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Bashar Assad

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OPINION
December 14, 2011 | By David Schenker
Barbara Walters' interview with Bashar Assad last week evoked a glib and confident Syrian president. But eight months into the popular uprising, Assad has little reason to be sanguine. Indeed, based on the actions of his longtime friends, the collapse of the regime is not far off. With the notable exception of Iran, Syria's closest allies — terrorist organizations and states alike — are jumping ship, or at least readying the lifeboats. The most striking example of this trend is the Palestinian terrorist organization Hamas.
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WORLD
March 28, 2014 | By Patrick J. McDonnell
HOMS, Syria - On the ragged fringes of the Old City, aid workers, clerics and government troops stood vigil, awaiting a U.N. convoy evacuating women, children and the aged from the besieged ancient quarter of a town known to many as ground zero in the Syrian civil war. But the buses disgorged a very different class of passengers: scores of young men, haggard and sallow-faced, blankets draped over their shoulders and fear evident in their eyes....
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WORLD
January 6, 2013 | By Ned Parker, Los Angeles Times
BEIRUT - Ignoring mounting casualties and dwindling support, Syrian President Bashar Assad made clear to the world Sunday in his first public address in half a year that he has no intention of relinquishing power and that he, not anyone else, would dictate the end for Syria's 21-month-old civil war. Assad unveiled his own peace plan, with cosmetic similarities to a settlement proposal championed by internationally sponsored peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi,...
WORLD
March 22, 2014 | By Nabih Bulos and Patrick J. McDonnell
IRBID, Jordan - The Free Syrian Army commander, head of a moderate rebel force fighting just across the border in southern Syria, watched helplessly for months as better-funded Islamist militant groups peeled off half the 2,000 fighters from his brigade. That changed in February when an intelligence operative from a country he refuses to name handed him an envelope full of cash - salaries for his remaining combatants. "It's a good amount of money; I can keep my fighters," the commander said, as scented smoke from his arghileh [water pipe]
WORLD
February 6, 2007 | From the Associated Press
Syrian President Bashar Assad said in an interview aired Monday that U.S.-Syrian cooperation was the "last chance" to stop the violence in Iraq, but he said he wasn't optimistic that President Bush would talk to Damascus. Assad told ABC's "Good Morning America" in an interview in Damascus, Syria's capital, that Bush administration officials were "not willing to achieve peace; they don't have the will and they don't have the vision." In contrast, he praised Bush's father, President George H.W.
NEWS
June 11, 2000 | JOHN DANISZEWSKI, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Syria's political hierarchy moved swiftly Saturday to bring about a smooth transfer of power to Bashar Assad after the death of his father, President Hafez Assad. But many analysts believe that the relatively untested 34-year-old could eventually face difficulties in his bid to maintain and extend the Assad legacy.
OPINION
January 24, 2014 | By Colleen Graffy
We don't know their names but we know their numbers, and we can see the evidence of their torture, thanks to a former crime-scene photographer who says he became a reluctant documenter of murder "on an industrial scale" committed by Bashar Assad's regime in Syria. The photographer, code-named Caesar to protect his identity after his defection from Syria, says he worked in the military police for 13 years documenting crime scenes and accidents. But after the civil war began, Caesar says, Assad's government put his skill-set to a different use: photographing the bodies of detainees who had been killed by the regime.
WORLD
December 20, 2012 | By Sergei L. Loiko and Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin declared Thursday that change was needed in Damascus, further distancing Moscow from Syrian President Bashar Assad in another sign that Assad's support may be fraying even among his few remaining allies. Putin made the comments as a United Nations panel concluded that Syria's raging conflict had become "overtly sectarian" and was drawing foreign fighters after almost two years of violence and tens of thousands of deaths. Putin said Russia would not back Assad, long a close ally, "at any price," and he used some of the Kremlin's strongest language to date indicating that Russia recognized that Assad's days were numbered.
WORLD
June 7, 2005 | Megan K. Stack, Times Staff Writer
Buffeted by criticism and demands for reform, Syrian President Bashar Assad opened his party congress Monday by sidestepping all mention of political change, pledging continued devotion to pan-Arab nationalism and calling modern technology a threat to Arab identity. The 39-year-old president had touted this week's Baath Party gathering as a turning point for a nation under pressure.
WORLD
March 8, 2012 | By Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
Syria's deputy oil minister reportedly defected from the government of Bashar Assad on Thursday, and a high-level international peace envoy seeking a cease-fire in Syria warned against further "militarization" of the bloody conflict. The reported move by Abdo Hussameddin - whose videotaped message abandoning the Assad administration was posted on YouTube - would be the highest-level civilian defection to date from the embattled government in Damascus, which is facing a yearlong rebellion, international isolation and a reeling economy.
WORLD
February 15, 2014 | By Christi Parsons and Patrick J. McDonnell
RANCHO MIRAGE, Calif. - President Obama is weighing a "wide range of policy tools and options" for stepping up pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad to end his government's attacks on civilians and rebel forces, a senior White House official said Saturday. Obama is also looking at ways to counter the rising threat of Islamist extremists in Syria, said the senior advisor, who asked not to be identified while discussing internal deliberations. In his last planned public remarks of the weekend, Obama told reporters Friday that he was looking at options other than military ones.
WORLD
February 13, 2014 | By Raja Abdulrahim
When Omar Naasir wants a restful night's sleep in Aleppo, he says, he stays as close as possible to the front line of the ongoing clashes between Syrian rebel and government forces. Farther back in his rebel-controlled neighborhood, Naasir says, the risk of death greatly increases because of the barrel bombs and other explosives raining down daily amid the government's bombardment campaign. "Between us and the regime army is sometimes less than 100 meters, so they don't drop barrel bombs there so they don't strike their positions," he said via Skype, referring to the deadly oil drums filled with TNT. "With barrel bombs, there is a feeling of paralysis that is indescribable," said the former peace activist turned rebel.
WORLD
January 29, 2014 | By Paul Richter
WASHINGTON - Syria has delivered less than 5% of its deadliest chemical weapons agents to international authorities a week before a deadline to surrender the entire cache, officials said Wednesday. The government of President Bashar Assad, which is fighting a bitter civil war against insurgent militias, has transferred about 32 tons of the so-called Category 1 chemical agents to the Syrian port of Latakia, where it has been loaded onto ships for destruction at sea. But about 670 tons remain in collection points, and officials say it is unlikely that Syria will meet the Feb. 5 deadline.
OPINION
January 24, 2014 | By Colleen Graffy
We don't know their names but we know their numbers, and we can see the evidence of their torture, thanks to a former crime-scene photographer who says he became a reluctant documenter of murder "on an industrial scale" committed by Bashar Assad's regime in Syria. The photographer, code-named Caesar to protect his identity after his defection from Syria, says he worked in the military police for 13 years documenting crime scenes and accidents. But after the civil war began, Caesar says, Assad's government put his skill-set to a different use: photographing the bodies of detainees who had been killed by the regime.
WORLD
January 5, 2014 | By Nabih Bulos
AMMAN, Jordan - Infighting among Islamist antigovernment groups in northern Syria continued for a third day Sunday, as more moderate rebel factions engaged in a large-scale rout of an extremist group affiliated with Al Qaeda. The Mujahedin Army, a new coalition of ostensibly moderate Islamist groups, as well as factions affiliated with the Western-backed Free Syrian Army and the Islamic Front, consolidated their gains against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, in what activists hailed as a "second revolution.
NEWS
December 26, 2013 | By Michael McGough
One of the saddest unintended consequences of the U.S. invasion of Iraq has been the progressive de-Christianization of the country, home to churches that trace their lineage to the earliest days of the religion. In reporting on Christmas Day bombings in Christian areas of Baghdad, the New York Times noted that there were 1.5 million Christians in Iraq before the U.S.-led invasion in 2003 but that the number is now half that. The attrition of the Christian population may not have been foreseen by President George W. Bush (who, ironically, was suspected by some Muslims of plotting a literal "crusade" in the region)
WORLD
March 3, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
BEIRUT - Syrian rebels must give up their weapons before the government will agree to hold peace talks with them, Syrian President Bashar Assad said in a newspaper interview published Sunday. "We are willing to negotiate with anyone, including militants who surrender their arms," Assad told Britain's Sunday Times in a rare interview with a Western publication. "We can engage in dialogue with the opposition, but we cannot engage in dialogue with terrorists. We fight terrorism. " Assad's government routinely refers to the Syrian rebels as terrorists.
OPINION
February 25, 2005 | Danielle Pletka, Danielle Pletka is vice president for foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute.
If Syria is responsible for the assassination of Lebanon's former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri -- as many observers believe -- it is only the most recent in a long line of that country's transgressions. And it must not go unanswered. It marks a moment when much of the world is united against the regime of Bashar Assad, Syria's tyrannical dictator. It is clear that quashing Assad in Lebanon would strike a blow for liberty there.
OPINION
December 15, 2013 | Doyle McManus
Here's how feeble U.S. influence on the outcome of Syria's dreadful civil war has become: For the Obama administration's diplomacy to succeed, it now needs help from an armed group with the unpromising name of the Islamic Front. That wasn't where the administration hoped to be. When President Obama first got interested in Syria back in 2011, his hope was that a popular uprising just needed a little moral support from the outside world to topple the brutal regime of Bashar Assad. When that didn't work, Obama offered modest, mostly non-military aid to moderate groups in the Syrian opposition, enough to raise their hopes but not enough to ensure success on the battlefield.
WORLD
December 4, 2013 | By Nabih Bulos
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates - A senior Hezbollah commander was gunned down in Beirut early Wednesday in what could be a sign of further sectarian escalation and spillover from the Syrian conflict into Lebanon. Hassan Holo Laqqis, 53, a founding member of Hezbollah, was shot and killed outside his home in a Shiite Muslim neighborhood of the Lebanese capital, according to Al Manar, the official media arm of the Shiite militant group. Hezbollah blamed longtime enemy Israel for the killing, but Israeli officials denied responsibility.
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