Correspondent, Beirut
Sylvia's Feed
Jun 17, 2015

Syrian rebels say launch offensive in southern Syria

BEIRUT/GOLAN HEIGHTS (Reuters) – Rebels in southern Syria announced a major offensive on Wednesday to capture remaining positions held by the Syrian military in Quneitra province, near the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, where bombardments could be seen a short distance away.

Quneitra sits in a sensitive region around 70 kilometers (40 miles) southwest of the capital Damascus and has been the scene of frequent fighting between insurgent groups opposed to President Bashar al-Assad and the army backed by allied militia.

Jun 12, 2015

Damascus says it has faced worse times, key areas secure

DAMASCUS (Reuters) – The Syrian government says it has weathered worse spells in the four-year-old conflict than the current advances by insurgents across the country and is confident its army can hit back with the help of its allies.

The assessment offered by Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad in an interview with Reuters in Damascus conflicts with the view of Western officials who see mounting pressure on President Bashar al-Assad from insurgent advances across Syria.

Jun 12, 2015

Interview: Damascus says it has faced worse times, key areas secure

DAMASCUS (Reuters) – The Syrian government says it has weathered worse spells in the four-year-old conflict than the current advances by insurgents across the country and is confident its army can hit back with the help of its allies.

The assessment offered by Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad in an interview with Reuters in Damascus conflicts with the view of Western officials who see mounting pressure on President Bashar al-Assad from insurgent advances across Syria.

Jun 3, 2015

Syrian troops battle to repel Islamic State attack on city

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian troops and militia battled on Wednesday to repel an Islamic State attack on the city of Hasaka in the northeast, and a Kurdish official said the government forces may not be able to hold off the jihadists.

Hasaka city is divided into zones run separately by the government of President Bashar al-Assad and a Kurdish administration, whose well-organized militia YPG receives air support from a U.S.-led alliance bombing Islamic State.

Jun 2, 2015

Syrian insurgent advances put Assad under pressure

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Steady advances by insurgents on key fronts in Syria mean President Bashar al-Assad is under more military pressure than at any point in the four-year-old war.

Losses in the north, east and south to groups including al Qaeda’s Syrian arm and Islamic State may test Assad’s hold over western parts of the country that are the most crucial to his survival.

May 31, 2015

Islamic State pushes back Syria insurgents near Turkey

AMMAN/BEIRUT (Reuters) – Islamic State fighters advanced against rival insurgents in northern Syria on Sunday, capturing areas close to a border crossing with Turkey and threatening their supply route to Aleppo city, fighters and a group monitoring the war said.

Islamic State captured the town of Soran Azaz and two nearby villages after clashes with fighters from a northern rebel alliance, which was formed last December and includes both Western-backed fighters and Islamist militants.

May 26, 2015

Syria says carries out deadly air raid on Islamic State stronghold

BEIRUT (Reuters) – The Syrian air force hit an Islamic State-controlled air base in Raqqa province on Tuesday, killing more than 140 militants, state media said, striking the jihadist group in its Syrian stronghold a week after it seized Palmyra from the government.

The city of Raqqa is seen as the de facto capital of the “caliphate” Islamic State has declared in Syria and Iraq. The group has made notable gains in both countries this month, capturing both Ramadi in Iraq and Palmyra in Syria.

May 22, 2015

Islamic State says it has full control of Syria’s Palmyra

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Islamic State fighters tightened their grip on the historic Syrian city of Palmyra on Thursday and overran Iraqi government defences east of Ramadi, the provincial capital that they seized five days earlier.

The twin successes not only pile pressure on Damascus and Baghdad but throw doubt on a U.S. strategy of relying almost exclusively on air strikes to support the fight against Islamic State.

May 21, 2015

Islamic State takes control of Syria’s Palmyra in westward advance

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Islamic State seized full control of the historic city of Palmyra in central Syria on Thursday, just days after it captured a provincial capital in neighbouring Iraq, suggesting momentum is building for the ultra-hardline group.

The twin successes pile pressure not just on Damascus and Baghdad, but also throw doubt on U.S. strategy to rely almost exclusively on air strikes to defeat the Sunni Muslim movement, which is an offshoot of al Qaeda.

May 21, 2015

Islamic State enters ruins of Syria’s Palmyra after storming city – monitor

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Islamic State fighters in Syria have entered the ancient ruins of Palmyra after taking complete control of the central city, but there are no reports so far of any destruction of antiquities, a group monitoring the war said on Thursday.

The offshoot of al Qaeda has taken control of the city’s military air base and prison after storming them on Wednesday, Rami Abdulrahman, head of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said by telephone.

    • 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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