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WORLD
June 5, 2013 | By Jeffrey Fleishman
CAIRO -- Syrian forces backed by Hezbollah militants stormed a strategic town Wednesday, pushing back rebels and seizing control of key supply routes after weeks of some of the heaviest fighting in the country's 2-year-old civil war. Syrian state television reported that government forces had retaken Qusair, a battered town near the Lebanese border. The advance followed a series of battles in which regime forces overran rebel positions, dispiriting the opposition and giving President Bashar Assad new momentum.
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WORLD
March 22, 2014 | By Nabih Bulos
BEIRUT - Syrian army units ambushed and killed a group of opposition fighters near Damascus, the capital, state media reported Saturday, saying that the group had crossed into the country from neighboring Jordan. The rebels, which Syria's state-run news agency said were attached to Islamist factions including the Islamic Front and Al Qaeda -linked Al Nusra Front, were monitored as they crossed the Syria-Jordan border before being engaged by army units in the city of Adra , 11 miles northeast of Damascus.
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WORLD
December 9, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell and Nabih Bulos
BEIRUT - Syrian government forces have regained control of a strategic town along the nation's major north-south highway, state media reported Monday, as troops advanced in a sweeping offensive designed to secure the route and sever opposition supply lines from nearby Lebanon. The dangerous highway is expected to be used as a corridor for the transport of Syria's toxic stockpiles as part of a United Nations-backed plan to rid the country of its chemical armaments. State news outlets reported that government forces had established “full control” of Nabek, about 50 miles northeast of Damascus along the highway, which links the capital to the central city of Homs.
WORLD
March 19, 2014 | By Batsheva Sobelman
JERUSALEM -- Tensions between Israel and Syria remained high Wednesday, with stern warnings and mutual accusations following the recent eruption of violence along their border. Early Wednesday, Israeli warplanes struck Syrian military targets hours after an explosion injured four Israeli soldiers on the Golan Heights. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused "Syrian elements" of cooperating with the attack on the soldiers. “Our policy is very clear, we attack those who attack us,” he said ahead of a cabinet meeting . Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said Israel holds Syrian President Bashar Assad responsible for what goes on in his territory.
WORLD
January 29, 2012 | By Patrick J. McDonnell and Rima Marrouch, Los Angeles Times
Syrian tanks and troops moved Sunday to crush resistance in the rebellious suburbs of Damascus, opposition groups reported, bringing the bloody battle that has ravaged the nation for months to the doorsteps of the nation's capital. The fierce fighting reported outside Damascus was the latest sign that Syria's armed insurgency — long concentrated in provincial hotbeds of revolt like Homs, Hama and Dara — has now reached the edge of the city from which the Assad family has ruled Syria in autocratic fashion for more than 40 years.
WORLD
February 16, 2014 | By Patrick J. McDonnell and Nabih Bulos
BEIRUT--The head of the Free Syrian Army, the U.S.-backed assemblage of ostensibly moderate Syrian opposition forces, has been removed from his post, according to a statement Sunday from the rebel command's Supreme Military Council. Brig. Gen. Salim Idriss is to be replaced by Brig. Gen. Abdul-Ilah Bashir Al-Noeimi, a rebel field commander in southern Syria, the statement said. The move appeared to be part of a broader shakeup of the rebel leadership as the Syrian conflict nears the three-year mark with little sign of a resolution.
WORLD
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.
NEWS
May 10, 1988 | Associated Press
Rival militias fought hand-to-hand Monday for control of southern Beirut's Shia Muslim slums and rained shells on each other's positions in the grim shantytowns in spite of Syrian army orders to stop the carnage. Police said that 65 people were killed and 150 wounded Monday, bringing total casualties in the Shia territorial war to 154 dead and 367 wounded. Fighting began Friday between the moderate Amal militia, which has Syria's backing, and the radical, pro-Iranian Hezbollah (Party of God).
NEWS
September 8, 1985
Lebanese Premier Rashid Karami called for Syrian troops to impose order in West Beirut after the latest outbreak of militia fighting in the capital's Muslim sector. Karami told reporters, "I see no other force . . . but the Syrian army" able to end the fighting between Shia Muslim and Druze militias. In other violence in the Beirut area, meanwhile, Shia militiamen traded gunfire with Palestinian guerrillas in the besieged Borj el Brajne refugee camp.
WORLD
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.
WORLD
February 26, 2014 | By Patrick J. McDonnell, This post has been updated. See the note below for details.
BEIRUT - More than 150 Syrian rebel fighters were killed Wednesday in an ambush by pro-government forces outside Damascus, according to official and opposition accounts. The casualty toll appeared to be one of the largest in a single operation reported during much of the almost 3-year-old war. The operation was part of a military push to deny rebels proximity to Damascus, President Bashar Assad's seat of power. Though initially appearing in state media, accounts of Wednesday's attack and the high death toll were later reported by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based, pro-opposition monitoring organization.
WORLD
February 16, 2014 | By Patrick J. McDonnell and Nabih Bulos
BEIRUT--The head of the Free Syrian Army, the U.S.-backed assemblage of ostensibly moderate Syrian opposition forces, has been removed from his post, according to a statement Sunday from the rebel command's Supreme Military Council. Brig. Gen. Salim Idriss is to be replaced by Brig. Gen. Abdul-Ilah Bashir Al-Noeimi, a rebel field commander in southern Syria, the statement said. The move appeared to be part of a broader shakeup of the rebel leadership as the Syrian conflict nears the three-year mark with little sign of a resolution.
WORLD
December 30, 2013 | By Naibh Bulos
BEIRUT -- The Lebanese army fired Monday on Syrian government aircraft that officials in Beirut said had launched missiles at the town of Arsal near the border between the two nations, according to a report by the Lebanese National News Agency. The news agency said the antiaircraft fire came after a Syrian raid struck the Khirbet Dawood area outside the Sunni-dominated town, one of many such attacks on what is considered a vital supply point for rebels fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
WORLD
December 9, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell and Nabih Bulos
BEIRUT - Syrian government forces have regained control of a strategic town along the nation's major north-south highway, state media reported Monday, as troops advanced in a sweeping offensive designed to secure the route and sever opposition supply lines from nearby Lebanon. The dangerous highway is expected to be used as a corridor for the transport of Syria's toxic stockpiles as part of a United Nations-backed plan to rid the country of its chemical armaments. State news outlets reported that government forces had established “full control” of Nabek, about 50 miles northeast of Damascus along the highway, which links the capital to the central city of Homs.
WORLD
November 28, 2013 | By Nabih Bulos
BEIRUT - Syrian government forces have recaptured the western border town of Deir Attiyeh, less than a week after rebel forces had seized it in a counteroffensive, according to Syrian state television. Deir Attiyeh, with about 10,000 residents and a significant Christian minority, is viewed as a vital link on the main highway between Damascus, the seat of power of President Bashar Assad, and the city of Homs in the center of the country. It is also part of a strategic supply corridor for rebel forces.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 21, 2013 | By Adolfo Flores
An Orange County security guard accused of plotting to become an Al Qaeda operative had been enlisted to train terrorist fighters for an ambush on coalition forces in a planned December attack, federal prosecutors alleged in court Monday. Sinh Vinh Ngo Nguyen, who was arrested this month boarding a Mexico-bound bus in Santa Ana, planned to make his way to Pakistan and reemerge as Hasan Abu Omar Ghannoum, authorities said. Nguyen, who lived with his family in Little Saigon, told agents he was set to train about 30 Al Qaeda fighters for an attack.
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.
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