Senior Correspondent, Syria
Khaled's Feed
Aug 29, 2013

Exclusive: Syrian army moves Scud missiles to avoid strike

AMMAN (Reuters) – President Bashar al-Assad’s forces have removed several Scud missiles and dozens of launchers from a base north of Damascus, possibly to protect the weapons from a Western attack, opposition sources said on Thursday.

The move from the position in the foothills of the Qalamoun mountains, one of Syria’s most heavily militarized districts, appears part of a precautionary but limited redeployment of armaments in areas of central Syria still held by Assad’s forces, diplomats based in the Middle East told Reuters.

Aug 29, 2013

Obama makes case for punishing Syria, delay looks likely

WASHINGTON/AMMAN (Reuters) – President Barack Obama told Americans a military strike against Syria is in their interest, although there were signs on Thursday that any action will be delayed at least several days while the case is laid out to U.S. and British lawmakers.

Senior Obama administration officials are expected to brief congressional leaders on Thursday, with lawmakers complaining they have not been properly consulted about plans to respond to what Washington says was the gassing of civilians.

Aug 28, 2013

Syria evacuates most army buildings in Damascus: residents

AMMAN (Reuters) – President Bashar al-Assad’s forces appear to have evacuated most personnel from army and security command headquarters in central Damascus in preparation for a Western military strike, residents and opposition sources said on Wednesday.

U.S.-led air or missile strikes on Syria look all but certain after the United States and European and Middle Eastern allies blamed a suspected poison gas attack that killed hundreds in the city on Aug 21 on President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

Aug 28, 2013

Syria’s chemical weapons program was built to counter Israel

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.

Aug 28, 2013

U.S., allies prepare for probable military strike on Syria

AMMAN/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States and its allies geared up on Tuesday for a probable military strike against Syria that could come within days and would be the most aggressive action by Western powers in the Middle Eastern nation’s two-and-a-half-year civil war.

Western envoys have told the Syrian opposition to expect a military response soon against President Bashar al-Assad’s forces as punishment for a chemical weapons attack last week, according to sources who attended a meeting with the rebel Syrian National Coalition in Istanbul.

Aug 27, 2013

Syria strike due in days, West tells opposition – sources

AMMAN (Reuters) – Western powers have told the Syrian opposition to expect a strike against President Bashar al-Assad’s forces within days, according to sources who attended a meeting between envoys and the Syrian National Coalition in Istanbul.

“The opposition was told in clear terms that action to deter further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime could come as early as in the next few days, and that they should still prepare for peace talks at Geneva,” one of the sources who was at the meeting on Monday told Reuters.

Aug 27, 2013

Exclusive: Syria strike due in days, West tells opposition – sources

AMMAN (Reuters) – Western powers have told the Syrian opposition to expect a strike against President Bashar al-Assad’s forces within days, according to sources who attended a meeting between envoys and the Syrian National Coalition in Istanbul.

“The opposition was told in clear terms that action to deter further use of chemical weapons by the Assad regime could come as early as in the next few days, and that they should still prepare for peace talks at Geneva,” one of the sources who was at the meeting on Monday told Reuters.

Aug 27, 2013

West could hit Syria in days, envoys tell rebels

AMMAN/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Western powers could attack Syria within days, envoys from the United States and its allies told rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad, sources who attended the meeting told Reuters on Tuesday.

U.S. forces in the region are “ready to go”, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said, as Washington and its European and Middle Eastern partners honed plans to punish Assad for a major poison gas attack last week that killed hundreds of civilians.

Aug 26, 2013

Dogged rebels the target of Syria gas attacks -activists

AMMAN, Aug 26 (Reuters) – A diplomat and activists said
Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had been trying for some time,
in vain, to dislodge rebels from the areas not far from central
Damascus that were hit by suspected chemical weapons last week.

Assad has strongly denied carrying out chemical attacks,
telling Russian newspaper Izvestia on Monday that the allegation
“insults common sense” and that the rebels were responsible for
what could be the world’s worst poison gas strike in 25 years.

Aug 26, 2013

U.N. inspectors reach Syria gas victims despite coming under fire

BEIRUT/AMMAN (Reuters) – U.N. chemical weapons inspectors in Syria met and took samples from victims of an apparent poison gas attack in a rebel-held suburb of Damascus on Monday after the U.N. team themselves survived a sniper attack that hit a vehicle in their convoy.

A Syrian doctor told Reuters from the suburb, Mouadamiya, that investigators from the United Nations had crossed the frontline from the center of the capital, which remains under the control of President Bashar al-Assad’s forces.