Bureau Chief Lebanon, Syria, Jordan
Dominic's Feed
Apr 23, 2013

Anger in Lebanese streets as Syria border fighting rages

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Stripped to the waist, his face heavily bruised and a rope around his neck, the grey-haired Syrian man was led by his captors on a humiliating parade through the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli.

“I am an Alawite shabbiha,” read slogans daubed on the bare chest of the man, referring to militias from a minority sect fighting for President Bashar al-Assad in neighboring Syria. Vigilantes led the man through Tripoli, a predominantly Sunni Muslim city, on Monday.

Apr 22, 2013

Syria says two bishops kidnapped by rebels

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Two prominent Syrian bishops, who had warned of the threat to religious tolerance and diversity from the two-year conflict in their country, were kidnapped on Monday by armed rebels in the northern province of Aleppo, state media said.

SANA news agency said the Syriac Orthodox and Greek Orthodox Archbishops of Aleppo, Yohanna Ibrahim and Paul Yazigi, were seized by “a terrorist group” in the village of Kfar Dael as they were “carrying out humanitarian work”.

Apr 17, 2013

Assad says West will pay for backing al Qaeda in Syria

BEIRUT (Reuters) – President Bashar al-Assad accused the West on Wednesday of supporting al Qaeda militants in Syria’s civil war and warned they would turn against their backers and strike “in the heart of Europe and the United States”.

Assad also launched his strongest criticism yet of neighboring Jordan for allowing thousands of fighters to cross the border to join a conflict he insisted his forces would win and save Syria from destruction.

Apr 11, 2013

Lebanon says gas plans on track despite political upheaval

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Lebanon’s political turmoil will not slow its oil and gas exploration plans for now, Energy Minister Gebran Bassil said, a week before he is due to announce which companies have pre-qualified in its first licensing round.

Fifty-two firms submitted bids last month to explore Lebanon’s offshore Mediterranean waters, including ExxonMobil, Repsol, China National Offshore Oil Company and Royal Dutch Shell.

Apr 9, 2013

U.N. may cut food aid to Syrian refugees due to cash shortage

BEIRUT/GENEVA (Reuters) – The United Nations said on Tuesday it will halt food aid to 400,000 Syrian refugees in Lebanon next month unless it receives urgent new funding.

The cash shortage is part of a wider financial shortfall that the organization says is threatening its efforts to help nearly 1.3 million Syrian refugees and almost 4 million more people displaced inside Syria by the two-year conflict.

Apr 7, 2013

Lebanon’s new premier says election delay likely

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Lebanon’s June election faces a possible delay, prime minister-designate Tammam Salam said, as he prepared to form a government which aims to resolve months of dispute over the vote and shield the country from war in neighboring Syria.

Salam, a moderate who won broad political support to become premier, said he would try to bring all of Lebanon’s rival factions into a government whose main priority was paving the way for the parliamentary election.

Apr 6, 2013

Air strike kills 15 in Aleppo, Assad warns of regional turmoil

BEIRUT (Reuters) – A Syrian government air strike killed 15 people on Saturday, including nine children, in a district of the northern city of Aleppo where Kurdish fighters have been battling forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, a violence monitoring group said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said a warplane had bombarded the western edges of the Sheikh Maqsoud district of Aleppo, Syria’s biggest city, where Assad’s forces have been battling rebels for nine months.

Apr 6, 2013

Lebanese hope consensus premier can calm tensions

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Tammam Salam’s father served six times as prime minister in the turbulent years leading up to Lebanon’s civil war.

With his country threatened once again by sectarian rift and regional conflict, Salam the son was named prime minister on Saturday by Lebanese politicians hoping his soft-spoken calm may help to avert a fresh conflict in their fraught Mediterranean state.

Apr 6, 2013

New premier pledges to shield Lebanon from Syria dangers

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Lebanese politician Tammam Salam was named prime minister on Saturday after he won a sweeping parliamentary endorsement, pledging to bridge the country’s deep divisions and shield it from the dangers of neighboring Syria’s civil war.

Salam was designated after the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Mikati, whose two years in office were dominated by efforts to contain sectarian tensions, violence and economic fallout from the Syrian conflict.

Apr 5, 2013

Hezbollah bloc, rivals back Salam for Lebanon premier

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Shi’ite militant group Hezbollah, its allies and pro-Western rivals on Friday backed Sunni politician Tammam Salam to be Lebanon’s new prime minister, handing him an overwhelming parliamentary endorsement to form a government.

Salam was endorsed by more than 80 of 128 members of parliament in the first day of talks held by President Michel Suleiman to nominate a successor to Najib Mikati.

    • 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."
    • Follow Dominic