John's Feed
Jul 24, 2013

Exclusive – Diplomats test waters on U.N. Syrian aid resolution

PARIS (Reuters) – Diplomats have started exploring whether they could get enough votes to pass a U.N. Security EXCouncil resolution to help aid groups get into Syria as the death count mounts, a French diplomatic source said on Wednesday.

Syria’s civil war has killed more than 100,000 people and left millions homeless.

Jul 24, 2013

Diplomats test waters on U.N. Syrian aid resolution

PARIS (Reuters) – Diplomats have started exploring whether they would be able to get enough votes to pass a U.N. Security Council resolution to help aid groups get into Syria as the death count mounts, a French diplomatic source said on Wednesday.

The civil war has killed more than 100,000 people and left millions in desperate need of aid, say humanitarian groups.

Jul 23, 2013

Syria’s opposition leaders lobby Paris for advanced weapons

PARIS (Reuters) – Syria’s opposition coalition said on Tuesday it still did not have enough sophisticated weapons to turn the tide against forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and would try to convince Paris to provide more military help.

Speaking ahead of a visit to the United States and the United Nations on Friday, newly elected Syrian National Coalition (SNC) leader Ahmed al-Jarba and rebel military commander General Salim Idriss were in Paris to meet French officials including President Francois Hollande.

Jul 15, 2013

Syria coalition plans council to hasten rebel restructuring

PARIS (Reuters) – Syria’s opposition coalition wants to create a 10-person executive council to reorganize disparate rebel factions into a structured army with adequate financing and weapons, one of its senior members said on Monday.

Islamist militant groups that have come to the fore in Syria reject the authority of the Western- and Gulf Arab-backed Syrian National Coalition, whose leaders live mostly abroad. Last week foreign Islamist fighters killed a commander of the Free Syrian Army (FSA), which is aligned with the coalition.

Jun 26, 2013

New French-backed Syrian radio promises independent voice

PARIS, June 26 (Reuters) – Syrian journalists backed by
France launched a Paris-based radio station on Wednesday that
will broadcast deep into Syria, aiming to provide what they said
would be independent coverage of the civil war.

Apart from their military conflict, the Syrian government
and rebels are waging a propaganda war using television, radio
and the Internet. Access for international media is restricted
by the Damascus authorities and by security constraints.

Jun 20, 2013

France’s Fabius wants more talks with Syria rebels before arming

PARIS (Reuters) – France said on Thursday it needed more talks with Syrian rebels before it could supply them with heavy weapons and said recent gains by Syrian government forces did not mean President Bashar al-Assad was heading for a “complete victory.”

Foreign ministers from the Friends of Syria anti-Assad alliance, which includes the United States, France, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, will meet on Saturday in the Qatari capital Doha to discuss assistance for the Free Syrian Army.

Jun 13, 2013

France gambles on Syrian rebels as arms decision nears

PARIS (Reuters) – It’s a warm day on the Turkish-Syrian border. France’s recently recalled ambassador to Syria is incognito with his deputy and a security agent.

After checking the surroundings are clear, the diplomat pulls out a stash of brown envelopes stuffed with thousands of dollars. The recipients are “viable” rebels operating in zones no longer under President Bashar al-Assad’s control.

Jun 13, 2013

Insight: France gambles on Syrian rebels as arms decision nears

PARIS (Reuters) – It’s a warm day on the Turkish-Syrian border. France’s recently recalled ambassador to Syria is incognito with his deputy and a security agent.

After checking the surroundings are clear, the diplomat pulls out a stash of brown envelopes stuffed with thousands of dollars. The recipients are “viable” rebels operating in zones no longer under President Bashar al-Assad’s control.

Jun 13, 2013

West to discuss aid with Syria rebel leader; insurgents kill Shi’ites

BEIRUT/PARIS (Reuters) – Western officials will meet the commander of the main force fighting President Bashar al-Assad on Saturday to discuss new aid, diplomats said, signaling a new bid to help mainstream rebels and counter the strength of sectarian militias.

Underscoring the West’s fears of an uncontrolled sectarian bloodbath, activists said Sunni insurgent militiamen had killed some 60 Shi’ites in a town in the east of Syria.

Jun 12, 2013

Khamenei is erasing Iran’s presidency, Bani-Sadr says

VERSAILLES, France (Reuters) – Exiled former Iranian president Abolhassan Bani-Sadr accused Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday of using this week’s presidential election to weaken the office and cement his own power.

Bani-Sadr, a sworn opponent of Tehran’s clerical rulers ever since being driven from office and fleeing in 1981, told Reuters in an interview that the six remaining candidates in Friday’s poll were separated by only shades of difference on policy.