November 15, 2013 |
ALEPPO, Syria - The bags of pita bread are stacked in tight formation on the sidewalk, as if standing at attention. From here they will be dispersed across the rebel-held neighborhood to small, nondescript distribution centers: the bike repair shop down the street, the corner convenience store or the electrician's shop. The long lines that used to form outside bakeries, tempting targets for government air attacks, are gone. "We created the center for the protection of the people," said Abu Muhammad, a member of the bakery committee for the Bustan Qasir and Kalaseh neighborhoods.
November 15, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Despite pressure from the Obama administration, Albania's prime minister said Friday that he would not allow the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons in the European country. Prime Minister Edi Rama surprised some Western officials by saying in a televised address that it was "impossible" to take on the job of dismantling Syrian President Bashar Assad's toxic arsenal because "we lack the necessary capacities to get involved in this operation. " Rama bowed to growing protests in the small Balkan nation, where activists have opposed being the host country for the costly and complex process of neutralizing Syria's weapons, because of concern over toxic waste.
November 12, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The undercover FBI informant warned Pakistani immigrant Basit Javed Sheikh that it was not too late to back out. "You don't have to do it," he told Sheikh in a private Facebook message Oct. 17. But Sheikh, 29, a permanent U.S. resident living in central North Carolina, was adamant, according to a federal affidavit, telling the informant: "I'm serious" and "Akhi Wallahi!" - Arabic for "Brother, I swear to God!" Now Sheikh is under arrest on allegations of attempting to reach Syria to provide material support to Al Nusra Front, an Al Qaeda-affiliated group in Iraq that the U.S. deems a terrorist organization.
November 10, 2013 |
REYHANLI, Turkey - In this bustling border town, anonymous apartments serve as safe houses for Syrian rebel commanders, clinics for wounded fighters and opposition media centers equipped with banks of sophisticated laptops and video gear. Turkey has allowed an assemblage of Syrian rebels and their associates, including secular activists, cash-wielding sheiks, arms traffickers and Islamist militants, to use its territory as a transit route, logistics hub and rest stop. The government has been very clear that it wants to see Syrian President Bashar Assad removed from power.
November 8, 2013 |
BEIRUT - An outbreak of polio among children in war-torn Syria has prompted a mass immunization campaign that aims to vaccinate 20 million children in seven Middle Eastern nations and territories, the United Nations and the World Health Organization said Friday. An emergency drive to prevent the transmission of the crippling ailment and other preventable diseases has already resulted in the vaccination of 650,000 children in Syria, including 116,000 in the northeastern province of Dair Alzour, where the polio outbreak was confirmed a week ago, the international agencies said in a statement.
November 6, 2013 |
BEIRUT - A bomb exploded Wednesday in a busy square in central Damascus, killing eight people and wounding at least 50, Syria's state-run media reported. The attack occurred in Hijaz Square in front of the historic Hijaz railway station, a crowded area in the heart of the capital flanked by shops and a hotel. Among the casualties, state media said, were workers carrying out maintenance in the now-inactive station, which has been converted to a museum and memorial for dozens of railroad workers killed in sabotage strikes on the national railway system.