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russia 'moving' military observers in syria's afrin | syria news


russia has started moving military observers away from an area in northwestern syria where turkey is planning an offensive against kurdish fighters, a turkish official told al jazeera.moving the observers comes as turkey's defence minister on friday said his country would go ahead with the offensive in the enclave of afrin, saying syrian kurdish fighters there pose a "real" threat to his country.ahmet berat conkar, a ruling party mp and head of the turkish delegation to the nato parliamentary assembly, said: "russia is taking steps to move its forces in afrin away from the areas where there might be clashes [during turkey's operation]."earlier this week, the turkish government announced the offensive into kurdish-held areas in northern syria, starting with afrin, after reports that the us






the latest: turkish military, intel chiefs travel to russia


beirut — the latest on developments in syria (all times local):12:10 p.m.turkey's military says the country's chief of military staff and intelligence chief have traveled to russia for talks on the situation in syria.their visit on thursday comes as turkey threatens to launch a military offensive against the syrian kurdish-controlled enclave of afrin in northwest syria. the russian military is believed to have a presence in afrin.a military statement said turkish gen. hulusi akar and intelligence chief, hakan fidan, would meet with russia's military chief valery gerasimov to discuss regional security issues, developments in syria and ongoing peace efforts for the war-torn country.turkey regards a syrian kurdish militia group controlling afrin and other areas along its border as an extensio






turkey boosting military presence along border near syria's afrin | syria news


the turkish army is steadily increasing its presence along a stretch of the syrian border around the northern city of afrin.turkey's president recep tayyip erdogan has been threatening to attack afrin - controlled by the syrian kurdish armed group ypg - for almost a week.turkish troops are present inside syria on its southern edge and to the east are turkish-backed syrian rebels, so afrin is effectively surrounded.al jazeera's stefanie dekker reports from antakya in turkey, near the syrian border.






turkey boosting military presence along border near syria's afrin | news


the turkish army is steadily increasing its presence along a stretch of the syrian border around the northern city of afrin. turkey's president recep tayyip erdogan has been threatening to attack afrin - controlled by the syrian kurdish armed group ypg - for almost a week.turkish troops are present inside syria on its southern edge and to the east are turkish-backed syrian rebels, so afrin is effectively surrounded.al jazeera's stefanie dekker reports from antakya in turkey, near the syrian border.






syria threatens to 'destroy' turkish warplanes | syria news


syria threatened on thursday to "destroy" any turkish warplanes that fly into its territory as ankara prepares to launch a cross-border military operation to wipe out kurdish fighters it calls "terrorists".    turkish officials have repeatedly vowed to attack the syrian-kurd militia known as the ypg at any moment in the afrin region in northern syria, near the border with turkey.the move comes after the united states announced this week it would train the ypg-dominated syrian democratic forces (sdf) to be part of a 30,000-strong "border force" - a statement us secretary of state rex tillerson said on thursday was "misportrayed".syria's government warned turkey it would shoot down turkish fighter jets and bombers that flew into its airspace."we warn that the syrian air force is ready to des






syrian kurds say russia to build base in afrin | syria news


russia is setting up a military base in northwestern syria in agreement with the syrian-kurdish ypg armed group that controls the area and will train fighters, a ypg spokesman said on monday. the agreement with russia was concluded on sunday and russian troops have already arrived at the village of kafr jina, in the northwestern region of afrin, with troop carriers and armoured vehicles, ypg spokesman redur xelil told reuters news agency."the russian presence ... comes in agreement between [the ypg] and the russian forces operating in syria in the framework of cooperation against terrorism and to help train our forces on modern warfare and to build a direct point of contact with russian forces," xelil said in a statement."it is the first [agreement] of its kind," he added.however, in a sta






syria threatens to 'destroy' turkish warplanes | syria news


syria threatened on thursday to "destroy" any turkish warplanes that fly into its territory as ankara prepares to launch a cross-border military operation to wipe out kurdish fighters it calls "terrorists".    turkish officials have repeatedly vowed to attack the syrian-kurd militia known as the ypg at any moment in the afrin region in northern syria, near the border with turkey.the move comes after the united states announced this week it would train the ypg-dominated syrian democratic forces (sdf) to be part of a 30,000-strong "border force" - a statement us secretary of state rex tillerson said on thursday was "misportrayed".syria's government warned turkey it would shoot down turkish fighter jets and bombers that flew into its airspace."we warn that the syrian air force is ready to des






russia strikes deal with syrian kurds to set up base | syria news


russia is setting up a military base in northwestern syria in agreement with the syrian-kurdish ypg armed group that controls the area, and will be training ypg fighters as part of the fight against "terrorism". ypg spokesman redur xelil told reuters news agency on monday the agreement with russia was concluded on sunday, and russian troops had already arrived in jandaris, in the northwestern region of afrin, with troop carriers and armoured vehicles.the move will likely anger neighbouring turkey. ankara views the ypg as an extension of the kurdistan workers' party (pkk), which is waging an insurgency inside turkey aimed at gaining greater autonomy."the russian presence ... comes in agreement between [the ypg] and the russian forces operating in syria in the framework of cooperation agains






russia strikes deal with syrian kurds to set up base | syria news


russia is setting up a military base in northwestern syria in agreement with the syrian-kurdish ypg armed group that controls the area and will train fighters, a ypg spokesman said on monday. the agreement with russia was concluded on sunday and russian troops have already arrived at the village of kafr jina, in the northwestern region of afrin, with troop carriers and armoured vehicles, ypg spokesman redur xelil told reuters news agency."the russian presence ... comes in agreement between [the ypg] and the russian forces operating in syria in the framework of cooperation against terrorism and to help train our forces on modern warfare and to build a direct point of contact with russian forces," xelil said in a statement."it is the first [agreement] of its kind," he added.however, in a sta






turkey vows to attack kurdish enclave in syria within ‘days’


istanbul (ap) — turkey’s president says it will launch a military assault on a kurdish enclave in northern syria “in the coming days.”president recep tayyip erdogan said sunday the operation against the afrin enclave will aim to “purge terror” from his country’s southern border.afrin is controlled by a kurdish militia known as the ypg, which turkey views as a terror group and an extension of the kurdish insurgency raging in its southeast.erdogan said the new operation would be an extension of turkey’s 2016 incursion into northern syria, which was aimed at combatting the islamic state group and stemming the advance of u.s.-backed kurdish forces. turkish troops are stationed in rebel-held territory on both sides of afrin.most read storiesunlimited digital access. $1 for 4 weeks.






russia strikes deal with syrian kurds to set up base | syria news


russia is setting up a military base in northwestern syria in agreement with the syrian-kurdish ypg armed group that controls the area, and will be training ypg fighters as part of the fight against "terrorism", a spokesman for the armed group said. ypg spokesman redur xelil told reuters news agency on monday the agreement with russia was concluded on sunday, and russian troops had already arrived to the village of kaf jina, in the northwestern region of afrin, with troop carriers and armoured vehicles."the russian presence ... comes in agreement between [the ypg] and the russian forces operating in syria in the framework of cooperation against terrorism and to help train our forces on modern warfare and to build a direct point of contact with russian forces," xelil said in a statement."it






is trump 'playing with fire' by backing kurds in syria? | middle east


us support for kurds in syria is leading to threats of retaliation from turkey.a coalition of countries led by the us is planning a 30,000-strong force in syria, just across the border with turkey.turkey's president recep tayyip erdogan thinks the kurdish-led force is a threat and is vowing to attack the city of afrin in northern syria.afrin is a a major stronghold of ypg kurdish fighters. turkey considers the ypg a "terrorist" group linked to the kurdistan workers' party. its pkk fighters have waged a long war against turkish dominance.how much volatility will be added to the war zone?presenter: jane duttonguests:giran ozcan - peoples' democratic party representative to the usmetin gurcan - security analyst and former military officer in turkeyjohsua landis - center for middle east studie






is trump 'playing with fire' by backing kurds in syria? | middle east


us support for kurds in syria is leading to threats of retaliation from turkey.a coalition of countries led by the us is planning a 30,000-strong force in syria, just across the border with turkey.turkey's president recep tayyip erdogan thinks the kurdish-led force is a threat and is vowing to attack the city of afrin in northern syria.afrin is a major stronghold of ypg kurdish fighters. turkey considers the ypg a "terrorist" group linked to the kurdistan workers' party (pkk). its pkk fighters have waged a long war against turkish dominance.how much volatility will be added to the war zone?presenter: jane duttonguests:giran ozcan - peoples' democratic party representative to the usmetin gurcan - security analyst and former military officer in turkeyjoshua landis - center for middle east st






turkey vows imminent assault on kurdish enclave in syria


istanbul — turkey's president said sunday the country will launch a military assault on a kurdish enclave in northern syria "in the coming days," and urged the u.s. to support its efforts.president recep tayyip erdogan said the operation against the afrin enclave aims to "purge terror" from his country's southern border.afrin is controlled by a syrian kurdish militia known as the ypg. turkey considers the ypg to be a terrorist group linked to the outlawed kurdistan workers' party (pkk) that has waged a bloody insurgency within its borders.a ypg spokesman in afrin said clashes erupted after midnight between his unit and turkish troops near the border with turkey. rojhat roj said the shelling of areas in afrin district, in aleppo province, killed one ypg fighter and injured a couple of civil






syria threatens to down turkish jets over its kurdish region


beirut — syria said on thursday its air defense would shoot down any turkish jets that carry out attacks within syria, a stark warning as tensions soar over apparent preparations by the turkish military to invade a northern syrian kurdish enclave.from damascus, deputy foreign minister faysal mekdad said a military incursion into syria's kurdish-controlled enclave of afrin would be "no picnic" for turkey.any such operation would be considered an "aggressive act," mekdad said.the escalation comes after the united states disclosed plans to form a 30,000-strong border force in syria led by the kurdish-dominated syrian democratic forces in the wake of the victory over the islamic state group. turkey reacted angrily to the announcement.turkey regards the syrian kurdish militia that controls afri






turkey vows imminent assault on kurdish enclave in syria


istanbul — turkey's president said sunday the country will launch a military assault on a kurdish enclave in northern syria "in the coming days" and urged the u.s. to support its efforts.president recep tayyip erdogan said the operation against the afrin enclave aims to "purge terror" from his country's southern border.afrin is controlled by a syrian kurdish militia known as the ypg. turkey considers the ypg to be a terrorist group linked to the outlawed kurdistan workers' party (pkk) that has waged a bloody insurgency within its borders.a ypg spokesman in afrin said clashes erupted after midnight between his unit and turkish troops near the border with turkey. rojhat roj said the shelling of areas in afrin district, in aleppo province, killed one ypg fighter and injured a couple of civili






russia urges turkey to help stop rebel raids in syria


moscow (ap) — the russian military has urged its turkish counterparts to tighten monitoring of opposition in northern syria in the wake of a drone attack on russian military bases in the country.russia’s defense ministry said its forces repelled a series of drone attacks saturday, adding that out of the 13 drones involved, seven were shot down and six were forced to land without causing any damage.the official military daily krasnaya zvezda said the ministry sent letters to the turkish military, asking it to deploy observers to syria’s northern province of idlib to ensure that rebels don’t launch more attacks.russia has backed syrian president bashar assad while turkey has supported his foes, but they struck a deal last year to set up de-escalation zones in syria, helping reduce fighting.m






australia halts syria air strikes after russia warning


australia’s military said it was temporarily halting air missions over syria, following the shooting down of a syrian jet by us forces. the decision came amid increasing tension between the us and russia, which warned it would track coalition aircraft in syria as potential “targets” and halted a military hotline with washington over the incident. “as…






turkey vows to 'drown' us-backed syrian kurdish force


beirut — turkey's president on monday denounced u.s. plans to form a 30,000-strong kurdish-led border security force in syria, vowing to "drown this terror force before it is born," as russia and syria also rejected the idea.president recep tayyip erdogan also warned u.s. troops against coming between turkish troops and kurdish forces, which ankara views as an extension of turkey's own kurdish insurgency.turkey has been threatening to launch a new military operation against the main syrian kurdish militia, known as the people's defense units, or ypg, in the kurdish-held afrin enclave in northern syria. the ypg is the backbone of a syrian force that drove the islamic state group from much of northern and eastern syria with the help of u.s.-led airstrikes.russia has also warned that the nasc






turkey to launch imminent syria operation against ypg | syria news


turkey's president vowed "to purge terrorism" across the border in syria as turkish forces pounded us-backed fighters with artillery fire on sunday.a military operation in northern syria against the city of afrin - controlled by the syrian kurdish armed group ypg - will be launched "in the days ahead", president recep tayyip erdogan was quoted by the official anadolu news agency as saying.he said the attack on afrin would be an extension of the 2016 euphrates shield operation, which targeted islamic state of iraq and the levant (isil) fighters, as well as the ypg. the eight-month combat effort officially ended in march 2017.turkish soldiers are currently based in rebel-held territory on both sides of afrin."in the coming days, god willing, we will continue with the afrin [operation] that w






turkey to launch imminent syria operation against ypg | news


turkey's president vowed "to purge terrorism" across the border in syria, as turkish forces pounded us-backed fighters with artillery fire on sunday.a military operation in northern syria against the city of afrin - controlled by the syrian kurdish armed group ypg - will be launched "in the days ahead", president recep tayyip erdogan was quoted as saying by the official anadolu news agency.he said the attack on afrin would be an extension of the 2016 euphrates shield operation, which targeted islamic state of iraq and the levant (isil, also known as isis) fighters, as well as the ypg. the eight-month combat effort officially ended in march 2017.turkish soldiers are currently based in rebel-held territory on both sides of afrin."in the coming days, god willing, we will continue with the afr






us military: no 'support' for kurdish ypg in afrin | news


syrian kurdish fighters previously armed by the united states are no longer part of the battle against isil and the us-led coalition doesn't support them, a us military official said on tuesday. the comments were the first indication by american officials that us-led forces may not intervene if turkey follows through with a promised cross-border military operation to wipe out the group known as ypg, which controls the afrin region along turkey's southern border.the comments - reported by turkey's anadolu news agency - came after senior turkish officials threatened an imminent attack against the syrian kurdish people's protection units (ypg).the united states has viewed the ypg as the most effective fighting force against islamic state of iraq and the levant (isil, also known as isis) - and






are the us and russia headed for a conflict in syria? | syria


russia says it will shoot down any aircraft that flies west of the euphrates river in syria.the us military shot down a syrian fighter jet on saturday. the white house is insisting the action was taken in self-defence.but the russian and syrian governments have condemned it.what does this mean for the war in syria?presenter: sohail rahmanguests:pavel felgenhauer - defence and military analyst; a columnist with the russian newspaper novaya gazetajean-marc rickli - head of global risk at the geneva centre for security policylarry korb - senior fellow at the centre for american progress; a former naval flight officersource: al jazeera news






are the us and russia headed for a conflict in syria? | syria


russia says it will shoot down any aircraft that flies west of the euphrates river in syria.the us military shot down a syrian fighter jet on saturday. the white house is insisting the action was taken in self-defence.but the russian and syrian governments have condemned it.what does this mean for the war in syria?presenter: sohail rahmanguests:pavel felgenhauer - defence and military analyst; a columnist with the russian newspaper novaya gazetajean-marc rickli - head of global risk at the geneva centre for security policylarry korb - senior fellow at the centre for american progress; a former naval flight officersource: al jazeera news






australia halts syria air strikes after russia warning | syria news


australia's military said it was temporarily halting air missions over syria, following the shooting down of a syrian jet by us forces.the decision came amid increasing tension between the us and russia, which warned it would track coalition aircraft in syria as potential "targets" and halted a military hotline with washington over the incident."as a precautionary measure, australian defence force (adf) strike operations into syria have temporarily ceased," australia's department of defence said in a statement."adf operations in iraq will continue as part of the coalition."russia made clear it was changing its military posture in response to the us downing of a syrian military jet on sunday, which, according to damascus, is the first such incident since the start of the conflict in 2011. r






iran seeks stronger russia alliance after u.s. strikes in syria


dubai—following a u.s. strike on a syrian air base, iran has sought to buttress ties with a key ally: russia.on saturday, several iranian military officials and diplomats discussed the conflict in syria with russian counterparts, after dozens of u.s. tomahawk cruise missile strikes on thursday targeted the shayrat airfield near homs, syria.the u.s. strikes marked the first time during syria’s civil war that the u.s. directly...






russia’s putin stops at russian military base in syria


moscow (ap) — russian president vladimir putin visited a russian military air base in syria on monday and announced a partial pullout of russian forces from the country.putin made a stopover at the hemeimeem air base in syria’s coastal province of latakia while en route to egypt.the base, in the heartland of syrian president bashar assad’s alawite minority, has served as the main foothold for the russian military campaign in syria.speaking to the russian troops at the base, putin said that he had ordered the military to withdraw a “significant part” of the russian contingent in syria. he added in remarks carried by russian news agencies that “if the terrorists again raise their heads, we will deal such blows to them they have never seen.”meanwhile, syrian state tv said that ashar assad met






russian defense minister happy with results of syria mission


moscow — russia's defense minister has hailed the military's performance in syria, saying new russian weapons have proven their worth in the conflict.sergei shoigu told the russian parliament wednesday that the military has tested 162 types of weapons in syria, and only 10 of them have failed to meet expectations.shoigu said russian pilots have flown 1,760 combat missions in syria since the launch of the air campaign in september 2015, killing more than 3,100 militants, including 26 warlords. he said russia helped prevent the collapse of the syrian state.shoigu said that nearly 90 percent of all russian military pilots have gained combat experience in the skies over syria.the minister said that the military's special forces also have performed well in the conflict, targeting the militant l






russia's putin stops at russian military base in syria


moscow — russian president vladimir putin visited a russian military air base in syria on monday and announced a partial pullout of russian forces from the country.putin made a stopover at the hemeimeem air base in syria's coastal province of latakia while en route to egypt.the base, in the heartland of syrian president bashar assad's alawite minority, has served as the main foothold for the russian military campaign in syria.speaking to the russian troops at the base, putin said that he had ordered the military to withdraw a "significant part" of the russian contingent in syria. he added in remarks carried by russian news agencies that "if the terrorists again raise their heads, we will deal such blows to them they have never seen."meanwhile, syrian state tv said that ashar assad met up w






u.s. left with no good options in syria after apparent chemical attack


syria is the problem from hell that has only grown worse in recent years, leaving the u.s. with no good options after an apparent chemical attack killed at least 72 people, many of them children.it appears that forces loyal to syrian president bashar al-assad were responsible for the apparent war crime on the idlib province, a rebel stronghold. syria and russia, which has sent military support to assad, has said the weapons came from a rebel stockpile.over the course of the six-year conflict, the u.s. has tried diplomacy. but the bloody conflict’s death toll has climbed to 500,000 -- and five million people have fled as refugees.while former president obama had tried diplomacy with both assad and russia, the obama administration had declared the use of chemical weapons as a “red line” befo






u.s. and russia clash at u.n. over syria sanctions


united nations—russia and the u.s. clashed openly at the security council over a syria sanctions resolution, a confrontation signaling washington and moscow don’t see eye to eye on some of the world’s top security crises.the u.s. on tuesday accused russia of covering for syria’s use of chemical weapons, and russia accused the u.s. of using false pretenses to impose sanctions to try to topple syria’s government.the tense...






turkey bolsters syria border as us force plan slammed | turkey news


turkey has sent military reinforcements along its border with syria, according to state media, as ankara, damascus and moscow all attacked a us plan to form a new border security force in the war-torn country's northeast.citing military sources, anadolu agency reported on monday that two dozen armoured vehicles had entered reyhanli district of southeastern hatay province.a separate 20-vehicle army convoy, which included tanks, had also arrived in viransehir district of southeastern sanliurfa province.the forces were sent to assist the military units already deployed along the syrian border, said anadolu.the deployments came a day after turkish president recep tayyip erdogan said that a military operation in northern syria against the city of afrin - controlled by the syrian kurdish people'






turkey bolsters syria border as us force plan slammed | turkey news


turkey has sent military reinforcements along its border with syria, according to state media, as ankara, damascus and moscow all attacked a us plan to form a new border security force in the war-torn country's northeast.citing military sources, anadolu agency reported on monday that two dozen armoured vehicles had entered reyhanli district of southeastern hatay province.a separate 20-vehicle army convoy, which included tanks, had also arrived in viransehir district of southeastern sanliurfa province.the forces were sent to assist the military units already deployed along the syrian border, said anadolu.the deployments came a day after turkish president recep tayyip erdogan said that a military operation in northern syria against the city of afrin - controlled by the syrian kurdish people'






do russians care about syria? | russia


the first thought that crossed mark isaev's mind when he heard of the start of the russian military operation in syria on september 30, 2015 was that it would be like afghanistan."and here goes syria as well. they will be sending russian troops to syria, i thought," says the 53-year-old afghan war veteran. "politicians take decisions, and we, the military men, follow orders."in 1987, as the war was raging on in afghanistan, isaev - then a fresh military college graduate - was waiting to leave for libya, where he was to work as a military instructor. just weeks before his departure, the military administration discovered a problem in his papers: he was not a member of the communist party. isaev says he refused to join the party and as a result was sent to fight in afghanistan. his deploymen






the latest: turkey says idlib operation near complete


beirut — the latest on developments in syria (all times local):12:45 p.m.turkish president recep tayyip erdogan says an operation to implement a "de-escalation" zone in syria's northern idlib province is "to a great extent complete."addressing legislators from his ruling party in parliament on tuesday, erdogan suggested that turkish troops could now target syria's border region of afrin, which is controlled by syrian kurdish groups. turkey considers the syrian militia to be terrorists because of their links to kurdish rebels fighting turkey."we have the issue of afrin ahead of us," erdogan said. "we cannot make any concessions. as we have said before, we may arrive suddenly one night; we may hit (them) suddenly one night."turkey sent troops into syria earlier this month to set up "observat






erdogan calls on russia, us to pull troops out of syria | turkey news


turkish president recep tayyip erdogan has suggested russia and the us should pull their troops out of war-torn syria after their leaders - vladimir putin and donald trump - said there was "no military solution" to the country's long-running conflict."i am having trouble understanding these comments," erdogan was quoted by reporters as saying on monday before he flew out to russia's coastal city of sochi for talks with putin."if a military solution [in syria] is out of the question, then those who say this [russia and the us] should pull their troops out ... and steps for a political solution should be taken," he said.erdogan's comments came two days after the kremlin released a statement, issued on the sidelines of an asia-pacific summit in vietnam, in which putin and trump agreed there w






public agencies lock down all information about gatlinburg wildfires


wildfires erupt along highway 441 on monday, nov. 28, 2016, near gatlinburg.  jessica tezak/news sentinelfullscreen chris and trina rial look over to where a neighbor died as they retrieved some of their belongings from their room at travelers on u.s. 321 in gatlinburg on friday, dec. 2, 2016, following the devastating fires on monday night.  michael patrick/news sentinelfullscreen an aerial view shows gatlinburg the day after a wildfire hit the city on tuesday, nov. 29, 2016, in sevier county.  paul efird/news sentinelfullscreen u.s. forest service firefighter chad heck, from the colville national forest in washington state, looks up at a fire damaged tree in the great smoky mountains national park near gatlinburg, tenn., wednesday, dec. 7, 2016. hundreds of firefighters continue to c