Correspondent, Beirut
Sylvia's Feed
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.

Jan 1, 2015

Syria’s Assad shown hugging troops in embattled Damascus district

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad visited a district on the outskirts of Damascus and thanked soldiers fighting “in the face of terrorism”, his office said on Twitter late on Wednesday, posting pictures of the rare trip.

Syrian television on Thursday aired footage of the New Year visit, accompanying it with patriotic music. It showed Assad talking to troops, embracing them and sharing a meal outside, in what was presented as a morale boost for soldiers on the frontline of the country’s civil war.

Dec 4, 2014

Syria’s Assad sees long war as Islamic State attacks base

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said in an interview published on Thursday he expected his country’s conflict to be long and difficult but vowed to defeat the insurgents battling to oust him and said he would not be driven from power.

Assad told the French magazine Paris Match nobody could predict when the war with Islamic State militants and other foes would end but said they had failed to win over the Syrian people, allowing his army to make advances.

Dec 2, 2014

Lebanon detains wife of Islamic State leader

BEIRUT (Reuters) – The Lebanese army detained a wife and daughter of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as they crossed from Syria nine days ago, security officials said on Tuesday, in a setback to the group as it comes under increased military pressure.

The woman was identified her as Saja al-Dulaimi, an Iraqi, by a senior Lebanese political source and security official.

Dec 2, 2014

Lebanon detains wife of Islamic State leader: officials

BEIRUT (Reuters) – The Lebanese army detained a wife and daughter of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as they crossed from Syria nine days ago, security officials said on Tuesday.

The officials declined to give the name or nationality of the woman whom they described as one of his wives. The Lebanese newspaper As-Safir reported the army had detained her in coordination with “foreign intelligence apparatus”.

Nov 26, 2014

Russia’s new push for Syria dialogue unlikely to be fruitful

MOSCOW/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Fresh Russian efforts to encourage Syrian peace talks are unlikely to make progress because Moscow rejects opposition and Western calls for the swift departure of President Bashar al-Assad.

Moscow has long-supported Assad, including with arms supplies for Syria, but he has become a more important ally for Russia since the Arab Spring protests toppled leaders in the Middle East, some of whom had close ties with Moscow.

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.

    • 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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