The State of U.S. Strategy in Syria
The State of U.S. Strategy in Syria
Angelina Jolie Criticizes UN Security Council on Syria Refugee Crisis
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After a presidential election on Tuesday and continued diplomatic maneuvering, the United States’ approach in the three-year crisis.
Actress Angelina Jolie pleaded with world powers Friday to help the millions of Syrian refugees, sharply criticizing the U.N. Security Council for being paralyzed by its division over Syria's four-year conflict. Jolie briefed the council as special envoy for the U.N. on refugee issues. Syria's ambassador said simply of her presence, "She's beautiful.
Syrian government aircraft bombed rebel-held areas in the capital's suburbs and a northern town and surrounding villages controlled by the Islamic State group, including a strike on a local hospital, killing at least 23 people Wednesday. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the airstrikes on the town of Dayr Hafir and surrounding villages in the northern province of Aleppo killed at least 12 people, including women and children, and wounded at least 40. The group said the casualty figures are likely to rise.
A group monitoring the war said on Thursday air strikes by the U.S.-led coalition in Syria have killed 2,079 people, including 66 civilians, since the start of the aerial campaign against Islamic State militants last September, The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a majority of the deaths, were Islamic State fighters. The hardline group has seized tracts of territory in Syria and neighboring Iraq, where it has also been targeted by U.S.-led forces since last July. The United States has said it takes reports of civilian casualties seriously and says it has a process to investigate each allegation.
U.S.-led forces targeted Islamic State militants in Syria with seven air strikes from Tuesday to Wednesday morning and conducted 11 strikes against the group in Iraq, the U.S. military said. Six of the strikes in Syria hit targets near Kobani, destroying Islamic State fighting positions and a vehicle and damaging tactical units, according to a military statement released on Wednesday. In Iraq, the strikes were concentrated near Bayji, where they hit a tactical unit and a command-and-control facility and destroyed a dump truck, motorcycle and armored vehicle. Coalition forces also conducted air strikes near Fallujah, Ramadi, Rawah and Tal Afar.
Russia is arming Iraq and Syria to help them fight Islamic State, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday, calling the radical militant group the main threat to his own country's security. If only because hundreds of Russian citizens, hundreds of Europeans, hundreds of Americans fight alongside IS," he said in an interview with three radio stations. Ties between Moscow and the West are at their lowest point in decades over the crisis in Ukraine, which was one of the main themes of the interview.
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