U.S. again rules out no-fly zones in Syria

The White House said Monday that it was not prepared to enter into a deal with Turkey to establish a no-fly zone inside Syria. U.S. officials have repeatedly expressed a willingness to consider no-fly zones that would protect Syrian civilians and some rebels from both the Islamic State and the regime of Syrian President Bashar […]

Russia to abandon South Stream pipeline project , says Putin

 President Vladimir Putin said on Monday that Russia would stop construction of the South Stream gas pipeline, shelving a strategically important project that Moscow was counting on to cement its influence in south-eastern Europe. Speaking after talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, his Turkish counterpart, in Ankara, Mr Putin said Russia would abandon the project […]

1.7m Syrian refugees face food crisis as UN funds dry up

More than 1.7 million Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt are facing a disastrous and hungry winter after a funding crisis forced the UN’s World Food Programme to suspend food vouchers to hundreds of thousands forced into exile by the conflict. Since the war began in March 2011, the WFP has brought […]

Pope Francis visits Istanbul Mosques

ISTANBUL, Turkey – Pope Francis continues his visit to Turkey this morning, a Muslim nation that has been a crossroads of religious faith, and sometimes conflict, for centuries. It’s the second-day of his three-day visit. Francis is only the fourth pope to have made the trip. He was greeted at Istanbul airport by the Orthodox […]

Islamic State suicide bombers target Syrian border town Kobani

Four Islamic State suicide bombers blew themselves up in the Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani on the border with Turkey on Saturday amid clashes that have killed at least 30 fighters, a monitoring group and a local official said. Kurdish militia have been holding off Islamic State fighters for more than two months in the […]

In Turkey Pope Calls for Muslim Opposition to Islamic State

In his first visit as pope to a predominantly Muslim country, Pope Francis said in Turkey on Friday that inter-religious dialogue, more than just military action, was required to combat Islamic State militants who are attacking Christians and other religious minorities along the country’s southern border. “To this end, it is essential that all citizens […]

What Pope Francis Hopes To Accomplish In his visit to Turkey

By Josephine McKenna VATICAN CITY (RNS) Pope Francis leaves on Friday (Nov. 28) for a three-day visit to Turkey and, given the issues on his plate and the troubles in the neighborhood, it is expected to be his most challenging and potentially most dangerous trip yet. There are so few Christians — around 120,000 — […]

US announces new aid to Syrian civilian refugees in Turkey

Vice President Joe Biden and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan emerged from a nearly four-hour meeting Saturday, offering no indication that the U.S. and Turkey had bridged their differences about how to deal with Islamic State fighters or Syrian President Bashar Assad. Biden announced $135 million in new U.S. aid for Syrian civilians, including some […]

Biden discussed in Turkey ISIS and transition of power in Syria, away from Assad.

US vice-president Joe Biden on Saturday warned that a concentration of powers under a head of state was “corrosive” as he visited Turkey – which has been accused of increasing authoritarian tendencies. Biden made the remarks before meeting Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who in August became the Turkish president after more than a decade as prime […]