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May 19, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell and Nabih Bulos
BEIRUT - Syrian government forces launched a long-planned offensive early Sunday on the strategic city of Qusair and neighboring rebel-controlled villages near the Lebanese border, with heavy shelling that began shortly after midnight, according to opposition and pro-regime accounts.  The attack comes after a period of relative calm in the area, opposition supporters said, but may be a prelude to a larger ground offensive by Syrian army units...
March 16, 2014 | By Patrick J. McDonnell and Nabih Bulos
BEIRUT - Syrian forces have overrun a strategic rebel stronghold close to the Lebanese border, the military said Sunday, in the latest battlefield victory for the government of President Bashar Assad. The official news service reported that Syrian troops were in "full control" of Yabroud, a longtime rebel bastion and key logistics base for opposition supplies and insurgents entering Syria from Lebanese territory. Aiding Syrian troops in the battle were militiamen from Hezbollah, the Lebanese group that has dispatched units to fight alongside Assad's forces.
December 4, 2009 | By Tony Perry
Hundreds of U.S. Marines and Afghan soldiers descended on a nearly empty city in southern Afghanistan on Friday to cut off supply routes for Taliban fighters who have taken refuge in the area. The troops want to starve out the insurgents holed up around Now Zad, which was once a vibrant city of 30,000 but now is a virtual ghost town because years of fighting. The assault in Helmand province, named Cobra's Anger, may prove to be a warmup for a larger, more complex and more dangerous assault on Marja, a town to which many Taliban fighters and narcotics middlemen fled after Marines descended on nearby villages this summer.
October 13, 2013
Re "Syria could be haven for radicals," Oct. 8 That Syria might become an Islamist stronghold, especially if President Bashar Assad falls - which our geniuses in Washington are now worried about - is no news to this layman. We saw this in Libya, Afghanistan, Somalia and Iraq. Washington continues to back the rebels in Syria with blind affirmation of their democratic goals, which are none. Anyone with a brain can see what will happen to Syria if Assad falls. Each and every one of these outposts of civilization need strongman leaders, ruthless as they might be, or else these countries turn into bad news for the West.
March 4, 2011 | By Borzou Daragahi and Garrett Therolf, Los Angeles Times
Embattled Libyan leader Moammar Kadafi's security forces launched a sustained assault against a rebel-controlled city near the capital Friday, and scores of civilians were killed in the fighting, witnesses said. The initiative to retake Zawiya, the city 25 miles west of Tripoli that was seized by rebels four days ago, reportedly claimed the life of a leading rebel commander as forces under the command of one of Kadafi's sons, Khamis Moammar Kadafi, unleashed mortars and machine-gun fire.
October 12, 2009 | Alex Rodriguez
Pakistan's government, which for weeks claimed to have broken the back of the Taliban, found itself today sifting through the aftermath of a highly coordinated 22-hour siege by militants that left at least 19 people dead and deeply embarrassed the country's leadership. But Pakistani officials said the assault, which struck at the heart of the Pakistani military, and other militant attacks in recent days have only strengthened their resolve to push forward with a planned offensive in the volatile South Waziristan region along the Afghan border.
January 26, 2009 | TIMES WIRE REPORTS
Sri Lankan forces have captured the Tamil Tigers' last major stronghold, confining the rebels to a narrow slice of jungle and ending their decade-long domination of the country's north. Troops entered the coastal town of Mullaittivu, the last major area under the rebels' control and drove off the remaining fighters, the military said. Army Lt. Gen. Sarath Fonseka said the bloody ethnic separatist war that has plagued this Indian Ocean island nation since 1983 was nearly over. But analysts warn that it is simply shifting from a relatively conventional fight between two armies to a guerrilla war.
March 2, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
A bomb wounded two Filipino soldiers and four women at a bar near a southern Philippine military camp where U.S. troops were conducting counter-terrorism training, a Philippine army spokesman said. The blast occurred on Jolo island, which is about 590 miles south of Manila and a stronghold for an Al Qaeda-linked Muslim militant group. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. No Americans were injured.
May 18, 1989
Afghan rebels said they blew up a huge arms depot last week, killing at least 20 government soldiers and destroying eight tanks and hundreds of weapons. A Western diplomat said the explosion occurred May 7 at the northern government stronghold of Mazar-i-Sharif. The diplomat also confirmed reports that the rebels have lost a key section of the highway from Kabul to Jalalabad.
January 18, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
Gunmen killed two Jordanian U.N. peacekeepers and seriously wounded a third at a checkpoint in a Port-au-Prince slum that is a stronghold for supporters of former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a United Nations spokesman said. The three Jordanians were on duty at the Cite Soleil checkpoint in the capital when they came under fire. The shootings occurred three weeks before previously postponed elections to replace an interim government.
August 15, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell, This post has been updated. See the note below for details
BEIRUT - A deadly explosion Thursday in a densely populated district of southern Beirut, a stronghold of the Hezbollah group, fanned new fears of violent fallout in Lebanon from the ongoing war in neighboring Syria. Initial news service reports indicated that as many as nine were killed and 30 injured in the explosion; there was no immediate official casualty count. [Updated 2:06 p.m., Aug. 15: Lebanese authorities later said that at least 14 were killed and more than 200 injured in the attack.
August 15, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell
BEIRUT - A deadly car bomb exploded Thursday in a densely populated district of southern Beirut, a stronghold of the Hezbollah group, fanning new fear of violent fallout in Lebanon from the war raging in neighboring Syria. The government said at least 18 people were killed and 291 injured in the blast; local news media said the death toll was at least 21. The attack stunned a nation where many worry that the Syrian conflict could escalate sectarian violence and destabilize an already-shaky government.
July 30, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell
HOMS, Syria - A pair of slender minarets and the silver dome of the Khalid bin Walid mosque arise like a fairy castle from a foreground of rubble in the Old City of this war-ravaged city, dubbed the "birthplace of the revolution" by antigovernment activists. "Khalid bin Walid is the protector of us, after God," said a city resident, referring to the revered figure in Islam who is the mosque's namesake. "We hope to be able to pray there soon," the man, who goes by the nickname Abu Farhan, said as he emerged Tuesday from his building in the Ghouta district.
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.
July 9, 2013 | By Nabih Bulos and Patrick J. McDonnell
BEIRUT -- A huge explosion rocked southern Beirut early Tuesday in the latest apparent instance of violence from the war in neighboring Syria spilling over into Lebanon. Some media outlets reported at least one dead and more than a dozen people injured, but there was no immediate independent confirmation of the casualty toll. Material damage appeared extensive. Numerous vehicles were set ablaze, windows were blown out in nearby apartment buildings and in shops and other structures as far as two blocks away in a densely populated district.
June 15, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
TARTUS, Syria - War may be ravaging much of Syria, but there is no sign of conflict on bustling streets here, where diners wearing designer sunglasses order freshly caught fish at seaside cafes and gaze out on a palm-fringed expanse resembling a slightly tattered version of southern France or the Greek isles. Absent are the rows of pulverized apartment blocks that mark parts of battleground cities like Homs, Damascus and Aleppo. But that doesn't mean this ancient port - once home to Phoenicians, Romans and Crusaders - hasn't suffered its share of losses.
November 19, 2005
Re "Red plus blue equals purple," Opinion, Nov. 14 Niall Ferguson points to Michael Bloomberg's victory in the New York mayoral election as evidence that a Republican candidate in a Democratic stronghold can bridge racial, ethnic and economic gaps. Maybe so. But it helped Bloomberg a lot that he had about 80 times as much money to spend as his Democratic opponent. DAVE DATZ Altadena
January 26, 2008 | From Times Wire Reports
The Pakistani military pounded hide-outs of Taliban militants who had hijacked ammunition supply trucks, killing as many as 30 suspected rebels, the army said. Two paramilitary troops were killed and 10 wounded in clashes around Dara Adam Khel, on a key strategic route. The route connects Peshawar -- the army's regional headquarters 25 miles away -- with the battlefields of Waziristan, regarded as a Taliban and Al Qaeda stronghold. President Pervez Musharraf, who is touring Europe, dismissed a U.S. offer to send a small number of American troops to Pakistan to help fight the insurgency.
June 3, 2013 | By Raja Abdulrahim
Heavy shelling pounded the besieged Syrian town of Qusair on Monday, killing at least three civilians and injuring several more, as government forces made another attempt to storm the strategic junction, according to opposition activists in and near the town. Qusair-based rebels aided by opposition fighters from other parts of Syria were able to hold off government troops and Hezbollah fighters, destroying three tanks and killing dozens of fighters, said Bashir Al-Saleh, an activist with the Aleppo-based Al Tawheed Brigade stationed outside the town.
May 23, 2013 | By Michael Finnegan and Ben Welsh
Eric Garcetti defeated Wendy Greuel in the Los Angeles mayor's race despite Greuel's overwhelming support in heavily African American neighborhoods. The city controller's strength among black voters in South L.A. was too little to make up for Garcetti's rout across the central city, where polls showed he was heavily favored by whites and Latinos. Garcetti won by running up huge margins across a vast stretch of the central city, from the Eastside to Pacific Palisades, while denying his rival the San Fernando Valley stronghold that was essential to her candidacy.
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