Northern Star

South Sudan’s rivals form unity government meant to end war

MAURA AJAK

February 22, 2020

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — South Sudan opened a new chapter in its fragile emergence from civil war Saturday as rival leaders formed a coalition government that many observers prayed would last this time around.A day after President Salva Kiir dissolved the previous government, opposition leader Riek Machar ...

Syrian war pulls in major foreign actors, increasing tension

ZEINA KARAM

February 21, 2020

BEIRUT (AP) — In northern Syria, heavy exchanges between Syrian and Turkish troops are erupting with more frequency, threatening to escalate into full-blown conflict. Russian and U.S. convoys crisscross each other on remote dirt roads, the tension between them on full display. U.S. troops even have had...

Turkish soldiers killed in Syria amid threats of escalation

SUZAN FRASER and VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV

February 20, 2020

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Two Turkish soldiers were killed Thursday in an airstrike in northwestern Syria, Turkey said, after an attack by Ankara-backed opposition forces that targeted Syrian government troops. The deaths came after the Turkish president threatened to expand his nation's involvement in ...

South Sudan rival leaders agree to form coalition government

MAURA AJAK

February 20, 2020

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — South Sudan’s rival leaders on Thursday announced they have agreed to form a coalition government just two days before the deadline, a breakthrough after months of delays and a major step in the emergence from a five-year civil war that killed nearly 400,000 people in the...

UN report: South Sudan’s rival sides are starving civilians

CARA ANNA

February 20, 2020

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — South Sudanese officials have diverted millions of dollars of state funds that are badly needed by civilians as the country staggers away from civil war, a United Nations commission said Thursday, and it accused rival fighters of deliberately starving people for strategic gain.The blea...

Symbolic Aleppo flight comes as civilians suffer in Syria

ALBERT AJI and ZEINA KARAM

February 19, 2020

ALEPPO, Syria (AP) — A Syrian passenger jet landed in Aleppo on Wednesday from Damascus as domestic flights resumed between Syria's two largest cities for the first time since 2012, while the government continued bombarding several rebel-held towns and villages nearby.The flight carrying Syrian offici...

Russia and Turkey agree on more talks on Syria amid crisis

SUZAN FRASER and JAMEY KEATEN

February 18, 2020

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Talks between Russia and Turkey meant to reduce tensions in northwestern Syria did not yield a “satisfactory result” for Ankara, but both sides agreed to continue negotiations, a spokesman for Turkey's president said Tuesday.Turkey and Russia support rival groups in the Syrian ...

AP Interview: UN chief says new virus poses ‘enormous’ risks

KATHY GANNON

February 18, 2020

LAHORE, Pakistan (AP) — The U.N. secretary-general said Tuesday the virus outbreak that began in China poses “a very dangerous situation” for the world, but “is not out of control.”Speaking in an interview with The Associated Press, Antonio Guterres said that “the risks are enormous and we...

After gains in northern Syria, Assad predicts total victory

ALBERT AJI and ZEINA KARAM

February 17, 2020

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) — Syrian President Bashar Assad congratulated his forces Monday for recent gains in northwestern Syria that led to his troops consolidating control over Aleppo province, pledging to press ahead with a military campaign to achieve complete victory “sooner or later.”Assad, w...

Powers renew pledge to uphold Libya arms embargo

GEIR MOULSON

February 16, 2020

MUNICH (AP) — Countries with interests in Libya's civil war recommitted themselves Sunday to uphold a barely working arms embargo, four weeks after a peace summit in Berlin was followed by numerous new arms violations, officials from Germany and the U.N. said.Germany and the U.N., which co-hosted the Jan. 1...

South Sudan appears to clear key hurdle to unity government

MAURA AJAK

February 15, 2020

JUBA, South Sudan (AP) — South Sudan's rival leaders on Saturday appeared to clear a major hurdle with just a week left before the deadline to form a coalition government, with the president announcing a “painful” compromise on the politically sensitive number of states.President Salva Kiir said that a...

Freezing weather compounds crisis for displaced in Syria

SARAH EL DEEB and ZEINA KARAM

February 15, 2020

BEIRUT (AP) — A military offensive on an opposition-controlled region of northwestern Syria has created one of the worst catastrophes for civilians in the country's long-running war, sending hundreds of thousands of people fleeing, many of them sleeping in open fields and under trees in freezing tempe...