Bureau Chief Lebanon, Syria, Jordan
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Mar 14, 2014

Syria agrees greater access for aid supplies: UNICEF

ZAHLE, Lebanon (Reuters) – Syria’s government has promised greater access for aid groups supporting millions of Syrians, but faster progress is needed to tackle a dire humanitarian crisis, the head of the United Nations children’s agency said on Friday.

UNICEF executive director Anthony Lake, speaking at a refugee camp for Syrians in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley, said he was encouraged by “business-like” talks he held this week with Syrian officials in Damascus and Homs.

Mar 2, 2014

Al Qaeda splinter group denies killing Islamist rival in Syria

BEIRUT (Reuters) – An al Qaeda splinter group in Syria has denied it was behind the killing of a prominent al Qaeda figure last week and appeared to reject an ultimatum from rival fighters to accept mediation or face all-out assault.

The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) was responding to the killing last Sunday of Abu Khaled al-Soury, who was close to both al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri and his predecessor Osama bin Laden.

Feb 26, 2014

Syria agrees new April target to remove chemicals – diplomats

BEIRUT/UNITED NATIONS, Feb 26 (Reuters) – Syria has agreed a
new timetable to remove its chemical weapons by late April after
failing to meet a deadline to ship out the arsenal earlier this
month, diplomats said on Wednesday.

Under a U.S.-Russian deal reached after a chemical weapons
attack killed hundreds of people around Damascus last year,
President Bashar al-Assad’s government should have handed over
1,300 tonnes of toxic chemicals by Feb. 5 for destruction
abroad.

Feb 25, 2014

Syrian al Qaeda group gives rival Islamists ultimatum

BEIRUT (Reuters) – The head of al Qaeda’s Syrian arm has given rival Islamist militants five days to accept mediation to end their infighting or face a war which will “eradicate” them, according to an audio recording posted on Tuesday.

Abu Mohammed al-Golani, leader of the Nusra Front, called on the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) to agree to arbitration by religious scholars to end more than a year of feuding which has turned violent.

Feb 10, 2014

Six hundred Syrians flee besieged Old Homs in aid convoy

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.

Feb 9, 2014

U.N. aid convoy struck in Syria’s besieged Homs

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.

Feb 8, 2014

U.N. aid convoy struck in besieged central Homs

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.

Feb 8, 2014

Aid convoy hit trying to reach Syria’s besieged Homs

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.

Jan 30, 2014

Sandbags and security in Shi’ite Beirut after bombings

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.

Jan 28, 2014

Insight: At Syrian peace table, embittered enemies face off

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.

    • 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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