BEIRUT (Reuters) – The Syrian air force hit an Islamic State-controlled air base in Raqqa province on Tuesday, killing more than 140 militants, state media said, striking the jihadist group in its Syrian stronghold a week after it seized Palmyra from the government.
The city of Raqqa is seen as the de facto capital of the “caliphate” Islamic State has declared in Syria and Iraq. The group has made notable gains in both countries this month, capturing both Ramadi in Iraq and Palmyra in Syria.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Islamic State fighters tightened their grip on the historic Syrian city of Palmyra on Thursday and overran Iraqi government defences east of Ramadi, the provincial capital that they seized five days earlier.
The twin successes not only pile pressure on Damascus and Baghdad but throw doubt on a U.S. strategy of relying almost exclusively on air strikes to support the fight against Islamic State.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Islamic State seized full control of the historic city of Palmyra in central Syria on Thursday, just days after it captured a provincial capital in neighbouring Iraq, suggesting momentum is building for the ultra-hardline group.
The twin successes pile pressure not just on Damascus and Baghdad, but also throw doubt on U.S. strategy to rely almost exclusively on air strikes to defeat the Sunni Muslim movement, which is an offshoot of al Qaeda.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Islamic State fighters in Syria have entered the ancient ruins of Palmyra after taking complete control of the central city, but there are no reports so far of any destruction of antiquities, a group monitoring the war said on Thursday.
The offshoot of al Qaeda has taken control of the city’s military air base and prison after storming them on Wednesday, Rami Abdulrahman, head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said by telephone.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Islamic State insurgents stormed the historic Syrian city of Palmyra on Wednesday, fighting off pro-government forces who withdrew after evacuating most of the civilian population, state television said.
The capture of Palmyra is the first time the al Qaeda offshoot has taken control of a city directly from the Syrian army and allied forces, which have already lost ground in the northwest and south to other insurgent groups in recent weeks.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Islamic State stormed the historic Syrian city of Palmyra on Wednesday, seizing parts of it from government forces in fierce fighting as civilians were evacuated and Syria’s antiquities chief called on the world to save its ancient ruins.
If the al Qaeda offshoot takes over Palmyra it would be the first time it has captured a city directly from President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, which have already lost ground in northwest and southern Syria to other insurgent groups in recent weeks.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Islamic State fighters seized around a third of the historic Syrian city of Palmyra on Wednesday after fierce clashes with the military and allied combatants, a group monitoring the war said.
The city, known as Tadmur in Arabic, is home to a UNESCO World Heritage site and the violence has fuelled fears Islamic State will destroy ancient ruins. The offshoot of al Qaeda advanced into the city over the weekend but had been repelled.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Insurgents seized an army base in northwestern Syria from the military on Tuesday, compounding a series of setbacks for President Bashar al-Assad at the hands of rebel groups believed to have received extra backing from his regional enemies.
The capture came as a top aide to Iran’s leader met Assad in Damascus and underlined firm Iranian support as the Syrian government faces mounting pressure from insurgents in a four-year-old civil war.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – A top aide to Iran’s leader met Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday, footage on Syrian state television showed, underlining firm Iranian support for Damascus as it faces mounting pressure from insurgents in a four-year-old civil war.
The meeting came as insurgents in Idlib province seized an army base from the Syrian military, expanding their grip in the northwest of the country, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said.
BEIRUT/GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations has adopted a cautious approach to the Syria talks it launched this week, avoiding raising expectations that this latest initiative can end a four-year-old conflict which has so far defied all diplomatic efforts to resolve it.
U.N. Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura says he wants to talk to diplomats, activists and political and military leaders to see if there is any new common ground since a roadmap for ending the war was declared in 2012.