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Rodi Said/Reuters Roughly 40 US commandos held off about 500 pro-Syrian government forces – including Russian mercenaries – in an intense firefight in early February, The New York Times reports. None of the US troops were harmed, but hundreds of the pro-Syrian government forces were killed. The firefight took place at an outpost next to a Conoco gas station in eastern Syria on February 7. Roughly 40 US commandos held off around 500 pro-Syrian government forces — including Russian mercenaries — in an intense firefight in early February, The New York... [Read More]
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Syrian President Bashar al-Assad hailed Russia's hand in his recent victories during a meeting in Damascus on Wednesday with the Kremlin's special envoy to talks on the conflict. It came just days after his troops secured the capital from jihadists and less than a week since Assad travelled to Sochi to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin. On Wednesday, the Russian envoy to Syria was in Damascus to meet Assad and other top Syrian officials, state news agency SANA reported. Alexander Lavrentiev relayed Putin's congratulations to Assad on the capital's recapture, according to the agency. Russia has backed Syria's government... [Read More]
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Syria's deputy foreign minister said Wednesday Damascus did not envisage Iran and Hezbollah participating in the withdrawal of foreign forces from the war-torn country as announced last week by Russia. Asked whether the removal of Iranian and Hezbollah forces could end Israel's strikes on Syria, Faisal Mekdad told RIA Novosti state news agency that "this topic is not even on the agenda for discussion." "All these forces oppose terrorism. They are not making an attempt to violate the sovereignty and territory of Syria," he said in comments translated into Russian. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met Vladimir Putin in the... [Read More]
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World leaders should boycott Russian President Vladimir Putin's VIP box at next month's World Cup opening unless he takes steps to protect Syrian civilians, Human Rights Watch said Tuesday. Russia, which hosts the world's most-watched sporting event for the first time this year, is a key backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime and arguably the most powerful broker in the seven-year-old war. "In hosting one of the most televised events in the world, Russia is courting world public opinion and looking for respect," HRW's executive director, Kenneth Roth, said in a statement. "World leaders should signal to President... [Read More]
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