October 25, 2013 |
ALEPPO, Syria - In the newly opened office of the Islamist Liberation Party, the chairs were still covered with plastic and the walls were bare except for three Islamic black and white flags hanging behind Hisham Baba, the party's spokesman. Political pamphlets fresh from the printer had yet to be folded. On that day, during which Baba prepared political and religious presentations on his laptop, more than two dozen people were killed in and around Aleppo. Even as the Syrian civil war rages on in its third year with dim prospects for a resolution, Islamist, secular, nationalist and other groups in rebel-controlled areas are jockeying to present themselves as the best alternative to the government of President Bashar Assad.
October 12, 2013 |
MOSCOW -- A Russian travel blogger missing in Syria for more than a week has reportedly been detained by a Syrian armed opposition group, Russian officials said. Russian Embassy officials in Damascus said Saturday that they are looking for Konstantin Zhuravlev, who disappeared in the vicinity of Aleppo on Sept. 30. Zhuravlev reportedly entered Syria from Turkey last month to hitchhike in the war-ravaged country. On Friday, a Syrian agency, Shamel News, associated with rebels, posted on its Facebook page a scan of Zhuravlev's passport, saying that a rebel “security battalion arrested Zhuravlev who was spying on rebel factions and supplied information to Russian and Syrian intelligence.” The report said that a relevant video would be posted soon.
September 29, 2013 |
The conflict in Syria is destroying not only the lives of the Syrian people but their heritage - the world's heritage - as well. Syria is a treasure house of history. Damascus, Aleppo, Palmyra and almost 10,000 other archaeological sites there hold the remains of thousands of years of culture. Greeks, Romans, Persians, Christians and Muslims lived and fought in what is now Syria. As the U.N. special envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, explained at a recent UNESCO meeting, "Few countries are as rich culturally, have had such a glorious past, are so important for what we are, all of us, for all the things that make, have made, human civilization.
September 23, 2013 |
A leader of an Al Qaeda-linked rebel group in Syria has been assassinated, activists said Monday, further inflaming hostilities between opposition fighters and potentially throwing into greater disarray those trying to oust President Bashar Assad. Abu Abdullah Libi, the self-styled emir of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in the northern province of Idlib, was killed Sunday when the vehicle he was riding in was sprayed with bullets, rebels and activists said. One activist with close ties to the Islamic State said Libi was probably on his way to the village of Hazano, where fighting between his group and mainstream Free Syrian Army rebels erupted earlier in the day, in a bid to negotiate a cease-fire.
August 5, 2013 |
ANTAKYA, Turkey -- The Syrian government has fired highly destructive ballistic missiles into populated civilian areas, killing many, including children, a human rights group reported Monday. At least 215 people, 100 of them children, have been killed in nine apparent missile attacks from February to July, according to Human Rights Watch, which said its representatives visited seven of the sites. The rights group said the repeated use of high-explosive weapons, including destructive Scud missiles, in populated areas indicated that the Syrian military was willfully using "methods of warfare incapable of distinguishing between civilians and combatants, a serious violation of international humanitarian law. " “In towns and cities in opposition controlled areas throughout northern Syria, civilians cannot escape the reach of these destructive weapons,” said Ole Solvang, the group's senior emergencies researcher.
August 2, 2013 |
AMMAN, Jordan -- With more than 80 posts and 30,000 followers, Syrian President Bashar Assad's Instagram account, opened just over a week ago, is the latest example of the government's aggressive foray into social media during its more-than two-year war against armed rebels. Pro-rebellion citizen journalists have been a mainstay of the conflict since its beginning, flooding social media networks with videos and photographs that have been viewed, shared and tweeted around the world.