Senior Correspondent, Syria
Khaled's Feed
Sep 20, 2013

Syrian rebels upset with U.S. after chemical weapons deal

AMMAN (Reuters) – The Syrian opposition feels badly let down by Washington’s decision to do a deal with Moscow to eliminate Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons but diplomats are warning the Syrian National Coalition that it risks losing Western support if it cannot adapt to new realities.

The rift that has alienated the Syrian opposition from the United States threatens to derail international efforts to end the two and a half year civil war, diplomatic and opposition sources said.

Sep 20, 2013

Insight: Syrian rebels upset with U.S. after chemical weapons deal

AMMAN (Reuters) – The Syrian opposition feels badly let down by Washington’s decision to do a deal with Moscow to eliminate Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons but diplomats are warning the Syrian National Coalition that it risks losing Western support if it cannot adapt to new realities.

The rift that has alienated the Syrian opposition from the United States threatens to derail international efforts to end the two and a half year civil war, diplomatic and opposition sources said.

Sep 18, 2013

Qaeda affiliate overruns Syrian town near Turkish border: activists

AMMAN (Reuters) – A rebel group affiliated with al Qaeda overran a Syrian town near the border with Turkey on Wednesday after fighting broke out with units of the Arab- and Western-backed Free Syrian Army, opposition activists said.

Fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant stormed the town of Azaz, 5 km (2 miles) from the Syrian-Turkish border and killed at least five Free Syrian Army members, they said.

Sep 17, 2013

Car bomb explodes at Syria-Turkey border crossing

AMMAN (Reuters) – A car bomb exploded on the Syrian side of the main Bab al-Hawa border crossing with Turkey on Tuesday, killing at least seven people and wounding 20, the Turkish news agency Dogan said.

The explosion occurred at a roadblock manned by hardline Islamist fighters at the entrance of the rebel-held crossing, several hundred meters (yards) from the Turkish side, activists said.

Sep 15, 2013

Syria’s new opposition PM faces daunting al Qaeda challenge

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – The head of Syria’s new provisional government pledged on Sunday to curb the influence of al Qaeda militants he said exploited the opposition’s inability to fill a vacuum left by the collapse of President Bashar al-Assad’s authority in much of the country.

In his first interview since being chosen by the Syrian National Coalition this weekend to head a 13-member cabinet, moderate Islamist Ahmad Tumeh told Reuters the opposition had to confront al Qaeda ideologically by emphasizing that democracy did not contradict Islam and deny the group popularity by restoring public services in rebel-held areas.

Sep 14, 2013

Syrian opposition elects moderate Islamist as prime minister

ISTANBUL, Sept 14 (Reuters) – The opposition Syrian National
Coalition elected a moderate Islamist as provisional prime
minister on Saturday, hoping to avoid being sidelined as world
powers renew diplomatic efforts to end the civil war.

The SNC has long sought recognition as a government in
exile, but has been hampered by internal divisions and varying
pressures from its Arab and Western backers. The election of
48-year-old opposition campaigner Ahmad Tumeh is meant to show
it can fulfil that role.

Sep 13, 2013

Syrian opposition to choose PM in push for credibility

ISTANBUL (Reuters) – The Syrian opposition coalition will appoint a provisional prime minister on Saturday to raise its international credibility as high-stakes diplomacy plays out between Washington and Moscow to resolve Syria’s two and a half year civil war, National Coalition officials said.

After a week of intense international negotiations that threatened to sideline the Western and Arab backed coalition in the wake of a nerve gas attack on Damascus that killed hundreds of people, coalition officials said they reached consensus that Ahmad Tumeh, an independent Islamist, will be appointed to run rebel-held areas where a decline into chaos threatens to undermine the opposition to President Bashar al-Assad.

Sep 11, 2013

Syria vows to give up chemical weapons, no deal yet at U.N

WASHINGTON/AMMAN (Reuters) – Syria accepted a Russian proposal on Tuesday to give up chemical weapons and win a reprieve from U.S. military strikes but serious differences emerged between Russia and the United States that could obstruct a U.N. resolution to seal a deal.

In a televised address to Americans on Tuesday, U.S. President Barack Obama will pledge to explore Russia’s proposal for Syria to hand over its chemical weapons to international control, while expressing skepticism about the initiative, an administration official said.

Sep 10, 2013

Assad air force back in action in Damascus, hitting rebels

AMMAN (Reuters) – Syrian warplanes bombed rebel suburbs of Damascus on Tuesday for the first time in three weeks, in an offensive that opposition activists said showed President Bashar al-Assad no longer feared attack by the United States.

Not seen in action around the capital since before August 21, when hundreds of people were killed in a poison gas attack that Western powers blame on Assad, government jets mounted attacks on three areas, some in support of assaults on the ground.

Sep 10, 2013

Syria backs chemical weapons plan, bombs Damascus

PARIS/AMMAN (Reuters) – Syria accepted a Russian proposal on Tuesday to give up chemical weapons and win a reprieve from U.S. strikes, while its warplanes bombed rebel positions in Damascus for the first time since the West threatened military action.

The Russian diplomatic initiative, which apparently emerged from off-the-cuff remarks by the U.S. secretary of state, marks a sudden reversal after weeks in which the West appeared finally headed towards intervention in a two-and-a-half year old war.