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May 9, 2013

Hezbollah says Syria will send it new arms after Israeli raid

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah said Syria would respond to Israeli raids around Damascus by giving his group sophisticated new weapons, the outcome Israel said its attack was launched to avert.

“If the aim of your attack was to prevent the strengthening of the resistance’s capabilities, then Syria will give the resistance sophisticated weapons the like of which it hasn’t seen before,” he said in a televised speech on Thursday.

May 8, 2013

U.S., Russia seek new Syria peace talks; rebels skeptical

MOSCOW/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Russia and the United States agreed to seek new peace talks with both sides to end Syria’s civil war, but opposition leaders were skeptical on Wednesday of an initiative they fear might let President Bashar al-Assad to cling to power.

Visiting Moscow after Israel bombed targets near Damascus and as President Barack Obama faces renewed calls to arm the rebels, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Russia had agreed to try to arrange a conference as early as this month.

May 8, 2013

Syrian opposition sees bleak prospects for U.S.-Russia led talks

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Leaders of Syria’s political and armed opposition said on Wednesday they were skeptical of a plan by the United States and Russia to bring together the warring sides in their country’s two-year conflict for a peace conference.

A day after the announcement by Secretary of State John Kerry and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Moscow of plans for a peace conference, opposition figures said they were still reluctant to talk with President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

May 7, 2013

U.S., Russia push for rapid talks to end Syria carnage

MOSCOW/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Russia and the United States have agreed to bury their differences over Syria and hold urgent international talks to find a settlement that can end the carnage of a civil war that is inflaming the entire Middle East.

Visiting Moscow after Israel bombed targets near Damascus and as President Barack Obama faces new calls to arm the rebels, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Russia had agreed to try to arrange a conference as early as this month involving both President Bashar al-Assad’s government and his opponents.

May 4, 2013

Syrian Sunnis flee coastal town after night of killing

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Hundreds of Sunni Muslim families fled the Syrian coastal town of Banias on Saturday after fighters loyal to President Bashar al-Assad killed at least 62 people overnight and left bloodied and burned corpses piled in the streets, activists said.

A pro-opposition monitoring group posted a video online showing the mutilated bodies of 10 people it said were killed in a southern district of Banias, half of them children.

May 4, 2013

Syrian Sunnis flee coastal town fearing sectarian violence

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Hundreds of Sunni Muslim families fled Syria’s coastal town of Banias on Saturday, fearing further sectarian violence after fighters loyal to President Bashar al-Assad killed dozens of people overnight, according to activists.

The activists said the killings in the Ras al-Nabaa district of Banias took place two days after state forces and pro-Assad militias killed at least 50 Sunnis in the nearby village of Baida.

May 3, 2013

Dozens dead as Assad’s forces storm coastal village

BEIRUT (Reuters) – State forces and militias loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad stormed the coastal village of Baida on Thursday, killing at least 50 people including women and children, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The pro-opposition monitoring group said the final death toll was likely to exceed 100. Many of those killed appeared to have been executed by shooting or stabbing, it said, and other bodies were found burned.

May 2, 2013

Dozens dead as Assad’s forces storm Syrian coastal village

BEIRUT (Reuters) – State forces and militias loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad stormed the coastal village of Baida on Thursday, killing at least 50 people including women and children, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The pro-opposition monitoring group said the final death toll was likely to exceed 100. Many of those killed appeared to have been executed by shooting or stabbing, it said, and other bodies were found burned.

May 2, 2013

Assad forces on the offensive from Damascus to Mediterranean

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad retook a central district in the city of Homs on Thursday, driving a wedge between two isolated pockets of rebel resistance in Syria’s third largest city, fighters and activists said.

The recapture of Wadi al-Sayeh, which links the besieged rebel stronghold in Khalidiyah to the opposition-held old city, appears to be part of a series of carefully focused counter-offensives that mark a shift from the indiscriminate campaigns earlier in the two-year-old conflict.

Apr 24, 2013

Syrian army seizes strategic town near capital

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad seized a strategic town east of Damascus on Wednesday, breaking a critical weapons supply route for the rebels, activists and fighters said.

Rebels have held several suburbs ringing the southern and eastern parts Damascus for months, but they have been struggling to maintain their positions against a ground offensive backed by fierce army shelling and air strikes in recent weeks.

    • 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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