Syria

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Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters

Bombs are raining down from the sky every day in Aleppo. 

When residents hear the buzz of planes overhead, most dash for cover.

But a group of volunteers, known as the "White Helmets," continue to rush toward the destruction. And these days it seems their work just doesn't stop. 

"The last few days were like hell," says 29-year-old White Helmet Ishmael Alabdullah. "We don't have any electricity in Aleppo city, the darkness is everywhere ... All that we have now is just bombing, bombing, bombing." 

A judge has rejected a lawsuit filed by Texas officials who want to halt the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the state.

The suit claimed the Obama administration had not adequately consulted with states before placing the refugees. In his decision, signed Wednesday, U.S. District Judge David Godbey ruled that the state has no authority over resettlements handled by the federal government, which has authority over immigration policy.

Godbey also found the state had failed to present plausible evidence that Syrian refugees pose an imminent risk.

Bassam Alhamdan, father of six, meets his kids at the bus stop every afternoon.
KUOW/Liz Jones

A few months back, we introduced you to the Alhamdan family. They’re Syrian refugees. And among the first to arrive in Seattle since war broke out in their home country.


Raed Al Saleh has seen the city of Aleppo in dire straits before. As the head of the Syrian Civil Defense, he leads missions to find survivors after air raids and missile strikes.

But this week even he was shocked by the intensity of the attacks. The past few days in Aleppo are the worst the city has seen since the Syrian uprisings began five years ago, he says.

The Pentagon's final report on the deadly U.S. airstrike on a Médecins Sans Frontières trauma center in Kunduz, Afghanistan, last October concludes the incident was caused by "human errors, compounded by process and equipment failures."

Syrian kids who passed through Milan's Central Station last year did something very Italian: create artwork. While they waited for trains to take them to northern Europe, Save the Children offered them a chance to draw. They could depict whatever they wanted, says psychologist Vittoria Ardino, president of the Italian Society for the Study of Traumatic Stress, who analyzed 500 of these images.

Anna Pfeifer unlocks a door to one of the apartments for unaccompanied minors in the town of Ronneby, in southern Sweden. She says there are 50 kids at this complex, all between the ages of 15 and 18. They come from countries across Africa and the Middle East — mostly boys, and a handful of girls.

It wouldn't end all the violence that's torn at Syria for years now, but two key parties — President Bashar Assad's government and a main opposition group — have agreed to a truce, according to a joint statement by the U.S. and Russia.

An image of man passing a baby under a fence at the Hungarian-Serbian border has taken top honors at this year's World Press Photo of the Year.

The photo, titled "Hope for a New Life," was taken by Australian photographer Warren Richardson and shows a man with his eyes set on the horizon, passing the infant under coils of razor-wire into outstretched arms in the moonlight.

Aid convoys reached the besieged towns of Madaya, Foua and Kefraya on Monday. Since then, aid workers have reported horrifying scenes of malnutrition and deprivation.

Meanwhile, U.N. officials are emphasizing that the need in Syria extends far beyond those towns. Almost 400,000 people are living in besieged areas in Syria, the U.N. says.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley announced Thursday that the state is suing the U.S. government over the settlement of Syrian refugees. The lawsuit, filed in federal court, accuses the Obama administration of violating the Refugee Act of 1980 by not consulting states on the placement of refugees.

The photo of a 3-year-old child named Aylan Kurdi, face-down on a Turkish beach, has become emblematic of the suffering of refugees fleeing Syria's civil war.

Canada's new Prime Minister Justin Trudeau pledged to bring in 25,000 Syrians within a matter of months, but it's not just his government that's handling the massive task of resettling the refugees.

Across Canada, churches, communities and businesses are all pitching in, as are many individuals, who are privately sponsoring Syrian families and covering most of their needs for the first year.

The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Friday for a resolution supporting negotiations to end the fighting and bring political stability to Syria. Adopted 15-0, "the plan calls for talks on a political solution and a cease-fire in Syria, except in those parts under the control of ISIS," reports NPR's Michele Kelemen.

Secretary of State John Kerry has been trying to muster diplomatic support to end the civil war in Syria and get all parties focused on defeating ISIS. The passage of the resolution Friday, he said, is a step in the right direction.

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