Douglas's Feed
Mar 28, 2012

Blasts and bullets after Syria accepts peace plan

BEIRUT, March 28 (Reuters) – Syrian government forces kept
up heavy weapons fire and siege tactics against opposition
strongholds on Wednesday despite President Bashar al-Assad’s
acceptance of a peace plan calling for the army to withdraw to
its barracks, activists said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported military
action against towns and villages from the southern province of
Deraa to the Hama region 320 kms (200 miles) to the north.

Feb 27, 2012

Do fence me in: Israel closing Sinai loopholes

SINAI BORDER, Israel (Reuters) – It may be only a “dumb” fence, but it’s a big one. Israel hopes it will protect the remote Sinai border from infiltration by enemies exploiting the wandering ways of Bedouin tribes and a perceived surge in lawlessness following Egypt’s political upheavals.

When it is finished in 2013, the 5-metre (16-foot) high barrier of galvanized steel bars and razor mesh — at this stage minus the smart electronic sensors used elsewhere — will run most of the 266 km (165 miles) from Eilat on the Red Sea’s Gulf of Aqaba up to the already-closed Gaza Strip on the Mediterranean.

Feb 19, 2012

Syria intervention drive mirrors Bosnia’s history

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Cold-blooded sniper killings, indiscriminate shelling, surgery by flashlight, death, fear and hunger in a darkened city under the ruthless hammer of a superior force.

In its random cruelty, the conflict in Syria starts to resemble the war in Bosnia 20 years ago, when Serb, Muslim and Croat forces tore the Balkan country apart and the besieged people of Sarajevo buried thousands of dead in sports fields.

Feb 7, 2012

Palestinians shift focus from Israel to unity

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has decided he has a better chance of making peace with the militant Islamist group Hamas than he does of signing a treaty with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In the short term at least, that might serve the interests of both Abbas and Netanyahu. It could equally open the door to Hamas dominance over Palestinian politics, as fellow Islamists rise to power elsewhere in elections following the Arab Spring.

Feb 1, 2012

Analysis: Hamas on the move, seeks Palestinian ascendancy

GAZA/JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Political winds from the Arab Spring are filling the sails of the Palestinian Islamist organization Hamas, as it seeks a course out of international isolation to the forefront of the Palestinian national movement.

Hamas’ ties to Syria and Iran are changing.

This week, the two top men in the 25-year-old organization dedicated to crushing the Jewish state and establishing Palestine “from the (Jordan) river to the sea” headed off in distinctly different directions for high-level talks, and they began to look intriguingly like rivals.

Jan 10, 2012

Israel prepares for fall of Assad, Syria refugees

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel is making preparations for the fall of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and a flood of refugees from his minority Alawite sect into the Golan Heights, Israel’s military chief told a parliamentary committee on Tuesday.

“Assad cannot continue to hold onto power,” a committee spokesman quoted Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz as saying.

Jan 10, 2012

Israel readies for fall of Syria’s Assad

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel is making preparations for the fall of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and a flood of refugees from his minority Alawite sect into the Golan Heights, Israel’s military chief told a parliamentary committee on Tuesday.

“Assad cannot continue to hold onto power,” a committee spokesman quoted Lieutenant-General Benny Gantz as saying.

Dec 11, 2011

Bodies, gunfire as Homs becomes war zone

BEIRUT (Reuters) – The dead can lie uncollected in Homs until the shooting dies down or darkness screens their recovery. In daytime, sniper fire and bursts from heavy machineguns can make it too dangerous to retrieve the corpses of people shot on the open street.

Accounts from people who have witnessed the scene in recent days, some having been wounded and escaped abroad, say the shooting is heavy and often indiscriminate. Together with video distributed by opposition activists, it suggests that some parts of the city of over a million people now resemble a war zone.

Dec 11, 2011

Bodies lie uncollected as Homs becomes war zone

BEIRUT (Reuters) – The dead can lie uncollected in Homs until the shooting dies down or darkness screens their recovery. In daytime, sniper fire and bursts from heavy machineguns can make it too dangerous to retrieve the corpses of people shot on the open street.

Accounts from people who have witnessed the scene in recent days, some having been wounded and escaped abroad, say the shooting is heavy and often indiscriminate. Together with video distributed by opposition activists, it suggests that some parts of the city of over a million people now resemble a war zone.

Dec 10, 2011

West warns Syria against storming rebel city

BEIRUT (Reuters) – France called on world powers to “save the Syrian people” on Saturday as it joined the United States and Britain in raising an alarm that President Bashar al-Assad’s forces may be about to storm the rebel stronghold of Homs.

In Damascus, the government denied any crackdown, while accusing its opponents of taking up arms and warning the rebels’ supporters in the West that Syria could count on Russia, China and others to oppose any foreign intervention in its affairs.