Correspondent, Beirut
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Nov 21, 2014

Militants could have drawn Lebanon into civil war: army chief

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Islamist militants who attacked parts of Lebanon this year could have drawn it into civil war, army chief General Jean Kahwaji said in an unusually direct and political speech published on Friday.

Kahwaji paid tribute to soldiers killed and wounded in battles which prevented what he described as a militant plot to take over parts of the small Mediterranean country.

Nov 9, 2014

Syrian air force raids kill 21, wound at least 100 in north – monitor

BEIRUT (Reuters) – At least 21 people were killed and around 100 wounded overnight when Syrian government war planes bombed a town in northern Syria controlled by Islamic State militants, a group monitoring the war said on Sunday.

The attack came hours before a United Nations mediator met senior Syrian officials in Damascus to discuss ways to ease the war, which has entered its fourth year, killed around 200,000 people and since September drawn in the United States and allies in air strikes against the Sunni militant group Islamic State.

Nov 9, 2014

Syrian planes bomb northern town, killing 21: monitor

BEIRUT (Reuters) – At least 21 people were killed and around 100 wounded overnight when Syrian army planes bombed a town in northern Syria controlled by Islamic State militants, a group monitoring the war said on Sunday.

The attack came hours before a United Nations mediator met with senior Syrian officials in Damascus to discuss ways to ease the conflict, which has entered its fourth year and killed more than 191,000 people.

Nov 9, 2014

Lebanon’s Druze community fearful as Syria’s war moves closer

RASHAYA Lebanon (Reuters) – On mountains close to the Syrian border, members of Lebanon’s minority Druze sect say they are ready to defend their towns and villages with arms if the civil war next raging door gets much nearer.

“Here in the east, the danger has become very close to us, it is right in our faces and in our lives,” said Ali Fayik, a regional official speaking in the predominantly Druze town of Rashaya, set in steep mountains with a panorama over the region.

Oct 24, 2014

Kurds deny Erdogan report of deal with Syrian rebels to aid besieged Kobani

ISTANBUL/BEIRUT (Reuters) – A senior Syrian Kurdish official on Friday denied a report from Turkey’s president that Syrian Kurds had agreed to let 1,300 Free Syrian Army fighters enter the border town of Kobani to help defend it against besieging Islamic State insurgents.

President Tayyip Erdogan has long championed the relatively secular Free Syrian Army in the complicated, faction-ridden insurgency against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and has repeatedly advocated FSA intervention in Kobani.

Oct 18, 2014

Islamic State flying three jets in Syria: monitor

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Iraqi pilots who have joined Islamic State in Syria are training members of the group to fly in three captured fighter jets, a group monitoring the war said on Friday, saying it was the first time the militant group had taken to the air.

The group, which has seized swathes of land in Syria and Iraq, has been flying the planes over the captured al-Jarrah military airport east of Aleppo, said Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Oct 17, 2014

Islamic State training pilots to fly in three jets: Syria monitor

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Iraqi pilots who have joined Islamic State in Syria are training members of the group to fly in three captured fighter jets, a group monitoring the war said on Friday, saying it was the first time that the militant group had taken to the air.

The group, which has seized land in Syria and Iraq, has been flying the planes over the captured al-Jarrah military airport east of Aleppo, said Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Oct 5, 2014

Kurds battle Islamist militants closing in on Syrian town

MURSITPINAR Turkey / BEIRUT (Reuters) – Kurdish forces battled overnight with Islamists trying to seize a hill overlooking a Syrian border town with Turkey as U.S.-led coalition warplanes carried out raids on the militants, a Kurdish official and a monitoring group said on Sunday.

A translator with the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) inside Kobani said Islamic State forces were hitting it with tank and mortar fire as they tried to seize Mistanour hill, a landmark whose capture would give them easy access to the town.

Oct 5, 2014

Syrian border town still under siege by Islamic State despite allied air strikes

MURSITPINAR/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Islamic State forces shelled the Syrian border town of Kobani on Saturday and its Kurdish defenders said they were expecting a new assault to try to capture it.

U.S.-led coalition warplanes had struck at Islamic State targets overnight to halt the insurgents’ advance and Saturday’s barrages were less intense than the previous day.

Oct 4, 2014

U.S. air strikes hit Islamic State near Syrian border town as fighting intensifies

MURSITPINAR/BEIRUT (Reuters) – U.S.-led coalition war planes attacked Islamic State targets around the Syrian border town of Kobani overnight as the insurgents pressed their assault against its Kurdish defenders, a monitoring group and witnesses said.

Previous coalition air strikes have failed to stop the insurgent offensive on the predominantly-Kurdish Kobani and the outgunned Kurdish fighters have put up a desperate fight as shells rained down on the town over the past week.

    • 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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