Yara's Feed
Sep 4, 2013

Putin says could turn against Assad – if case proved

MOSCOW/BEIRUT (Reuters) – President Vladimir Putin offered a glimpse of international compromise over Syria on Wednesday, declining to entirely rule out Russian backing for military action as he prepared to host a summit of world leaders.

As the United States and allies prepare to bypass any Russian U.N. veto and attack Damascus, there is little chance of Putin’s support. But his words may herald new efforts to overcome great power rivalries that have let Syria descend into bloody chaos.

Sep 4, 2013

Obama wins backing for Syria strike from key figures in Congress

WASHINGTON/BEIRUT (Reuters) – President Barack Obama won the backing of key figures in the U.S. Congress, including Republicans, in his call for limited U.S. strikes on Syria to punish President Bashar al-Assad for his suspected use of chemical weapons against civilians.

Leaders of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee said they reached an agreement on a draft authorization for the use of military force in Syria, paving the way for a vote by the committee on Wednesday. However, the draft is much narrower than the request made by Obama and includes a provision barring the use of U.S. troops on the ground.

Sep 3, 2013

Obama presses Congress as Syria refugee crisis mounts

BEIRUT (Reuters) – President Barack Obama urged Congress on Tuesday to approve U.S. strikes an Syria soon as the United Nations said two million Syrians had fled a conflict that posed the greatest threat to world peace since the Vietnam war.

Having startled friends and foes alike in the Middle East by delaying a punitive attack on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad until Congress reconvenes and agrees, Obama met congressional leaders at the White House to urge a prompt decision and assure them it did not mean another long war like Iraq or Afghanistan.

Sep 3, 2013

Syria refugees top 2 mln, UN sees worst crisis since Vietnam

GENEVA/BEIRUT (Reuters) – The number of Syrian refugees has passed the two million mark, a United Nations agency said on Tuesday, warning that the world faces its greatest threat to peace since the Vietnam war.

As President Barack Obama wrestled with doubters in Congress ahead of votes next week on possible U.S. strikes on Syria, Israeli forces training with the U.S. navy in the Mediterranean set nerves on edge in Damascus with a missile test that triggered an alert from the Syrian government’s ally Russia.

Sep 3, 2013

Syria refugees top two million, U.N. sees worst crisis since Vietnam

GENEVA/BEIRUT (Reuters) – The number of Syrian refugees has passed the two million mark, a United Nations agency said on Tuesday, warning that the world faces its greatest threat to peace since the Vietnam war.

As President Barack Obama wrestled with doubters in Congress ahead of votes next week on possible U.S. strikes on Syria, Israeli forces training with the U.S. navy in the Mediterranean set nerves on edge in Damascus with a missile test that triggered an alert from the Syrian government’s ally Russia.

Sep 2, 2013

Syria tenders fail, raising doubt over Assad ability to buy food

ABU DHABI/BEIRUT, Sept 2 (Reuters) – Syria cancelled an
urgent tender to buy sugar on Monday, two weeks after cancelling
a bid to buy wheat, the latest signs that President Bashar
al-Assad’s government is losing its ability to buy food as civil
war destroys its harvests.

In the failed transactions, Syria offered to pay for the
food with funds held in frozen bank accounts abroad. The
failures suggest those offers have been rejected by
international traders, raising questions over how Assad’s
government can pay for food imports in the future.

Sep 1, 2013

Scornful Syria hails “historic American retreat” as Obama hesitates

BEIRUT/WASHINGTON, Sept 1 (Reuters) – Syria hailed a
“historic American retreat” on Sunday, mockingly accusing
President Barack Obama of hesitation and confusion after he
delayed a military response to last month’s chemical weapons
attack near Damascus to consult Congress.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said tests had shown
sarin nerve gas was fired on rebel-held areas on Aug. 21, and
expressed confidence that U.S. lawmakers would do “what is
right” in response.

Sep 1, 2013

Syria hails ‘historic American retreat”‘as Obama hesitates

BEIRUT/PARIS (Reuters) – Syria hailed an “historic American retreat” on Sunday after President Barack Obama delayed an imminent military strike by deciding to consult Congress.

As Obama stepped back from the brink, France said it could not act alone in punishing President Bashar al-Assad over a chemical weapons attack, making it the last remaining top Western ally to hesitate about bombing Syria.

Aug 12, 2013

Special Report: In Bahrain, a U.S. prisoner’s dilemma

DUBAI (Reuters) – Amina al-Maidan was asleep in her family’s apartment in the Gulf state of Bahrain last October when masked policemen arrived at about 2am searching for her son, Tagi.

“They didn’t show me any papers or arrest warrants,” said Maidan, a Shi’ite Muslim who lives in the village of Sanabis. “They didn’t know what he was wanted for. It all happened so fast. I was thinking is this real or not. Am I dreaming?”

Aug 1, 2013

Bahrain king toughens anti-terrorism laws, rights groups cry foul

DUBAI (Reuters) – Bahrain’s King Hamad has toughened penalties in anti-terrorism laws before planned anti-government protests this month, approving proposals that have alarmed human rights groups which fear a crackdown on the demonstrations.

King Hamad, whose Sunni Muslim Al Khalifa dynasty has ruled the U.S.-allied Gulf state since 1783, has struggled to contain unrest that has persisted since the initial repression of pro-democracy protests by majority Shi’ite Muslims in early 2011.