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Syrian president dismisses talks with ‘puppets’ in interview

BEIRUT — Syrian President Bashar Assad dismissed negotiations with Western-backed opposition representatives, calling them “puppets” in an interview with a U.S. magazine published Monday ahead of talks set to begin in Moscow. The comments came amid already widespread low expectations that the four days of Moscow talks could lead to any breakthrough in the conflict. …

Israeli strikes kill 6 Hezbollah fighters in Syria

BEIRUT — An Israeli strike in Syria on Sunday killed the son of a slain top Hezbollah commander and at least five other fighters in a move that could ratchet up tensions with the powerful Lebanese Shiite movement, which recently boasted of rockets that can hit any part of the Jewish state. Hezbollah militants in …

Father of pilot captured by IS pleads for release

AMMAN, Jordan — The father of a Jordanian pilot captured by the Islamic State group in Syria pleaded for his son’s release on Thursday, asking him to treat him well in captivity as a fellow Muslim. So far, there has been silence from the extremists about the fate of their captive, 1st Lt. Mu’ath al-Kaseasbeh, …

West-backed Syria rebels shaken on multiple fronts

BEIRUT — During a key battle in the rugged mountains of a northern province earlier this month, U.S.-backed Syrian rebels collapsed before an assault by al-Qaida fighters. Some surrendered their weapons. Others outright defected to the militants. A detailed account of the battle in Idlib, from a series of interviews with opposition activists by The …

Islamic State group beheads US aid worker

BEIRUT — An Islamic State group video released Sunday purports to show extremists beheading a dozen Syrian soldiers and ends with a militant claiming to have killed U.S. aid worker Peter Kassig, the latest slaughter proudly broadcast by the group on the Internet. The video ends with the militant standing over a severed head he …

Islamic fighters kill scores of Yazidi men in Iraq

Arab neighbors joined ISIS to slaughter escaped Yazidi http://t.co/FzNju6Wi03 pic.twitter.com/4wVjvA6KWD — John Galt (@JohnGGalt) August 13, 2014 IRBIL, Iraq — Islamic extremists shot scores of Yazidi men to death in Iraq, lining them up in small groups and opening fire with assault rifles before abducting their wives and children, according to an eyewitness, government officials …

Syrian woman survives 700 days of blockade

HOMS, Syria — Over the course of the 700-day blockade, her world shrunk to her living room and her kitchen. She survived by eating plants and reading books. She refused to look in the mirror, because seeing her withered state might break her spirit. Zeinat Akhras, a 65-year-old pharmacist, still bears the effects of nearly …

Amid war and shelling, Syrians vote for president

DAMASCUS, Syria — Waving photos of their leader and dancing with flags, tens of thousands of Syrians pledged renewed allegiance to President Bashar Assad as they voted Tuesday across government-controlled parts of the country in a presidential election decried by the opposition as a charade. Some stamped their ballots with blood after pricking their fingers …

Thousands of Syrians enter Homs after rebels leave

http://t.co/6CWBn33S7U #Homs #Syria. The #mercenaries #alNusra and "moderates #FSA r left. #Syrians r back to town. pic.twitter.com/VuxAiS4rWr — TRUE LOVE SYRIA (@confusion8888) May 10, 2014 HOMS, Syria — Thousands of Syrians streamed into war-battered parts of the central city of Homs for the first time in nearly two years Saturday, checking their homes after rebels left as part …

Syria to hold presidential elections on June 3

DAMASCUS, Syria — Syria will hold presidential elections on June 3, the country’s parliament speaker announced Monday, a vote President Bashar Assad is likely to contest, and win, as the country enters its fourth year of war. Assad, who has ruled the country since taking over from his late father in 2000, has suggested he …

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