Bashar Assad

Obama, Putin clash over vision for resolving Syrian crisis

Obama is urging a political transition to replace the Syrian president but Putin is warning it would be a mistake to abandon the current government.

Obama and Putin's dueling speeches at a United Nations General Assembly summit served as a public preview of their private meeting late Monday. The sit-down marks their first face-to-face encounter in nearly a year and comes amid escalating Russian military engagement in Syria.

Syria blames Europe for flow of migrants out of the country

The minister, Omran al-Zoubi, said in a rare comment from Damascus, that the migrants are mostly fleeing from areas held by rivals of President Bashar Assad's government, including the Islamic State group.

His remarks, carried by state media, say European countries, "which sent terrorists" to Syria and imposed economic sanctions on the Syrian people, must take responsibility for their anti-Syria policies.

Russia says its planes are carrying military goods to Syria

Russia has backed Syrian President Bashar Assad throughout the country's 4½-year civil war, providing weapons and military experts to train Syria's army to use them.

Lavrov on Thursday once again confirmed that Russia has military personnel in Syria for training purposes, but said nothing about reported deployments of additional troops.

State media: Car bomb in Syrian port city kills 10

It was one of the biggest bombings, and the highest single death toll, in Latakia since the Syrian conflict erupted in 2011.

TV footage from the scene showed thick black smoke rising from a car, damage to nearby vehicles and a puddle of blood. Syrian state TV said the explosion went off in Hamam Square on the edge of Latakia.

Syria activists: 20 killed in airstrikes on Damascus suburb

President Bashar Assad's forces have been pounding Douma from the skies for over a week. The sprawling suburb is home to the Jaysh al-Islam rebel group, also known as Islam Army.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 20 people were killed in the latest airstrikes Saturday. Other groups including the Local Coordination Committees and the Douma Revolution Facebook page put the death toll at 50. Such discrepancies are normal in the aftermath of chaotic strikes in Syria.

Syrian president replaces 2 Cabinet ministers

The TV said Bashar Assad named Rima Qadiri to replace Kinda Shammat as minister of social affairs. Jamal Chahine was appointed minister of internal trade and consumer protection, replacing Hassane Safieh. No reason was given for the changes.

Deadly attacks surge as Iran's foreign minister visits Syria

The attacks killed at least 36 people and wounding dozens.

Stepped-up rebel shelling and government airstrikes came just a few hours before Mohammad Javad Zarif arrived in Damascus, where he discussed a four-point proposal Iran wants to offer to the United Nations as a way out of Syria's grinding conflict.

Islamic State group seizes central Syrian town

The heavily populated town of Qaryatain lies southwest of Palmyra, which is home to towering Roman ruins, and some 85 kilometers from Homs city. Its capture allows the IS group to link up areas under its control in and around Palmyra with areas in the eastern countryside of Qalamoun in Damascus province.

Syria's embattled president vows to win bloody civil war

Assad's speech, while confident, comes as his battered country is host to the extremist Islamic State group, which is targeted in daily U.S.-led airstrikes. 

Turkey also has begun striking Islamic State fighters in Syria, as well as some Kurdish forces now leading a ground offensive against the extremists within the splintered country's borders.