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Feb 19, 2014

Al Qaeda-linked group claims Beirut bombings

BEIRUT (Reuters) – The al Qaeda-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades claimed a twin bomb attack in Beirut on Wednesday, saying such attacks would continue until Hezbollah forces withdrew from the fighting in Syria and its own fighters were released from Lebanese jails.

The radical Lebanese group, which claimed the attack on its Twitter account, also said it was responsible for a November 19 attack on the Iranian embassy that killed 23 people, using the same tactic of twin suicide bombs. In both cases, most of the victims were civilians.

Feb 18, 2014

Syria’s warring parties share ire over jovial photos of local truce

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Pictures of rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad laughing and shaking hands after a local ceasefire have sparked outrage on both sides, shocked at the outpouring of goodwill after three years of fierce bloodletting.

The images came from a media trip organized by the Syrian government to the Damascus suburb of Babila, the latest in a series of districts to agree a truce that most opposition critics say works in Assad’s favor.

Feb 16, 2014

Hezbollah says will quit Syria if Arabs stop meddling

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah called on Sunday for Arab political forces to “stop the war on Syria,” promising that if they left the country alone, his Lebanese Shi’ite group would also withdraw.

The three-year-old conflict in Syria has fuelled Sunni-Shi’ite tensions in neighboring Lebanon and across the wider Arab world. It has drawn in militants who fight on both sides and receive funding and arms from rival regional powers.

Feb 15, 2014

Lebanon forms government after 10-month deadlock

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Lebanon announced a new government on Saturday, breaking a 10-month political deadlock during which spillover violence from neighboring Syria worsened internal instability.

A caretaker government has run the country since former Prime Minister Najib Mikati resigned in March as parties aligned with the Shi’ite Hezbollah movement and a Sunni-led rival bloc pursued a power struggle exacerbated by their support for opposing sides in Syria’s almost three-year-old civil war.

Feb 13, 2014

Lebanese strip off to support skier and women’s rights

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Free speech and women’s rights supporters have posted semi-nude photographs of themselves on the Internet to protest at official condemnation of an Olympic skier who posed for a topless calendar shoot.

Switzerland-based Jackie Chamoun, 22, who is skiing for Lebanon at the Winter Games in Sochi, has apologized for photos and a video that appeared online, saying they were never meant to be published and she understood the criticism inside the conservative country.

Feb 13, 2014

Olympics-Lebanese strip off to support skier and women’s rights

BEIRUT, Feb 13 (Reuters) – Free speech and women’s rights supporters have posted semi-nude photographs of themselves on the Internet to protest at official condemnation of an Olympic skier who posed for a topless calendar shoot.

Switzerland-based Jackie Chamoun, 22, who is skiing for Lebanon at the Winter Games in Sochi, has apologised for photos and a video that appeared online, saying they were never meant to be published and she understood the criticism inside the conservative country.

Feb 12, 2014

Syria killing accelerates as peace talks falter

BEIRUT, Feb 12 (Reuters) – Syrians have been dying in
greater numbers than ever since peace talks began three weeks
ago, activists said on Wednesday, as troops pounded rebel towns
on the Lebanese border and negotiations faltered in Geneva.

More than 230 people have been killed every day in Syria
since Jan. 22, when international mediators brought President
Bashar al-Assad’s government and its opponents together, the
British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. That is
more than in any other three weeks since the war began in 2011.

Feb 12, 2014

Battle on Lebanese border as Syria talks falter

BEIRUT (Reuters) – President Bashar al-Assad’s forces and fighters from Lebanese ally Hezbollah pounded Syria’s strategic border town of Yabroud on Wednesday, activists said, in apparent preparation for a new offensive to flush out rebels.

The assault is the latest step in Assad and Hezbollah’s campaign to assert control over the Lebanese-Syrian border region and fortify the president’s hold on central Syria, from the capital Damascus to his stronghold on the coast.

Feb 10, 2014

Al Qaeda splinter group quits oil-rich Syrian province

BEIRUT (Reuters) – An al Qaeda splinter group has withdrawn its forces from Syria’s oil-rich eastern province of Deir al-Zor, activists and rebels said on Monday, after days of heavy fighting with its rivals.

Rebel groups, including al Qaeda’s Syrian affiliate the Nusra Front, have been battling the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) for control of towns and oilfields Deir al-Zor.

Feb 7, 2014

U.N. welcomes reported Homs humanitarian deal, U.S. sceptical

BEIRUT/UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) – The United Nations on Thursday welcomed reports that an agreement had been reached to allow the evacuation of civilians from the besieged Syrian city of Homs as well as the delivery of aid, while Washington voiced scepticism about the government’s intentions.

The United Nations made clear that it was not a party to the deal and while it was ready to send in aid, it did not yet have the go-ahead from the government and opposition sides in Syria’s war to move on the reported agreement.

    • About Erika

      "I am a correspondent based in Dubai, where I focus mainly on political and general news in the UAE and the greater Arab Gulf region. I previously worked for Reuters in the Palestinian territories."
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