Syria's two main opposition groups settled longstanding differences Friday to agree that President Bashar Assad must step down in any deal to end the country's bloody conflict.
The issue has dogged efforts to get the exiled but widely recognized Syrian National Coalition and the National Coordination Committee for Democratic Change (NCCDC), which is tolerated by the Syrian authorities, to agree a common platform.Full Story
An international agreement on Iran's nuclear program will not alter Tehran's staunch support for the Syrian government and may even strengthen Damascus, Syria's foreign minister said Friday.
Speaking at a conference in Damascus on "confronting terrorism", Walid Muallem said those who hoped to persuade Iran to abandon Syria's government would be disappointed.Full Story
Turkey's leaders on Friday confirmed a landmark deal with the United States on the use of a key air base near Syria, after Washington said American jets would be able to use the facility to launch raids against jihadists.
Hurriyet daily said the agreement for U.S. planes to use Incirlik base in southern Turkey provided for a 90-kilometer (56 mile) no-fly zone between the Syrian towns of Marea and Jarabulus to the east.Full Story
Turkey on Friday vowed to press on with operations against Islamic State (IS) in Syria and other militant groups, after its war planes bombed the jihadists' positions for the first time.
Following the pre-dawn air raids on the IS targets in Syria, Turkish police arrested almost 300 suspected members of IS and pro-Kurdish militant groups nationwide, in one of Turkey's biggest recent crackdowns on extremists.Full Story
Swedish prosecutors on Thursday announced the arrest of two Swedes suspected of committing murder in war-torn Syria, in the nation's first such detentions since the conflict erupted in 2011.
Aged 30 and 32, the two men "are Swedish citizens and live in Gothenburg" in the west of the country, said Ronnie Jacobsson, the prosecutor heading the investigation into "terrorist crimes" in Syria.Full Story
Rebels that include al-Qaida's Syrian affiliate announced a fierce offensive on the major southern city of Dara, saying their aim was to "purify" the area.
Operation "Storm of Truth" was announced on Twitter by the Southern Front, an alliance of rebel groups, "to purify the province of Daraa from the filth of the gangs of (President Bashar) Assad."Full Story
The Turkish military on Thursday pounded positions held by Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria after a Turkish soldier was killed by fire from an area controlled by the jihadists.
The clashes -- the most serious yet between the Turkish army and IS -- came after the killing of 32 people in a suicide bombing Monday, blamed on IS, sparked an upsurge in violence. A day after the fatal shooting of two police claimed by Kurdish militants as "revenge" for the suicide bombing in the town of Suruc on the Syrian border, a policeman was shot dead in the majority Kurdish city of Diyarbakir.Full Story
The U.N.'s envoy to Syria met with its foreign minister in Damascus Thursday as part of ongoing efforts to negotiate a solution to the four-year war, state media said.
"Staffan de Mistura presented the latest developments linked to his discussions and meetings in multiple countries" to Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem, the official SANA news agency reported.Full Story
Favorable rains have helped Syria's 2015 wheat harvest but the country's food insecurity is worsening overall because of war, two U.N. agencies said on Thursday.
Food production "remains way below its pre-crisis levels as the ongoing conflict continues to push more people into hunger and poverty," the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Program (WFP) said in a report.Full Story
A militant group allied to Turkey's outlawed Kurdish party has shot dead in Istanbul an alleged member of the Islamic State group who had fought in Syria, media said Thursday.
The reports come amid soaring tensions in Turkey following Monday's suicide bombing in the town of Suruc on the border with Syria that killed 32 and that the authorities blamed on IS.Full Story