Deputy Bureau Chief Lebanon, Syria & Jordan
Mariam's Feed
Sep 23, 2014

Syria says U.S. told it of attack on Islamists hours before raids

BEIRUT, Sept 23 (Reuters) – Syria said on Tuesday that U.S.
Secretary of State John Kerry had told the Damascus government
in a letter delivered by Iraq that the United States and its
allies were going to attack Islamic State in Syria, hours before
air strikes took place.

The United States denied Kerry had sent a letter to Syria,
but confirmed that Washington’s envoy to the United Nations had
told her Syrian counterpart that air strikes would take place.

Sep 23, 2014

Residents flee Raqqa after U.S.-led air strikes: witnesses

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Hundreds of residents fled Syria’s northern city of Raqqa after U.S. warplanes struck positions held by Islamic State (IS) militants in the city, two witnesses there said on Tuesday.

“There is an exodus out of Raqqa as we speak. It started in the early hours of the day after the strikes. People are fleeing towards the countryside,” one resident who goes by the name of Abo Mohamad told Reuters by telephone.

Sep 23, 2014

Syria says U.S. informed it of planned attack on Islamists hours before air strikes

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syria said on Tuesday that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry had told the Damascus government that the United States and its allies were about to attack Islamist fighters in Syria, hours before the air strikes took place.

Damascus, which had said any air strikes on Syria must have its approval, did not condemn the attacks launched by the United States with the help of Gulf states and Jordan against Islamic State and al Qaeda-affiliated militants.

Sep 4, 2014

Insight – In northeast Syria, Islamic State builds a government

BEIRUT (Reuters) – In the cities and towns across the desert plains of northeast Syria, the ultra-hardline al Qaeda offshoot Islamic State has insinuated itself into nearly every aspect of daily life.

    The group famous for its beheadings, crucifixions and mass executions provides electricity and water, pays salaries, controls traffic, and runs nearly everything from bakeries and banks to schools, courts and mosques.

Sep 4, 2014

In northeast Syria, Islamic State builds a government

BEIRUT (Reuters) – In the cities and towns across the desert plains of northeast Syria, the ultra-hardline al Qaeda offshoot Islamic State has insinuated itself into nearly every aspect of daily life.

    The group famous for its beheadings, crucifixions and mass executions provides electricity and water, pays salaries, controls traffic, and runs nearly everything from bakeries and banks to schools, courts and mosques.

Aug 29, 2014

Islamist gains in Syria alarm some Assad allies

BEIRUT (Reuters) – A mounting death toll in President Bashar al-Assad’s armed forces is causing alarm among some government loyalists who are worried about Islamic State’s territorial gains and are turning their anger on the authorities in Damascus.

The execution of scores of Syrian soldiers taken captive by Islamic State at an air base in Raqqa province has triggered unusually harsh social media criticism of the Damascus government by people who have taken its side in the civil war.

Aug 28, 2014

Video shows Islamic State executes scores of Syrian soldiers

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Islamic State fighters executed scores of Syrian soldiers captures when the militants seized an airbase in the province of Raqqa at the weekend, according to a video posted on You Tube on Thursday.

The video, confirmed as genuine by an Islamic State fighter,

showed the bodies of dozens of men lying face down wearing nothing but their underwear. They were stretched out in a line that appeared to be dozens of metres long.

Aug 26, 2014

Turkey struggles as “lone gatekeeper” against Islamic State recruitment

ISTANBUL/BEIRUT, Aug 26 (Reuters) – As Islamic State
insurgents threaten the Turkish border from Syria, Turkey is
struggling to staunch the flow of foreign jihadists to the
militant group, having not so long ago allowed free access to
those who would join its neighbour’s civil war.

Thousands of foreign fighters from countries including
Turkey, Britain, parts of Europe and the United States are
believed to have joined the Islamist militants in their
self-proclaimed caliphate, carved out of eastern Syria and
western Iraq, according to diplomats and Turkish officials.

Aug 26, 2014

Syria says would work with any state to fight Islamist militants

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syria said on Monday it would cooperate in any international effort to fight Islamic State militants, after Washington signalled it was considering extending the battle against the group into Syrian territory.

Russia, the most prominent foreign backer of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, also urged Western and Arab nations to overcome their distaste of the government in Damascus and engage with it to fight the hardline insurgents.

Aug 25, 2014

Syria ready to work with any state to fight Islamist militants

BEIRUT, Aug 25 (Reuters) – Syria said on Monday it would
cooperate in any international efforts to fight Islamic State
militants in the country, after Washington signalled it was
considering extending the battle against the group into Syrian
territory.

Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem, whose government has been
shunned by the West, presented his country as a vital partner in
the war against Islamic State that has seized wide areas of
Syria and Iraq.

    • 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"
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