Kinan Aldebes

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First on CNN: ISIS creating chemical weapons cell in new de facto capital, US official says

<b>(CNN) —</b> US intelligence believes ISIS is bringing together all of its experts on chemical weapons from Iraq and Syria into a new "chemical weapons cell," according to a US official.<p>The cell is comprised of chemical weapons specialists from Iraq and Syria who have not previously worked together, the …

Syria from Space

Three cities in darkness and light<p>May 2017<p>Although most of Damascus is government-controlled, electricity is sporadic for everyone, and sometimes non-existent in rebel-held areas.<p>Syria was once one of the eastern Mediterranean's major power suppliers. It has 15 power stations, including three major …

Chinese jihadis' rise in Syria raises concerns at home

BEIRUT (AP) — Many don't speak Arabic and their role in Syria is little known to the outside world, but the Chinese fighters of the Turkistan Islamic …

U.S. Bombed a Mosque in Syria, Killing Dozens of Civilians, Investigators Conclude

Confronted with these claims, a Pentagon spokesman, Navy Captain Jeff Davis, told The Intercept that they were mistaken. “The area was extensively …

Human Rights

Assad Is A Monster But If Trump Overthrows Him, Syria Will Likely Be Run By Terrorists

If the U.S. topples Assad, it’ll create a power vacuum for warring extremists.<p>How should we understand U.S. President Donald Trump’s cruise missile barrage last week against a Syrian airbase? In one sense, it might be a tactical triumph for his administration: cruise missile attacks are popular …

Middle East

Trump’s Syria Whiplash

The president has gone from calling to keep Bashar Assad to bombing his regime in mere days.<p>In the span of one week, President Donald Trump and his team have pirouetted from declaring that Syria’s murderous dictator could stay in power to launching airstrikes against his regime—and possibly …

The Syrian Rebel Who Tried to Build an Islamist Paradise

Zahran Alloush had dreams of an Islamist state in his besieged city. It wasn’t only Bashar Assad who stopped him.<p>First came the tanks, a line of hulking Soviet-built T-72s, adorned with black Islamic flags. Then, the anti-aircraft guns, the armored troop carriers, and a line of flatbed trucks with …

Tanks, suicide bombs and bayonets: On the front line in the battles around Damascus

The soldier was grinning, his wounds bandaged but blood still on his hands. He had the weary, cynical, joyful eyes of a man who had survived. Gunfire …

Living Among the Ruins In Aleppo, A Man Keeps Playing His Songs

There is a photograph that's been seen around the world this week. It seems to hold both civilization and destruction in the same frame.<p>The photo shows a white-haired man sitting on a bed in the midst of rubble. He sits in front of broad windows, which have been shattered; and gauzy white curtains, …

Middle East

Drone footage shows new destruction in historic Syrian city of Palmyra

Russia released drone footage Monday showing new destruction in Syria's historic town of Palmyra, which was recently recaptured by the Islamic State group, and warned that the militants could be planning the further demolition of antiquities.<p>The Russian Defense Ministry says Syrian government …

Syrians Speak: What Syrians Want You To Know

It will be six-years since the Syrian uprising started next month and conditions in the country are dire with a fragile ceasefire barely holding. …

Trump's travel ban 'makes no sense' without Pakistan and S. Arabia

US-based researcher Arif Jamal argues that President Donald Trump cannot defeat radical Islam by excluding Saudi Arabia and Pakistan from his …

Islamist factions in Syria join forces with al Qaeda affiliate

Several Islamist factions in Syria have announced the formation of a new rebel group. The move comes amid infighting between hard-line and moderate …

ISIS Destroys Ancient Theater, Tetrapylon In Palmyra, Syria Says

Two famous ancient structures in the city of Palmyra have been destroyed by ISIS forces, Syria's antiquities chief says.<p>The Tetrapylon and the facade of the city's Roman theater have both been almost completely demolished, the official says, according to NPR's Alison Meuse.<p>"Activist Khaled …

Palmyra

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard makes unannounced trip to Syria

By Karen DeYoung<p>Karen DeYoung<p>Associate editor and senior national security correspondent<p>Email Bio Follow<p>Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), who has charged the Obama administration with funneling money to the Islamic State and al-Qaeda-linked groups in Syria, visited Damascus this week on what her …

Middle East

Syria's War Has Affected Water in The Region So Much, You Can See The Damage From Space

Not good.<p>The Syrian civil war has left more than an estimated 400,000 people dead and displaced more than 10 million residents. But the impact hasn't …

All Roads Lead to Aleppo

With the evacuation of the last of its armed rebels and their families, last month, the Syrian city of Aleppo is once again in the hands of the Assad government. Aleppo had a prewar population of more than two million people; it was not only Syria’s largest city and its industrial powerhouse but …

White Helmets in east Aleppo plead for help after regime advances

Rescue group says volunteers fear for their lives as Syrian army, backed by Iranian militia, approaches rebel-held areas<p>The Syrian White Helmets rescue group has urged international organisations to protect its volunteers in rebel-held parts of eastern Aleppo, warning that they face torture and …

Rebel groups clash with each other in Syria's Aleppo

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian rebel factions fought each other in besieged eastern Aleppo on Thursday, officials from two of the groups and a war monitor said, potentially undermining their efforts to fend off a major Russian-backed offensive.<p>Graffiti is seen on a damaged building in Tariq al-Bab …

Aleppo siege: UN envoy Mistura 'appalled' by rebel attacks

<b>The UN special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, says he is "appalled and shocked" that rebels in Aleppo are targeting civilians in the city.</b><p>The "relentless and indiscriminate" rocket attacks had killed scores of civilians in western Aleppo in the past 48 hours, Mr de Mistura said.<p>Such attacks …