AMMAN/LONDON (Reuters) – Russian President Vladimir Putin, arriving in Britain ahead of an international summit set to be dominated by disagreement over the U.S. decision to send weapons to Syria’s rebels, said the West must not arm fighters who eat human flesh.
In Syria, rebels fought back on Sunday against forces of President Bashar al-Assad and his Lebanese Hezbollah allies near Aleppo, where Assad has announced a campaign to recapture the rebel-held north after seizing a strategic town this month.
AMMAN, June 16 (Reuters) – Rebel brigades fought
Hezbollah-backed forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad in
and around Syria’s commercial hub of Aleppo on Sunday, trying to
claw back territory lost to an assault that threatens the
opposition’s grip on the city, activists said.
Rebel brigades poured into Aleppo last July and have more
than half the city under their control. But pro-Assad forces
have deployed there in the past three weeks, suggesting a push
to retake the city could be under way.
AMMAN (Reuters) – Syrian rebels and activists say they fear President Bashar al-Assad’s troops could resort to wider use of chemical weapons, unless the United States follows up on its pledge of military support with firm and swift action.
After months of equivocating, President Barack Obama’s administration said on Thursday it would arm rebels, having obtained proof the Syrian government used chemical weapons against fighters trying to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.
AMMAN/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad are massing around Aleppo in preparation for an offensive to retake the city and build on battlefield gains that have swung the momentum of Syria’s war to Assad and his Hezbollah allies.
Rebels reported signs of large numbers of Shi’ite Muslim fighters flowing in from Iraq to help Assad end the civil war that has killed at least 80,000 people and forced 1.6 million Syrians to flee abroad.
AMMAN (Reuters) – Fighting is intensifying in northern Syria, where rebels say President Bashar al-Assad’s forces and their Lebanese Hezbollah allies are preparing an offensive after success last week in seizing a strategic town further south.
The capture by Assad’s forces and Hezbollah of the town of Qusair, which controls vital supply routes across Syrian and with Lebanon, is a sign of reversing momentum after the rebels seized swathes of the country in the second half of last year.
AMSTERDAM/AMMAN (Reuters) – Syria, defeated by Israel in three wars and afraid its arch enemy had gained a nuclear arsenal, began in earnest to build a covert chemical weapons program three decades ago, aided by its neighbors, allies and European chemical wholesalers.
Damascus lacked the technology and scientific capacity to set up a program on its own, but with backing from foreign allies it amassed what is believed to be one of the deadliest stockpiles of nerve agent in the world, Western military experts said.
ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Syria’s opposition cast doubt on Friday on hopes of any meaningful progress in planned international peace talks after President Bashar al-Assad said only a referendum could decide whether he should leave power.
Russia and the United States are trying to draw Assad’s representatives and his opponents into a conference in Geneva on forming a transitional government in an effort to end a civil war that has killed more than 80,000 people.
ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Syria’s opposition, under pressure to broaden its Islamist-dominated leadership, struggled to overcome deep rifts on Thursday and form a united front for a proposed international conference to try to end the Syrian civil war.
Delegates at inconclusive talks in Istanbul agreed to add 14 named members of a liberal bloc led by veteran figure Michel Kilo to the 60-member assembly of the Syrian National Coalition, the closest body that President Bashar al-Assad’s foes have to an overall civilian leadership in the two-year-old uprising.
ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Syria’s opposition, under pressure to broaden its Islamist-dominated leadership, struggled to overcome deep rifts on Thursday and form a united front for a proposed international conference to try to end the Syrian war.
Delegates at talks in Istanbul agreed to add 14 members of a liberal bloc led by veteran figure Michel Kilo to the 60-member assembly of the Syrian National Coalition, the closest body that Assad’s foes have to an overall civilian leadership in the two-year-old uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.
ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Syria’s divided opposition, under heavy pressure to shake up its Islamist-dominated ranks, struck a deal on Thursday to present a more representative image to the world before a proposed international peace conference.
Delegates at talks in Istanbul agreed to admit a liberal bloc led by veteran figure Michel Kilo into the Syrian National Coalition, which acts as the civilian opposition leadership in the two-year conflict with the Damascus government.