Bureau Chief Lebanon, Syria, Jordan
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Apr 22, 2012

Violence persists in Syria as Annan urges truce compliance

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian soldiers stormed a town east of Damascus on Sunday and rebels bombed a military convoy in the north of the country as international mediator Kofi Annan urged both sides to work with an expanded team of U.N. ceasefire monitors.

The group of unarmed military monitors has been operating in Syria for a week, overseeing a 10-day-old truce agreement that has curbed some of the violence but failed to bring a complete halt to 13 months of bloodshed.

Apr 21, 2012

Assad foes doubt Syria truce but have few options

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Barely had the first U.N. ceasefire monitors set foot on Syrian soil this week than Bashar al-Assad’s enemies were discussing the likelihood of the mission failing and warning of punitive measures against the Syrian president.

The emir of Qatar gave Syria’s flawed truce a three percent chance of holding while U.S. officials, pointing to continued army shelling of rebel strongholds, questioned whether there was any point adding to the handful of international monitors in place.

Apr 20, 2012

ANALYSIS: Assad foes doubt Syria truce but have few options

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Barely had the first U.N. ceasefire monitors set foot on Syrian soil this week than Bashar al-Assad’s enemies were discussing the likelihood of the mission failing and warning of punitive measures against the Syrian president.

The emir of Qatar gave Syria’s flawed truce a three percent chance of holding while U.S. officials, pointing to continued army shelling of rebel strongholds, questioned whether there was any point adding to the handful of international monitors in place.

Apr 20, 2012

Analysis: Assad foes doubt Syria truce but have few options

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Barely had the first U.N. ceasefire monitors set foot on Syrian soil this week than Bashar al-Assad’s enemies were discussing the likelihood of the mission failing and warning of punitive measures against the Syrian president.

The emir of Qatar gave Syria’s flawed truce a three percent chance of holding while U.S. officials, pointing to continued army shelling of rebel strongholds, questioned whether there was any point adding to the handful of international monitors in place.

Apr 18, 2012

Gunfire in Syrian town during U.N. visit

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Shooting broke out on Wednesday in a Syrian town during a visit by United Nations monitors, Syrian state media and activists said.

Activist amateur video footage, allegedly filmed in Erbin in Damascus province, showed two white cars with U.N. markings surrounded by anti-Assad protesters.

Apr 18, 2012

Homs shelled as Syria demands “neutral” U.N. mission

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syria challenged the United Nations chief over the size and scope of a U.N. truce monitoring mission on Wednesday, resisting a larger presence as its army shelled targets in the city of Homs in violation of the ceasefire.

Despite the seven-day-old truce agreement between government and rebel forces, explosions rocked the battered Khalidiyah quarter of Homs as the army resumed what has become a daily barrage of heavy mortar shelling, and plumes of black smoke drifted over the rooftops.

Apr 13, 2012

Five die as violence mars Syria truce, protests muted

BEIRUT, April 13 (Reuters) – Syrian forces loyal to
President Bashar al-Assad shot dead four protesters after
Friday prayers, activists reported, while the government said an
army officer also died as violence marred a ceasefire brokered
by international peace envoy Kofi Annan.

At the United Nations, Russia criticised a U.S.-drafted
resolution authorising an advance team to monitor the fragile
ceasefire which aims to end 13 months of bloodshed during the
uprising against Assad, an ally of Moscow.

Apr 13, 2012

Skirmish on Day 2 of fragile Syria truce

BEIRUT, April 13 (Reuters) – Syrian forces loyal to
President Bashar al-Assad fought rebels near the border with
Turkey on Friday, threatening a ceasefire brokered by United
Nations peace envoy Kofi Annan.

Opposition activists called for mass demonstrations after
Friday prayers to test how Assad’s forces will tolerate a return
to peaceful protest, as international pressure mounted for
Damascus to fully comply with its commitments to Annan, by
withdrawing troops and heavy weapons.

Apr 12, 2012

Call for Friday protests is first test of Syria truce

BEIRUT, April 13 (Reuters) – Syrian opposition activists
called mass protests for Friday to test a fragile, day-old
ceasefire by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, and
international pressure mounted for Damascus to fully comply with
a U.N.-backed peace plan.

Anxious to build on a truce between the armed forces and
rebels which brought an eerie calm to Syria on Thursday, after
more than a year of clashes, the U.N. Security Council worked on
a resolution authorising U.N. observers to monitor it.

Apr 12, 2012

Guns silent in hours after Syria truce deadline

BEIRUT, April 12 (Reuters) – A U.N.-backed ceasefire aimed
at halting more than a year of bloodshed in Syria appeared to be
holding early on Thursday but activists saw no sign that
President Bashar al-Assad was pulling his forces out of restive
cities.

The flashpoint provinces of Homs, Hama and Idlib, which have
been under sustained shelling by Assad’s forces over the last
week, were calm after the 6 a.m. (0300 GMT) ceasefire deadline.
An activist in Damascus said the capital was also quiet.

    • 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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