Bureau Chief Lebanon, Syria, Jordan
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Dec 22, 2012

Syrian civil war at stalemate, Assad won’t go – Russia

BEIRUT, Dec 22 (Reuters) – Syria’s civil war has reached
stalemate and international efforts to persuade President Bashar
al-Assad to quit will fail, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei
Lavrov said on Saturday.

Mainly Sunni Muslim rebels seeking to overthrow Assad are
fighting on the edge of the capital Damascus and expanding
southwards from their northern strongholds in Aleppo and Idlib
into the central province of Hama.

Dec 17, 2012

Syrian vice president says neither side can win war

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian Vice President Farouq al-Sharaa said that neither the forces of President Bashar al-Assad nor rebels seeking to overthrow him can win the war which is now being fought on the outskirts of Assad’s powerbase in Damascus.

Sharaa, a Sunni Muslim in a power structure dominated by Assad’s Alawite minority, has rarely been seen since the Syrian revolt erupted in March 2011 and is not part of the president’s inner circle directing the fight against Sunni rebels.

Dec 17, 2012

Syrian VP says neither side can win war

BEIRUT, Dec 17 (Reuters) – Syrian Vice President Farouq
al-Sharaa said that neither the forces of President Bashar
al-Assad nor rebels seeking to overthrow him can win the war
which is now being fought on the outskirts of Assad’s powerbase
in Damascus.

Sharaa, a Sunni Muslim in a power structure dominated by
Assad’s Alawite minority, has rarely been seen since the Syrian
revolt erupted in March 2011 and is not part of the president’s
inner circle directing the fight against Sunni rebels.

Dec 15, 2012

Iran warns against Patriot deployment on Syria frontier

BEIRUT, Dec 15 (Reuters) – Iran’s army chief of staff warned
NATO on Saturday that stationing Patriot anti-missile batteries
on Turkey’s border with Syria was setting the stage for world
war.

General Hassan Firouzabadi, whose country has been a staunch
supporter of President Bashar al-Assad throughout the 21-month
uprising against his rule, called on the Western military
alliance to reverse its decision to deploy the defence system.

Dec 15, 2012

Syrian jets strike rebels around Damascus

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian warplanes bombed insurgents east of Damascus on Saturday and government forces pounded a town to the southwest, activists said, in a month-long and so far fruitless campaign to dislodge rebels around the capital.

Jets bombarded the Beit Sahm district on the road leading to the international airport and the army fired rockets at several rebel strongholds around Damascus, President Bashar al-Assad’s bastion through 21 months of an increasingly bloody uprising.

Dec 11, 2012

Syrian rebels battle army near Damascus

BEIRUT, Dec 11 (Reuters) – Syrian rebels clashed with forces
loyal to President Bashar al-Assad near Damascus airport on
Tuesday, battling for the capital’s outskirts after 20 months of
conflict which the United Nations said has driven half a million
people from the country.

Fighting near the airport, 20 km (12 miles) south-east of
Damascus city centre, is part of a broader confrontation between
Assad’s forces and rebels who hold a near continuous arc of
territory from the east to the southwest of Assad’s power base.

Dec 5, 2012

NATO warns Syria not to use chemical weapons

BRUSSELS/BEIRUT (Reuters) – NATO told Syrian President Bashar al-Assad on Tuesday that any use of chemical weapons in his fight against encroaching rebel forces would be met by an immediate international response.

The warning from NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen came as U.S. government sources said Washington had information that Syria was making what could be seen as preparations to use its chemical arsenal.

Dec 4, 2012

Syrian army pounds Damascus rebel districts

BEIRUT, Dec 4 (Reuters) – Syrian government forces bombarded
rebel districts near Damascus on Tuesday in a sustained
counter-attack to stem rebel gains around President Bashar
al-Assad’s power base.

The fighting around Damascus has led foreign airlines to
suspend flights and prompted the United Nations and European
Union to reduce their presence in the capital, adding to a sense
that the fight is closing in.

Dec 4, 2012

Syrian army pounds south Damascus to stem rebel gains

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian government forces bombarded rebel districts near Damascus on Tuesday in a sustained counter-attack to stem rebel gains around President Bashar al-Assad’s power base.

The fighting around Damascus has led foreign airlines to suspend flights and prompted the United Nations and European Union to reduce their presence in the capital, adding to a sense that the fight is closing in.

Nov 30, 2012

Syria jets bombard rebel targets on airport road

BEIRUT, Nov 30 (Reuters) – Syrian air force jets bombarded
rebel targets on Friday close to the Damascus airport road and a
regional airline said the violence had halted international
flights to the capital.

Activists said security forces clashed with rebels trying to
topple President Bashar al-Assad around Aqraba and Babilla
districts on the southeastern outskirts of the Damascus which
lead to the international airport.

    • 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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