BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian rebels battled government forces along the Turkish border on Tuesday in an attempt to seize a border crossing into its northern neighbor, which has backed the 18-month-old uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.
Iran’s foreign minister proposed a new regional monitoring mission to try to stem the bloodshed in Syria and will have talks with President Bashar al-Assad in Damascus on Wednesday, state media said. Previous monitoring initiatives collapsed.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Hezbollah leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah made a rare public appearance on Monday to tell the United States it would face more anger and grave repercussions across the Muslim world unless it suppressed a film that demeans the Prophet Mohammad.
Arguing that the world had not yet grasped the depth of hurt felt by Muslims, Nasrallah called on governments to block access to websites showing the film, which was made in California and depicts Mohammad as a womanizer, homosexual and child abuser.
BEIRUT, Sept 16 (Reuters) – Pope Benedict urged Arab leaders
on Sunday at a huge open-air Mass in Lebanon to work for
reconciliation in a Middle East riven by Syria’s civil war and
blazing with fury over a film mocking the Muslim Prophet
“May God grant to your country, to Syria and to the Middle
East, the gift of peaceful hearts, the silencing of weapons and
the cessation of all violence,” the pope said in a prayer after
Mass that organisers said was attended by 350,000 people.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Pope Benedict urged Middle Eastern Christians on Sunday to work for peace and against “the grim trail of death and destruction” in the world, in a sermon delivered in Lebanon as civil war raged in neighboring Syria.
Benedict was speaking at an open-air Mass on Beirut’s Mediterranean seafront attended by 350,000 worshippers, according to the organizers’ estimate, and leaders of Lebanon’s Christian and Muslim communities including from militant Shi’ite group Hezbollah.
BEIRUT, Sept 15 (Reuters) – Pope Benedict urged multi-faith
Lebanon on Saturday to be a model of religious peace for the
Middle East, as a civil war raged in neighbouring Syria,
deepening sectarian divisions.
“Lebanon is called, now more than ever, to be an example,”
he told political and religious leaders on the second day of a
visit that coincided with violent protests across the Muslim
world against a U.S.-made film insulting Islam.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Pope Benedict appealed on Friday for a halt to the flow of arms into Syria, saying it would help end a civil war which has killed many thousands of people and which Christians fear could bring Islamists to power.
In his strongest comments yet on the conflict, Benedict branded the weapons imports as a “grave sin” as he arrived at the start of a three-day visit to Beirut, just 50 km (30 miles) from the Syrian border.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – International peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi arrived in Syria’s capital on Thursday as state forces pounded its eastern outskirts to flush out rebels trying to retain a foothold in Damascus.
Brahimi’s mission is a challenging one as neither side in the rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad seems ready to put down arms. Nor does Brahimi enjoy the necessary support from divided world and Middle East powers.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – A powerful Shi’ite Muslim clan handed over a Turkish hostage to Lebanese security forces on Monday, freeing a man believed to be the only remaining captive among more than 20 people abducted by the group last month.
The armed wing of Lebanon’s Meqdad clan kidnapped Turkish businessman Aydin Tufan Tekin in mid-August along with a group of Syrian men. The hostages were taken in retaliation for the abduction of a Meqdad relative in Damascus, seized by rebels trying to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian forces bombarded a crowded Palestinian refugee district in Damascus on Friday, killing at least 10 people according to residents, while other parts of the city were rocked by apparent rebel bomb attacks.
The main focus of the fighting is now in the economic center, Aleppo, but rebels fighting to topple President Bashar al-Assad continue to attack government forces and buildings in the capital.
ALEPPO, Syria (Reuters) – President Bashar al-Assad told his troops on Wednesday that their battle against rebels would decide Syria’s fate, but his written message gave no clues to his whereabouts two weeks after a bomb attack on his inner circle.
In Aleppo, rebel fighters seized three police stations while fighting the army for control of a strategically important district. Explosions could be heard and helicopter gunships cruised the skies as troops tried to push the rebels out of the northern city and preserve one of Assad’s main centers of power.