June 8, 2013 |
BEIRUT - He sits on a couch in an inconspicuous building in a southern suburb of Beirut. A baseball cap pulled down low, his eyes twitching, Hassan, a Hezbollah squad leader, describes killing more than 20 men in three weeks in the Syrian town of Qusair. "It was a street war. We went from room to room, from house to house, from window to window," said Hassan, who is in his late 30s and sports a light beard. "It was guerrilla warfare with gangs, not a war with a traditional army....
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 30, 2013 |
Grab a towel, slap on some sunscreen and head to the beach this weekend because it's going to be hot, dry and sunny. A warm weather system should settle over Southern California through the weekend, with temperatures possibly in the triple digits inland, forecasters say. Saturday will be the warmest day. Downtown Los Angeles may hit 90 degrees, the beaches from Orange County to Santa Barbara will be in the mid-80s, and Inland Empire thermometers could...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 25, 2013 |
Beachgoers may want to pack blankets and hoodies along with sunscreen this Memorial Day weekend. Forecasters are predicting sunny but cool weather Sunday and Monday. After morning clouds, temperatures in Santa Monica, Malibu and other county beaches will rise only into the high 60s both days, according to the National Weather Service. “We've got a low-pressure area over us, and that's going to hang around through Tuesday,” said Stuart Seto of the service's Oxnard office. Conditions are to warm up later in the week with above average temperatures predicted for Friday and Saturday.
May 17, 2013 |
MARAAT NUMAN, Syria - Each morning, after saluting the Syrian flag and before the warplanes take off, soldiers at army bases across Syria are given political orientation. During the lectures, conscripts and career officers alike are repeatedly told that opposition forces are fueled by sectarian hatred and want to tear the country apart. The message - of a war waged by Sunni Muslims against Syria's Alawite and Shiite minorities - is well understood. To Syrian soldiers, "It has essentially become sectarian; the Sunnis fight out of fear and the Alawites fight out of conviction," said Muhammad Zinedden, a Sunni conscript who defected in February from the 17th Engineering Regiment in Raqqa province.
May 10, 2013 |
BAGHDAD - Less than a year and a half after the last U.S. troops left, Iraq's political leaders are openly debating the prospect of two dangerous paths for their country: de facto division or civil war. Perhaps both. Tension between the Shiite majority, now in control of the levers of power, and the Sunni Arab minority, which dominated under Saddam Hussein, has been building for months. But politicians on all sides agree that the country has entered a perilous new phase, highlighted in late April by an attack on a Sunni protest camp by security forces that killed at least 45 people.
May 5, 2013 |
Thirty-eight years ago last week, I was among the last CIA officers to be choppered off the U.S. Embassy roof in Saigon as the North Vietnamese took the country. Just two years before that chaotic rush for the exits, the Nixon administration had withdrawn the last American troops from the war zone and had declared indigenous forces strong enough, and the government reliable enough, to withstand whatever the enemy might throw into the fray after U.S. forces were gone. That's the same story we told ourselves in Iraq when we pulled out of that country in 2011.
May 3, 2013 |
MEXICO CITY - President Obama on Friday painted a sunny picture of a modern Mexico emerging from its past troubles, an attempt at rebranding that serves the political aims of both governments but clashes with the realities of a country beset by violence and poverty. On his second day of a swing through Latin America, Obama emphasized optimism about Mexico's economic future and offered a broad endorsement of President Enrique Peña Nieto's reform agenda. Speaking to a crowd largely made up of high school and college students, Obama pushed the next generation of Mexicans to continue to demand change.
May 2, 2013 |
BAGHDAD - Iraqi security used disproportionate force, including shooting unarmed civilians, during a raid on an encampment of Sunni Arab protesters last week that left 45 people dead, according to two government investigations and foreign diplomats. The predawn raid in the city of Hawija in Kirkuk province April 23 involved security forces demanding that protesters hand over demonstrators suspected of killing an Iraqi soldier four days earlier, officials said. Shooting erupted during the raid, enraging Sunnis and leading to violence in other parts of the country.
May 1, 2013 |
ARSAL, Lebanon - When Mustafa Ezzedine, a Sunni Muslim from this Sunni border town, wanted to buy some furniture, he undertook a clandestine trip into war-torn Syria rather than face harassment, or worse, from Shiite Muslim security officers or townsmen in nearby Lebanese communities. "Although geographically we are in Lebanon, spiritually we are with Syria," said Ezzedine, 66, who was recently freed after being held hostage along with 10 other Sunnis in reprisal for the kidnapping of a Shiite in Arsal.
April 28, 2013 |
BAGHDAD - The Iraqi government ordered 10 predominantly Sunni Muslim satellite television channels to cease broadcasting Sunday, accusing them of encouraging the sectarian unrest that left more than 200 people dead in a week of violence in northern Iraq. The stations included the pan-Arab news channel Al Jazeera and well-known local satellite stations. The move reflected the elevated tensions in the country since fighting erupted last week between Shiite Muslim-led security forces and Sunni Arab protesters, raising fears of a new civil war like the one that erupted from 2005 to 2008, when U.S. troops were still in the country.