Russian firepower helps Syrian forces edge toward Turkey border

Daily News Article - February 9, 2016


1. The first paragraph of a news article should answer the questions who, what, where and when. List the who, what, where and when of this news item. (NOTE: The remainder of a news article provides details on the why and/or how.)

2. Why are the rebels pulling back from their stronghold in Aleppo?

3. What is significant about the Russian-backed Syrian government’s advance into Aleppo in recent days?

4. a) What was the population of Syria in 2013?
b) How many people have died since the fighting began?
c) How many people have left their homes (either to go to another area of Syria or out of the country altogether)?

5. What is significant about the Syrian army’s capture of the towns of Mayer and then Karin this week?

6. Re-read paragraph 23, which shows how complicated the civil war in Syria is. This article barely mentions ISIS fighters in Syria, but they are really the main problem. Russia has said it is only targeting ISIS terrorists in Syria, but that is not the case at all. Turkey, Arab states and the West say Russian airstrikes are aimed mostly at other opponents of Assad. What effect has four months of Russian airstrikes against Syrian rebels had on the conflict?

Note: As CBS News reports: “The Syrian uprising began in March 2011 with mostly peaceful protests but escalated into a full-blown civil war after a harsh government crackdown on peaceful protesters.” Unfortunately, ISIS and other terrorist groups infiltrated the “genuine” rebels fighting for a free Syria. It would be difficult to assist the rebels, and the U.S. has not been effective in aiding in peace negotiations.