February 23, 2014 |
Faced with bad options in Syria, President Obama is reviving a tactic he tried in an earlier war: leading from behind. "Leading from behind," you'll recall, is how a White House aide described Obama's strategy in Libya in 2011, when the United States hoped its allies would provide most of the help for rebels while American forces stayed largely in the rear. That's not how it worked out. Libya's revolution took longer than expected, the allies weren't up to the job and U.S. warplanes ended up in the middle of the fray.
February 22, 2014 |
BEIRUT - The United Nations on Saturday called for improved humanitarian access for millions of needy Syrians as Syrian government forces pounded rebel positions and the latest car bomb apparently linked to the civil war exploded in neighboring Lebanon. The U.N. Security Council resolution, passed unanimously in New York, demanded that "all parties, in particular the Syrian authorities, promptly allow rapid, safe and unhindered access" for humanitarian assistance, including aid across conflict zones and via international borders.
February 6, 2014 |
DAMASCUS, Syria -- An agreement has been reached to evacuate civilians trapped in the battle-scarred remnants of the Old City of Homs, Syria's third-largest city, the state news agency reported Thursday. The accord would also allow the delivery of “humanitarian assistance and supplies to the civilians who would choose to stay inside the city,” according to the official Syrian Arab News Agency. The plight of people trapped in Old Homs drew international attention last month when negotiators at Syrian peace talks in Geneva said officials had arranged to evacuate civilians and deliver humanitarian aid. However, that prospective deal fell apart amid deep distrust between the government and a holdout force of rebels who are bunkered down inside Old Homs.
January 31, 2014 |
As the long-awaited Syrian peace talks began in Geneva this month, the dwindling supply of bulgur wheat in besieged Homs all but ran out. The grain was the last remaining food staple in a dozen opposition-held neighborhoods of Syria's third-largest city, which have been under a government blockade for more than a year. Residents face starvation as food and medicine are prevented from entering and people from leaving, activists say. Like other parts of Syria under blockade by either government or opposition forces, Homs has experienced a dramatic dwindling of essential supplies.
January 17, 2014 |
BEIRUT -- The Syrian government Friday said it had presented plans to its Russian allies for a cease-fire in the northern city of Aleppo and an exchange of prisoners with the opposition in advance of peace talks next week in Switzerland. The announcement in Moscow by Walid Moallem , the Syrian foreign minister, appeared to be a significant development in advance of possibly landmark peace talks slated to begin Wednesday in the Swiss city of Montreux . The proposals would also seem to put the government of President Bashar Assad , whom the opposition has been fighting to topple, at the center of the cease-fire plan.
December 12, 2013 |
ARIVACA, Ariz. - There was a time when Maggie Milinovitch and her husband didn't agree on whether to give food and water to the weary border crossers who traversed the couple's desert land a few miles north of the Mexico border in southern Arizona. While she wanted to help, her husband worried they may be arrested or lose their land if they gave aid to the dozens of travelers, many of them desperate and dehydrated, and some nearly crippled by enormous blisters on the bottoms of their feet.