Fierce fighting as SDF pounds last ISIL-held pocket in Syria

US-backed Kurdish forces say they are locked in heavy fighting with ISIL fighters in northeast Syria, using artillery fire and air raids as they press ahead to capture the armed group’s final patch of territory in the country. Columns of black smoke on Sunday billowed from the village of Baghouz, in Deir Az Zor province, where commanders…

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Is it all over for ISIL in Syria?

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) once controlled an area stretching from western Syria to eastern Iraq – nearly the size of the United Kingdom. It proclaimed a caliphate in 2014 and imposed its harsh rule on millions of people. But it was flushed out of Iraq and eventually lost most of…

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‘Hungry and dirty’: More civilians leave ISIL holdout in Syria

Trucks carrying civilians left ISIL’s last pocket of territory in eastern Syria on Friday hours after coalition air raids meant to pressure the fighters targeted the area on the banks of the Euphrates River. Reporters near the front line at Baghouz saw dozens of trucks driving out full of civilians. Most on board were women and children,…

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Hundreds evacuated from ISIL’s last Syria holdout

Hundreds of people including women and children have been evacuated from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s (ISIL, known as ISIS) last holdout in Syria, bringing US-backed forces closer to retaking the last sliver of the “caliphate”. An official from the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) said on Thursday that the civilian evacuation is…

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A new report says the Assad regime has launched more than 300 chemical attacks in Syria

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s government and its military forces have launched more than 300 chemical attacks since the end of 2012 during the country’s ongoing civil war, according to a new report from the Global Public Policy Institute, per the Washington Post. Why it matters: President Trump’s decision to withdraw all U.S. forces from Syria…

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U.S. Military Sets April Target Date for Leaving Syria

WASHINGTON—The Pentagon is preparing to pull all U.S. forces out of Syria by the end of April, even though the Trump administration has yet to come up with a plan to protect its Kurdish partners from attack when they leave, current and former U.S. officials said. With U.S.-backed fighters poised to seize the final Syrian…

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US Senate approves anti-BDS bill, slowdown of Syria withdrawal

Washington, DC – The US Senate has passed legislation defining United States security policy in the Middle East, introducing a measure that would allow state and local governments to sanction those who support boycotts, divesture and sanctions against Israel. Tuesday’s Senate vote, which was 77-23, sends the legislation to the House of Representatives where it…

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Trinidad mother reunited with sons taken by ISIL father to Syria

London, United Kingdom – A mother from Trinidad and Tobago has spoken of her relief after being reunited this week with her two sons who were abducted by their father and taken to ISIL-held territory in Syria four years ago. Felicia Perkins-Ferreira braved sub-zero temperatures as part of a nearly 10,000km odyssey that began in the…

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Seeking Help, Family Breaks Silence on American Missing in Syria

WASHINGTON—American therapist Majd Kamalmaz was stopped at a government checkpoint in Damascus one night in February 2017 while visiting family in Syria’s fractured capital. He hasn’t been seen or heard from since. For nearly two years, the Kamalmaz family quietly worked with the State Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation to try to find out…

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At Least Three U.S. Troops Killed in ISIS-Claimed Attack in Syria

Islamic State claimed responsibility for a bombing in Syria that killed at least three American troops on Wednesday, according to U.S. officials, underscoring the threat the extremist group still poses as the Trump administration prepares to withdraw troops from the country. Allied fighters with the Syrian Democratic Forces and a number of civilians were also…

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