Correspondent, Beirut
Sylvia's Feed
Aug 25, 2014

Hundreds dead as Islamic State seizes Syrian air base: monitor

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Islamic State militants stormed an air base in northeast Syria on Sunday, capturing it from government forces after days of fighting that cost more than 500 lives, a monitoring group said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said at least 346 Islamic State fighters were killed and more than 170 members of government forces had died since Tuesday in the fight over Tabqa base, making it one of the deadliest confrontations between the two groups since the start of Syria’s war.

Aug 24, 2014

Islamic State fighters seize Syrian air base

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Islamic State militants stormed an air base in northeast Syria on Sunday, capturing most of it from government forces after days of fighting over the strategic location, a witness and a monitoring group said.

Fighting raged inside the walls of the Tabqa air base, the Syrian army’s last foothold in an area otherwise controlled by IS, which has seized large areas of Syria and Iraq.

Aug 17, 2014

Gaza town Beit Hanoun sweeps rubble, tries to return to daily life

GAZA, Aug 17 (Reuters) – It was not the wedding party venue
Riyad Fayad had planned for his daughter Heba, but with his Gaza
home damaged and neighbourhood in rubble, a shelter seemed like
the only option.

The United Nations refugee centre in a Gaza City school has
become a temporary home for thousands of Palestinians displaced
by the month-long war with Israel, many of them from Fayad’s
town of Beit Hanoun in the north.

Aug 13, 2014

Gaza fishermen caught in middle of Israel-Palestinian sea feud

GAZA, Aug 13 (Reuters) – After hours casting their nets
close to the Gaza shore, Palestinian fishermen sift through
their catch in the dim dawn light, managing to scrape together a
few piles of puny fish.

It’s a miserable catch, the result, they say, of
restrictions imposed by Israel, with boats allowed only three
nautical miles (5.6 km) offshore after a month of no fishing at
all during the recent fighting.

Aug 11, 2014

Bombed three times, 85-year-old Palestinian is refugee again

GAZA (Reuters) – Palestinian Ibrahim Mohammad al-Toum, 85, sleeps on the floor on a thin mattress in a Gaza schoolroom, displaced for the third time in six years.

A farmer of oranges and lemons, his house in northern Gaza City has been bombed in each of the three Israeli-Palestinian conflicts since 2008. He has no idea why he has been singled out in this way.

Aug 10, 2014

After month of war, Gaza’s disabled face shortages, isolation

GAZA (Reuters) – The attack came from the air in the afternoon, smashing Jamal Doghmosh’s Gaza workshop to pieces, pitting his chest with shrapnel and severing his left arm.

When the 48-year-old Palestinian mechanic woke up in hospital, he could not hear properly and found that three fingers from his right hand were also gone.

Aug 7, 2014

Trapped in Gaza, young people dream of a better life

GAZA (Reuters) – After spending most of the month-long Gaza war trapped at home watching the news for hours, Palestinian Salam al-Bayid returned to her university for the first time on Thursday to find the administration building with its facade in pieces.

With the ceasefire that started on Tuesday still holding, the 18-year-old architecture student had been looking forward to getting out and meeting her friends, but the damage at the Islamic University campus upset her.

Aug 6, 2014

Once a haven for daytrippers, affluent Gaza town reduced to rubble

KHUZAA Gaza (Reuters) – With its spacious villas and palm-lined streets, the town of Khuzaa in southern Gaza gave Palestinians a rare place to spend their free time before it was bombed and shelled to rubble last month.

Largely free of the local tensions and feuds found in other neighborhoods, Khuzaa’s green spaces were one of just a few destinations for daytrips in the crowded Gaza Strip, where 1.8 million people live in just 360 sq km (140 sq miles).

Jul 25, 2014

Rise of Islamic State tests Syrian army strategy

BEIRUT (Reuters) – The growing power of the ultra-hardline Islamic State means the Syrian army is now having to confront a group it has until now been reluctant to attack for political reasons.

The emergence of the al Qaeda offshoot, formerly known as the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has so far allowed President Bashar al-Assad to present himself to the world as a bulwark against Sunni Islamist radicals.

Jul 9, 2014

Syrian government forces squeeze insurgents in Aleppo

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian armed forces have taken strategic ground around Aleppo this week, residents and state media said on Wednesday, squeezing the main rebel supply line into the city after months of battlefield gains by Damascus.

The government advance, after close to two years of stalemate, was bolstered by fighters from the Lebanese Shi’ite Muslim group Hezbollah, an ally of President Bashar al-Assad, according to sources close to Hezbollah.

    • 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:
    • Follow Sylvia