Bashar al-Assad

Le Pen says al-Assad is better solution for Syria than Islamic State

France's far-right leader and presidential candidate Marine Le Pen said Monday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad remains the more reassuring solution for France than Islamic State.

Monitor: Syrian forces kill 16 firing rockets on Damascus outskirts

Syrian government forces fired at least 10 rockets at the north-eastern Damascus suburb of al-Qaboun on Sunday, killing 16 people in an attack that began a day earlier, a monitoring group said.

Amnesty: Syrian government jail secretly hanged up to 13,000 people

A military jail authorized at the highest levels of the Syrian government has overseen a "monstrous campaign" of secret atrocities, including the hanging of up to 13,000 people in five years, Amnesty International said on Tuesday.

Boris Johnson: Need to "think afresh" policy that al-Assad must go

Britain must be prepared to "think afresh" its demand that President Bashar al-Assad must go in order for the civil war in Syria to end, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on Thursday.

Russia, Syrian rebels cautious on Trump's call for Syria "safe zones"

Opposing sides in the Syrian civil war appeared cautious on Thursday about US President Donald Trump's vague pronouncement that he will "absolutely do safe zones in Syria."

US congresswoman meets with Assad

Democratic Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard on Wednesday said she met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on a recent fact-finding trip to the region.

Syria's al-Assad hopes Astana talks will lead to dialogue with rebels

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has said he hopes that peace talks planned next week in Astana will set the scene for a future dialogue between his government and opposition groups.

Syrian government pushes to regain Damascus water source from rebels

Syrian government forces on Thursday advanced into a rebel-held area near the capital Damascus where the city's water source is located, a monitoring group reported.

Russia urges Syria's government to seek peace after battle for Aleppo

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday urged his Syrian counterpart Bashar al-Assad, a longtime ally, to seek a comprehensive agreement on resolving the Syrian conflict.

Al-Assad claims "liberation" of Aleppo

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad claims the "liberation" of Aleppo from the opposition.

Evacuations in east Aleppo delayed as anxious residents await fate

The evacuation of rebels from east Aleppo was delayed even as a ceasefire held on Wednesday, while civilians in the enclave anxiously awaited news on their fate under a deal allowing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to reassert control over the city.

Pope writes to al-Assad: Spare civilians, let in humanitarian aid

Pope Francis has written a letter to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad urging him to spare civilians from violence and guarantee safe passage for humanitarian aid deliveries, the Vatican press office said Monday.

Syrian opposition vows no concessions to al-Assad despite Aleppo

The head of the main body negotiating for the Syrian opposition vows that he will not make any concessions on key demands, despite the imminent fall of rebel-held Aleppo to the Syrian government's forces.

Russia: Syria peace talks blocked by those seeking al-Assad's ouster

Syrian peace talks are being blocked by those seeking to oust President Bashar al-Assad in violation of a United Nations resolution, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday.

Red Cross: Fighting in rebel Aleppo enclave triggers exodus

Hundreds of Syrians are arriving every hour in government-controlled areas of Aleppo as they flee fighting in the opposition enclave of the divided city, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said Thursday. 

Al-Assad: Trump could be "natural ally" against terrorism

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says US president-elect Donald Trump would be a "natural ally" against terrorism if he could overcome "countervailing forces" in the US administration.

Bashar al-Assad expects to rule Syria until at least 2021

Bashar al-Assad expects to rule Syria until 2021 despite the ongoing civil war raging in the country, the Syrian President told a gathering of Western journalists in Damascus.

Monitor: Regime recaptures rebel-held town in central Syria

Syrian regime troops on Thursday recaptured a key town from rebels in the central province of Hama following a major offensive, a monitoring group reported.

Syrian leader's wife Asma al-Assad says she rejected asylum offers

Asma al-Assad, the wife of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, told Russian television on Tuesday that she had rejected offers of asylum from her husband's opponents.

Assad wants to conquer Aleppo and force "terrorists back to Turkey"

Syria's northern city of Aleppo is a decisive point in the country's civil war, President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview published in Russia on Friday.

Russia ratifies deal to permanently station troops in Syria

Russia's lower house of parliament on Friday ratified an agreement presented by President Vladimir Putin to indefinitely station combat aircraft and soldiers in Syria.

Syria's al-Assad denies Syrian forces targeting hospitals

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad rejected allegations his government or its Russian allies were deliberately targeting hospitals in besieged areas, he said in an interview aired Thursday.

Syrian forces, backed by Russian air power, advance in Aleppo

Syrian regime forces, backed by airstrikes from their Russian allies, advanced against opposition rebels in the divided city of Aleppo on Sunday, a monitoring group and state media reported.

US accuses Russia of "concerted campaign" to bomb civilians in Syria

The United States is accusing Russia and its ally, the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, of conducting a "concerted campaign ... to bomb civilians into submission" in the war-torn country.

Syrian death toll rises to 90 in US-led air raid, monitor says

The death toll among Syrian government troops in airstrikes by the US-led coalition the day before has risen to 90, a monitoring group reported on Sunday.

US, Russia quarrel at UN over airstrike that hit Syrian troops

The UN ambassadors from the United States and Russia clashed angrily Saturday ahead of an emergency session of the UN Security Council over an airstrike by US-led coalition forces in Syria that killed dozens of Syrian government troops.

Syria says US-led coalition bombing allows Islamic State advance

A US-led air alliance has struck a Syrian army position in eastern Syria and has allowed the Islamic State terrorist militia to advance in the area, Damascus says.

Syria's al-Assad vows to regain rebel territory "without hesitation"

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad vows that his troops will regain areas still controlled by rebels in the country "without hesitation or relenting."

Dozens of civilians killed in Syria after US, Russia agree to ceasefire

Deadly violence raged Saturday in several areas of Syria, shortly after the United States and Russia sealed an ambitious agreement aimed at reducing violence in the country and relaunching a UN-sponsored peace process.

Syrian regime takes control of Damascus suburb amid full evacuation

The Syrian army took control of Daraya near the capital Damascus on Saturday after completing the evacuation of civilians and rebel fighters from the town, monitors and state media reported.

Syria slams Turkish incursion as a breach of sovereignty

The Syrian government says the Turkish operation in northern Syria is a "flagrant breach" of the country's sovereignty.

Syrian Kurds, government forces reach ceasefire in north

Syrian Kurdish forces and militias loyal to President Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday reached a ceasefire deal after more than a week of heavy clashes in al-Hassakeh that claimed dozens of lives.

Syrian Kurds urge al-Assad loyalists to surrender in north-east

Kurdish forces in north-eastern Syria called on fighters loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to lay down their arms and surrender, amid an advance in al-Hassakeh city.

Omran's brother dies in Aleppo hospital, cameraman says

The brother of Omran, the young boy pictured covered in dust in an ambulance after an airstrike in Aleppo, died Saturday from wounds sustained in the same attack, according to the journalist who shot the original picture.

Turkey says al-Assad starting to view Kurds as a "threat"

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said Saturday he believes Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is beginning to view as a "threat" Kurdish forces in the north who are backed by the United States and battling Islamic State.

Kurds claim advances against Syrian government amid fresh airstrikes

Kurdish forces backed by the United States made gains against militias loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the pro-Kurdish Firat news agency reported Friday, amid renewed clashes and a fresh wave of airstrikes.

Syrian forces, rebels fight in Aleppo amid push for truce

Syrian government forces and rebels on Friday exchanged retaliatory attacks in Aleppo where the United Nations is pushing for a temporary truce to allow badly needed humanitarian aid into the divided city.

Al-Assad departure key to Syrian solution, Johnson says

The departure of President Bashar al-Assad is crucial to resolving the conflict in Syria, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said ahead of talks with his US and European counterparts on Tuesday.

Reports: Syrian regime areas celebrate attempted coup in Turkey

Celebratory gunfire and fireworks filled the skies in Syrian areas under the control of president Bashar al-Assad as news circulated that the Turkish military was attempting to overthrow President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, eyewitnesses in Damascus tell dpa.

Al-Assad denies Russia discussed political transition in Syria

President Bashar al-Assad said Russian leadership never discussed a political transition with him, while he heaped praise on Moscow, and derision on Washington, over their bombing campaigns in the country.

Syrian forces advance in Aleppo despite truce, monitors say

Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad regained area from rebels in northern Aleppo province and were coming close to a strategic road Thursday just a day after the announcement of a unilateral ceasefire, a monitoring group reported. 

Al-Assad: West negotiates with Syria as it publicly condemns regime

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has called the West two-faced in its relations with Syria, accusing the US and European nations of negotiating behind closed doors while publicly attacking the actions of his government.

Al-Assad: West deals with us under the table

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview broadcast on Friday that the West secretly deals with his government while attacking it in public.

US-backed Syrian rebels advance on Islamic State-held border town

US-backed Syrian rebels have made more advances towards a key Islamic State-held town on the border with Iraq, a monitoring group said Wednesday.

Syria's al-Assad names new prime minister

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has appointed Emad Khamis as prime minister and tasked him with forming a new government, Syria's state news agency SANA reports.

Russia warns US: regime change in Syria could lead to "total chaos"

Regime change in Syria could plunge the region into "total chaos," a Kremlin spokesman warned Friday, a day after media reports that dozens of US diplomatic staff members had called for military strikes against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Russia warns US regime change in Syria could lead to "total chaos"

Regime change in Syria could plunge the region into chaos, a Kremlin spokesman warned on Friday, a day after media reports that dozens of US diplomatic staff members had called for military strikes against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Syria's al-Assad vows to "liberate every inch" of country

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad vowed Tuesday to "liberate every inch" of the country from groups opposed to his rule, while threatening that forces loyal to rival Turkey will be destroyed in northern Aleppo province.

There should be "consequences" for al-Assad blocking aid, Saudis say

There should be "consequences" for the Syrian government blocking aid to besieged rebel-held areas of the country, the Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said Monday on the sidelines of the World Humanitarian Summit.

60,000 have died due to maltreatment in Syrian jails, monitor says

At least 60,000 people have died due to torture and maltreatment in Syrian jails since a revolt against President Bashar al-Assad broke out five years ago, a monitoring group said Saturday, quoting sources within the country's security forces.

Russia seeks distance from Syria's al-Assad amid Vienna peace talks

Russia, long one of the key backers of the Syrian government as the country disintegrated into civil war, distanced itself from embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday as international peace talks resumed in Vienna.

Al-Qaeda Syria branch seizes key village from regime forces: monitor

Islamist rebels led by al-Qaeda's Syria branch, al-Nusra Front, seized a key village loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and kidnapped dozens of people, a monitoring group reported Thursday.

Saudi foreign minister: Al-Assad will not get away with Aleppo crimes

The world will not stand by as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his foreign allies massacre civilians in Aleppo, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir warned Monday as he met his US counterpart John Kerry in Geneva.

Obama rejects Syria ground troops; says pressure on Russia, Iran key

US President Barack Obama told the BBC that any Western attempt to overthrow the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad using ground troops would be a mistake, but international pressure on his allies could help bring about a settlement.

Syrian polls yield expected win for al-Assad's Baath Party

The Baath Party of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has taken a majority in the country's rubberstamp parliament after polls held in regime-controlled areas on Wednesday, state media reported overnight.

UN restarts peace talks as al-Assad holds elections

The United Nations resumed Syrian peace talks Wednesday in Geneva without waiting for the Syrian government to complete its elections for a rubber-stamp parliament.

Massive data leak links scores of world leaders to illicit dealings

A huge leak of 11.5 million documents from a Panama-based law firm reveals how top politicians, sports stars and criminals hide their money using offshore tax havens, Germany's Sueddeutsche Zeitung said Sunday.

Al-Assad estimates Syrian civil war's damage at 200 billion dollars

Syria's civil war has caused upwards of 200 billion dollars of damage, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview published Wednesday.

Syria's al-Assad and ally Putin mark major gain in ancient Palmyra

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his Russian ally Vladimir Putin Sunday chalked up a major victory with the capture of the ancient city of Palmyra in Syria's central desert from Islamic State jihadists.

Syrian forces gain ground in Palmyra despite militant counter-attack

Syrian government forces on Saturday reversed a counter-attack by Islamic State in the central city of Palmyra and recaptured districts in the ancient city from the terrorist militia, Syria's state media and activists reported.

Syrian regime forces advance inside Islamic State-held Palmyra

Syrian government forces, backed by Russian airpower, Friday made further advances into the Islamic State-controlled city of Palmyra, a day after entering the ancient city, Syrian state media and activists reported. 

Karadzic genocide verdict gives us hope, Syrian opposition says

The genocide verdict of former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic sends a positive signal for those who seek justice for human rights violations in Syria, a senior Syrian opposition representative says.

Activists: Al-Assad should be punished for 50,000 dead detainees

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should face justice for tens of thousands of people who have perished in the regime's detention centres, Syrian activists demanded Thursday in Geneva.

Syrian government: Direct talks hinge on opposition's apology

Hopes for Syria’s imminent direct talks sank Wednesday when the government ruled out face-to-face negotiations, unless the opposition chief negotiator apologizes for demanding the execution of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Radical Islamist negotiator demands al-Assad's execution

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad should receive the death sentence, radical Islamist opposition representative Mohammed Aloush tells dpa at the Syrian peace talks.

Ceasefire in Syria goes into effect - calm prevailing, activists say

A ceasefire went into effect across large parts of Syria at midnight (2200 GMT Friday) after major rebel factions, President Bashar al-Assad's government and the largest Kurdish militia agreed to adhere to a "cessation of hostilities."

Kremlin: Saudi Arabian king confirms support for Syrian ceasefire

A Syrian ceasefire set to start at the weekend garnered another critical vote of support Wednesday, when Saudi Arabia's king confirmed his country's backing for the plan during a telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Syrian government accepts Russia-US ceasefire deal, but doubts linger

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has accepted a ceasefire deal agreed by Russia and the United States that is set to begin later this week, the state-run SANA news agency reported Tuesday.

Syrian government accepts Russia-US ceasefire deal

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has accepted a ceasefire deal agreed by Russia and the United States that is set to begin later this week, the state-run SANA news agency reported Tuesday.

Syrian rebels say ceasefire dependent on Russia and Iran

Syrian rebels are willing to agree to a temporary truce as long as there are international guarantees that Damascus' allies Russia and Iran will stick to it, the head of the opposition negotiations committee said on Saturday.

Al-Assad: proposed Syria truce unworkable

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad says that an internationally backed proposal to bring about a truce this week is unworkable.

Russia doubts success of Syrian truce amid "intensified" air campaign

Sergei Lavrov, speaking at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday, said there was a "49-per-cent" chance that a temporary truce between regime forces and the Syrian opposition would succeed.

Kerry: Russia must stop targeting Syrian opposition to enable truce

Russia must stop targeting Syria's legitimate opposition as part of an air campaign in support of President Bashar al-Assad before a truce can be implemented next week, US Secretary of State John Kerry said Saturday.

Turkey expects up to 60,000 refugees from Aleppo, minister says

Turkey is expecting an overall 60,000 refugees to arrive from the besieged Syrian province of Aleppo, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Saturday, following criticism that his country was refusing to let people in.

Russia-backed Syrian army presses ahead against rebels in Aleppo

The Syrian army, backed by Russian airstrikes, pressed ahead with a major attack in the northern province of Aleppo on Friday, forcing tens of thousands of civilians to flee to the Turkish border.

Syrian opposition meets U.N. envoy, demands action on humanitarian issues

A Saudi-backed Syrian opposition delegation met the U.N.'s special envoy Staffan de Mistura for the first time on Sunday demanding efforts to improve humanitarian conditions on the ground or they would shun political negotiations.

Putin asked Assad to "step aside," FT says

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent an envoy to Damascus late last year to ask Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to "step aside," the Financial Times reported on Friday.

Qatar views Russia as fundamental to maintaining global stability

Qatar's leader told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday that Moscow plays a fundamental role in maintaining global stability.

Putin: Russia could give asylum to Syria's al-Assad

Russia could give asylum to Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad if he is forced to leave his country, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview published Tuesday.

No food, fuel, electricity in Syrian town besieged by al-Assad's army

Residents of a rebel-held town near Damascus are suffering from severe malnutrition and have little access to fuel and medical supplies because of a siege by the Syrian military.

Syrian government ready to participate in UN-backed peace talks

More than 250,000 people are estimated to have been killed in Syria's conflict since it began in 2011 with peaceful anti-government protests.

Syrian government forces gain ground in Aleppo

Khan Touman is strategically important for the rebels because it overlooks regime-held areas in Aleppo, the Observatory's head, Rami Abdel-Rahman, told dpa.

UN resolution endorses peace talks in Syria starting early January

The UN Security Council on Friday passed a resolution endorsing a plan for a peace process in Syria, calling for talks to begin in January and tasking the UN with aiding the implementation and monitoring of a nationwide ceasefire.

Turkey accuses Russia of "ethnic cleansing" in Syria

Turkey's prime minister accuses Russia of the "ethnic cleansing" of Sunni Arabs and Turkmen in northern Syria, where Moscow has been carrying out airstrikes for two months.

Reports: More German troops needed for Syria, no work with al-Assad

The German Army has demanded an increase in troops following parliamentary approval for military involvement in the fight against Islamic State in Syria.