May 6, 2012 |
BEIRUT - More than a year after the uprising began, only 50 people were still around to protest in a Syrian town of burned buildings and pockmarked storefronts. But for the residents of Anadan who came together to call for freedom and dignity on the morningSyria'scease-fire began last month, it was as though the revolution had begun again. "We were willing to come out like it was our first day," said Abu Ghaith, an activist in the town near Aleppo that rebels seized and lost again to government forces.
April 16, 2013 |
BEIRUT - Syrian President Bashar Assad issued an order Tuesday freeing up to 7,000 prison inmates, but it was not clear whether the decree would apply to any of those jailed for participation in the rebellion that is seeking to overthrow his regime. Assad issued a combination of commuted sentences and a general amnesty for selected prisoners, according to the official state news agency. The amnesty did not include people convicted of "crimes of treason, espionage and terrorism," the news agency's English-language website said, so it presumably excluded opposition activists, whom the government labels terrorists.
September 5, 2011 |
Government tanks, state security agents and plainclothes loyalist militiamen known as shabiha raided cities in northern and central Syria on Sunday, in what residents said was a manhunt for one of the highest-ranking officials yet to defect to the opposition. Activists reported 14 people killed Sunday by government forces seeking to crush the nearly six-month uprising against President Bashar Assad. Most of the day's government attacks on civilians occurred in the cities of Hama, Homs and Idlib and the suburbs of Damascus, the Syrian capital, according to the Local Coordination Committees of Syria opposition coalition.
May 8, 2012 |
BEIRUT — Violence in Syria has continued amid a cease-fire, increasing concern that the country is descending into a civil war that could have frightening implications beyond its border, United Nations envoy Kofi Annan told the Security Council on Tuesday. The U.N.-backed peace plan, meant to end the bloodshed of a 14-month antigovernment uprising, remains the only chance to stabilize the country, Annan said. "If it fails … and it were to lead into a civil war, it will not affect only Syria, it will have an impact on the whole region," he said at a news conference in Geneva after his briefing.
April 17, 2012 |
BEIRUT - The United Nations Security Council is expected to authorize deploying a full mission of 250 monitors to Syria after it takes up the issue Wednesday, but Secretary-GeneralBan Ki-moon questioned whether even that number would be sufficient. "I think this is not enough, considering the current situation and considering the vastness of the country, and that is why we need very efficient mobility of our observer mission," he said Tuesday. He said he had discussed with European Union leaders whether the EU could provide helicopters and airplanes for that mobility.
January 11, 2013 |
BEIRUT -- Syrian rebels on Friday said that after a weeks-long battle in northwestern Idlib province they had seized a strategic air base, depriving the government of its ability to carry out helicopter airstrikes in the area. The Taftanaz air base has been used by the government to stage helicopter attacks on rebels in the province, adjacent to the Turkish border. The campaign to seize it had been spearheaded by hardline Islamic fighting groups, such as the Al Nusra front, which is affiliated with Al Qaeda.
February 11, 2013 |
BEIRUT - A car bomb at a border crossing on the Turkish-Syrian border Monday afternoon killed 10 people and left dozens injured, according to Turkey's semi-official Anatolian news agency. The blast occurred at the Cilvegozu Border Gate on the Turkish side of the border. It connects Turkey with Syria's Bab Al-Hawa crossing, which has been in the hands of Syrian rebels for months. The explosives were in a parked vehicle with Syrian license plates, the news agency reported. Opposition activists inside Syria were divided over who was behind the attack and whether or not the target was the Syrian opposition or Turkey.
March 11, 2012 |
A special peace envoy to Syria failed to win a cease-fire agreement after two days of talks with President Bashar Assad, but Kofi Annan left the country Sunday declaring he was optimistic that a peace process could take hold. "It's going to be tough. It's going to be difficult," the former United Nations secretary-general told reporters in Damascus, the Syrian capital. "But we have to have hope. " Few outside observers expected that the veteran diplomat from Ghana would secure a quick breakthrough in the yearlong crisis, which has cost thousands of lives and resisted diplomatic remedies.
July 15, 2011 |
Massive anti-government protests throughout Syria on Friday were met with violence by security forces loyal to President Bashar Assad, in defiance of increased Western pressure on the regime to radically reform. At least 12 people were reported killed by mid-afternoon, with human rights activists warning that the number of dead was sure to rise, despite a purported "dialogue" between Assad's deputies and some regime critics that finished just days ago. The protests followed a tense week between Syria and the West after provocative visits by U.S. Ambassador Robert S. Ford and French envoy Eric Chavallier to the restive city of Hama, which enraged Syrian authorities and prompted a series of increasingly testy exchanges between Western and Syrian officials.
August 30, 2011 |
Syrian security forces reportedly shot and killed at least six people in the southern city of Dara and in the central city of Homs on Tuesday, a day of extensive protests against President Bashar Assad on the Eid al-Fitr, the last day of fasting during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. According to activists inside Syria, the death toll between Monday afternoon and Tuesday afternoon stood at 23, including 17 killed on Monday. Protests also broke out in the commercial city of Aleppo, which has largely remained on the sidelines during the country's five months of uprisings, the greatest challenge to four decades of rule by the Assad family.