Deputy Bureau Chief Lebanon, Syria & Jordan
Mariam's Feed
Feb 20, 2015

Insight – European jihadis unable to join Islamic State, locked at home

By Mariam Karouny

BEIRUT(Reuters) – The flow of European fighters from Europe to territory held by the ultra-hardline Islamic State is drying up due to tighter restrictions imposed by European states that have prevented would-be jihadis from travelling, fighters from the group said.

Fighters in Syria and Iraq contacted by Reuters said the impact was limited on the battlefield since European fighters make up only a fraction of the forces of Islamic State.

Feb 20, 2015

European jihadis unable to join Islamic State, locked at home

By Mariam Karouny

BEIRUT(Reuters) – The flow of European fighters from Europe to territory held by the ultra-hardline Islamic State is drying up due to tighter restrictions imposed by European states that have prevented would-be jihadis from traveling, fighters from the group said.

Fighters in Syria and Iraq contacted by Reuters said the impact was limited on the battlefield since European fighters make up only a fraction of the forces of Islamic State.

Feb 6, 2015

Islamic State says U.S. hostage killed in air strike in Syria

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Islamic State said on Friday that an American woman hostage it was holding in Syria was killed when Jordanian fighter jets bombed a building where she was being held, but Jordan expressed doubt about the Islamist militant group’s account of her death.

In Washington, U.S. officials said they could not confirm that the woman, 26-year-old humanitarian worker Kayla Mueller of Prescott, Arizona, had been killed.

Feb 6, 2015

Insight – Islamic State in Syria seen under strain but far from collapse

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Islamic State’s defeat in Kobani and other recent setbacks in Syria suggest the group is under strain but far from collapse in the Syrian half of its self-declared caliphate.

Islamic State’s high-profile defeat by Kurdish militia backed by U.S.-led air strikes capped a four-month battle that cost Islamic State 2,000 of its fighters, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks the war.

Feb 2, 2015

Syrian rebels say holding Iranian fighter, seeking swap

BEIRUT (Reuters) – A mainstream Syrian rebel group said on Monday they were seeking to swap an Iranian taken captive in the southwestern province of Deraa last month for women held in Syrian government jails.

Iran, a Shi’ite Muslim ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, has sent mainly military experts to help him in his almost four-year-long battle with mostly Sunni Muslim rebels.

Jan 25, 2015

Hezbollah says Israel wants to set ‘new rules’ with Syria raid

BEIRUT (Reuters) – An Israeli attack which killed several prominent members of Lebanon’s Hezbollah last week was an attempt by Israel to set “new rules” in the conflict between the two foes, Hezbollah’s deputy leader said at a gathering to commemorate those who died.

Sheikh Naim Qassem’s comments were the first reaction from the group’s leadership to the missile attack in the Syrian province of Quneitra near the Israeli border.

Jan 22, 2015

Insight – Hezbollah under pressure to act after Israeli strike

BEIRUT (Reuters) – With a confident smile, the leader of Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement warned in a recent interview that allies of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would strike back if Israeli attacks inside Syria continued.

Few expected Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah’s comments to be put to the test so quickly. Three days later, an Israeli raid inside Syria killed several prominent Hezbollah figures, including a son of the group’s late military chief, Imad Moughniyah.

Jan 19, 2015

Israeli strike in Syria kills senior Hezbollah figures

BEIRUT (Reuters) – An Israeli helicopter strike in Syria killed a commander from Lebanon’s Hezbollah and the son of the group’s late military leader Imad Moughniyah, Hezbollah said, in a major blow that could lead to reprisal attacks.

The strike hit a convoy carrying Jihad Moughniyah and commander Mohamad Issa, known as Abu Issa, in the province of Quneitra, near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, killing six Hezbollah members in all, a statement from the group said.

Jan 15, 2015

Hezbollah says arrested operative confessed to spying for Israel

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Lebanese Shi’ite group Hezbollah has detained one of its own operatives who has confessed to spying for Israel, its leader Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah acknowledged for the first time on Thursday, in a case that has shattered the group’s aura of impenetrability.

Local media reported the arrest several weeks ago, describing the man as an officer overseeing foreign operations, but Hezbollah had previously declined to comment.

Jan 7, 2015

Islamic State fighter praises attack on Paris satirical magazine

BEIRUT/DUBAI (Reuters) – A fighter of the Islamic State militant group praised Wednesday’s attack on a French satirical magazine that killed at least 12 people, telling Reuters the raid was revenge for insults against Islam.

Hooded gunmen stormed the Paris offices of Charlie Hebdo in the worst militant assault on French soil in recent decades. The dead included top editors at Charlie Hebdo, a publication renowned for lampooning Islam, as well as two police officers.

    • 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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