BEIRUT (Reuters) – Oil sanctions which the European Union is expected to impose on Damascus for repressing protests would be a significant blow to Syria’s economy but it may take more than that to hasten the end of President Bashar al-Assad’s rule.
Five months of protest and government reprisals have undoubtedly inflicted economic damage. Even before the likely EU embargo on Syrian crude exports, tourism, trade, manufacturing and foreign investment have all collapsed, reversing a decade of steady growth, starting to drain the country’s financial reserves and forcing many Syrians out of work.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – A Lebanese suspect in the killing of former prime minister Rafik al-Hariri has said authorities know where to find him but cannot arrest him, deepening political tensions over the 2005 assassination.
The U.N.-backed court prosecutor has indicted four members of the Shi’ite group Hezbollah over a suicide truck bombing which killed Sunni Muslim billionaire Hariri and 21 others as his convoy drove along Beirut’s seafront.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – - President Bashar al-Assad will give an interview to Syrian television on Sunday, state media said, as a U.N. team arrived in Damascus to assess humanitarian needs after five months of turmoil.
Assad’s interview, only his fourth televised appearance since an uprising erupted against his rule, will address “the current situation in Syria, the reform process and … implications of the U.S. and Western pressures on Syria politically and economically.”
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Four Hezbollah suspects in the killing of Rafik al-Hariri were linked to the attack largely by circumstantial evidence gleaned from phone records, according to an indictment published on Wednesday after a six-year investigation which polarized Lebanon.
The Shi’ite Muslim group Hezbollah — which is backed by Iran and Syria — has denied any role in the 2005 bombing which killed Hariri, a billionaire Sunni Muslim politician, and 21 other people on the Beirut seafront.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian tanks and armoured vehicles swept into the coastal city of Latakia on Saturday and gunfire was heard in a district where thousands had protested against President Bashar al-Assad, an activist group said.
The deployment took place a day after security forces shot dead 20 people during nationwide marches in which demonstrators called for Assad’s overthrow and vowed to “kneel only to God”.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian tanks and armored vehicles swept into the coastal city of Latakia on Saturday and gunfire was heard in a district where thousands had protested against President Bashar al-Assad, an activist group said.
The deployment took place a day after security forces shot dead 20 people during nationwide marches in which demonstrators called for Assad’s overthrow and vowed to “kneel only to God.”
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Lebanese and Israeli leaders believe they can avoid conflict over their disputed maritime border despite rival claims to potentially gas-rich Mediterranean waters, a senior United Nations official said.
The two countries, who remain formally at war, are disputing an 850-square-km stretch of sea off their coast, close to an area where U.S. and Israeli firms have discovered two massive natural gas fields.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad faces growing isolation as the bloodshed from his crackdown on demonstrators seeking his overthrow begins to alienate even sympathetic Arab neighbors.
Syrian tanks stormed the eastern city of Deir al-Zor on Sunday, a week after they retook Hama, killing scores of people in an effort to crush two of the main Sunni Muslim centers of protest against Assad’s minority Alawite rule.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of people rallied in the Syrian city of Hama on Friday, calling for the downfall of President Bashar al-Assad, as Western envoys visited the city to show support for protesters.
Activists said security forces shot dead 13 people elsewhere, including six in the town of Dumair near Damascus.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Tens of thousands of people rallied in Syria’s Hama on Friday against President Bashar al-Assad as Western envoys visited the city to show support.
Activists said security forces shot dead four people elsewhere, including one in the Damascus district of Midan.