Correspondent, Beirut
Sylvia's Feed
Apr 1, 2015

Islamic State seizes vast Damascus refugee camp

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Fighters proclaiming allegiance to Islamic State seized most of a vast camp for Palestinian refugees on the outskirts of Damascus on Wednesday, a bid to capture the group’s first major foothold close to President Bashar al-Assad’s seat of power.

Islamic State fighters already control swathes of eastern Syria and northern Iraq and are facing an international campaign of air strikes led by the United States. Until now they did not have a major presence in the area around the capital, where insurgents have mainly been loyal to other groups.

Apr 1, 2015

Islamic State expands in Damascus, al Qaeda vows sharia for city

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Islamic State fighters seized most of a Palestinian camp on the outskirts of the Syrian capital Damascus on Wednesday, nearing President Bashar al-Assad’s seat of power.

A rival jihadist group said sharia law would govern a city seized by rebels in the northwest of Syria.

Mar 18, 2015

Downing of U.S. drone suggests Syria imposing red lines on air war

BEIRUT (Reuters) – After allowing the United States to use its air space to bomb Islamic State fighters for six months, the Syrian army appears to have imposed a “red line” by shooting down a U.S. drone over territory of critical importance to Damascus.

The U.S. military has said it lost contact with one of its drones over northwest Syria but has not given the cause of the incident over Latakia province – part of the western region of Syria where Damascus has been consolidating state control.

Mar 18, 2015

Syria monitor says army kills six in gas attack, military denies it

BEIRUT (Reuters) – A group monitoring the Syrian civil war said on Tuesday government forces carried out a poison gas attack that killed six people in the northwest, and medics posted videos of children suffering what they said was suffocation.

A Syrian military source described the report of an attack in the village of Sarmin in Idlib province as propaganda. “We confirm that we would not use this type of weapon, and we don’t need to use it,” the source said.

Mar 17, 2015

Syria monitor says army kills 6 in toxic gas attack, military denies it

BEIRUT (Reuters) – A group monitoring the Syrian civil war said on Tuesday government forces had carried out a poison gas attack that killed six people in the northwest, and medics posted videos of children suffering what they said was suffocation.

A Syrian military source described the report of an attack in the village of Sarmin in Idlib province as propaganda. “We confirm that we would not use this type of weapon, and we don’t need to use it,” the source said.

Mar 9, 2015

German woman killed fighting Islamic State in Syria

BEIRUT (Reuters) – A young German woman fighting alongside Kurdish forces in Syria was killed over the weekend in clashes with Islamic State fighters, Kurdish officials and a Turkey-based communist group said on Monday.

The Kurdish forces, backed by U.S. air strikes and local rebel fighters, have been battling Islamic State in northern Syria since the al Qaeda offshoot captured large tracts of land along the border with Turkey.

Mar 5, 2015

U.S. Syria strategy falters with collapse of rebel group

ISTANBUL/BEIRUT, March 5 (Reuters) – The Hazzm movement was
once central to a covert CIA operation to arm Syrian rebels, but
the group’s collapse last week underlines the failure of efforts
to unify Arab and Western support for mainstream insurgents
fighting the Syrian military.

A blow to U.S. moves to aid rebels, the dissolution of Hazzm
also highlights the risks that a new Department of Defense
programme could face in training and equipping fighters in
Jordan, Turkey and Qatar.

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.

    • 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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