Maryland - President Barack Obama says he is not drawing a new red line on Syrian chemical weapons usage.

  • Ex-Lebanese minister sentenced over explosives' transport 
    Updated: May-13-15 1:50 pm

    BEIRUT - A Lebanese military court on Wednesday convicted a former minister on charges of plotting a wave of bombings at the behest of neighboring Syria and sentenced him to four-and-a-half years in prison.

  • No breakthrough as Kerry meets Russia's Putin story has photosstory has video
    Updated: May-12-15 5:06 pm

    SOCHI, Russia - The United States and Russia emerged Tuesday from their most extensive, high-level talks in years vowing closer cooperation on Ukraine and Syria but unable to point to any breakthrough or new approach to bridge the major differences separating the two powers.

  • Despite leading war in Yemen, Saudi Arabia mostly untouched story has photos
    Updated: May-12-15 3:56 am

    NAJRAN, Saudi Arabia - Khatim Umm Salem's quiet, secure life betrays no signs of the war taking place just a few miles away.

  • Kerry heads to Russia in first visit since Ukraine crisis story has photos
    Updated: May-11-15 3:52 pm

    WASHINGTON - Secretary of State John Kerry departed Monday for Russia to meet with President Vladimir Putin, on his first visit to the country since relations between Washington and Moscow plummeted to post-Cold War lows amid disagreements over Ukraine and Syria.

  • Hezbollah leads fight in strategic Syrian mountain range 
    Updated: May-10-15 10:34 am

    QALAMOUN MOUNTAINS, Syria - Here in pockets of the rugged mountains near the Lebanese border, the distinctive yellow flag of Hezbollah now flies where al-Qaida militants once held sway.

  • Syria rebels cast doubt on US training program 
    Updated: May-08-15 1:40 pm

    BEIRUT - Syrian rebels on Friday voiced deep reservations about a U.S. program to train moderate rebels that American and Jordanian officials say has kicked off in Jordan, dismissing it as a drop in the ocean that would not change realities on the ground.

  • Turkey, Saudi in pact to help anti-Assad rebels 
    Updated: May-07-15 7:10 pm

    ISTANBUL - Casting aside U.S. concerns about aiding extremist groups, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have converged on an aggressive new strategy to bring down Syrian President Bashar Assad.

  • Syrian rebel training has started in Jordan story has photosstory has video
    Updated: May-07-15 5:26 pm

    WASHINGTON - After months of delays and vetting, the training of moderate Syrian rebels has started in Jordan as part of a broader effort to build a force capable of fighting Islamic State extremists, U.S. and Jordanian officials said Thursday.

  • In the face of IS successes, al-Qaida adapts, grows stronger 
    Updated: May-04-15 9:13 am

    CAIRO - When al-Qaida overran the Yemeni port city of Mukalla last month, the group's commanders immediately struck a deal to share power with the area's tribesmen. No jihadi banners were raised. Al-Qaida even issued a statement denying rumors that it had banned music at parties or men wearing shorts.

  • Qatar says Taliban, Afghan officials to hold 2 days of talks story has photos
    Updated: May-02-15 1:28 pm

    DOHA, Qatar - Afghan and Taliban officials will hold two days of "reconciliation" talks in Qatar, the Gulf nation's state news agency reported Saturday, although both sides sought to downplay expectations from the meeting.

  • Administration worries grow over Saudi campaign in Yemen story has photos
    Updated: May-01-15 3:53 pm

    WASHINGTON - The Obama administration is growing increasingly wary about the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen and how to restore peace to a country wracked by sectarian divisions, endemic poverty and the al-Qaida offshoot posing the greatest threat to the American homeland.

  • Near Syrian border, wounded fighters and civilians recover 
    Updated: Apr-30-15 2:24 am

    KILIS, Turkey - Sitting up in bed, 16-year-old Anas Baroudi lifts up an orange blanket to show where his left foot used to be, before he lost it almost three years ago in Syria's civil war.

  • Syrian insurgent gains expose Assad weaknesses 
    Updated: Apr-29-15 1:58 am

    BEIRUT - In the span of a month, Syrian insurgents have routed government forces across the country's northwest, flushing them out of strongholds in a string of embarrassing defeats for President Bashar Assad.