May 30, 2015

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For women jihadis, Syria is one-way trip

PARIS — When three British schoolgirls trundled across the Syrian border; when a pregnant 14-year-old ran away from her Alpine home for the second time; when a sheltered girl from the south of France booked her first trip abroad — they were going to a place of no return. Only two of the approximately 600 Read More…

Honeymoon in Raqqa: Islamic State sets up welfare system to recruit, retain warriors

BEIRUT — The honeymoon was a brief moment for love, away from the front lines of Syria’s war. In the capital of the Islamic State group’s self-proclaimed “caliphate,” Syrian fighter Abu Bilal al-Homsi was united with his Tunisian bride for the first time after months chatting online. They married, then passed the days dining on Read More…

People from around the world coming to fight … for Islamic State

PANKISI GORGE, Georgia — One day this April, instead of coming home from school, two teenagers left their valley high in the Caucasus, and went off to war. In Minneapolis, Minn., a 20-year-old stole her friend’s passport to make the same hazardous journey. From New Zealand, came a former security guard; from Canada, a hockey Read More…

Reports: Islamic State now controls Palmyra ruins

DAMASCUS, Syria — Islamic State militants overran the famed archaeological site at Palmyra early on Thursday, just hours after seizing the central Syrian town, activists and officials said, raising concerns the extremists might destroy some of the priceless ruins as they have done in neighboring Iraq. The Islamic State’s capture of the town of Palmyra Read More…

10 things to know, Tuesday, May 19

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Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. Ramadi rout puts U.S. Iraq strategy under scrutiny The Islamic State group’s capture of the provincial capital calls into question the Obama administration’s approach to rebuilding the Iraqi army as Shiite militias are poised to launch the Read More…

Syrian refugees struggle amid aid cuts, lack of labor rights

SALHIYEH, Jordan — A Syrian refugee couple and their baby boy were recently dropped from a U.N. food voucher program and live on $9-a-day jobs on a peach farm in northern Jordan. In a town nearby, a 16-year-old boy quit school to work as a mechanic’s helper because his refugee family needs the extra $21 Read More…

Kerry goes to Russia to meet with Putin

SOCHI, Russia — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is in Russia to meet President Vladimir Putin with an eye on easing badly strained relations over conflicts in Ukraine and Syria. Kerry laid a wreath at a World War II memorial in the Black Sea resort city Tuesday before holding talks with Russian Foreign Minister Read More…

Months after liberation from Islamic State, Kobani remains ghost town

SURUC, Turkey — The battle for the Syrian border town of Kobani was a watershed in the war against the Islamic State group — Syrian Kurdish forces fought the militants in rubble-strewn streets for months as U.S. aircraft pounded the extremists from the skies until ultimately expelling them from the town earlier this year. It Read More…

10 things to know, Thursday, April 30

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Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. A light amid quake tragedy Crowds cheer as a teenage boy is pulled from the wreckage of a Kathmandu building that collapsed five days ago when a massive temblor shook Nepal. 2. What’s next for Baltimore Police Read More…

Wounded fighters, civilians recover near Syrian border

KILIS, Turkey — Sitting up in bed, 16-year-old Anas Baroudi lifts up an orange blanket to show where his left foot used to be, before he lost it almost three years ago in Syria’s civil war. “It’s not painful,” the Syrian teenager says quietly as he covers the leg again. Lying in the next bed Read More…