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WORLD
March 22, 2013 | By Christi Parsons and Kathleen Hennessey
AMMAN, Jordan - Standing less than 100 miles from the Syrian border, President Obama on Friday defended his administration's reluctance to use U.S. military force to quell the civil war in that country, saying experience has shown that slow coalition-building and outside pressure will yield better results. “When we are working with the Syrians themselves, so this is not externally imposed but rather something that is linked directly with the aspirations and hopes of the people inside of Syria, it will work better,” Obama said during a visit to neighboring Jordan.
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WORLD
April 24, 2014 | By Nabih Bulos
AMMAN, Jordan -- Video has surfaced that appears to show antitank guided missiles in the hands of a rebel faction operating in southern Syria, the latest indication that sophisticated U.S. weaponry is making its way to antigovernment fighters in Syria. The video, posted April 13 on YouTube, seems to depict a fighter from a group called the Omari Brigades firing a BGM-71 TOW missile at what appears to be a bunkered Syrian army tank. Although other videos circulating on the Internet have shown rebel groups in northern Syria firing TOW missiles, this marks the first time the U.S.-made weapon has appeared publicly in the arsenal of insurgents in southern Syria, a key front close to the Jordanian border.
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WORLD
July 6, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell and Nabih Bulos
BEIRUT - A deeply divided, U.S.-backed Syrian opposition group elected a new president Saturday as government troops continued their onslaught against rebel positions across the country, including in central Homs province and near Damascus, the capital. At a meeting in Istanbul, the Syrian National Coalition's ruling council elected Ahmad Assi Jarba, described in a coalition statement as a lawyer and former political prisoner. Jarba was arrested when the uprising against Syrian President Bashar Assad began in March 2011 and fled to neighboring Lebanon five months later, the coalition said.
WORLD
April 22, 2014 | By Patrick J. McDonnell
BEIRUT - The Syrian government has shipped out almost 90% of its chemical weapons material, raising hopes that the war-ravaged nation can meet a Sunday deadline to comply with a disarmament accord, an international regulator said Tuesday. The latest shipment on Tuesday to the Mediterranean port of Latakia means that 86.5% of the weapon material has been removed, according to a statement from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, which is overseeing destruction of Syria's toxic chemical stockpile.
WORLD
July 12, 2013 | By Jeffrey Fleishman and Raja Abdulrahim
CAIRO -- Hundreds of Syrian refugees arriving in Cairo this week were turned back as Egypt instituted new regulations requiring visas for those fleeing their war-torn country. Previously, Syrians were not required to have a visa to enter Egypt and were able to easily establish residency. Tens of thousands have already done so. But this week, Syrians arriving at Cairo's international airport and in other cities were put on flights back to where they came from: Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and, in some cases, Syria.
OPINION
May 4, 2013
Re "The shifting 'red line' in Syria," Opinion, May 1 I don't think the "red line" has shifted much at all given the uncertainty over the use of chemical weapons in Syria. President Obama is right not to commit the U.S to any more than he already has, in light of the invasion of Iraq, which resulted in more than 100,000 Iraqi deaths. Our record on bringing democracy to the Middle East isn't impressive. Let's allow the Syrians to sort it out for themselves. Phil Wilt Van Nuys Obama has recast his previously stated position on the use of chemical weapons in Syria as being a "game changer" into "rethinking the range of options that are available to us. " This is unacceptable.
WORLD
November 12, 2013 | By Nabih Bulos
AMMAN, Jordan -- During Syria's lengthy civil war, opposition activists have made social media a crucial front in a furious propaganda battle, posting web pages and online videos touting their cause. Now, with the bloody conflict in its third year and no end in sight, many Syrians are heading online to vent their frustrations with the so-called Geneva 2 peace process, mired in seemingly perpetual postponement mode as opposition elements bicker about whether to attend. For many Syrians, humor appears the best way to vent their disillusionment.
WORLD
April 10, 2013 | By Emily Alpert
Jordan on Wednesday opened a second camp to shelter the increasing numbers of refugees pouring out of Syria, one day after a United Nations official warned that the regional crisis had hit “a breaking point.” About 100 Syrians arrived Wednesday at the Mrajeeb Fhood camp, said Andrew Harper, the U.N. refugee agency representative in Jordan. The new camp, funded by the United Arab Emirates and operated by its Red Crescent Society, is equipped with solar power and a water treatment plant, Harper said.
WORLD
April 3, 2014 | By Patrick J. McDonnell
BEIRUT - The number of registered Syrian refugees in Lebanon surpassed 1 million Thursday, the United Nations said, marking a “devastating milestone,” even as many more continue to arrive each day. Tiny Lebanon has borne a disproportionate burden of the refugee crisis that has arisen from the 3-year-old Syrian conflict. The vast influx of Syrians has contributed to political, social and economic instability in this strategically situated nation wedged between Syria, Israel and the Mediterranean.
WORLD
June 9, 2013 | By Paul Richter, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - Two years into a civil war that shows no signs of ending, the Obama administration is considering resettling refugees who have fled Syria, part of an international effort that could bring thousands of Syrians to American cities and towns. A resettlement plan under discussion in Washington and other capitals is aimed at relieving pressure on Middle Eastern countries straining to support 1.6 million refugees, as well as assisting hard-hit Syrian families. The State Department is "ready to consider the idea," an official from the department said, if the administration receives a formal request from the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees, which is the usual procedure.
WORLD
April 22, 2014 | By Raja Abdulrahim
The World Food Program gives out most of its food aid to Syria in government-held areas, with only a quarter of the distributions occurring in rebel-controlled territory, according to latest figures from the U.N. agency. The findings underscore the obstacles facing the WFP, which is the major distributor of food aid in Syria, in getting help to rebel-held areas. Many of those zones are under frequent bombardment by Syrian forces, making access dangerous for aid workers and their drivers.
WORLD
April 18, 2014 | By Patrick J. McDonnell
DAMASCUS, Syria - The thud of mortar shelling alternated with tolling church bells Friday as the Christians of this capital's ancient Bab Touma district marked Good Friday amid extremely tight security. The Easter Week processions that once featured tens of thousands walking the cobblestoned streets of the Old City now are confined to the close vicinity of churches. Soldiers and militiamen checked everyone coming and going on Friday; vehicular traffic was largely closed off as a precaution against car bombs.
WORLD
April 16, 2014 | By Patrick J. McDonnell and Nabih Bulos
MAALOULA, Syria - From the debris-strewn front garden of the Safir Hotel, Syrian military commanders barked orders to troops taking cover in the smoke-shrouded maze of streets below. "If you hear any movement, throw hand grenades immediately!" a general advised on his two-way radio as he peered at the battle unfolding like a distant video game at the bottom of the hill. On Tuesday, Syrian forces were targeting the remnants of a rebel force in this historic town, long a center of Christian worship and pilgrimage.
WORLD
April 6, 2014 | By Nabih Bulos
AMMAN, Jordan -- The Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan was under heavy police presence and restricted access Sunday, a day after stone-throwing Syrian refugees clashed with anti-riot police, leaving one resident shot to death, according to official and media accounts. On Saturday, Jordanian security forces used tear gas and batons to disperse thousands of angry Zaatari residents. Video and still images posted on social media depicted smashed and smoldering tents, with blood-covered refugees shouting as they fled from the chaos.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 4, 2014 | By Brittany Levine
The Armenian community in Glendale is reacting with anger to the takeover by rebels of the Syrian town of Kasab near the Turkish border that is home to about 2,500 Armenian Christians. Many Armenians consider the region to be historically part of their homeland. The Syrian rebel forces who overran the town came in through the Turkish border in March, prompting inhabitants to flee the violence. The takeover also was a painful reminder of the Armenian genocide, demonstrators said in Glendale, which is preparing to commemorate the 99th anniversary of the genocide later this month.
WORLD
April 3, 2014 | By Patrick J. McDonnell
BEIRUT - The number of registered Syrian refugees in Lebanon surpassed 1 million Thursday, the United Nations said, marking a “devastating milestone,” even as many more continue to arrive each day. Tiny Lebanon has borne a disproportionate burden of the refugee crisis that has arisen from the 3-year-old Syrian conflict. The vast influx of Syrians has contributed to political, social and economic instability in this strategically situated nation wedged between Syria, Israel and the Mediterranean.
WORLD
January 30, 2013 | By Patrick J. McDonnell
BEIRUT -- Amid dire warnings that funds are running low to care for victims of the Syrian conflict, the United Nations said Wednesday that donors had pledged about $1.5 billion to help war-battered Syrians, exceeding the U.N.'s target appeal. “The situation in Syria is catastrophic and getting worse by the day,” U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told a major donor conference in Kuwait. The cash  is meant to assist Syrian civilians during the next six months, but officials say much of it  could be used up before then if the humanitarian scenario in the country continues to decline.
WORLD
March 26, 2014 | By Raja Abdulrahim
BEIRUT -- Syria's main opposition political group was rebuffed Wednesday by the Arab League, which denied the group's request to occupy Syria's seat in the 22-member body. The organization recognized the Syrian National Coalition as the legal representative of the Syrian people and will allow it to participate in meetings "on an exceptional basis,” Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby said on the second day of a two-day summit in Kuwait. But the opposition coalition, which has formed a transitional government, had hoped for more.
WORLD
March 30, 2014 | By Nabih Bulos
AMMAN, Jordan -- Two Spanish journalists taken hostage in Syria more than six months ago have been freed, their newspaper said. Javier Espinoza, a staff writer at Spain's El Mundo daily newspaper, and Ricardo Garcia Vilanova, a photographer, were handed over to authorities in Turkey on Sunday after having been abducted last September. The pair had been captured by the extremist splinter group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, as they were leaving Syria after a two-week reporting trip, according to the El Mundo website.
WORLD
March 28, 2014 | By Patrick J. McDonnell
HOMS, Syria - On the ragged fringes of the Old City, aid workers, clerics and government troops stood vigil, awaiting a U.N. convoy evacuating women, children and the aged from the besieged ancient quarter of a town known to many as ground zero in the Syrian civil war. But the buses disgorged a very different class of passengers: scores of young men, haggard and sallow-faced, blankets draped over their shoulders and fear evident in their eyes....
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