Bureau Chief Lebanon, Syria, Jordan
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Jun 12, 2012

Syria in civil war, U.N. official says

UNITED NATIONS/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syria’s 15-month uprising has grown into a full-scale civil war where President Bashar al-Assad’s forces are trying to recapture swathes of urban territory lost to rebels, the U.N. peacekeeping chief said on Tuesday.

“Yes, I think we can say that,” U.N. Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Herve Ladsous said when asked if the Syrian crisis could now be characterized as a civil war.

Jun 11, 2012

U.N. says Syrian helicopters fire on rebel strongholds

BEIRUT (Reuters) – United Nations monitors said Syrian helicopters fired on rebel strongholds north of Homs on Monday and said many women and children were reported trapped in the city, calling for “immediate and unfettered access” to the conflict zones.

International mediator Kofi Annan also expressed grave concern about violence in Homs and in Haffeh, a mainly Sunni Muslim town near the Mediterranean coast, where the U.S. State Department said it feared a “potential massacre”.

Jun 7, 2012

Newsmaker: Assad’s blood-soaked battle for Syria

BEIRUT (Reuters) – His opponents paint him as a butcher, dripping with the blood of thousands killed in a crackdown aimed at maintaining his family’s four-decade rule over Syria.

But President Bashar al-Assad, who has stemmed what many saw as an unstoppable tide of popular protest, says he is fighting to save his country from foreign-backed “terrorists” bent on destroying a proud Arab nation.

Jun 7, 2012

Assad’s blood-soaked battle for Syria

BEIRUT (Reuters) – His opponents paint him as a butcher, dripping with the blood of thousands killed in a crackdown aimed at maintaining his family’s four-decade rule over Syria.

But President Bashar al-Assad, who has stemmed what many saw as an unstoppable tide of popular protest, says he is fighting to save his country from foreign-backed “terrorists” bent on destroying a proud Arab nation.

Jun 1, 2012

Syria on brink of sectarian civil war, West says

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syria is nearing full-blown sectarian civil war that would be catastrophic for the entire Middle East, Western nations said on Thursday, urging Russia to end its support for President Bashar al-Assad and put pressure on him to stop the bloodshed.

With anti-Assad rebels urging international envoy Kofi Annan to declare his peace plan dead, freeing them from any commitment to the tattered truce, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the prospect of spiraling violence presented “terrible” danger.

May 31, 2012

More killings and ultimatum deepen Syria conflict

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian rebels on Wednesday gave President Bashar al-Assad a 48-hour deadline to comply with an international peace plan otherwise they would renew their battle to overthrow him.

The ultimatum was issued after U.N. observers reported the discovery of 13 bodies bound and shot in eastern Syria, adding to the world outcry over the massacre last week of 108 men, women and children.

May 30, 2012

U.N. monitors say 13 killed in cold blood in Syria

BEIRUT (Reuters) – U.N. observers said on Wednesday 13 bodies had been discovered bound and shot in eastern Syria, days after a massacre of 108 civilians, nearly half of them children, ignited a world outcry.

Syrian activists said the victims were army defectors killed by Assad’s forces, but it was not possible to verify their accounts.

May 23, 2012

Syria violence shakes Lebanon’s fragile stability

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Gunmen clash in deadly street battles, protesters block roads with burning tires and opposition politicians demand the prime minister’s downfall, denouncing the army as an agent of a foreign power.

Fragile Lebanon’s sectarian tensions, which festered for two decades since the end of its ruinous civil war, have been re-ignited by the turmoil in powerful neighbor Syria and threaten to plunge the country into a sustained period of unrest.

May 21, 2012

Two killed in Sunni Muslim clashes in Beirut

BEIRUT (Reuters) – At least two people were killed in heavy fighting between rival Sunni Muslim gunmen in Beirut on Monday, medical and security sources said, in the latest violence fuelled by tensions over the uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The clashes followed the killing of an anti-Assad Sunni cleric and his colleague at an army checkpoint in north Lebanon on Sunday, triggering angry protests in Sunni districts of northern cities and the capital.

May 11, 2012

Syria says thwarts 1,200 kg car bomb in Aleppo

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian forces foiled an attempted suicide car bombing with 1,200 kg (2,640 pounds) of explosives in the northern city of Aleppo on Friday, state television said, a day after two bombs in the capital Damascus killed at least 55 people.

The would-be bomber was killed in the al Shaar district of Syria’s largest city which, like Damascus, has seen increasing street protests against President Bashar al-Assad and rising levels of bloodshed after months of relative calm.

    • 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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