Mass surrender of Islamic State fighters in last Syrian stronghold

By Helene Fung Approximately 1,000 Islamic State fighters have surrendered to the Syrian Democratic Forces from the last stronghold in Baghouz. Under negotiated terms, the injured would be given medical treatment in hospitals while the remainder are headed to jail. An Egyptian spokesman from the group claims that they had been sitting for days in…

200 US soldiers to be left behind in Syria post-withdrawal

By Helene Fung US President Donald Trump bucked under pressure, and back-flipped away from a complete withdrawal of the US forces from Syria. The White House announced in a statement that “a small peacekeeping group of about 200 will remain in Syria for a period of time”. No details have been provided regarding how long the…

US warns Assad against delaying process to end Syrian war

US special representative for Syria, Jim Jeffrey, declared that the US will impose sanctions to pursue “a strategy of isolation” with its allies if Syrian President Bashar al-Assad holds up the political process aiming to end the Syrian war. Mr Jeffrey warned that Washington would work with allies in Europe, Asia and the Middle East…

US military preparing options for response if Assad uses chemical weapons

US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Joseph Dunford said he and the White House maintain a “routine dialogue” about military options for a response to Syria using chemical weapons in an expected assault on Idlib. Mr Dunford said no final decision has been made about whether use of chemical weapons would trigger a US…

South Syrian rebels surrender

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has secured a major victory with south Syrian rebels agreeing to a ceasefire set up by Russia, surrendering the province of Deraa to the government. The victory means that the Syrian government has regained control of the Nassib border crossing, an important part of the border with Jordan. The rebels have…

Chemical weapons inspectors finish mission in Syria

Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) inspectors have finished investigating in the Syrian town of Douma, where they were collecting eyewitness accounts of an alleged attack that occurred last month. Findings from the investigation could take at least three to four weeks, however, as the analysis process now takes place in OPCW laboratories…

US, Britain, France Syrian air strike hits research centre

Picture Courtesy: US Air Force A joint air strike against Syria performed by the US, Britain and France has hit a Damascus scientific research facility and arms depots in the Homs area according to state media. The Russian ambassador, Anatoly Antonov to the United States has warned that there will be consequences for the strike,…

UN Report Links North Korea Chemical Weapon Manufacturing to Syria

North Korea has been sending equipment to Syria that could be used to manufacture chemical weapons, United Nations experts has found according to a United States media report. The equipment includes acid-resistant tiles, valves and pipes, a New York Times report stated, based on the as-yet-unreleased UN report. The report compiled for the UN Sanctions…

Trump Calls for Unity in Maiden State of the Union Address

Donald Trump has called for unity in his maiden State of the Union Address, calling on Republicans and Democrats to work together in “building a safe, strong and proud America”. The US President said he was “extending an open hand” as a unifying figure, urging both sides to come together to build the nation. “Tonight,…