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February 6, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell and Raja Abdulrahim, Los Angeles Times
BEIRUT - Shelling and explosions were heard in Damascus, the Syrian capital, Wednesday amid some of the fiercest clashes reported in months, and government and opposition forces both said they had made significant advances. Acrid smoke hung over parts of Damascus, opposition activists said. The renewed fighting in the capital appeared to dash the faint hope of peace talks in the almost 2-year-old conflict. Neither side has agreed to dialogue, despite conditional offers in recent weeks from representatives of the opposition and the government of President Bashar Assad.
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WORLD
August 24, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell
BEIRUT -- Three days after an alleged chemical attack purportedly killed hundreds of civilians, Syria's state media reported Saturday that government troops had discovered “chemical agents” in a rebel stronghold northeast of Damascus. State TV said the toxic substances were found in tunnels in the heavily contested Damascus suburb of Jobar, which has long been the site of combat between government and rebel forces. An unspecified number of soldiers suffered from “suffocation” and some were hospitalized in critical condition, said the official Syrian Arab News Agency.
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WORLD
August 24, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell
BEIRUT -- Three days after an alleged chemical attack purportedly killed hundreds of civilians, Syria's state media reported Saturday that government troops had discovered “chemical agents” in a rebel stronghold northeast of Damascus. State TV said the toxic substances were found in tunnels in the heavily contested Damascus suburb of Jobar, which has long been the site of combat between government and rebel forces. An unspecified number of soldiers suffered from “suffocation” and some were hospitalized in critical condition, said the official Syrian Arab News Agency.
WORLD
August 22, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell
BEIRUT - Fresh clashes between Syrian government troops and rebel forces were reported in the outskirts of Damascus on Thursday, a day after alleged chemical attacks outside the capital purportedly killed hundreds. The official government news agency reported combat east of the capital in several suburbs, including Jobar, Harasta, Douma and Irbin, all considered rebel strongholds. The army has been pushing back rebels in those areas for months. The government cited “heavy losses” among “terrorists,” the official designation of armed rebels fighting to overthrow the government of President Bashar Assad.
WORLD
August 22, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell
BEIRUT - Fresh clashes between Syrian government troops and rebel forces were reported in the outskirts of Damascus on Thursday, a day after alleged chemical attacks outside the capital purportedly killed hundreds. The official government news agency reported combat east of the capital in several suburbs, including Jobar, Harasta, Douma and Irbin, all considered rebel strongholds. The army has been pushing back rebels in those areas for months. The government cited “heavy losses” among “terrorists,” the official designation of armed rebels fighting to overthrow the government of President Bashar Assad.
WORLD
April 25, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell and Nabih Bulos, Los Angeles Times
BEIRUT - The Syrian government says its forces this week seized a strategic township east of Damascus after weeks of fighting, but some opposition activists dispute the asserted regime victory. Several official Syrian press outlets reported that government troops had assumed "total control" of Otaiba, considered an important supply hub for opposition forces based in the Ghouta region. Forces opposed to President Bashar Assad's government have for months been closing in on Damascus, the capital, from suburban and rural areas.
WORLD
July 30, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell
DAMASCUS, Syria - A chaotic passageway through blasted walls, blood-spattered floors and bullet-pocked rooms leads to the narrow stairway where a teenager pokes his Kalashnikov rifle into a sliver of light slicing through the sandbags. "If we don't protect our camp, who will?" asked 18-year-old Yehya from his perch on a landing, keeping watch on crumbling apartment blocks and debris-laden streets outside. The battle for Damascus, the capital, has become a brutal fight for the suburbs.
WORLD
July 15, 2013 | By Nabih Bulos
BEIRUT - The Syrian military intensified its assault Monday on rebel strongholds in Idlib province, pounding opposition-controlled areas from the air and land, according to antigovernment activists. The opposition reported more than two dozen killed in recent days in government attacks on rebel strongholds in the strategically situated zone, which is close to the Turkish border, long a conduit for smuggled arms destined for the opposition and for gunmen seeking to join the rebellion.
WORLD
August 24, 2013 | By Christi Parsons, Kathleen Hennessey and Patrick J. McDonnell
WASHINGTON - President Obama huddled with his top national security advisors at the White House for a Saturday meeting as the U.S. military prepared for a possible retaliatory strike against the Syrian government for its alleged use of chemical weapons against civilians. A White House official who disclosed the meeting indicated that the president made no decisions, but the high-level talks came as the Pentagon acknowledged it was moving U.S. forces into position in the region. The U.S. Navy has decided to increase the number of warships in the eastern Mediterranean Sea from three to four, all of them armed with Tomahawk cruise missiles, according to news reports.
WORLD
July 30, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell
DAMASCUS, Syria - A chaotic passageway through blasted walls, blood-spattered floors and bullet-pocked rooms leads to the narrow stairway where a teenager pokes his Kalashnikov rifle into a sliver of light slicing through the sandbags. "If we don't protect our camp, who will?" asked 18-year-old Yehya from his perch on a landing, keeping watch on crumbling apartment blocks and debris-laden streets outside. The battle for Damascus, the capital, has become a brutal fight for the suburbs.
WORLD
April 25, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell and Nabih Bulos, Los Angeles Times
BEIRUT - The Syrian government says its forces this week seized a strategic township east of Damascus after weeks of fighting, but some opposition activists dispute the asserted regime victory. Several official Syrian press outlets reported that government troops had assumed "total control" of Otaiba, considered an important supply hub for opposition forces based in the Ghouta region. Forces opposed to President Bashar Assad's government have for months been closing in on Damascus, the capital, from suburban and rural areas.
WORLD
February 6, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell and Raja Abdulrahim, Los Angeles Times
BEIRUT - Shelling and explosions were heard in Damascus, the Syrian capital, Wednesday amid some of the fiercest clashes reported in months, and government and opposition forces both said they had made significant advances. Acrid smoke hung over parts of Damascus, opposition activists said. The renewed fighting in the capital appeared to dash the faint hope of peace talks in the almost 2-year-old conflict. Neither side has agreed to dialogue, despite conditional offers in recent weeks from representatives of the opposition and the government of President Bashar Assad.
WORLD
February 11, 2013 | By Raja Abdulrahim and Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
BEIRUT - A minibus explosion at a crossing on the Turkish-Syrian border killed more than a dozen people Monday, and some activists said its target might have been one of the leading figures in the Syrian opposition. The blast struck the Turkish side of the border minutes after George Sabra, vice president of the Syrian National Coalition, passed through, several opposition activists said. Sabra was returning to Turkey after a trip to the city of Aleppo, in nearby Idlib province, said opposition activist Ahmad Aasi.
WORLD
July 27, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell
DAMASCUS, Syria - State-run Syrian media on Saturday accused antigovernment rebels of massacring more than 100 people during an assault last week on a town outside the northern city of Aleppo, the latest alleged mass killing during the Syrian conflict. The official Syrian Arab News Agency charged that “armed terrorist groups" - the government's term for rebels - killed at least 123 people, mostly civilians but including military personnel, during an attack last week on Khan Assal, west of Aleppo.
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