Senior Correspondent, Syria
Khaled's Feed
Nov 22, 2013

Al Qaeda affiliate captures Syrian town on border with Turkey: activists

AMMAN (Reuters) – An al Qaeda affiliate has captured a northern Syrian town on the border with Turkey after ousting a moderate Islamist rebel unit and detained its leader, activists said on Thursday.

The fall of the town of Atma, a crossing point for weapons and for Syrian rebels, signals disarray among some of the rebel groups, which are ceding ground to hardline Islamist units.

Nov 18, 2013

Syria rebel chieftain killed; Assad forces bomb besieged town

AMMAN/ARSAL, Lebanon (Reuters) – President Bashar al-Assad’s forces fired rocket and artillery barrages on a besieged mountain town near Lebanon on Monday in a push to capture the strategic area following advances against rebels in Damascus and in the north of Syria.

In a separate setback for the fighters, a prominent rebel leader died overnight in a Turkish hospital of wounds suffered in an air raid on Aleppo. Abdelqader Saleh, head of the Qatar-backed Sunni Islamist al-Tawhid Brigades, had been working on regrouping fighters in Aleppo before he was killed.

Nov 13, 2013

Assad’s forces make further gains around Damascus

AMMAN (Reuters) – Forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad captured the southern Damascus suburb of Hujaira on Wednesday, part of a broader advance that has brought him major gains south of the capital before proposed international peace talks.

Syrian state television and al-Manar, the channel of the Lebanese group Hezbollah whose fighters helped drive rebels out Hujaira, broadcast live footage showing soldiers in control of otherwise empty streets flanked by shelled buildings and ruins.

Nov 12, 2013

Boosted by foreign Shi’ite militia, Assad’s forces advance on Aleppo

AMMAN (Reuters) – Syrian government forces backed by foreign Shi’ite Muslim militia advanced on rebels in the northern city of Aleppo on Tuesday, bent on recapturing districts from opposition brigades weakened by infighting, activists said.

They said that rebels saw the threat of President Bashar al-Assad wresting back Aleppo, Syria’s former commercial hub and once most populous city, as so grave that Islamist brigades, including an al Qaeda affiliate, had declared an emergency and summoned all fighters to head to the fronts.

Nov 12, 2013

Western-backed Syrian opposition names cabinet for rebel areas

ISTANBUL/AMMAN (Reuters) – The Syrian National Coalition named a provisional government for rebel-held areas on Tuesday, despite U.S. misgivings, members of the fractious Western-backed opposition grouping said in Istanbul.

Washington and its European allies hope a proposed peace conference in Geneva will produce an interim government that can help end the armed conflict raging in Syria since 2011 – a scenario they fear the coalition’s decision could disrupt.

Nov 8, 2013

U.S. presses Syrian opposition to agree to peace talks

AMMAN (Reuters) – The United States sought on Friday to persuade the Syrian opposition to agree to attend international peace talks in Geneva, a day before President Bashar al-Assad’s opponents gather to decide on the issue, opposition sources said.

U.S. envoy Robert Ford met the senior leadership of the Syrian National Coalition in Istanbul to push them to approve the talks, which aim to end Syria’s two-year-old civil war by creating a transitional governing body, coalition members said.

Nov 7, 2013

Syrian army breaks rebel hold on southern Damascus suburbs

AMMAN, Nov 7 (Reuters) – The Syrian army and loyalist
fighters on Thursday captured a strategic southern suburb of
Damascus, threatening rebel control of the wider area and
cutting off a supply route for insurgents around the capital,
opposition activists said.

The town of Sbeineh is the third rebel neighbourhood to fall
to government forces since the army, aided by Shi’ite militias
from Iraq, Iran and Lebanon, launched an offensive last month
aimed at breaking resistance to President Bashar al-Assad around
Damascus, the sources said.

Nov 3, 2013

Syrian army and allies push into southern Damascus: activists

AMMAN (Reuters) – Syrian army and Shi’ite Muslim fighters attacked Sunni rebel areas in southern Damascus on Sunday in an offensive aimed at breaking resistance to President Bashar al-Assad around the capital, activists said.

Militia from Iran and Iraq and the Lebanese Shi’ite group Hezbollah, who overran two southern suburbs last month, are looking to build up their advances by capturing opposition districts closer to the center of Damascus, the sources said.

Oct 30, 2013

Syria peace talks face delay as big powers split

AMMAN (Reuters) – International powers are unlikely to meet their goal of convening peace talks on Syria in Geneva next month as differences emerge between Washington and Moscow over opposition representation, Arab and Western officials said.

Failure of the main Syrian National Coalition to take a clear stance over the talks, which aim to find a political solution to Syria’s 2-1/2 year civil war, are also expected to contribute to a delay of up to one month, the officials told Reuters.

Oct 30, 2013

Exclusive: Syria peace talks face delay as big powers split

AMMAN (Reuters) – International powers are unlikely to meet their goal of convening peace talks on Syria in Geneva next month as differences emerge between Washington and Moscow over opposition representation, Arab and Western officials said.

Failure of the main Syrian National Coalition to take a clear stance over the talks, which aim to find a political solution to Syria’s 2-1/2 year civil war, are also expected to contribute to a delay of up to one month, the officials told Reuters.