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Articles written by Bassem Mroue

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US strikes IS-held mosque as Syria battle intensifies

BEIRUT (AP) — The U.S. military said Tuesday it struck a mosque that had allegedly been used as an Islamic State control center, as American-allied Syrian forces battled the extremists in their last stronghold in eastern Syria amid reports of more...

 

US-backed fighters launch final push to defeat IS in Syria

BEIRUT (AP) — U.S.-backed and Kurdish-led Syrian forces said Saturday they have launched a final push to defeat the Islamic State group in the last tiny pocket the extremists hold in eastern Syria. Syrian Democratic Forces spokesman Mustafa Bali...

 

Syria attack kills 4 Americans, raising questions on pullout

WASHINGTON (AP) — A suicide bombing claimed by the Islamic State killed at least 16 people, including two U.S. service members and two American civilians, in northern Syria on Wednesday, just a month after President Donald Trump declared that IS ha...

 

Report: Israeli attack near Syrian capital wounds 3 soldiers

BEIRUT (AP) — Israeli warplanes flying over Lebanon fired missiles toward areas near the Syrian capital of Damascus late Tuesday, hitting an arms depot and wounding three soldiers, Syrian state media reported, saying that most of the missiles were...

 

After defeat in Iraq, IS fights on in last enclave in Syria

BAGHDAD (AP) — A year after it was routed from Iraq in a devastating war that left entire neighborhoods and towns in ruins, the Islamic State group is fighting to hang on to its last enclave in eastern Syria, engaging in deadly battles with...

 

Buffer zone brings fragile calm to Syria's rebel-held Idlib

BEIRUT (AP) — A month after Russia, Turkey and Iran came together in a last-ditch effort to avert a potentially catastrophic Syrian government offensive in Idlib, they appear to have succeeded in creating a buffer zone around the northern...

 

Lebanon's cannabis heartland, Bekaa, hopes for legalization

YAMMOUNE, Lebanon (AP) — In the fields of this quiet village surrounded by mountains, men and women work clearing dirt and dry leaves from around cannabis plants, a major source of livelihoods in this impoverished corner of Lebanon, The fertile Bek...

 

Under Assad's grip, uneasy co-existence with former rebels

TALBISEH, Syria (AP) — Former rebel commander Omar Melhem has nearly come full circle. He was a colonel in the Syrian army when the uprising against President Bashar Assad began in 2011. He defected a year later and joined the armed revolt against...

 

Syrian troops recapture vital border crossing with Jordan

JABER AS-SARHAN, Jordan (AP) — Syrian government forces recaptured a vital border crossing with Jordan on Friday and raised the national flag for the first time in years, restoring sovereignty over a key region and potentially reopening a gateway...

 

Syria FM: Iran has no combat forces, bases in the country

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syria's foreign minister said Saturday Iranian military advisers are embedded with Syrian troops but Tehran has no combat forces or fixed bases in the country. Walid al-Moallem's comments came amid rising tension in the...

 

Chemical arms experts in Syria go to site of alleged attack

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — International chemical weapons inspectors Tuesday entered Douma, the Syrian town that was the site of a suspected poison gas attack that led to Western airstrikes against the Syrian government, state media reported. The team...

 

Inspectors head to site of suspected gas attack in Syria

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — A team of inspectors from the international chemical weapons watchdog was on its way to Syria on Thursday to begin an investigation into a suspected chemical weapons attack near the capital that has brought the war-torn count...

 

Inspectors head to site of suspected gas attack in Syria

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — A team of inspectors from the international chemical weapons watchdog was on its way to Syria on Thursday to begin an investigation into a suspected chemical weapons attack near the capital that has brought the war-torn count...

 

AP News Guide: Potential for escalation in Syria abounds

BEIRUT (AP) — With the Middle East on edge and many fearing inadvertent triggering of a regional war, it's easy to forget that not so long ago President Donald Trump shocked advisers by declaring his intention to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria...

 

Chemical weapons experts to inspect attack site in Syria

BEIRUT (AP) — The international chemical weapons watchdog said Tuesday it was sending a fact-finding mission to the Syrian town where a suspected chemical gas attack took place over the weekend, following a request from the Syrian government and it...

 

Syrian army declares victory as rebels vacate most of Ghouta

BEIRUT (AP) — The Syrian army declared victory in eastern Ghouta Saturday after opposition fighters evacuated from most of the area near the capital except for the town of Douma where negotiations are still underway for rebels there to leave or...

 

Hundreds gather to leave second pocket in Syria's Ghouta

BEIRUT (AP) — Hundreds of members of a rebel group and their relatives boarded Saturday 17 buses in preparation to leave eastern Ghouta to opposition-held areas north of the country Saturday as part of an agreement to evacuate the second of three p...

 

Defeated rebels begin leaving enclave near Syrian capital

BEIRUT (AP) — Carrying their light arms, hundreds of defeated rebels began evacuating with their families Thursday from a devastated town in eastern Ghouta, an effective surrender under a deal with the government after a long siege and bombing...

 

Deal reached to evacuate second pocket of Syria's Ghouta

BEIRUT (AP) — An agreement was reached Friday to evacuate the second of three pockets held by opposition fighters east of the capital Damascus hours after the main rebel group in the area declared a cease-fire to give negotiations with the...

 

In Syria, at least 100 killed in attacks as more people flee

BEIRUT (AP) — Airstrikes in Syria killed more than 100 people on Friday as civilians, weary and many wounded, fled besieged areas for the second straight day. Syrian government forces stepped up their offensive in the rebel-held eastern suburbs of...

 

Syria aid convoy on hold, top UN official appeals for calm

BEIRUT (AP) — A top U.N. aid official appealed to the Syrian government and its Russian backers for a cessation of hostilities in eastern Ghouta on Thursday when a second convoy with desperately needed aid was postponed after government forces...

 

Aid delivered to Syria's Ghouta amid renewed violence

BEIRUT (AP) — An aid convoy crossed into the embattled rebel-held suburbs of Damascus Friday, delivering desperately needed aid despite heavy fighting that broke out "extremely close" to the convoy and renewed airstrikes by the Syrian government....

 

UN official: Pauses in Syria suburb unilateral, 'not enough'

BEIRUT (AP) — The five-hour daily pauses in fighting in Syria's embattled eastern suburbs of the capital Damascus — laid out under a "unilateral" plan by Russia — are not enough to take in aid or evacuate civilians, a top U.N. aid official...

 

Turkish airstrike kills pro-government gunmen in north Syria

BEIRUT (AP) — Turkey's air force hit two positions of pro-government Syrian fighters deployed last week in the Kurdish enclave of Afrin, killing and wounding a number of fighters in an escalation of violence in a region where Turkey has been on...

 

Damascus suburb strikes kill scores, UN votes for cease-fire

BEIRUT (AP) — A new wave of airstrikes and shelling on eastern suburbs of the Syrian capital Damascus left at least 22 people dead and dozens wounded Saturday, raising the death toll of a week of bombing in the area to 500, as the U.N. Security Cou...

 

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