Correspondent, Beirut
Sylvia's Feed
Oct 28, 2013

Kuwait’s PM says welfare state is “unsustainable”, calls for cuts

KUWAIT, Oct 28 (Reuters) – Kuwait’s prime minister has
called the Gulf Arab state’s welfare system unsustainable and
said the major oil producer needs to cut spending and the
consumption of its natural resources.

In some of the strongest comments yet from a senior
government official on Kuwait’s rising spending bill, Sheikh
Jaber al-Mubarak al-Sabah said a “transformation” was needed to
avoid future problems.

Oct 27, 2013

Kuwait telco Zain looks to expand into North Africa

KUWAIT (Reuters) – Mobile telecommunications group Zain (ZAIN.KW: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) wants to expand in North Africa by taking controlling stakes in companies or winning management contracts in the region, the Kuwaiti group’s chief executive said.

Expanding abroad would appear to mark a reversal of Zain’s strategy after it sold most of its Africa assets to India’s Bharti Airtel (BRTI.NS: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) for $9 billion in 2010, and attempted unsuccessfully to offload its stake in Saudi affiliate Zain Saudi 7030.SE in 2011.

Oct 24, 2013

Turkey raps international failure to tackle Syria aid crisis

KUWAIT (Reuters) – Turkey’s foreign minister on Thursday deplored what he called an international failure to tackle the humanitarian crisis in war-ridden Syria, saying food and medicine are running out and snipers are shooting pregnant women.

Ahmet Davutoglu said Turkey, which has received more than 600,000 Syrian refugees, would keep its border with Syria open to people fleeing the violence but said the world needed to share the humanitarian burden.

Oct 21, 2013

U.S. tries to calm Saudi anger over Syria, Iran

PARIS/KUWAIT (Reuters) – U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sought on Monday to calm rising tensions with Saudi Arabia, which has spurned a U.N. Security Council seat in fury at inaction over the crisis in Syria.

Saudi Arabia rejected a coveted two-year term on the council on Friday in a rare display of anger over what it called “double standards” at the United Nations. Its stance won praise from its Gulf Arab allies and Egypt.

Oct 21, 2013

Gulf states, Egypt back Saudi rejection of U.N. seat

KUWAIT (Reuters) – Saudi Arabia’s Gulf Arab allies and Egypt have applauded its decision to reject a U.N. Security Council seat in protest at the world body’s failure to act on Syria, whose leader is backed by Russia and Shi’ite Iran.

Saudi Arabia turned down a coveted two-year term on the council on Friday in a rare display of anger with what it called “double standards” in the United Nations.

Sep 19, 2013

Insight: Iraqis hesitate on the edge of chaos

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – In Sadr City, an impoverished district of northeastern Baghdad, local people say the anger of Shi’ite Muslims against Sunni militants is ready to erupt into violence.

“Iraq today is boiling like a volcano and it could blow at any minute,” said Ali al-Husseini, a 27-year-old cleric.

Sep 18, 2013

Iraqi art scene suffers as bombers hit public spaces, apathy sets in

BAGHDAD, Sept 18 (Reuters) – In a compound ringed with
barbed wire in Baghdad, a small group of Iraqi artists gather to
sip tea and soft drinks in the shady patches of a walled garden.

For artist Qasim Sabti, who runs the adjoining private
gallery, the intimacy of the scene is familiar. Baghdad’s
cultural community is dwindling and confining itself to refuges
like this one as violence rises in the city, he said.

Sep 1, 2013

Iranian dissidents killed in Iraq camp, U.N. demands inquiry

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – At least 47 people were reported killed at an Iranian dissident camp in Iraq on Sunday, the United Nations said, urging Baghdad to investigate the “tragic events” at a site north of the capital.

The violence took place hours after a mortar bomb attack on the camp which the dissent group Mujahadin-e-Khalq (MEK) blamed on the Iraqi army.

Aug 27, 2013

Iraqi Kurdistan rules out intervening over Syrian border

ARBIL, Iraq (Reuters) – Iraq’s northern Kurdistan region has no plans to send troops into Syria to defend fellow Kurds, a senior Iraqi Kurdish official said, despite safety concerns which have driven thousands to cross the border.

Iraqi Kurdish leader Massoud Barzani said earlier this month his well-armed region was ready to defend Kurds living in northeastern Syria if they were being threatened by rebel militants who have captured swathes of land in the north.

Aug 26, 2013

Syrian Kurds trek to Iraq over parched hills

SUHILLA, Iraq (Reuters) – Mariam Bozan Khalil spent days avoiding Syrian rebel militiamen on the road to Iraq, only to be forced to finish her journey on foot through sun-scorched hills.

She is one of more than 40,000 Syrians who have escaped to Iraq’s autonomous northern Kurdish region in the past 10 days. The exodus is one of the biggest cross-border migrations since what is now a civil war between the forces of President Bashar al-Assad and the rebels trying to overthrow him started more than two years ago.

    • 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."
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