March 22, 2013 |
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.
July 8, 2011 |
Tens of thousands of Syrians demanding the downfall of the nation's autocratic regime poured into the streets of the central city of Hama on Friday in a powerful rebuttal to both President Bashar Assad's much-doubted entreaties to dialogue and his use of extreme force to suppress a popular revolt against his rule. Video footage posted to the Internet showed crowds as far as the eye could see in the city infamous for a brutal 1982 crackdown by Assad's father and predecessor, Hafez Assad, against an Islamist revolt.
September 25, 2013 |
Nearly a dozen of the largest Syrian rebel groups, including one linked to Al Qaeda, have formed an Islamic alliance that could serve as the basis for a future political bloc and have denounced the Western-backed Syrian National Coalition. The bloc explicitly called for sharia , or Islamic law, to be the sole source of legislation in Syria, which for decades has been governed with iron-fisted secularism by President Bashar Assad and his late father, Hafez. The announcement makes public what many of the opposition militias have said in the past.
March 26, 2014 |
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.
January 15, 2014 |
WASHINGTON - Russia, an arms provider and principal player in the ongoing Syrian civil war, is doing far too little to help the war's millions of victims, international humanitarian agencies say. As world powers pledged new aid Wednesday at a donors conference in Kuwait, humanitarian groups said Moscow had been a standout in its failure to contribute adequately to the struggling international effort to help the injured and displaced. Russia has contributed about $24 million toward the United Nations appeal, about 5% of what it should give based on its size, according to Oxfam America.
August 19, 2010 |
A survey of Syrians, conducted in secret because of government prohibitions, shows strong dissatisfaction with prevailing political and economic conditions. Though that may not be a surprise, the fact that any kind of opinion poll could be conducted in Syria, was certainly an eye-opener, the study's authors say. "The most surprising result had nothing to do with survey findings, but rather the fact that you could get this data collected. People really wanted to talk," said lead author, Angela Hawken of Pepperdine University.
January 7, 2014 |
BEIRUT -- An extremist rebel faction operating in Syria is reported to have killed an unknown number of prisoners it abducted near the contested city of Aleppo as its forces came under fire from rival opposition groups, activists said. Many of the victims of the execution-style killings by the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the most extreme of the Islamist groups fighting against Syrian President Bashar Assad , were activists and journalists, the reports said.
August 17, 2012 |
BEIRUT - In the last few days, thousands of Syrians have poured across the borders of neighboring countries, fleeing increasing violence in their homeland but creating tension elsewhere. More than 170,000 Syrians have sought sanctuary in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Iraq - at least 12,000 of them just in the last three days - leading to a growing humanitarian crisis, the United Nations refugee agency said Friday. At least 168 people were killed across the country Friday, activists said, many of them in the cities of Aleppo, Damascus and Dara, as the regime of President Bashar Assad uses attack helicopters and warplanes with greater frequency in its assaults on towns and cities.
September 3, 2013 |
BEIRUT -- As the United States debates whether to strike at Syria, the United Nations said Tuesday that the number of Syrians who have fled their homeland has exceeded 2 million -- a figure rising daily as the conflict in that country continues to rage. The U.N. and refugee agencies highlighted the gloomy milestone in a bid to to spur international support and fund-raising for relief efforts. At this crucial moment, the U.N. said, humanitarian agencies have less than half of the funds required to meet basic refugee needs.
October 1, 2013 |
AMMAN, Jordan -- Syrian President Bashar Assad has the right to decide whether to participate in elections next year, Information Minister Omran Zoubi told reporters in Damascus on Tuesday, insisting that Syrians want him to remain in office. "The people demand this," he said, adding that the ballot box will show their support for him rather than for "the opposition, the Americans, the traitors and the spies. " His words matched statements by other government officials. Assad said in an interview with Italy's Rai 24 network that he would take his cue from the people on whether he will run, and Foreign Minister Walid Moallem, speaking with Sky News Arabia on Saturday, dismissed any talk of Assad's resignation.