BEIRUT (Reuters) – Six hundred people left the besieged ruins of rebel-held central Homs on Sunday, escaping more than a year of hunger and deprivation caused by one of the most protracted blockades of Syria’s devastating conflict.
The evacuees, mainly women, children and old men, were brought out by the United Nations and Syrian Red Crescent on the third day of an operation during which the aid convoys came under fire and were briefly trapped themselves in the city.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – An aid convoy came under fire in a besieged rebel district of Homs on Saturday, threatening a United Nations-led operation to bring food and medicine to 2,500 people and evacuate civilians trapped by months of fighting in the Syrian city.
The Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) said mortar fire landed close to its convoy and shots were fired at its trucks, wounding one of its drivers.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – An aid convoy came under fire in a besieged rebel district of the Syrian city of Homs on Saturday, threatening a United Nations-led humanitarian operation which aimed to deliver medicine and food to around 2,500 trapped people.
The Syrian Arab Red Crescent said mortar fire landed close to its convoy and shots were fired at its trucks, wounding one of its drivers. Several vehicles from the aid convoy appeared to be stranded inside the city long after darkness fell.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – An aid convoy trying to reach a besieged rebel district of the Syrian city of Homs came under fire on Saturday, threatening a humanitarian operation which aimed to deliver medicine and food to around 2,500 trapped people.
The Syrian Arab Red Crescent said mortar fire landed close to its convoy and shots were fired at its trucks, wounding one of its drivers and violating a three-day ceasefire in the city.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Eight years ago Hassan Ghamlouche’s jewellery shop was gutted when Israeli jets bombarded the Hezbollah-controlled district of southern Beirut where he works.
Now a wall of sandbags stands in front of the glittering gold in his shop window to protect Ghamlouche and his customers from a new threat – a wave of car bombs which have struck the capital’s Shi’ite neighborhoods in the last six months.
GENEVA (Reuters) – When Syria’s political foes met across a negotiating table for the first time in nearly three years of conflict, the top priority was to keep them from walking out.
Diplomats had talked up the importance of getting the two sides in the same room in Geneva, but at one point things were so bad that it looked like that room might be the departure lounge at the city’s airport.
GENEVA (Reuters) – Syria’s opposing parties discussed aid and prisoner releases on Sunday in talks aimed at building some kind of trust before tough political negotiations, but there was no sign of the early progress sought by an international mediator.
Russia, one of the talks’ sponsors, said any agreement on easing the humanitarian crisis created by the Syrian civil war would help to improve the atmosphere at the Geneva talks, but acknowledged that positions were polarized, emotions were on edge and the situation remained extremely grave.
GENEVA (Reuters) – Syria’s civil war foes held their first face-to-face meeting on Saturday at the start of talks to end nearly three years of conflict which has killed 130,000 people and destabilized the wider Middle East.
After a day of delay and fierce recrimination, government and opposition delegates faced each other across a negotiating table at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva in the presence of international mediator Lakhdar Brahimi.
MONTREUX, Switzerland (Reuters) – A U.N. envoy was to meet delegations from Syria’s government and its foes on Lake Geneva on Thursday, trying to salvage peace talks after an acrimonious start by focusing on local ceasefires and prisoner swaps rather than a political deal.
The first day of the talks on Wednesday was dominated by fierce rhetoric from President Bashar al-Assad’s government and its foes. Brought together for the first time in almost three years of war, each accused the other of atrocities and showed no sign of compromise.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Nine years after the assassination of Lebanese statesman Rafik al-Hariri, the trial of four men accused of his killing opens on Thursday. But the defendants are on the run, bombers are back on Beirut streets and a new era of justice which the trial was meant to introduce to Lebanon remains elusive.
Hariri and 21 other people were killed on the Beirut seafront in February 2005, the deadliest of a series of attacks against critics of Syria’s military dominance in Lebanon.