Deborah Amos en Syria's Army On The Verge Of Retaking The Country's Largest City When Syria's rebels were on the offensive in 2012, they captured the eastern half of Aleppo and the surrounding countryside. But now President Bashar Assad's troops are poised to retake all of the city that is the largest in Syria and served as the prewar financial capital.<p>A new military campaign is heating up as Assad, who assumed power when his father, Hafez Assad, died in 2000, was sworn in Wednesday for his third term as president. Wed, 16 Jul 2014 19:12:20 +0000 Deborah Amos 64618 at In Defiance of Damascus, Aid Goes Cross-Border To Rebel-Held Areas The warehouse off a dusty back road near the Turkish frontier is vast. Large wooden crates are stacked and ready for delivery to the desperate and displaced inside Syria.<p>This is the operations hub for Mercy Corps, a U.S.-based charity, and one of the largest aid providers to civilians in rebel-held areas in northern Syria. Mon, 14 Jul 2014 18:31:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 64402 at Have The Islamist Militants Overreached In Iraq And Syria? The Islamist radicals who have declared an Islamic caliphate on land they control straddling Iraq and Syria are waging an audacious publicity stunt, according to some analysts.<p>While it may bring them even greater attention, it's also likely to be an overreach that will open rifts with its current partners, the Sunni Muslims in Iraq who welcomed the militant group in early June. Sat, 05 Jul 2014 09:14:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 63923 at Emerging Alliances In Mosul Raise Tensions And Complications Sunni militants were originally welcomed when they rolled into the Iraqi city of Mosul, but now there's a power struggle between the local tribes, Sunnis and Saddam Hussein's former Baathist party. Sun, 29 Jun 2014 12:12:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 63495 at For Iraqi Christians, Return To Captured City Is A Fraught Mandate Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>Mosul is northern Iraq's largest city and the takeover by ISIS has prompted an exodus of the last remaining Iraqi Christians there. The seizure raised fears that a thousand years of Christian culture would vanish. But in recent days, some Christian families have returned to Mosul and surrounding villages. And soon they'll be joined by the Archbishop of the Chaldean Church. NPR's Deborah Amos caught up with him in nearby Erbil.<p>DEBORAH AMOS, BYLINE: The Christian exodus from Mosul weighs heavily on Archbishop Amil Nona. Fri, 27 Jun 2014 20:30:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 63443 at Iraq's Ethnic Kurds See Opportunity In Nation's Chaos Iraq is in chaos, but the country's ethnic Kurds might come out ahead.<p>They rule a semi-autonomous area in the north that is fairly prosperous and safe, and as the Iraqi army crumbled before militants this month, Kurdish forces moved in to take long-sought areas that had been under the central government in Baghdad.<p>The Kurds are now talking about their generations-old dream of independence, but they still face many dangers.<p>On a recent hot summer night in Erbil, Iraq's fourth largest city, many Kurds were more focused on the World Cup, the new Miss Kurdistan named this week and the fina Fri, 27 Jun 2014 07:36:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 63406 at At Iraq's Largest Oil Refinery, Siege Nears A Complicated Conclusion Transcript <p>AUDIE CORNISH, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Audie Cornish. The U.N. says today that at least 1,000 people - mostly civilians - have died this month in Iraq as the fighting there goes on. A key battle is centered on the country's largest oil refinery, located in the town of Baiji. It's been under siege by the Islamist militant group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or ISIS. ISIS now claims to have captured the refinery. The government denies that, saying reinforcements are on the way. The truth is more complicated. Tue, 24 Jun 2014 20:15:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 63172 at After Mosul's Fall, Iraqis Adjust To New Normal Under ISIS Not all Sunnis are on board with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, even if they oppose the Iraqi government. One ranking Sunni cleric in northern Iraq calls ISIS "scum" and hints at limits to the group's influence. <div class="fullattribution">Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit<img src=""/></div><p>Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. Fri, 20 Jun 2014 21:44:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 62986 at ISIS Presses Its Advance, Attacking Iraq's Largest Oil Refinery Transcript <p>ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: <p>This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Robert Siegel.<p>MELISSA BLOCK, HOST: <p>And I'm Melissa Block. Iraq's largest oil refinery is under attack today by Islamist militants, and the Iraqi capital continues to brace for an assault. The militants, led by ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, have already taken over major cities in the north and west. Iraq's prime minister has appealed for national unity, and he's vowed that government forces will turn the insurgents back. Wed, 18 Jun 2014 20:32:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 62849 at Like 'Doctor Who,' Syrian Activists Hang In Limbo Post-Election A popular, British science-fiction TV show about a time-traveler would seem to have few parallels with the Syrian civil war. Sat, 07 Jun 2014 11:54:00 +0000 Deborah Amos 62118 at