Bureau Chief Lebanon, Syria, Jordan
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May 27, 2013

Syria contagion strikes deep into Lebanon

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Two rockets fired at Hezbollah-controlled southern Beirut bring Syria’s escalating civil war deeper into the heart of Lebanon and closer to unrestrained regional conflict.

The two-year-old conflict in Syria has already tumbled into Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, exploded into deadly street fighting in its northern city of Tripoli and driven half a million refugees across the same porous border to escape the bloodshed.

May 26, 2013

Rockets hit south Beirut after Hezbollah vows Syria victory

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Two rockets hit a Shi’ite Muslim district of southern Beirut on Sunday and wounded several people, residents said, a day after the leader of Lebanese Shi’ite militant movement Hezbollah said his group would continue fighting in Syria until victory.

It was the first attack to apparently target Hezbollah’s stronghold in the south of the Lebanese capital since the outbreak of the two-year conflict in neighboring Syria, which has sharply heightened Lebanon’s own sectarian tensions.

May 24, 2013

Exiled cleric who taught UK knifeman praises ‘courage’

TRIPOLI, Lebanon (Reuters) – A Syrian-born Islamist cleric who taught one of the attackers accused of hacking to death an off-duty British soldier on a London street praised the attack for its “courage” and said Muslims would see it as a strike on a military target.

In an interview in Tripoli, northern Lebanon, where he has lived since being banished from Britain in 2005, Omar Bakri, founder of banned British Islamist group Al Muhajiroun, told Reuters he knew suspect Michael Abebolajo from a decade ago.

May 21, 2013

Syrian foes move towards talks but fighting rages

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syria’s opposition and the government of President Bashar al-Assad seem to be preparing to take part in an international peace conference against a background of some of the worst fighting this year.

On Tuesday, Lebanese Hezbollah fighters and Syrian soldiers, backed by air strikes and artillery, renewed an offensive aimed at driving Syrian rebels from the town of Qusair near the Lebanese border, opposition activists said.

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.

    • 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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