Correspondent, Beirut
Sylvia's Feed
Feb 18, 2015

Four years on, some in Europe support talking to Assad

BEIRUT/PARIS (Reuters) – Some European Union countries which withdrew their ambassadors from Syria are saying privately it is time for more communication with Damascus even though Britain and France oppose it, diplomats said.

Those states have become more vocal in internal meetings about the need to talk to the Syrian government and have a presence in the capital. London and Paris reject this, saying President Bashar al-Assad has lost all legitimacy.

Feb 17, 2015

Syrian army makes rapid advance north of Aleppo: monitor

BEIRUT (Reuters) – The Syrian army, backed by allied militia, has captured several villages near Aleppo in battles aimed at encircling the northern city and cutting off insurgent supply lines, a monitoring group said on Tuesday.

SANA, Syria’s state news agency, said the army seized at least six villages near Aleppo.

Feb 15, 2015

Intensified fighting in southern Syria leaves scores dead – monitor

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Heavy fighting in southern Syria has killed scores of pro-government and insurgent fighters in the past week, a group monitoring Syria’s war said on Sunday, forecasting even fiercer violence as the weather clears.

Syria’s army and allied combatants from Lebanon’s Hezbollah launched a large-scale offensive in the region last week against insurgent groups, including al Qaeda’s Syria wing Nusra Front and non-jihadist rebels.

Feb 14, 2015

Lebanon’s Hariri: talking to Hezbollah necessary to ease tensions

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Former prime minister Saad al-Hariri, speaking on a rare visit marking the 10th anniversary of his father’s assassination, said dialogue with Hezbollah was necessary to ease sectarian tensions in Lebanon.

Five members of Lebanese Shi’ite group Hezbollah have been indicted by an international tribunal over the 2005 killing of Rafik al-Hariri, who was commemorated on Saturday in the Lebanese capital.

Feb 14, 2015

Lebanon former PM Hariri returns for anniversary of father’s assassination – media

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Lebanon’s former prime minister Saad al-Hariri arrived back in the country overnight on a rare visit and will make a speech on Saturday to mark the 10th anniversary of his father Rafik’s assassination, Lebanese media said.

He will speak at a ceremony dedicated to his father in central Beirut, state news agency NNA and pro-Hariri newspaper al-Mustaqbal said. Special forces officers patrolled streets near the venue in the capital on Saturday and blocked off traffic.

Jan 28, 2015

Two Israeli soldiers, U.N. peacekeeper killed in Israel-Hezbollah violence

JERUSALEM/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Two Israeli soldiers and a Spanish peacekeeper were killed on Wednesday in an exchange of fire between Hezbollah and Israel, one of the most violent clashes between the two sides since a 2006 war.

The soldiers were killed when Hezbollah fired five missiles at a convoy of Israeli military vehicles on the frontier with Lebanon.

Jan 28, 2015

Hezbollah missile wounds four Israeli soldiers on Lebanon frontier

JERUSALEM/BEIRUT (Reuters) – A Hezbollah missile strike wounded four Israeli soldiers on Wednesday, the biggest attack on Israeli forces by the Lebanese guerrilla group since a 34-day war in 2006.

In an apparent revenge attack for an Israeli air strike in Syria that killed senior Hezbollah members, the group said its “Quneitra Martyrs Brigade” had carried out Wednesday’s hit on an Israeli convoy in the Shebaa Farms frontier area, prompting concerns of further escalation.

Jan 27, 2015

Kurds push Islamic State out of Kobani after four-month battle

BEIRUT/ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Kurdish forces took control of the Syrian town of Kobani on Monday after driving out Islamic State fighters, a monitoring group and Syrian state media said, although Washington said the four-month battle was not yet over.

Some Islamic State supporters took to Twitter to say the fight for Kobani, a focal point of the international struggle against the ultra-hardline Islamist group, was still raging.

Jan 26, 2015

Kurds push Islamic State out of Kobani after battle – monitor

BEIRUT/ISTANBUL (Reuters) – Kurdish forces took control of the Syrian town of Kobani on Monday after driving out Islamic State fighters, a monitoring group said, although Washington said the four-month battle was not yet over.

Some Islamic State supporters took to Twitter to say the fight for Kobani, a focal point of the international struggle against the ultra-hardline Islamist group, was still raging.

Jan 25, 2015

U.S. ambivalence towards Moscow talks shows pressure easing on Syria’s Assad

BEIRUT (Reuters) – An ambivalent U.S. response to a Moscow peace conference on Syria, despite a firm boycott by the main opposition, shows how the fight against Islamic State fighters has reduced international pressure against President Bashar al-Assad.

Nearly four years into a war that has already killed more than 200,000 people and displaced millions, even the Russian hosts accept there is little chance of a breakthrough at the conference, which has been spurned by most opposition groups.

    • About Sylvia

      "Sylvia is based in Beirut, covering Lebanon and Syria. She joined Reuters as a graduate trainee in 2006 and has been based in London, Berlin, Frankfurt, Vienna and Kuwait and has reported from South Korea, Tunisia, Egypt and Iraq. She moved to Beirut in 2014."
      Joined Reuters:
      2006
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