Deputy Bureau Chief Lebanon, Syria & Jordan
Mariam's Feed
Oct 6, 2014

Hezbollah loses 10 fighters in Sunday clashes with Nusra: source

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Ten fighters from Lebanon’s Shi’ite Hezbollah group were killed in clashes with fighters from al Qaeda’s Syrian wing in eastern Lebanon on Sunday, a source close to the group said on Monday.

The death toll was one of the highest the group has suffered in a single action since it said it would fight alongside the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

Oct 6, 2014

Kurds vow to fight to the last as Islamic State tightens grip on Syrian town

MURSITPINAR/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Outgunned Kurdish fighters vowed on Monday not to abandon their increasingly desperate efforts to defend the Syrian border town of Kobani from Islamic State militants pressing in from three sides and pounding them with heavy artillery.

The radical al Qaeda offshoot has been battling for more than two weeks to seize the predominantly Kurdish town, driving 180,000 people into neighboring Turkey.

Sep 30, 2014

U.S., Kurds strike at Islamic State in Syria

BEIRUT/MURSITPINAR Turkey (Reuters) – U.S. warplanes attacked Islamic State targets in Syria overnight, in raids that a group monitoring the war said killed civilians as well as jihadist fighters.

The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the strikes hit mills and grain storage areas in the northern Syrian town of Manbij, in an area controlled by Islamic State, killing at least two civilian workers.

Sep 29, 2014

Obama says underestimated Islamic State; Qaeda says West will be attacked

BEIRUT/MURSITPINAR Turkey (Reuters) – The head of Syria’s al Qaeda branch said militants will attack the West in retaliation for U.S.-led air strikes in Syria and Iraq, and President Barack Obama acknowledged U.S. intelligence had underestimated the rise of Islamic State fighters.

U.S.-led air strikes hit a natural gas plant controlled by Islamic State fighters in eastern Syria, a monitoring body reported, part of an apparent campaign to disrupt one of the fighters’ main sources of income.

Sep 28, 2014

Nusra Front says U.S.-led air strikes in Syria will fail

BEIRUT (Reuters) – The head of Syria’s al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front has said U.S.-led air strikes will not defeat Islamists in Syria and warned that militants might launch retaliatory attacks against Western countries.

Abu Mohamad al-Golani, in an audio message posted on pro-Nusra jihadi forums, urged European and U.S. citizens to denounce the U.S. actions if they wanted to keep out of the war.

Sep 28, 2014

Air strikes said to hit Islamic State oil refineries in Syria

BEIRUT/ISTANBUL, Sept 28 (Reuters) – Air raids believed to
have been carried out by U.S.-led forces hit three makeshift oil
refineries in northern Syria as part of a campaign against
Islamic State, a monitoring group said.

The United States has been carrying out strikes in Iraq
since Aug. 8 and in Syria, with the help of Arab allies, since
Tuesday, with the aim of “degrading and destroying” the
militants who have captured large areas of both countries.

Sep 28, 2014

Air strikes hit makeshift refineries in Syria – monitoring group

BEIRUT/ISTANBUL, Sept 28 (Reuters) – Air strikes believed to
have been carried out by U.S.-led forces hit three makeshift oil
refineries in Syria’s Raqqa province early on Sunday as part of
an assault to weaken Islamic State (IS) militants, a monitoring
group said.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said
the attacks occurred shortly after midnight, adding that they
also hit a plastic factory.

Sep 28, 2014

Islamic State defies air strikes by shelling Syrian Kurdish town

BEIRUT/MURSITPINAR Turkey (Reuters) – New U.S.-led air strikes against Islamic State fighters failed to stop them from pressing their assault on a strategic Syrian town near the Turkish border on Saturday, hitting it with shell fire for the first time.

The U.S. Central Command (Centcom) said the air strikes destroyed an IS building and two armed vehicles near the border town of Kobani, which the insurgents have been besieging for the past 10 days.

Sep 27, 2014

Defying air strikes, Islamic State shells Syrian Kurdish town

BEIRUT/MURSITPINAR Turkey (Reuters) – New U.S.-led air strikes against Islamic State fighters failed to stop them from pressing their assault on a strategic Syrian town near the Turkish border on Saturday, hitting it with shell fire for the first time.

The U.S. Central Command said the air strikes destroyed an IS building and two armed vehicles near the border town of Kobani, which the insurgents have been besieging for the past 10 days.

Sep 26, 2014

Insight – U.S.-led strikes pressure al Qaeda’s Syria group to join with Islamic State

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, the Nusra Front, is facing mounting pressure from its own members to reconcile with its rival Islamic State and confront a common enemy after U.S.-led air strikes hit both groups this week.

But that move would require pledging loyalty to Islamic State, which has declared a caliphate in territory it controls in Iraq and Syria, which would effectively put an end to the Nusra Front, fighters in the group say.

    • About Mariam

      "Currently based in Beirut, Lebanon. Have done stints in Cairo and Dubai.Have been Reuters Deputy Bureau chief in Iraq from 2005-2008. Have also worked in london on several desks including equities and energy. Currently my responsibilities are: Run the cluster while bureau chief is away. Anchor stories from Amman and Damascus when required Write wraps, trunks and analyses Conduct interviews with major political and financial players Ensure Reuters News dominates top stories, timings and exclusives"
    • Follow Mariam