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Articles written by Philip Issa

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US-allied Syrian force declares victory over Islamic State

BAGHOUZ, Syria (AP) — U.S.-backed forces declared military victory over the Islamic State group in Syria on Saturday after liberating the last pocket of territory held by the militants, marking the end of a brutal self-styled caliphate the group...

 

IS suicide attacks highlight perils of Syria campaign

OUTSIDE BAGHOUZ, Syria (AP) — The three Islamic State fighters emerged from the group's last bastion in eastern Syria on Friday acting as though they wanted to surrender, but when they reached the U.S.-backed forces that have them surrounded they...

 

US-backed fighters could soon resume offensive against IS

BAGHOUZ, Syria (AP) — U.S.-backed fighters could soon resume an offensive against the Islamic State group in the last area they control in Syria, an official said Saturday, adding that the battle against the extremists is expected to take three day...

 

From Syria, IS slips into Iraq to fight another day

BAGHDAD (AP) — Islamic State fighters facing defeat in Syria are slipping across the border into Iraq, where they are destabilizing the country's fragile security, U.S. and Iraqi officials say. Hundreds — likely more than 1,000 — IS fighters ha...

 

SNU Takes a Thriller on Bison Hill, Defeat OBU in Double OT

SHAWNEE, Okla.—In one meant for a rivalry game, Southern Nazarene came out on top against Oklahoma Baptist at the Noble Complex in Shawnee Oklahoma, 78-76, in double overtime on Thursday evening. The Crimson Storm (6-9, 5-4 GAC) jumped out to an...

 

US official says withdrawal from Syria has started

BAGHDAD (AP) — After days of back and forth over U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to pullout American troops from Syria, a U.S. military official said Friday the process of withdrawal has begun, declining to comment on specific timetables or...

 

Furious Iraqi lawmakers demand US troop withdrawal

BAGHDAD (AP) — President Donald Trump's surprise trip to Iraq may have quieted criticism at home that he had yet to visit troops in a combat zone, but it has infuriated Iraqi politicians who on Thursday demanded the withdrawal of U.S. forces....

 

Israel shoots down Syrian jet; Syrian forces reach Golan

BEIRUT (AP) — Israel shot down a Syrian fighter jet it said had breached its airspace on Tuesday while advancing Syrian government forces retaking territory from rebels reached the Golan Heights frontier for the first time in seven years. The...

 

Syrian government raises its flag over cradle of 2011 revolt

BEIRUT (AP) — For the first time in more than seven years, the Syrian government raised its flag Thursday over Daraa, the first city to revolt against President Bashar Assad in 2011 and plunge the country into its calamitous civil war. The display...

 

Al-Abadi defeated IS. Why won't he sweep Iraq's elections?

BAGHDAD (AP) — During four years in office, Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi has racked up a list of achievements that would make most politicians envious. He prevailed over an Islamic State insurgency that at its peak controlled one-third of...

 

Chemical weapons inspectors collect samples from Syria site

BEIRUT (AP) — Chemical weapons inspectors collected samples from Syria's Douma on Saturday, two weeks after a suspected gas attack there followed by retaliatory strikes by Western powers on the Syrian government's chemical facilities. The site...

 

Syrian rebels give up Damascus area town to government

BEIRUT (AP) — The Syrian government took control of a town northeast of Damascus on Thursday after rebels evacuated to north Syria — the latest in a string of handovers by rebels to the government. Residents in the town of Dumayr welcomed securit...

 

UN team fired on at suspected Syria chemical attack site

BEIRUT (AP) — Assailants opened fire at a U.N. security team visiting the site of a suspected chemical weapons attack in Syria, an official said Wednesday, forcing it to retreat to its base and further delaying a fact-finding mission by outside...

 

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...

 

As Trump mulls a pullout, IS attempts to re-emerge in Syria

MANBIJ, Syria (AP) — Even as President Donald Trump mulls a U.S. pullout from Syria, insisting that the Islamic State group is "almost completely defeated," the extremist group is showing signs of a revival. Despite being kicked out of the main tow...

 

Rocket attack on Syrian capital kills 35 people

BEIRUT (AP) — Rockets fired on a market in a government-controlled neighborhood of Damascus on Tuesday killed 35 people and wounded more than 20 others, Syrian state-run media said, marking one of the highest death tolls in a single attack...

 

Thousands flee violence in mass exodus from Syrian towns

BEIRUT (AP) — Tens of thousands of terrified men, women and children streamed out on foot and in pick-up trucks Thursday from besieged enclaves on two fronts, fleeing bombings from the Syrian military near the capital, Damascus, and Turkish troops...

 

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...

 

Reports: Syrian troops split rebel-held enclave near capital

BEIRUT (AP) — Government forces on Wednesday seized vast swathes of territory including farmland from rebels in the opposition-held suburbs of Damascus, effectively dividing the besieged enclave in two and further squeezing rebels and tens of...

 

World leaders urge Syria cease-fire as fighting escalates

BEIRUT (AP) — World leaders called Thursday for an urgent cease-fire in Syria as government forces pounded the opposition-controlled eastern suburbs of the capital in a crushing campaign that has left hundreds of people dead in recent days. The...

 

Hospitals overwhelmed by bombing blitz of Damascus suburbs

BEIRUT (AP) — Doctors in Syria's rebel-controlled suburbs of Damascus said Wednesday they were unable to keep up with the staggering number of casualties, amid a ferocious bombing campaign by government forces that has targeted hospitals, apartment...

 

Lebanon gets tough on the press ahead of elections

BEIRUT (AP) — A string of court cases and judicial investigations against Lebanese media figures is testing this country's reputation as a forum for ideas in a region blanketed by censorship and threats to the press. Lebanese authorities are...

 

Tillerson in Beirut wades into Lebanon-Israel border dispute

BEIRUT (AP) — U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Thursday said there are "constructive" discussions underway on how to break a "stalemate" between Lebanon and Israel over gas drilling rights along the countries' disputed maritime border and...

 

Rebel areas pounded by Syrian forces despite cease-fire call

BEIRUT (AP) — Russian and Syrian government forces launched a new wave of airstrikes and shelling on Tuesday, plunging the besieged area just outside of Syria's capital of Damascus into a spiral of violence and despair. At least 55 civilians were k...

 

Turkey urged to show restraint in assault on Syrian Kurds

BEIRUT (AP) — France and the United States on Tuesday urged Turkey to exercise restraint in its offensive against a Kurdish-held enclave in northern Syria, where the U.N. says an estimated 5,000 people have been displaced by the fighting. Turkish t...

 

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