Syria

DAMASCUS — Syrian state media said the country’s air defenses shot down a U.S. reconnaissance aircraft Tuesday in a northwestern province along the Mediterranean coast. U.S. officials said they were looking into the reports.

The SANA state news agency said the aircraft was downed north of the coastal city of Latakia. It provided no further details. State television broadcast footage of what it said was the wreckage, including a wheel and electronic parts. Soldiers in camouflage could be seen loading some of the debris into the back of a truck.

Syrian clarinetist Kinan Azmeh currently lives in New York, but he grew up in Damascus. Until recently, Azmeh traveled regularly back and forth to his homeland, before it became too dangerous.

In 2011, after protesters were killed in the streets in Syria, Azmeh stopped composing and started to question the role of his music. But after a year hiatus, he realized his music has a place that is important.

In Austin on Friday, 23-year-old Michael Wolfe admitted in federal court that he had been planning since last August to travel to the Middle East to provide his services to the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham and to engage in violent jihad in Syria.

He pleaded guilty to charges of attempting to provide material support and resources to a foreign terrorist organization.

The growing Syrian diaspora streaming out of a country being torn apart includes one of its most popular singers: Omar Souleyman. The musician combines songs of love and desire with driving techno beats, performed on a synthesizer.

First Listen: Omar Souleyman, 'Wenu Wenu'

Oct 13, 2013

Omar Souleyman is the hottest Syrian speaker-slayer at work in the West, with an audience full of serious underground record nerds, as well as stars such as Björk and Damon Albarn. His recordings worked their way into their current post-geographical milieu by way of Sublime Frequencies, an enterprising label devoted to cross-cultural curios from all over the world.

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