Bureau Chief Lebanon, Syria, Jordan
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May 27, 2014

Chemical weapons team in Syria attacked but safe-organisation

AMSTERDAM/BEIRUT (Reuters) – A team of international experts investigating the alleged use of chlorine bombs in Syria came under attack on Tuesday but all members of the team were safe and returning to base, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons said.

Syria accused rebel fighters of abducting the members of the joint OPCW/U.N. fact-finding team, who had travelled to the central province of Hama to investigate allegations of illegal chlorine attacks by government forces.

May 22, 2014

Assad’s forces break rebel siege of Aleppo prison

BEIRUT (Reuters) – President Bashar al-Assad’s troops broke a year-long rebel siege of Aleppo’s main prison on Thursday, cutting a main insurgent supply line and vowing to press on and recapture the whole of Syria’s biggest city.

State television showed soldiers inside the prison after they routed al Qaeda and other Islamist forces who had tried several times in recent months to break into the jail and free thousands of prisoners.

May 20, 2014

Lebanon’s cannabis farms flourish while army looks away

BEKAA VALLEY, Lebanon, May 20 (Reuters) – Driving around his
Bekaa Valley farmland, Ali Nasri Shamas carries a revolver by
his side and an automatic rifle in the back of his car, weapons
he says he’s ready to use if the army moves in to try to destroy
his lucrative cannabis crop.

But he may not need them this year. With Syria’s civil war
raging 30 miles (50 km) away, Lebanese security forces have
other priorities than their annual showdown with the Bekaa
hashish growers.

May 18, 2014

Street by street, Assad extends grip in central Syria

BEIRUT (Reuters) – From his base in Damascus, Bashar al-Assad can contemplate a broad sweep of Syria clawed back from rebels who once threatened to drive him out. The capital which they targeted is now plastered with posters inviting Syrians to reelect him president.

Powerful foreign allies have helped Assad hold or retake a chain of cities which form the north-south backbone of the country, keep his grip on the Mediterranean coast to the west and restore control over the Lebanese border.

May 7, 2014

Rebels evacuated from Homs, cradle of Syrian uprising

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian rebels started withdrawing from the heart of Homs city on Wednesday, leaving an early centre of the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad and handing him a symbolic victory less than a month before his likely re-election.

Two buses carrying the first of many hundreds of fighters left the besieged city centre in an evacuation agreed between insurgents and forces loyal to Assad.

Apr 28, 2014

Assad seeks re-election as Syrian civil war rages

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad declared on Monday he would seek re-election in June, defying calls from his opponents to step aside and allow a political solution to the country’s devastating civil war.

Assad formally submitted his nomination to Syria’s constitutional court to stand in an election which his Western and Arab foes have dismissed as a parody of democracy.

Apr 28, 2014

Syria’s Assad seeks re-election in poll

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad declared on Monday he will seek re-election in June, defying calls from his opponents to step aside and allow a political solution to end three years of devastating civil war stemming from protests against his rule.

Assad formally submitted his nomination to Syria’s constitutional court to stand in an election which his Western and Arab foes have already dismissed as a parody of democracy amid the turmoil of Syria’s conflict.

Apr 17, 2014

Exclusive: Syria submits more ‘detailed’ list of chemical weapons

BEIRUT/THE HAGUE (Reuters) – Syria has submitted a “more specific” list of its chemical weapons to the global regulator overseeing the destruction of its stockpile after discrepancies were reported by inspectors on the ground, officials said.

Damascus agreed to give up its chemical arsenal after Washington threatened military action following the death of hundreds of Syrians in a sarin gas attack on the outskirts of Damascus during Syria’s civil war last August. But Damascus is several weeks behind schedule in handing over its lethal toxins.

Apr 17, 2014

Syria submits more “detailed” list of chemical weapons

BEIRUT/THE HAGUE, April 17 (Reuters) – Syria has submitted a
“more specific” list of its chemical weapons to the global
regulator overseeing the destruction of its stockpile after
discrepancies were reported by inspectors on the ground,
officials said.

Damascus agreed to give up its chemical arsenal after
Washington threatened military action following the death of
hundreds of Syrians in a sarin gas attack on the outskirts of
Damascus during Syria’s civil war last August. But Damascus is
several weeks behind schedule in handing over its lethal toxins.

Mar 25, 2014

Islamist rebels seize first coastal village in north Syria

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Islamist rebels captured a village on Syria’s Mediterranean coast for the first time and battled to hold territory abutting the nearby Turkish border taken from President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, activists said on Tuesday.

Video footage showed six fighters holding the black banner of the Ansar al-Sham brigade on a rocky beach, a symbolic rebel victory in the coastal province of Latakia that has been an Assad stronghold throughout three years of conflict.

    • 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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