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Syrian Opposition

WORLD
November 11, 2012 | Patrick J. McDonnell and Rima Marrouch, Los Angeles Times
BEIRUT - The deeply divided Syrian opposition took a step toward renewed unity Sunday, forming a new coalition designed to build stronger international support for its goal of ousting the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad. After more than a week of sometimes contentious discussions in the Qatari capital, Doha, Syrian dissidents said they had come together and formed an alliance with an unwieldy title: the Syrian National Coalition for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces.
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WORLD
December 29, 2012 | By Sergei L. Loiko
MOSCOW -- Syrian President Bashar Assad has no intention of leaving his country and rebels for the time being should put aside the demand that he step aside as a precondition for negotiations, Russia's top diplomat said Saturday following a meeting in Moscow with the United Nations' peace envoy to the conflict. Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said envoy Lakhdar Brahimi told him that Assad was determined to “stay in his position to the end and will protect Syrian people, Syrian sovereignty and so on and so forth and there is no chance to change his position.” Brahimi met with the Syrian leader this week before traveling on to Moscow.
NEWS
March 19, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell
BEIRUT -- The major Syrian opposition group early Tuesday elected a U.S.-educated Syrian activist to serve as prime minister of rebel-controlled areas of Syria, news agencies reported. Named to the post was Ghassan Hitto, a native of Damascus who has been living in the United States for decades, working recently as a technology executive, according to various news service reports. Hitto, little known outside Syrian exile circles, has been active in humanitarian efforts to aid Syrians during the nation's two-year conflict, reports indicated.
WORLD
November 14, 2012 | By Rima Marrouch
The Syrian National Coalition, a new body that aims to unite the Syrian opposition, is slowly gaining recognition from groups in the country. The coalition was formed Sunday after a week of opposition meetings in Doha, capital of Qatar . Opposition groups have been posting statements of support to its official Facebook page . The administrator of the official page posted that the National Coalition had so far received almost 100 statements of...
WORLD
March 7, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell
BEIRUT -- Negotiations were underway Thursday between the United Nations and rebel forces in an effort to secure the release of 21 U.N. peacekeepers being held in southern Syria near the Golan Heights, a Syrian opposition group said. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it had received word from the rebel battalion responsible for the abduction that insurgents were negotiating with delegates from the U.N. and from the Arab League. There was no official confirmation of talks from either  organization.
WORLD
December 28, 2012 | By Carol J. Williams
The 23-year-old Indian medical student who was gang-raped and beaten on a New Delhi bus two weeks ago died of organ failure at a Singapore hospital early Saturday, Singapore's Strait Times newspaper reported online. The brutal assault on the woman triggered massive protests in the Indian capital and demands for harsher punishment of those who commit violence against women. Six men have been arrested in the Dec. 16 attack that occurred after the woman, who has not been named, boarded what she thought was a public commuter bus. The driver and five other men on a joy ride gang-raped the woman and beat and stripped her and her companion before throwing them from the vehicle, police reported.
OPINION
July 3, 2012
Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is putting a positive spin on a new peace plan for Syria agreed to over the weekend in Geneva by the Syria Action Group, which comprises the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council as well as Turkey and Arab representatives. We hope her optimism is justified, but Russia continues to send maddeningly mixed signals about whether it recognizes that the time has come for Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down. Already a humanitarian tragedy, the civil war in Syria now threatens to spill into international conflict.
WORLD
November 4, 2012 | By Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
BEIRUT - The latest in a string of bombings rocked Syria's capital, Damascus, on Sunday as deeply divided Syrian opposition figures outside the country moved toward creating a unified government in exile. The explosion near a trade union office injured 11 people, the official news service reported. Meanwhile, Syrian opposition activists began talks in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar in a bid to revitalize their fractured movement. Deep divisions among the opposition have frustrated the United States and other governments seeking to work with a dissident front united in efforts to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad.
WORLD
March 1, 2013 | By Sergei L. Loiko and Patrick J. McDonnell
MOSCOW -- Russia charged Friday that the latest U.S. push to aid the Syrian opposition promotes "extremists" who have no interest in peace talks and are determined to seize power through force. The comments come a day after U.S. Secretary State John F. Kerry, speaking in Rome, pledged tens of millions of dollars in nonlethal assistance to Syrian dissidents but turned away opposition calls for direct military aid to rebels fighting to oust President Bashar Assad. "The decisions taken in Rome and also the statements that were voiced there both in spirit and literally encourage the extremists to take power by force regardless of would-be inevitable suffering of ordinary Syrians," Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said in a statement published on the ministry's website.
OPINION
March 1, 2013
President Obama's decision to provide the Syrian opposition with another $60 million in aid - while continuing to withhold weapons - will disappoint those who have argued that the United States should step up its role in the battle to overthrow President Bashar Assad. But the administration is right: Arming the rebels now would be a mistake. On Thursday, Secretary of State John F. Kerry announced the new aid program, which he said would help the Syrian opposition coalition deliver food, medicine, sanitation and education.
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