Samia's Feed
Oct 21, 2012

Analysis : Killing of security chief raises fears for Lebanon

BEIRUT (Reuters) – The Beirut car bomb that killed a top Lebanese security official will probably prove to be the most destabilizing attack in Lebanon since the 2005 assassination of former prime minister Rafik al-Hariri.

What is less clear – and this is something that instills fear in a society still scarred by its 1975-90 civil war – is whether the attack was a reprisal or the start of a campaign of violence by Damascus and its allies, suspected by many Lebanese of trying to spread Syria’s conflict across its borders.

Oct 10, 2012

In shifting Syria conflict, Assad assumes command of forces

BEIRUT, Oct 10 (Reuters) – The picture is deceptively
normal. Posted on the Facebook page of President Bashar al-Assad
of Syria, it shows the first lady Asma, dressed in jeans and a
t-shirt, accompanying her daughter and three sons on their first
day back at school.

Two of the boys wear camouflage shorts with khaki t-shirts
and caps, in keeping with the spirit of a ruler under siege. Yet
when she dropped off Hafez, the eldest, named after his
strongman grandfather, only one other child had arrived in class
because of rebel attacks in Damascus that morning.

Sep 14, 2012
via FaithWorld

Lebanon Christians feel under siege but find hope in Pope Benedict’s visit

Photo

( St. George’s Maronite Cathedral and Mohammad al-Amin mosque side by side in central Beirut, 13 Sept 2012/Tom Heneghan)

In 1510, Pope Leo X thanked Divine Providence for having preserved the Maronite Christians through the hardest of times, “planted among infidels, schismatics and heretics as in a field of error”.

Sep 14, 2012

Lebanon Christians feel under siege; find hope in pope

BEIRUT (Reuters) – In 1510, Pope Leo X thanked Divine Providence for having preserved the Maronite Christians through the hardest of times, “planted among infidels, schismatics and heretics as in a field of error”.

He described them as a “rose among thorns, an impregnable rock in the sea, unshaken by the waves and fury of the thundering tempest”.

Aug 1, 2012

Analysis: No happy outcome in Syria as conflict turns into proxy war

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Regional powers are pouring in money and guns, jihadists are joining rebels battling to overthrow Bashar al-Assad, while his own well-armed but hard-pressed forces are fighting back ruthlessly with combat aircraft and artillery.

Gruesome scenes of slaughtered civilians or executed rebel fighters provide daily snapshots of the worsening conflict in Syria. Video apparently showing rebels gunning down Assad militiamen in cold blood suggests the insurgents are capable of brutality to match their enemies.

Jul 24, 2012

Assad chemical weapons plans blocked by Moscow

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Increasingly under pressure by rebels intent on unseating him, Bashar al-Assad has considered using chemical weapons against his enemies but Washington and Moscow have formed an unlikely alliance to force him to abandon such plans.

(Click in.reuters.com/places/syria to read stories, watch videos and graphics on Syria crisis.)

Jul 24, 2012

Insight: Assad chemical weapons plans blocked by Moscow

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Increasingly under pressure by rebels intent on unseating him, Bashar al-Assad has considered using chemical weapons against his enemies but Washington and Moscow have formed an unlikely alliance to force him to abandon such plans.

Analysts and diplomats across the region and beyond do not doubt that the Assad government, recoiling from a devastating attack on its security establishment last week and struggling to contain rebel offensives across Syria, is capable of using agents such as Sarin gas if its survival is at stake.

Jul 19, 2012

Attack on Damascus “fortress” rocks Assad

BEIRUT (Reuters) – An audacious and deadly attack on President Bashar al-Assad’s security cabinet is a major psychological and strategic setback that exposes a weakened Syrian establishment unable to protect its innermost centres of power.

The damage is compounded by Assad’s failure to in speak in public to rally his forces. State television only showed footage of him swearing in his new defence minister, the first images of the president since the bomb attack. Assad’s younger brother Maher al-Assad, commander of the army’s elite units, has however remained out of sight.

Jul 19, 2012

Analysis: Attack on Damascus “fortress” rocks Assad

BEIRUT (Reuters) – An audacious and deadly attack on President Bashar al-Assad’s security cabinet is a major psychological and strategic setback that exposes a weakened Syrian establishment unable to protect its innermost centers of power.

The damage is compounded by Assad’s failure to in speak in public to rally his forces. State television only showed footage of him swearing in his new defense minister, the first images of the president since the bomb attack. Assad’s younger brother Maher al-Assad, commander of the army’s elite units, has however remained out of sight.

Jul 18, 2012

Deadly blast strikes heart of Assad’s rule

BEIRUT (Reuters) – The suicide bomber who attacked a crisis meeting of Bashar al-Assad’s security officials on Wednesday did more than just kill and wound some of Syria’s most senior figures.

He blew apart the inner circle of trusted kin that the Syrian president has relied on to control every aspect of the state he inherited from his father, and was counting on to crush the 16-month-old rebellion against him.