Bureau Chief Lebanon, Syria, Jordan
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Oct 8, 2013

Syria wins cautious praise as chemical disarmament starts

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syria won foreign praise on Monday for starting to destroy its chemical arsenal, although an opposition activist said the world was merely giving President Bashar al-Assad time to kill more people with conventional weapons.

An official from the international mission overseeing the stockpile’s elimination said Damascus had made an excellent start on Sunday, and the United States acknowledged its rapid compliance with a U.N. resolution on destroying chemical weapons as extremely significant.

Oct 7, 2013

Syria makes “excellent” start on chemical disarmament

BEIRUT, Oct 7 (Reuters) – Syria won foreign praise on Monday
for starting to destroy its chemical arsenal, although an
opposition activist said the world was merely giving President
Bashar al-Assad time to kill more people with conventional
weapons.

An official from the international mission overseeing the
stockpile’s elimination said Damascus had made an excellent
start on Sunday, and the United States acknowledged its rapid
compliance with a U.N. resolution on destroying chemical weapons
as extremely significant.

Oct 7, 2013

Syria makes “excellent” start on chemical disarmament, official says

BEIRUT, Oct 7 (Reuters) – Syria won foreign praise on Monday
for starting to destroy its chemical arsenal, although an
opposition activist said the world was merely giving President
Bashar al-Assad time to kill more people with conventional
weapons.

An official from the international mission overseeing the
stockpile’s elimination said Damascus had made an excellent
start, and the United States acknowledged its rapid compliance
with a U.N. resolution on destroying chemical weapons as
extremely significant.

Sep 28, 2013

Rebels seize military post on Syria’s southern border

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Rebel fighters including foreign Islamists took control of a military post on Syria’s southern border with Jordan on Saturday after four days of heavy fighting with President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, activists said.

The former customs post on the edge of the city of Deraa, where Syria’s uprising against Assad erupted in 2011, was seized by several groups including the al Qaeda-affiliated Nusra Front and the Islamist Ahrar al-Sham, according to the reports.

Sep 27, 2013

U.N. probing more Syria chemical attacks, inspections to start

BEIRUT (Reuters) – U.N. chemical weapons inspectors in Syria are investigating seven cases of alleged chemical or biological weapons use, including three incidents around Damascus after the August 21 attack which almost triggered U.S. air strikes.

In a statement from Damascus on Friday, the United Nations said inspectors probing the attacks had returned to Syria on Wednesday and expected to finalize their work on Monday on a report to be issued by late October. The United States and its allies say an initial U.N. report that said sarin gas was used on August 21 showed government forces were responsible.

Sep 19, 2013

Syria war, refugees to cost Lebanon $7.5 billion – World Bank

BEIRUT, Sept 19 (Reuters) – Syria’s conflict will cost
Lebanon $7.5 billion in cumulative economic losses by the end of
next year, the World Bank has said in a report prepared for an
aid meeting at the United Nations.

A summary of the report, seen by Reuters after the World
Bank briefed diplomats in Beirut, provides the most detailed
assessment yet of the strain Syria’s conflict has placed on its
small Mediterranean neighbour.

Sep 16, 2013

Lebanon’s central bank to provide further stimulus

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Lebanon’s central bank plans a further boost next year to an economy hit by war in neighboring Syria and domestic turmoil, but the package will be smaller than this year’s $1.46 billion, its governor said on Monday.

Riad Salameh said the stimulus plan had been vital to keeping Lebanon’s economy growing at a rate which he estimated at between 2.0 and 2.25 percent this year, and additional support would be needed in 2014.

Sep 16, 2013

U.S., France, Britain to press Assad on chemical arms

PARIS/BEIRUT (Reuters) – The United States, France and Britain agreed on Monday to step up pressure on President Bashar al-Assad to stick to the terms of a deal under which Syria is to give up its huge arsenal of chemical weapons and avoid U.S. military strikes.

The three Western permanent members on the United Nations Security Council agree to seek a strong resolution in that forum that sets binding deadlines for the removal of Syria’s chemical weapons, French President Francois Hollande’s office said.

Sep 16, 2013

Chemical weapons deal wins time for Syria’s Assad but at a cost

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons bargain with Russia and the United States offers another political and military lifeline to the Syrian president, just two years after he was dismissed in Washington as a “dead man walking”.

The deal, reached under the shadow of threatened U.S. air strikes and only after the intervention of Syria’s ally Moscow, does come at a cost to the Syrian leader – a fact which likely explains the muted response in Damascus when it was announced.

Sep 10, 2013

France to propose U.N. resolution on Syria chemical weapons

PARIS/BEIRUT (Reuters) – France is to put forward a U.N. Security Council draft resolution for Syria to give up its chemical weapons, quickly turning a Russian idea into a full-blown diplomatic proposal that could avert Western military strikes.

The French draft would threaten “extremely serious” consequences if Syria violates the conditions for giving up its chemical weapons, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Tuesday.

    • 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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