civil war

Famine declared in South Sudan; 4.9 million people need urgent help

People are already dying of hunger, and another 1 million people are on the brink of famine, UN agencies said.

Years of civil war, a refugee crisis and a collapsing economy have taken their toll on South Sudan since it gained its independence in 2011.

Now the UN World Food Programme and nongovernmental organizations are sounding the alarm, warning that more than a million children are suffering from acute malnutrition.

Obama rejects Russian approach to ending Syrian war

Obama made his remarks at a White House news conference Friday.

The president called Russia's military involvement, including airstrikes that began this week, a self-defeating exercise that will move the Syrian conflict further from a solution.

UN rights chief seeks int'l role in probe of Sri Lanka war

Zeid Raad al-Hussein pointed to horrific abuses during the conflict, including torture, executions, and sexual abuse by security forces, as well as suicide attacks, assassinations and recruitment of child soldiers by rebels.

As he presented a 270-page report focusing on the period from 2002 to 2011, Zeid called Wednesday for a "hybrid special court" that would include foreign judges and investigators.

Germany, Turkey back solution to Syrian war

Chancellor Angela Merkel and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke by phone Wednesday. The government said Merkel praised the "enormous Turkish efforts" to take care of nearly 2 million Syrian refugees in Turkey. It added that the two leaders agreed to increase cooperation on resolving the refugee crisis, with an emphasis on combatting traffickers.

Vladimir Putin confirms Russian military involvement in Syria's civil war

Commenting on reports that Russian combat troops have been deployed to Syria, the Russian president said discussion of direct military intervention is “so far premature,” but did not rule out that such a step could be taken in future.

“To say we're ready to do this today - so far it's premature to talk about this. But we are already giving Syria quite serious help with equipment and training soldiers, with our weapons,” the state-owned RIA Novosti news agency quoted Mr Putin as saying when asked about Russian intervention in Syria during an economic forum in Vladivostok.

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.

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.