February 4, 2014 |
BEIRUT - He loves sushi, AK-47s and rocket-propelled grenades. He could be killed at any moment but vows to marry "a beautiful, righteous Muslim girl" as soon as he finds one. He proclaims a "love for justice" but defends beheadings, battlefield executions and sectarian killing. He scorns democracy and extols a fundamentalist interpretation of sharia, or Islamic law. Welcome to the virtual world of Chechclearr, the Internet handle of a self-described Islamic militant who says he is fighting as an Islamist rebel in Syria but also has time to post a copious amount of pictures and comments on the Internet.
January 9, 2014 |
BEIRUT - A car bomb detonated Thursday near a school in the central Syrian province of Hama, killing 18 people, according to the Syrian government and opposition sources. The bomb exploded outside the town of Salmiya, killing mostly women and children, the reports said. The state-run news agency SANA said the attack left dozens wounded and caused "very significant" property damage. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based pro-opposition group, said the casualty toll was likely to rise.
January 7, 2014 |
BEIRUT - The initial consignment of Syria's most toxic chemical weapons material was shipped out of the country Tuesday, international officials said, advancing a cleanup effort widely seen as a success in the midst of a long civil war that has cost more than 100,000 lives. The announcement came as the leader of an Al Qaeda-linked rebel group tried to broker a cease-fire among Syrian opposition factions that have been battling one another. A "first quantity" of so-called priority chemical materials was moved from two sites to the Syrian port of Latakia and loaded onto a Danish commercial vessel, Sigrid Kaag, who heads the international effort to rid the country of its chemical arsenal, said in a statement.
January 5, 2014 |
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.
December 15, 2013 |
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.
October 16, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - In a closed-door meeting on Wednesday, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) listed the beliefs he said united Republicans, urging them not to "confuse tactics with principles. " "The differences between us are dwarfed by the differences we have with the Democratic Party," he declared. But in the Capitol's halls, as bruised and defeated Republicans discussed what had befallen them, those internal divisions seemed only to widen. "It's pretty hard when we have a circle of 20 people who stand up every day and say, 'Can we surrender today, Mr. Speaker?