Bureau Chief Lebanon, Syria, Jordan
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Jan 10, 2014

Al Qaeda group fights back against Syria rebel assault

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Al Qaeda-linked jihadists struck back against rival rebels in eastern and northern Syria on Friday after a week of internecine fighting among opponents of President Bashar al-Assad in which 500 people have been killed, a monitoring group said.

A coordinated offensive by armed groups had seized several strongholds of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant in Aleppo, on the border with Turkey, and further east in Raqqa – the only city under control of Assad’s foes.

Jan 5, 2014

Syrian rebels launch fierce offensive against al Qaeda fighters

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian rebel factions battled fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) across north-west Syria on Saturday in the heaviest clashes between President Bashar al-Assad’s opponents in nearly three years of conflict, activists said.

The apparently coordinated strikes against the ISIL come after months of increasing resentment of the powerful al Qaeda-linked group, whose radical foreign jihadis and have alienated many ordinary Syrians in rebel-held territory.

Jan 4, 2014

Syrian rebel alliance battles al Qaeda-linked fighters

BEIRUT (Reuters) – An alliance of Islamist and other rebel factions battled fighters from the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) across north-western Syria on Saturday in apparently coordinated strikes against the powerful al Qaeda-linked group.

Activists said dozens of fighters had been killed in the clashes, which started on Friday and may have been provoked by increasing resentment against the radical ISIL fighters, many of them foreign jihadis.

Dec 12, 2013

Syrian opposition seeks Islamists’ protection against al Qaeda

ISTANBUL/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syria’s Western-backed opposition said on Thursday its military arm had invited Islamist fighters to secure its weapons depots on the Turkish frontier after an attack by al Qaeda militants.

The United States and Britain suspended non-lethal aid to northern Syria after reports that Islamic Front forces had taken buildings belonging to the coalition’s Syrian Military Council (SMC) in Bab al-Hawa on the border with Turkey.

Dec 4, 2013

Hezbollah says commander killed in Beirut, blames Israel

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Lebanon’s Shi’ite militant Hezbollah group said on Wednesday one of its commanders was killed outside his Beirut home in an overnight attack it blamed on Israel.

Israel denied any role in the killing of Hassan al-Laqqis, which Hezbollah said took place at around midnight in the southern Hadath district of the Lebanese capital.

Dec 1, 2013

Syrian PM tells ally Iran Assad is winning civil war

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Prime Minister Wael Halki said on Saturday that Syrian government forces were winning the war with rebels and would not rest while a single enemy fighter remained at large.

Maintaining Syria’s unyielding response to Western calls for President Bashar al-Assad to step aside, Halki said the era of “threats and intimidation has gone, never to return, while the era of victory and pride is being created now on Syrian soil”.

Nov 30, 2013

Syrian PM, visiting ally Iran, says government winning civil war

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Prime Minister Wael Halki said on Saturday Syrian government forces were winning the war with rebels and would not rest while a single enemy fighter remained at large.

Maintaining Syria’s unyielding response to Western calls for President Bashar al-Assad to step aside, Halki said the era of “threats and intimidation has gone, never to return, while the era of victory and pride is being created now on Syrian soil”.

Nov 27, 2013

Syria tells Western foes to stop dreaming Assad will go

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Western countries which demand that President Bashar al-Assad step down should either stop dreaming or forget attending peace talks in January, Syria said on Wednesday.

Responding to an announcement that the long-delayed “Geneva 2″ conference aimed at resolving Syria’s civil war will be held on January 22, it said Assad’s government would take part in the meeting but reiterated that it had no plans to surrender power.

Nov 20, 2013

Beirut blast: jolt from past and omen of dark future

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Thirty years after the Lebanese capital gave birth to the modern suicide bomber, a killer has again driven his explosive-packed car towards an embassy in Beirut, hurling charred corpses through the street.

For Lebanese, Tuesday’s carnage at the Iranian embassy – 23 people were killed and nearly 150 wounded – was both a sharp jolt from their own bloody past and a harrowing omen of a future as the Middle East’s next sectarian slaughterhouse.

Nov 20, 2013

Analysis – Beirut blast: jolt from past and omen of dark future

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Thirty years after the Lebanese capital gave birth to the modern suicide bomber, a killer has again driven his explosive-packed car towards an embassy in Beirut, hurling charred corpses through the street.

For Lebanese, Tuesday’s carnage at the Iranian embassy – 23 people were killed and nearly 150 wounded – was both a sharp jolt from their own bloody past and a harrowing omen of a future as the Middle East’s next sectarian slaughterhouse.

    • 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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