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Jun 28, 2013

Rebels seize Deraa army post in battle for cradle of Syria revolt

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian rebels said they had overrun a major military checkpoint in Deraa on Friday and hoped it would allow them to capture the southern city, the cradle of their 27-month-old uprising.

Activists uploaded video showing fighters blowing up two high-rise buildings that had flanked the army post, flattening the entire area in a cloud of dust.

Jun 25, 2013

Army win in Lebanon’s Sidon has set sectarian ‘trap’: Sunnis say

SIDON, Lebanon (Reuters) – Soldiers strutted confidently down the battle-scarred streets of the Lebanese port of Sidon on Tuesday after routing a radical Sunni Muslim sheikh and his militant supporters in a two-day battle.

But many residents were seething over the crackdown, angry at the role of Hezbollah fighters they say triggered the fight and worried that the clashes portend more sectarian violence to come.

Jun 23, 2013

Region’s woes take centre stage as refugee becomes ‘Arab Idol’

BEIRUT (Reuters) – The finalists of “Arab Idol” were as glamorous as Hollywood stars in their tuxedos and evening gowns, but their real lives couldn’t be further from the bright lights of the stage.

The three hopefuls hailed from Syria, Egypt and the Palestinian territories – some of the world’s most troubled and unsettled countries.

Jun 20, 2013

Rebels hang on near Damascus, hope for deal on arms from Jordan

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian rebels besieged in the outskirts of Damascus say they are facing a slow but steady advance by President Bashar al-Assad’s forces, and are pinning their hopes on an anticipated influx of weapons from the Jordanian border.

Opposition fighters once threatened Assad’s dominance of Damascus but are now struggling to repel his forces, who have been emboldened by winning a strategic border town further north and have help from Lebanese Hezbollah militants and Shi’ite Iraqi fighters.

Jun 18, 2013

Lebanese minister accuses Syria of “ethnic cleansing”

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have begun ethnically cleansing Sunni Muslims and deliberately pushing refugees across the border into Lebanon, the Lebanese caretaker minister for social affairs said on Tuesday.

Assad is battling a Sunni-led revolt in Syria, which he and his father before him have ruled for four decades. He belongs to the minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam.

Jun 18, 2013

Lebanese minister accuses Syria of ‘ethnic cleansing’ of Sunnis

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have begun ethnically cleansing Sunni Muslims and deliberately pushing refugees across the border into Lebanon, the Lebanese caretaker minister for social affairs said on Tuesday.

Assad is battling a Sunni-led revolt in Syria, which he and his father before him have ruled for four decades. He belongs to the minority Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shi’ite Islam.

Jun 15, 2013

U.S. considers no-fly zone after Syria crosses nerve gas ‘red line’

ANKARA/BEIRUT (Reuters) – The United States is considering a no-fly zone in Syria as it weighs options for intervention into the 2-year-old civil war, Western diplomats said on Friday, after the White House said Syria had crossed a “red line” by using nerve gas.

After months of deliberation, President Barack Obama’s administration said on Thursday it would now arm rebels, having obtained proof the Syrian government used chemical weapons against fighters trying to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.

Jun 14, 2013

U.S. to increase military support to Syria rebels

WASHINGTON/BEIRUT (Reuters) – President Barack Obama has authorized sending U.S. weapons to Syrian rebels for the first time, a U.S. official said on Thursday after the White House said it has proof that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons against opposition forces fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.

The U.S. decision came as Assad’s surging forces and their Lebanese Hezbollah allies turned their guns on the north, fighting near the northern city of Aleppo and bombarding the central city of Homs after having seized the initiative by winning the open backing of Hezbollah last month and capturing the strategic town of Qusair last week.

Jun 14, 2013

U.S. says Assad forces used chemical weapons against Syria rebels

WASHINGTON/BEIRUT (Reuters) – The United States has concluded that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces used chemical weapons against rebel fighters and Washington will supply direct military assistance to the opposition, the White House said on Thursday.

The new assessment and decision came as Assad’s surging forces and their Lebanese Hezbollah allies turned their guns on the north, fighting near the northern city of Aleppo and bombarding the central city of Homs after having seized the initiative by winning the open backing of Hezbollah last month and capturing the strategic town of Qusair last week.

Jun 13, 2013

Obama considers Syria moves, Assad turns guns on north

BEIRUT (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama is deciding whether to take new action to help Syria’s rebels, the White House said on Thursday, while President Bashar al-Assad’s surging forces and their Lebanese Hezbollah allies turned their guns on the north.

Assad’s forces fought near the northern city of Aleppo on Thursday and bombarded the central city of Homs, having seized the initiative by winning the open backing of Hezbollah last month and capturing the strategic town of Qusair last week.

    • 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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