Oliver's Feed
Mar 28, 2014

Patriotic young Lebanese say the battle to stay is lost

BEIRUT (Reuters) – In both war and peace, Lebanon has always seen many of its ambitious youth leave for better opportunities. More Lebanese live outside Lebanon than in it.

But neighboring Syria’s civil war, bombs in Lebanon and an economic slowdown have eroded confidence in the country’s future and now even loyal patriots are scrambling to get out.

Mar 26, 2014

As Assad advances, Syria launches commercial airline

BEIRUT (Reuters) – A new Syrian airline plans to start flights from the war-torn country in May, a company manager told Reuters on Wednesday, following months of gains on the battlefield by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad.

The launch of Kinda Airlines, a private company, illustrates how Assad has been able – in part – to weather the three-year conflict, securing the capital and areas of the Mediterranean coast even as rebels advance in the north and east.

Mar 20, 2014

Syrian army retakes Crusader castle from rebels

BEIRUT, Lebanon (Reuters) – The Syrian army has seized a 1,000-year-old Crusader castle from rebels after laying siege to the fortress since January, state television said on Thursday.

The Lebanese news channel al-Mayadeen showed soldiers standing on the battlements of Crac des Chevaliers, a UNESCO World Heritage site, in a real and symbolic victory over divided rebel factions.

Feb 25, 2014

Syria aid still stalled after UN resolution

BEIRUT (Reuters) – World powers have passed a landmark Security Council resolution demanding an end to restrictions on humanitarian operations in Syria, but aid workers doubt it has the punch to make Damascus grant access and let stuck convoys deliver vital supplies.

President Bashar al-Assad’s administration and to a lesser extent rebels fighting to overthrow him have been accused of preventing food and medical care from reaching a quarter of a million people in besieged areas.

Feb 16, 2014

Mediator apologizes to Syrians for lack of peace progress

GENEVA (Reuters) – International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi apologized to the Syrian people for the lack of progress at peace talks in Geneva after their second round ended on Saturday with little more than an agreement to meet again.

As it became clear that the talks had not even broached the subject of a change of leadership in Syria, both France and Britain, who back the opposition, blamed President Bashar al-Assad for the impasse.

Feb 15, 2014

Mediator apologises to Syrians for ineffectual peace talks

GENEVA (Reuters) – International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi apologised to the Syrian people on Saturday for the lack of progress at peace talks in Geneva after their second round ended with little more than an agreement to meet again.

The Algerian-born diplomat said the agreement to evacuate people from the besieged city of Homs had raised hopes that had not been satisfied at the Geneva talks, involving opposition groups and representatives of President Bashar al-Assad.

Feb 15, 2014

Brahimi apologizes to Syrian people for lack of peace progress

GENEVA (Reuters) – International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi apologized to the Syrian people on Saturday for the lack of progress at peace talks in Geneva after their second round ended with little more than an agreement to meet again.

The Algerian-born diplomat said the agreement to evacuate people from the besieged city of Homs had raised hopes that had not been satisfied at the Geneva talks involving opposition groups and representatives of President Bashar al-Assad.

Feb 12, 2014

Syria peace talks make little progress, says envoy

GENEVA (Reuters) – Peace talks between the Syrian government and opposition are not making much progress, the international mediator said on Tuesday after a face-to-face meeting of the warring parties in Geneva that both sides called fruitless.

Negotiations intended to end Syria’s three-year-old civil war began with a week-long session last month and have resumed this week in Geneva. There had been hopes for Tuesday’s talks after they began with a minute’s silence for the 130,000 people killed since the conflict began.

Feb 11, 2014

Syria peace talks not making much progress, says envoy

GENEVA (Reuters) – Peace talks between the Syrian government and opposition are not making much progress, international mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said on Tuesday after a face-to-face meeting of the warring parties in Geneva.

As negotiations intended to end Syria’s three-year-old war concluded the second day of this week’s session, both sides had no advances to report.

Feb 3, 2014

Al Qaeda breaks link with Syrian militant group ISIL

BEIRUT, Feb 3 (Reuters) – Al Qaeda’s general command said on
Monday it had no links with the Islamic State in Iraq and the
Levant (ISIL), in an apparent attempt to reassert its authority
over fragmented Islamist fighters in Syria’s civil war.

After a month of rebel infighting, al Qaeda disavowed the
increasingly independent ISIL in a move likely to bolster a
rival Islamist group, the Nusra Front, as al Qaeda’s official
proxy in Syria.