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WORLD
May 22, 2013 | By Nabih Bulos and Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
AMMAN, Jordan - Recent battlefield advances by the Syrian military against U.S.-backed rebels are "very temporary" and do not signal that the government of President Bashar Assad is gaining the upper hand, Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Wednesday. "Yeah, he's made a few gains in the last days," Kerry told reporters here. "But this has gone up and down in a seesaw. " Kerry also condemned what he called the "destructive role" of Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group, in dispatching "several thousands" of militiamen to aid Assad's forces.
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WORLD
March 8, 2014 | By Nabih Bulos and Patrick J. McDonnell
BEIRUT - After weeks of fighting, the Syrian military has wrested control of a rebel-held town near the Lebanese border in the strategic province of Homs, military and opposition representatives said Saturday. The seizure of Zara, close to the main highway linking Homs city to the Mediterranean coast, is the latest reported government advance in its effort to seal the porous border with Lebanon, long a conduit for antigovernment fighters and arms. In a statement, the Syrian military hailed the seizure of Zara, which "had been used as a main passage for the terrorist groups that would come from Lebanon and head to neighboring areas to carry out their criminal operations.
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WORLD
December 13, 2012 | By Sergei L. Loiko and Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
MOSCOW - A high-level Russian diplomat conceded Thursday that Syrian rebels could succeed in ousting President Bashar Assad, becoming the first top Kremlin official to say publicly that the government of Moscow's staunchest Middle Eastern ally could be teetering. The comments of Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov came as two more explosions rocked the restive suburbs of Damascus, the Syrian capital, the latest in a string of deadly car bombings that appear to be part of an insurgent offensive on the city.
WORLD
September 21, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell
DAMASCUS, Syria - At age 70, Ahmad Saidi took up arms after the slaying of his son, a father of five who was killed when a remote-controlled bomb blew up his car. A neighbor suspected in the attack was later overheard bragging about his "gift" for the Saidi family. "This is our homeland," Saidi, a textile merchant, said this week as he stood in camouflage pants amid the shrapnel-scarred interior of the Zubair Mosque, where even a stack of Korans had been shredded by bullets. "We will die defending it. " The defiant septuagenarian with the patrician crown of snow-white hair and matching beard is not a soldier with the Syrian army or a militant in a rebel brigade.
WORLD
October 3, 2011 | By Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
The Syrian government on Monday blamed "terrorist" attackers for killing the son of a prominent Sunni Muslim cleric and declared that its forces had seized a large number of weapons near the Turkish border. The developments come as the strategically situated Arab country suffers a wave of what appear to be targeted assassinations and intense urban battles, some reportedly involving army defectors. There are fears that the unrest, inspired in part by "Arab Spring" protests elsewhere in the region, may be the start of a new and bloodier chapter in Syria's violence.
WORLD
May 28, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell
BEIRUT -- Angered that the European Union has decided to lift its arms embargo on the Syrian conflict, Russia said Monday that Moscow will not abandon plans to sell sophisticated antiaircraft missiles to the government of President Bashar Assad, despite strong objections from Western nations and Israel. Russian officials used some of their strongest language to date on the Syrian crisis in denouncing the European Union's decision on Monday to end its ban on arms sales to those fighting in Syria.
NEWS
July 2, 1992 | SARA FRITZ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The government of Iran, in an unorthodox effort to ease its own budget deficit and make trouble for the American economy, is printing and circulating billions of dollars of counterfeit U.S. $100 bills, a congressional report charged Wednesday.
NEWS
January 25, 1991 | NICK B. WILLIAMS Jr., TIMES STAFF WRITER
Every Iraqi Scud missile that crashes into Tel Aviv echoes politically here in Damascus, testing Syria's determination to stand with the allied forces in the Persian Gulf War. But President Hafez Assad's regime calculates that it has nothing to gain--and plenty to lose--by getting dragged into an Arab-Israeli conflict engineered by Saddam Hussein. It's furious at Hussein's attempts to light the fuse and scrambling to stamp it out.
NEWS
February 13, 2000 | JOHN DANISZEWSKI, TIMES STAFF WRITER
At a time when Israel is furious at Syria for failing to restrain Hezbollah guerrillas in southern Lebanon, to the point of jeopardizing fragile peace negotiations, there are indications that Syrian President Hafez Assad has been cracking down on Islamic militants in his own country. Assad's security forces early last month rounded up hard-line opponents to a proposed peace treaty between Syria and Israel, according to diplomatic sources and other observers here.
NEWS
June 13, 2000 | NORMAN KEMPSTER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Israeli and Palestinian negotiators, joined by Clinton administration mediators, resume their plodding peace talks at two Washington-area air bases today, with the funeral of Syrian President Hafez Assad providing a new sense of urgency. For months, President Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak have tried to play the Palestinians and the Syrians against each other, suggesting that Israel could make peace this year with one or the other but probably not both.
WORLD
September 17, 2013 | By Sergei L. Loiko, This post has been corrected. See the note below for details
MOSCOW -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday that a report by United Nations weapons inspectors provided no proof that Syrian President Bashar Assad's forces were responsible for a chemical attack last month. Lavrov's comments, after a meeting Tuesday with his French counterpart, underscored the differences that remain between world leaders after the United States and Russia agreed Saturday on a plan for Syria to give up its chemical weapons by the middle of next year.
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
May 28, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell
BEIRUT -- Angered that the European Union has decided to lift its arms embargo on the Syrian conflict, Russia said Monday that Moscow will not abandon plans to sell sophisticated antiaircraft missiles to the government of President Bashar Assad, despite strong objections from Western nations and Israel. Russian officials used some of their strongest language to date on the Syrian crisis in denouncing the European Union's decision on Monday to end its ban on arms sales to those fighting in Syria.
WORLD
May 22, 2013 | By Nabih Bulos and Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
AMMAN, Jordan - Recent battlefield advances by the Syrian military against U.S.-backed rebels are "very temporary" and do not signal that the government of President Bashar Assad is gaining the upper hand, Secretary of State John F. Kerry said Wednesday. "Yeah, he's made a few gains in the last days," Kerry told reporters here. "But this has gone up and down in a seesaw. " Kerry also condemned what he called the "destructive role" of Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group, in dispatching "several thousands" of militiamen to aid Assad's forces.
WORLD
May 20, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell and Nabih Bulos
BEIRUT -- Renewed clashes were reported Monday in the strategic Syrian city of Qusair, where government forces pressed an offensive aimed at chasing rebels from the supply and logistics hub. There were conflicting accounts from the government and the opposition about the fighting. The official Syrian Arab News Agency reported that army units "restored security and stability" to most of Qusair, which is situated close to the Lebanese border. The news service reported the surrender of dozens of “terrorists,” the standard government term for rebels fighting to oust the government of President Bashar Assad.
WORLD
March 19, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
BEIRUT - The Syrian government accused rebels Tuesday of killing dozens of civilians in a chemical attack near the northern city of Aleppo, the first allegation of such a devastating chemical strike during the more than two-year conflict. The opposition vehemently denied the claim and charged that the government of President Bashar Assad was behind the attack. The report of a chemical assault injects an explosive new issue into the international debate about how to deal with the escalating violence in Syria, where tens of thousands have died and aid experts have warned of a looming humanitarian catastrophe.
NEWS
December 30, 1993 | NORMAN KEMPSTER, TIMES STAFF WRITER
At least 200 Syrian Jews have received exit permits in recent days, kindling hope in the Clinton Administration and the U.S. Jewish community that Syrian President Hafez Assad will keep his promise to allow his country's Jewish citizens to leave by New Year's Day or soon thereafter. The flurry of exit visas covers almost one-quarter of the 850 Syrian Jews who previously had not been allowed to emigrate.
NEWS
September 26, 1988 | Associated Press
Syria, the main power broker in Lebanon, rejected the country's three-day-old Christian military government Sunday in favor of a rival government declared by its Muslim allies. The crisis was threatening to formally split the tiny Mediterranean nation along sectarian lines and rekindle the bloody 13-year civil war. "Alas, this appears to be it," lamented Beirut's Muslim-controlled Voice of the Nation radio station.
WORLD
January 12, 2013 | By Ned Parker, Los Angeles Times
BEIRUT - Syrian forces and antigovernment rebels fought bruising skirmishes Saturday in the rubble of Dariya, a war-torn western suburb of Damascus that both sides have identified as necessary for victory because of its proximity to the capital city's center and the main military airfield. Dariya, with many of its buildings leveled by airstrikes and shelling, is a symbol of the destruction of ordinary life in Damascus, which claims to be the world's longest-inhabited city. On Saturday, tanks tried to enter Dariya, and a MIG fighter jet shelled the neighborhood that was once home to more than 200,000 people but now has about 10,000.
WORLD
December 27, 2012 | By Ned Parker and Sergei L. Loiko, Los Angeles Times
BEIRUT - Peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi made a new push Thursday to draw Syrian officials and rebels into negotiations, aiming to revive a plan for a transitional government and elections that faltered because of disagreements over the future of President Bashar Assad. The effort by the Algerian diplomat came after weeks of both sides in Syria being focused more on fighting. Rebels appear to be making gains, seizing military bases and fighting for control of suburbs around the capital, Damascus.
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