Bureau Chief Lebanon, Syria, Jordan
Dominic's Feed
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.

Jan 26, 2014

Syria negotiators discuss relief to Homs, prisoner releases

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.

Jan 25, 2014

Syrian civil war foes meet for first time, focus on aid

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.

Jan 23, 2014

U.N. envoy meets Syria foes to salvage talks after bitter start

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.

Jan 15, 2014

Justice elusive as Lebanon’s Hariri trial opens without accused

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.

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.

    • 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."
    • Follow Dominic