Oliver's Feed
Dec 19, 2014

One million people wounded, diseases spreading in Syria: WHO

BEIRUT (Reuters) – One million people have been wounded during Syria’s civil war and diseases are spreading as regular supplies of medicine fail to reach patients, the World Health Organization’s Syria representative said.

A plunge in vaccination rates from 90 percent before the war to 52 percent this year and contaminated water have added to the woes, allowing typhoid and hepatitis to advance, Elizabeth Hoff said in an interview late on Thursday.

Dec 16, 2014

Around 180 Syrian soldiers, jihadists reported killed in battle for base

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Around 100 Syrian soldiers and 80 Islamist fighters were killed during a two-day battle in which insurgents captured the Wadi al-Deif military base, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said on Tuesday.

The Britain-based group said Islamist insurgents including al Qaeda’s Syria wing, the Nusra Front, on Monday took the base next to the country’s main north-south highway linking Aleppo with Damascus. Fighters also captured the smaller Hamidiya base, southwest of the Wadi al-Deif, the Observatory said.

Dec 12, 2014

Syrian refugees tell their stories of loss through ancient Greek play

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian refugee women performed the Greek tragedy “Antigone” in the Lebanese capital of Beirut this week, weaving their own stories of loss and defiance into the ancient tale of a woman who disobeys her king to bury her rebel brother.

Sophocles’ 2,500-year-old play was produced by Aperta Productions, a charity that aims to give refugees a safe place to express their trauma and try to feel mentally and physically stronger.

Dec 8, 2014

Syrian refugees in Lebanon stranded by U.N. food aid cut

QAB ELIAS, Lebanon (Reuters) – Syrian refugees who had their food aid cut when a U.N. agency ran out of money last week say that without it they will be unable to feed themselves, educate their children or warm their tents in the freezing winter.

Electronic vouchers that allow 1.7 million Syrian refugees in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey to buy food in stores were not topped up for December on Friday because the U.N. World Food Programme said it had run out of money.

Dec 8, 2014

Israel strikes near Damascus: Syrian TV

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian state television said on Sunday that Israeli jets had bombed areas near Damascus international airport and in the town of Dimas, near the border with Lebanon.

Israel has struck Syria several times since the start of the three-year conflict, mostly destroying weaponry such as missiles that Israeli officials said were destined for their long-time foe Hezbollah in neighboring Lebanon.

Dec 7, 2014

Israel strikes near the Syrian capital: Syrian TV

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian state television said on Sunday that Israeli jets had bombed areas near Damascus international airport and in the town of Dimas, near the border with Lebanon.

An Israeli army spokesman said he would not comment on the “foreign reports”.

Dec 4, 2014

Islamic State cedes little ground despite air attacks

BAGHDAD/BEIRUT (Reuters) – They have made enemies across the globe and endured three months of U.S.-led air strikes, but Islamic State fighters have surrendered little of their self-declared caliphate to the broad sweep of forces arrayed against them.

Across thousands of square miles in Syria and Iraq, the radical Islamists face an unlikely mix of Iraqi and Syrian soldiers, Shi’ite and Kurdish militias and rival Syrian Sunni Muslim rebels.

Nov 13, 2014

Lebanon’s politics paralyzed by regional conflict

BEIRUT (Reuters) – With Lebanon’s most powerful political parties funded and often directed by regional powers, the country has for decades been affected by events in the Middle East.

But extraordinary chaos is exploding around the tiny Mediterranean state and Lebanon’s leaders have tried to isolate themselves as best they can. The result has been a near complete shutdown of Lebanese political life.

Nov 5, 2014

Lebanese parliament extends own term till 2017 amid protests

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Lebanon’s parliament voted on Wednesday to extend its own mandate until 2017 citing security concerns linked to the civil war in neighboring Syria, but critics including the European Union condemned the move as unconstitutional.

Lebanese politics, long dogged by sectarian divisions, has become deeply deadlocked as the Syrian war exacerbates party rivalries. Lebanon has been without a president since May because feuding lawmakers cannot agree on a candidate.

Oct 23, 2014

Cash aid for refugees succeeds despite donors’ doubts

BEIRUT (Reuters) – For decades, aid groups have assumed they know what’s best for refugees and the poor; a growing body of evidence suggests they’re wrong.

Both academic research and practical experience, such as with the mass of Syrians fleeing civil war, shows that simply handing out traditional relief goods may not be the most effective way of helping the dispossessed.