Today is Day 1,110 of the Syria conflict.
It's been a long time since those combing the wire services for Syria photos have seen a happy image. The photos above and below show Spanish journalist Javier Espinosa greeting his son. Espinosa and freelance photographer Ricardo Garcia Vilanova were freed this weekend after six months of being held captive by Syrian extremist rebel group ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant). It is believed that ISIS holds another 40 or so hostages in the city of Raqaa, where the two Spanish journalists were being kept.
GlobalPost correspondent James Foley has been held captive in Syria for more than 16 months.
In other news, Syria has accused Turkey of sending foreign fighters across the border to fight government troops in Latakia. Never let it be said there is no irony in international relations: For years prior to the outbreak of the current conflict, politicians in Iraq were accusing Syria of doing the exact same thing to them — either failing to stop or actively abetting the flow of jihadists across the border from Syria into Iraq. There's a good, careful explanation of these claims in David Lesch's book Syria: The Fall of the House of Assad. It's worth noting that the Syrian government has never publicly said that they were involved in any of this. In any event, more on the Latakia fight, as well as a map showing some key battles in the governorate, is available here.
Further north — as in much further north: German authorities conducted raids in Berlin, Frankfurt, and Bonn on Monday, in each city arresting one person suspected of supporting Islamic extremists in Syria (a total of three arrests). Reports thus far are a little vague on what, exactly, these individuals stand accused of, but as this blog mentioned back on March 21, individuals' support for extremists in Syria is, in general, a bit of a concern in Europe right now. Reuters Canada had a good piece on the young French men actually heading off to fight in Syria, and their parents' efforts to stop them.
The conflict continues.
El Mundo correspondent Javier Espinosa is greeted by his son as he arrives at the military airbase in Torrejon de Ardoz, near Madrid. (Paco Campos/AFP/Getty Images)