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US-backed force says resuming anti-IS assault in eastern Syria

Kamishli - A Kurdish-led force backed by a US-led anti-jihadist coalition said Sunday that it was resuming its offensive against the Islamic State group in eastern Syria.

At Syria border, Jordanians dash over for cheap shopping

- Near the recently reopened border with Jordan, former Syrian rebel fighter Bahaa al-Masri sells date-filled pastries and sesame biscuits to Jordanians flocking across the frontier to snap up bargains.

Syria army frees Druze hostages from IS: state media

Damascus - Syria said Thursday it had freed all 19 remaining Druze women and children abducted in July by the Islamic State group from the southern province of Sweida.

Kurds near Turkey border dread fresh offensive

- Chimo Osman's children stopped going to school after Turkish shelling struck his home in northeastern Syria, where Kurdish residents fear another military onslaught is imminent.

UN salutes Damascus allowing Yarmuk Palestinians to return

Damascus - The United Nations on Wednesday welcomed a Syrian regime plan to allow Palestinians back home to the ravaged Damascus suburb of Yarmuk after expelling jihadists.

Syria parents spurn Kurd schools over university fears

Kamishli - After carefully packing her schoolbag, seven-year-old Rasha scrambles into the van that shuttles her daily from her home in a Kurdish-held neighbourhood of Syria's Qamishli to school in the government-held enclave.

Jihadists in Syrian Kurdish jails: what we know

Kamishli - Syria's Kurds are holding hundreds of alleged foreign fighters from the Islamic State group, but say they will not try them and have urged their home countries to repatriate them.

UN to deliver aid to Syrians trapped near Jordan border

Damascus - The UN said Wednesday it was organising a joint aid convoy with the Syrian Arab Red Crescent to tens of thousands of Syrians stranded in the desert near the Jordanian border.

Syria, Iraq say joint border crossing to re-open soon

Damascus - A border crossing between Syria and Iraq is to re-open soon, Damascus and Baghdad's top diplomats said Monday, hours after other Syrian frontier posts reopened with Jordan and the Israeli-occupied Golan.

New Syria law expands state regulation of religious affairs

Damascus - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has signed into law a new bill expanding the powers of a government ministry overseeing religious affairs and limiting the term of the country's top Muslim cleric.

Syria army warns Idlib residents as deadline looms

Idlib - Syria's army Friday warned residents of the country's last major rebel bastion to stay away from jihadists, who have yet to withdraw from a buffer zone ahead of a looming deadline.

Bulldozers scoop slow way to recovery in Syria's Yarmuk

Midan - Not far from where he used to live, Palestinian engineer Mahmud Khaled watched as bulldozers rumbled back and forth scooping up smashed concrete from the devastated streets of Syria's Yarmuk.

Syria Kurds say they hold 900 foreign IS fighters

Kamishli - Syrian Kurdish forces battling the Islamic State group hold around 900 of the organisation's foreign jihadists, a spokesman said on Thursday, a sharp increase from a previous figure.

Syria issues pardon for army deserters, draft dodgers

Damascus - Syria's President Bashar al-Assad issued a general amnesty Tuesday for army deserters and those who have avoided compulsory military service during the country's seven-year civil war, state media said.

Heavy arms go, but Syria rebels alert on dusty frontline

Kafer Halab - The young dust-covered rebel looked out warily from a dirt trench facing opposing regime forces as his unit pulled heavy weapons from a planned buffer zone in northern Syria.

Syria rebels say to remove heavy weapons from buffer zone within days

Kafer Halab - Turkish-backed rebels said Sunday they expected to finish withdrawing heavy weapons from a planned buffer zone in northwestern Syria within days under a deal to stave off a regime attack.

Syria's recovered antiquities go on display at Damascus opera

Damascus - Syria's antiquities authority on Wednesday unveiled an exhibition in Damascus of hundreds of artefacts retrieved from around the war-torn country.

Turkish troop convoy enters Syria rebel zone

- A Turkish military convoy entered rebel-held northwestern Syria early on Wednesday, an AFP correspondent reported, as the deadline for establishing a buffer zone between rebel and government forces draws closer.

Syria says trade crossing with Jordan to open next month

Damascus - Syria's transport ministry said Saturday its main border crossing with Jordan would reopen to trade next month for the first time in three years, but Amman said consultations were still ongoing.

Syria says new air defences will make Israel think twice

Damascus - A top Syrian official has said a new air defence system from ally Russia will force Israel to "think carefully" before carrying out any more air strikes in the country.
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