June 6, 2013 |
DAMASCUS, Syria - After two years of grinding conflict, they are talking victory in Mazzeh Jabal 86, a gritty urban hillside where narrow alleys are festooned with jury-rigged electrical cables and testimonials to the "martyrs" lost fighting for the government of President Bashar Assad. Televisions were tuned Thursday to images of troops advancing through the rubble of Qusair, which had been a rebel logistics hub for more than a year before being overrun this week by the Syrian army and allies from Lebanon-based Hezbollah.
April 25, 2013 |
ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates - U.S. intelligence agencies now believe that Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime has used chemical weapons in its struggle to hold onto power, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday. Hagel said that the White House sent a letter to members of Congress on Thursday morning disclosing that intelligence agencies had made that assessment, which followed a series of similar conclusions reached by Britain, France and most recently Israel. “The U.S. intelligence community assesses with varying degrees of confidence that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small scale in Syria, specifically the chemical agent sarin,” Hagel told reporters in Abu Dhabi, where he was wrapping up a weeklong Mideast trip that has been dominated by questions over Syria's alleged chemical weapons use. A day earlier, Hagel said that U.S. intelligence agencies were studying the issue and would not rush to make a determination.
December 20, 2012 |
BEIRUT - The raging conflict in Syria, which began with street protests demanding political reform, has after almost two years of violence “become overtly sectarian in nature,” a United Nations panel reported Thursday. The 10-page interim report, issued in Geneva, outlined a dire scenario on the ground in the war-ravaged nation and asserted that ethnic and religious differences are now stoking the escalating violence, drawing in militants and extremists from throughout the region.
May 11, 2004 |
President Bush will order economic sanctions against Syria this week for allegedly supporting terrorism and not doing enough to prevent militant fighters from entering neighboring Iraq, congressional and administration sources said. The sanctions are being ordered because the administration believes that Syria has aggravated tensions in the Middle East. Press Secretary Scott McClellan would not say when the sanctions would be announced.
April 15, 2013 |
In my Sunday column , I argued that events are pushing President Obama toward a bigger role in aiding rebel forces in Syria's civil war -- not direct military intervention, perhaps, but certainly more direct help for the insurgents. Yes, I wrote, it's a slippery slope, but the U.S. interests in that part of the world are so great that it's dangerous to stand by. But wait, readers responded; what about all the reasons getting involved in Syria would be dangerous? In the view of the Obama administration, those objections appear to be eroding.
May 18, 2010 |
When the Obama administration came to power, it began to dismantle the diplomatic "box" that had been built around Syria, a box meant to isolate it for its destabilizing behavior in Lebanon, Iraq and the Palestinian territories. Administration officials argued that the international will to pressure Syria no longer existed and that an attempt at distancing it from Iran was worthwhile. The United States' gentler approach has included sending senior officials to Damascus, refraining from public criticism of President Bashar Assad and his government, and nominating a U.S. ambassador to Syria for the first time in five years.
November 21, 2003 |
Congress passed legislation to impose economic penalties on Syria, reflecting broad agreement among lawmakers that the nation has been a detriment to the fight against terrorism. President Bush is expected to sign the legislation. It requires action if Syria does not take significant steps to reverse its tolerance and support of anti-American forces.
December 21, 2008 |
Lebanon chose its first ambassador to Syria, the latest step toward normalizing relations since the neighboring countries agreed this year to establish diplomatic ties. Information Minister Tarek Mitri made the announcement after the Cabinet approved the nominee. He told reporters the government would not disclose the ambassador's name until Syria had approved the choice. Lebanese TV stations, however, reported that the position will go to Michel Khoury, Lebanon's ambassador to Cyprus.
February 25, 2005 |
Syria dismissed televised statements by men who said they had been trained by the Syrian intelligence service to become insurgents in Iraq. The official Syrian Arab News Agency on Thursday quoted a security source as saying the remarks were "utterly baseless and unfounded." Iraq's state-run and U.S.-funded Al Iraqiya television channel Wednesday aired what appeared to be televised confessions by insurgents. In one statement, a man said, "My name is Anas Ahmed al-Essa. I live in Halab.
March 27, 2011 |
Syria's long-entrenched government remained under threat Saturday as protesters marched again in several cities for greater political freedom. Setting fire to buildings in at least two cities, they rejected conciliatory words from spokespeople for President Bashar Assad as his forces continued to shoot unarmed civilians. In the small seaside city of Latakia, about 300 protesters burned tires and attacked storefronts to press for the removal of an emergency law in place since 1963, used by the government's secret police to detain anyone without trial.