BEIRUT (Reuters) – President Bashar al-Assad is likely to run for re-election next year and win, with Syria remaining in military and political deadlock until then, said the deputy leader of Lebanon’s Iranian-backed Hezbollah group.
Sheikh Naim Qassem, who predicted a year ago that Assad would not be dislodged from power, said the Syrian leader would win a vote because his supporters understood that their communities’ very existence depended on him.
BEIRUT (Reuters) – President Michel Suleiman called on Monday for international action to help Lebanon cope with a deluge of refugees from the war in neighboring Syria which he said threatened to set his volatile country ablaze.
In an interview with Reuters at the presidential palace overlooking Beirut – and just 25 miles from the Syrian-Lebanese border – Suleiman compared Syria’s civil war to a conflagration breaking out next door.
DAMASCUS (Reuters) – MiG warplanes roar low overhead to strike rebels fighting to oust President Bashar al-Assad on the fringes of Damascus, while artillery batteries pound the insurgents from hills overlooking a city divided between all-out war and a deceptive calm.
Whole families can be obliterated by air raids that miss their targets. Wealthy Syrians or their children are kidnapped. Some are returned but people tell grim tales of how others are tortured and dumped even when the ransom is paid.
CAIRO (Reuters) – With violence sweeping Egypt’s cities and the economy lurching deeper into crisis, each passing day is adding new bricks to a wall of mistrust between the Islamist-led government of President Mohamed Mursi and a fractured secular opposition.
Two years after the revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak, Egypt, the epicenter of the upheavals reshaping the Arab world, is once again dicing with its future.
CAIRO, Jan 30 (Reuters) – With violence sweeping Egypt’s
cities and the economy lurching deeper into crisis, each passing
day is adding new bricks to a wall of mistrust between the
Islamist-led government of President Mohamed Mursi and a
fractured secular opposition.
Two years after the revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak,
Egypt, the epicentre of the upheavals reshaping the Arab world,
is once again dicing with its future.
MARRAKECH, Morocco (Reuters) – The Syrian people no longer need the intervention of international forces as rebels push towards the heart of the capital of Damascus to topple President Bashar al-Assad, the new leader of Syria’s opposition told Reuters.
Mouaz al-Khatib, the scion of a Damascene Muslim religious dynasty, said the opposition would consider proposals from Assad to surrender power and leave the country, but would not give any assurances until it saw a firm proposal.
MARRAKECH, Morocco, Dec 12 (Reuters) – The leader of Syria’s
opposition coalition urged the United States on Wednesday to
review its decision to designate the militant Islamist Jabhat
al-Nusra as a terrorist group, saying religion was a legitimate
motive for Syrian rebels.
“The decision to consider a party that is fighting the
regime as a terrorist party needs to be reviewed,” Mouaz
Alkhatib told a “Friends of Syria” meeting in Morocco, where
Western and Arab states granted full recognition to the
coalition seeking to oust President Bashar al-Assad.
MARRAKECH, Morocco (Reuters) – Major powers are set to give Syria’s opposition full political recognition on Wednesday but not the weapons that rebel fighters need to counter President Bashar al-Assad’s superior firepower as they gain ground across the country.
The “Friends of Syria,” a loose forum of governments opposed to Assad, will meet in the Moroccan city of Marrakech as the rebels intensify their push on Damascus and signs grow that the 20-month uprising may be nearing a tipping point.
Dec 7 (Reuters) – Fifteen years after Israel tried to
assassinate him in Jordan, Islamist leader Khaled Meshaal says
the Jewish state would not risk trying again on his triumphant
return to Palestinian land.
Not only has his Hamas movement which runs Gaza gained
popularity among Palestinians from a recent war with Israel, it
has begun to overcome its pariah status after uprisings brought
like-minded Islamists to power across the Arab world.
DOHA, Qatar (Reuters) – Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal said the de facto recognition of a sovereign Palestinian state won by his rival Mahmoud Abbas should be seen alongside Gaza’s latest conflict with Israel as a single, bold strategy that could empower all Palestinians.
Meshaal said the short war which claimed 162 Palestinian lives and five Israelis was concluded on terms set by the Palestinian Islamist movement and ended its isolation, creating a new mood that could lead to reconciliation with Abbas’s Fatah.