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Aug 22, 2013

Syria gas ‘kills hundreds,’ Security Council meets

BEIRUT/AMMAN (Reuters) – Syria’s opposition accused government forces of gassing hundreds of people on Wednesday by firing rockets that released deadly fumes over rebel-held Damascus suburbs, killing men, women and children as they slept.

With the death toll estimated between 500 and 1,300, what would be the world’s most lethal chemical weapons attack since the 1980s prompted an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council in New York.

Aug 21, 2013

Activists say more than 200 killed in gas attack near Damascus

BEIRUT/AMMAN (Reuters) – Syrian activists accused President Bashar al-Assad’s forces of launching a nerve gas attack that killed at least 213 people on Wednesday, in what would, if confirmed, be by far the worst reported use of poison gas in the two-year-old civil war.

Reuters was not able to verify the accounts independently and they were denied by Syrian state television, which said they were disseminated deliberately to distract a team of United Nations chemical weapons experts which arrived three days ago.

Aug 19, 2013

Assad’s forces push back rebels in Syria’s Alawite mountains

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian army and militia troops loyal to President Bashar al-Assad have pushed back a rebel offensive in the mountain heartlands of his Alawite sect, officials and activists said on Monday, after days of heavy fighting and aerial bombardment.

The assault by Islamist rebels on the northern edges of the Alawite mountains overlooking the Mediterranean drove hundreds of Alawite villagers out to the coast and marked a major challenge to Assad’s reassertion of power over central Syria.

Aug 9, 2013

Gunmen abduct two Turkish Airlines staff in Beirut

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Gunmen abducted a Turkish Airlines pilot and his assistant in Beirut on Friday, forcing them from a bus as it took them from the airport in the early hours of the morning.

Lebanese media said that a group claimed responsibility for the abduction in the name of nine Lebanese Shi’ite Muslims kidnapped near the Turkish-Syrian border last year, saying the two Turks would be freed if the Lebanese captives were released.

Aug 3, 2013

Syrian rebels seize anti-tank missiles in raid on army base

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian rebels captured an ammunition depot north of Damascus from President Bashar al-Assad’s forces on Saturday, activists said, seizing a hoard of anti-tank missiles and rockets which will strengthen their firepower after a string of defeats.

Video footage of the raid showed delighted rebel fighters carrying out boxes of weapons from the arms cache in Denha, near the town of Yabroud, following an overnight attack.

Jul 29, 2013

Syria says army retakes Homs district from rebels

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian troops drove insurgents from central Homs on Monday, tightening their siege on remaining rebel bastions in the city, which links Damascus to the Mediterranean heartland of President Bashar al-Assad’s Alawite sect.

The military’s gains in Khalidiya district follow a counter-offensive by Assad’s forces, which have pushed back rebels around the Syrian capital and retaken several towns and villages near the border with Lebanon in the last few weeks.

Jul 9, 2013

Analysis: Confident Assad sees Syria tide turning

BEIRUT (Reuters) – The road to Bashar al-Assad’s palace on the edge of Damascus has four checkpoints manned by Republican Guards and plain-clothed police which guests must pass before they reach the main gate.

Inside the People’s Palace, in the hills overlooking the Syrian capital, visitors who have seen the Syrian president in the last month say security is surprisingly light for a man who has lost control of half his country to a rebel uprising.

Jul 9, 2013

Confident Assad sees Syria tide turning

BEIRUT (Reuters) – The road to Bashar al-Assad’s palace on the edge of Damascus has four checkpoints manned by Republican Guards and plain-clothed police which guests must pass before they reach the main gate.

Inside the People’s Palace, in the hills overlooking the Syrian capital, visitors who have seen the Syrian president in the last month say security is surprisingly light for a man who has lost control of half his country to a rebel uprising.

Jul 4, 2013

Tugged by Syria storm, Lebanon risks drifting into chaos

BEIRUT (Reuters) – After weeks of sectarian violence fuelled by Syria’s civil war, Lebanon’s parliamentary speaker summoned deputies this week for a legislative session to address the country’s deepening crisis.

They never met.

Hobbled by many of the same religious and ideological rivalries that are tearing Syria apart, Lebanon’s government fell in March and a new one has yet to emerge. Deputies failed to reach a quorum on speaker Nabih Berri’s summons, forcing him to postpone any meeting for another fortnight.

Jul 4, 2013

Analysis: Tugged by Syria storm, Lebanon risks drifting into chaos

BEIRUT (Reuters) – After weeks of sectarian violence fuelled by Syria’s civil war, Lebanon’s parliamentary speaker summoned deputies this week for a legislative session to address the country’s deepening crisis.

They never met.

Hobbled by many of the same religious and ideological rivalries that are tearing Syria apart, Lebanon’s government fell in March and a new one has yet to emerge. Deputies failed to reach a quorum on speaker Nabih Berri’s summons, forcing him to postpone any meeting for another fortnight.

    • 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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