January 12, 2013 |
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.
December 7, 2012 |
TRIPOLI, Lebanon - Late that evening, Abdel Hakim Ibrahim finally confirmed his father's worst fear: He had left for Syria. "I've crossed the border: Please forgive me," he said in a text message as midnight approached. "God be with you. " That was the last his family heard from Ibrahim, 19, a student described as introverted and pious. Ibrahim is among Lebanon's lost young men - 21 who reportedly disappeared into neighboring Syria one evening late last month and walked straight into a Syrian army ambush.
November 12, 2012 |
JERUSALEM -- For the second day in a row, a mortar shell fired from Syria landed in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights on Monday, prompting Israeli forces to fire back, officials said Monday. Unlike Israel's retaliatory fire on Sunday, which military officials described as a “warning shot,” the strike on Monday destroyed a mobile Syrian artillery unit, an Israeli military spokeswoman said. Though the Syrian shell did not cause damage or injury, Israel has grown increasingly frustrated by apparently errant mortar rounds landing in the Golan Heights, which Israel seized from Syria during the 1967 war. Israel has warned Syria that it will begin to respond to each incident rather than ignore them as it has in the past.
September 23, 2012 |
BEIRUT - The rebel Free Syrian Army said Saturday that it was shifting its command headquarters from Turkey to Syria, a move meant to bolster its standing among fighters in the country and supporters abroad. In a video statement, the group's leader, Col. Riad Assad, said the command structure had moved to "liberated areas" in Syria. Although the shift has obvious symbolic importance, it was unclear how much significance it would have on the battlefield in Syria, where the rebellion aimed at ousting the government of President Bashar Assad is in its 19th month.
July 18, 2012 |
BEIRUT - An audacious bombing aimed at the heart of Syria's feared security services killed three high-ranking officials in Damascus and left President Bashar Assad's grip on power appearing more tenuous than at any time during the 16-month uprising against his family dynasty. Government reinforcements were reported to have been deployed in the streets of Damascus on Wednesday, a fourth day of fighting in the capital, which had largely been spared the violence racking much of the country.
July 15, 2012 |
ALONG THE SYRIA-TURKEY BORDER - The bomb maker was displaying his homemade mortar launcher, crafted from a tube and bits of metal. "Whatever we need to produce, we Google it," said the factory worker turned rebel commander and arms procurer in a border village where goats and insurgents walk along steep mountain paths. Most of the time, the weapon remains stashed under a bed in the rented home where the insurgent leader lives with his wife and five children, including two teenage boys who have joined his rebel band.