Bureau Chief Lebanon, Syria, Jordan
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May 21, 2013

Syria, Israel exchange fire on Golan Heights

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syria said its troops destroyed an Israeli vehicle that crossed into its territory from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Tuesday and warned that any attempt to violate its sovereignty would meet “immediate and firm retaliation”.

Israel said the incident took place on its side of the Golan ceasefire line, that the vehicle was damaged but not destroyed, none of its soldiers were hurt and they returned fire.

May 21, 2013

Syria says destroys Israeli vehicle on its territory

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syria said its troops destroyed an Israeli vehicle that crossed into its territory from the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Tuesday and warned that any attempt to violate its sovereignty would meet “immediate and firm retaliation”.

Israel said the incident took place on its side of Golan ceasefire line and the vehicle was damaged but not destroyed, and none of its soldiers was hurt. It said its troops returned fire.

May 21, 2013

Hezbollah in big Syria battle, Obama “concerned”

AMMAN/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Lebanese Hezbollah guerrillas have fought their biggest battle yet for Syria’s beleaguered president, prompting international alarm that the civil war may spread and an urgent call for restraint from the United States.

About 30 Hezbollah fighters were killed on Sunday, Syrian activists said, along with 20 Syrian troops and militiamen loyal to President Bashar al-Assad during the fiercest fighting this year in the rebel stronghold of Qusair, near the Lebanon border.

May 20, 2013

Hezbollah suffers big losses in Syria battle: activists

AMMAN (Reuters) – About 30 Lebanese Hezbollah fighters and 20 Syrian soldiers and militiamen loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have been killed in the fiercest fighting this year in the rebel stronghold of Qusair, Syrian activists said on Monday.

If confirmed, the Hezbollah toll from Sunday’s battles in Qusair near the Lebanese border would highlight a deepening intervention in Syria by the guerrilla group set up by Iran in the 1980s to fight Israeli occupation troops in south Lebanon.

May 10, 2013

Assad and Nasrallah threaten new front line in Golan

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Threats from Damascus and its Lebanese ally Hezbollah to turn the Golan Heights into a “resistance front” against Israel could end nearly four decades of calm across the increasingly tense ceasefire line separating Israeli and Syrian forces.

President Bashar al-Assad, and his father before him, kept the front line between Syria and the Israeli-occupied Golan quiet despite an official state of war between the two countries and Syria’s support for militants in Lebanon and Gaza.

May 9, 2013

Interview: Syria war could push Lebanon, Jordan into slump

BEIRUT (Reuters) – The economic devastation of Syria’s war could drive the economies of neighbouring Lebanon and Jordan into reverse, Syria’s former deputy prime minister said on Thursday.

Pointing to the sharp slowdown in Lebanon’s economic growth since the start of Syria’s conflict in 2011, from 7 percent to barely 2 percent, Abdallah al-Dardari said there was a direct link to the ever-deepening economic collapse in Syria.

May 9, 2013

Syria war could push Lebanon, Jordan into slump

BEIRUT (Reuters) – The economic devastation of Syria’s war could drive the economies of neighboring Lebanon and Jordan into reverse, Syria’s former deputy prime minister said on Thursday.

Pointing to the sharp slowdown in Lebanon’s economic growth since the start of Syria’s conflict in 2011, from 7 percent to barely 2 percent, Abdallah al-Dardari said there was a direct link to the ever-deepening economic collapse in Syria.

May 6, 2013

Few options for Syria’s Assad to strike back after Israeli raids

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has few good options for military retaliation after Israel’s air strikes over the weekend but the attacks could redouble support from his regional allies Iran and Hezbollah.

Assad, already battling rebel fighters who have seized large parts of his country and killed many thousands of his troops, can ill afford to confront the region’s dominant military power in a devastating and likely one-sided war.

May 6, 2013

Israel strikes Syria, says targeting Hezbollah arms

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Israeli jets devastated Syrian targets near Damascus on Sunday in a heavy overnight air raid that Western and Israeli officials called a new strike on Iranian missiles bound for Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

As Syria’s two-year-old civil war veered into the potentially atomic arena of Iran’s confrontation with Israel and the West over its nuclear program, people were woken in the Syrian capital by explosions that shook the ground like an earthquake and sent pillars of flame high into the night sky.

May 5, 2013

UN warns against escalation after Israeli strikes in Syria

BEIRUT (Reuters) – United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned against escalating a fraught situation in Syria after Israel struck targets near Damascus on Sunday, targeting what its officials said were Iranian missiles bound for Hezbollah militants.

Israeli officials said the raid, the second in 48 hours, was not connected to Syria’s civil war. It was aimed, rather, at stopping Lebanon’s Hezbollah, an ally of Iran, acquiring weapons that could be used to strike Tel Aviv if Israel followed through on threats to attack Iranian nuclear facilities.

    • About Dominic

      "I run Reuters news operations in Beirut, Damascus and Amman. I have reported from across the Middle East since 1992, mainly in Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt and Dubai. I have also edited political and general news from Europe/MiddleEast/Africa and was parliamentary correspondent in London."
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