Bassem Mroue, The Associated Press

  • In this July 23, 2019, file photo, security forces detonate an explosive device placed by the Islamic State militants during a search operation in Taramiyah, 50 kilometers (31 miles) north of Baghdad, Iraq. (Hadi Mizban/AP)
    ISIS extremists step up attacks as Iraq, Syria grapple with virus

    The renewed mayhem is a sign that the militant group is taking advantage of governments absorbed in tackling the coronavirus pandemic and the ensuing slide into economic chaos.

  • Turkish-backed fighters prepare to go to the frontline in the Syrian province of Idlib, Monday, Feb. 10, 2020. (Ghaith Alsayed/AP)
    Turkey says it has retaliated after deadly Syrian shelling

    Turkey said it retaliated Monday after “intense” shelling by Syrian forces killed five of its soldiers and wounded five others in Syria’s northern Idlib province, a marked escalation a week after a similarly deadly clash between the two sides.

  • Syrian rebel drive toward the government positions near the village of Nerab, in Idlib province, Thursday, Feb. 6, 2020. (Ghaith Alsayed/AP)
    Syrian army enters key town as Turkey beefs up its troops

    Syrian government troops entered a strategic town in the country’s last rebel stronghold Thursday after fierce clashes with opposition fighters, even as Turkey sent reinforcements seeking to curtail the offensive, Syrian state media reported.

  • This Monday, Jan. 27, 2020, photo, released by the Syrian official news agency SANA, Syrian army soldiers flash the victory sign as they stand on their tank in western rural Aleppo, Syria. Syrian government forces pressed in their offensive Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2020, closing in on a major rebel stronghold in the northwestern province of Idlib and marching against insurgents west of Aleppo, Syria's largest city, state media and opposition activists said Tuesday. (SANA via AP)
    Syrian troops capture key town in rebel-held Idlib province

    Syrian government forces captured one of the largest and most strategic rebel-held towns in the country's northwest, the Syrian military and opposition activists said Wednesday.

  • Posters of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani and deputy commander of Iran-backed militias Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, both killed in a U.S. strike earlier this month, hang on the walls Jan. 16, 2020, at the site where they were killed in Baghdad, Iraq. (Hadi Mizban/AP)
    ISIS tries to stage comeback amid rising US-Iran tensions

    The Islamic State group’s self-styled “caliphate” across parts of Iraq and Syria seemed largely defeated last year, with the loss of its territory, the killing of its founder in a U.S. raid and an unprecedented crackdown on its social media propaganda machine.

  • Turkey-backed Syrian fighters take over areas on the road between Tal Abyad and Kobane on Oct. 24, 2019, as Kurdish forces in northeastern Syria left several positions along the long border with Turkey, complying with a deal that sees Damascus, (Bakr Alkasem/AFP via Getty Images)
    Syrian government says Turkish-led forces attacked its troops

    Turkish forces and their allies attacked Syrian government troops in northeastern Syria on Thursday, killing some of them, and they also clashed with Kurdish-led fighters, the state news agency in Damascus and a war monitoring group said.

  • Smoke billows from fires in Ras al-Ayn, Syria, Sunday, Oct. 20, 2019. (Lefteris Pitarakis/AP)
    Kurds begin evacuation from besieged Syrian town amid reports of cease-fire violations on both sides

    Kurdish-led fighters and Turkish-backed forces clashed sporadically Sunday in northeastern Syria amid efforts to work out a Kurdish evacuation from a besieged border town, the first pull-back under the terms of a U.S.-brokered cease-fire. Turkey said one of its soldiers was killed in the day’s violence.

  • Residents welcome Syrian soldiers shortly after they entered the northern town of Tal Tamr on Monday, Oct 14, 2019. (SANA via AP)
    Syrian army moves to confront Turkish forces as US withdraws

    The Syrian army's deployment near the Turkish border came hours after Syrian Kurdish forces previously allied with the U.S. said they had reached a deal with President Bashar Assad's government to help fend off Turkey's invasion, now in its sixth day.