Severe winter weather delayed the start of the first United Nations airlift of aid items from Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region to neighboring Syria, a spokesman said on Thursday.
"It appears... the weather in Qamishli has delayed the start of the airlift, as well as prevailing conditions across the region," U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) regional spokesman Peter Kessler told AFP, referring to the city in northeast Syria to which aid supplies are to be flown.Full Story
Sweden, as the only country to give Syrian refugees automatic residence, has struggled to house them and faces warnings of a coming surge in arrivals.
Josef Ariss and his mother Reina fled Aleppo in northern Syria three months ago when their family's clothing factory was flattened by shelling.Full Story
Caretaker Social Affairs Minister Wael Abou Faour expressed fear on Wednesday over the “disastrous” conditions of the Syrian refugees in Lebanon amid the winter storm hitting the country.
“We are incapable, the ministry is working through international associations to aid the refugees,” Abou Faour said in comments published in al-Akhbar newspaper.Full Story
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov urged all "responsible countries" to act to ensure a Syrian peace conference achieves positive results, in remarks during a visit to Iran on Wednesday.
Iran and Russia back President Bashar Assad's regime in the Syrian conflict, which is estimated to have killed almost 126,000 people since it erupted nearly three years ago.Full Story
Syria's government on Wednesday slammed the Gulf Cooperation Council for interfering in the country's conflict and condemned the bloc for what it called "inflammatory rhetoric".
The foreign ministry statement came after the GCC called for the withdrawal of foreign forces taking part in the conflict, and said President Bashar Assad should have no role in Syria's future.Full Story
An online forum that frequently features statements from jihadists has called on an al-Qaida-linked militant group to free two Spanish journalists who were kidnapped in September in Syria.
The Honein jihadist forum urged "our brothers the mujahedeen (holy warriors) in the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL) militant group to free reporter Javier Espinosa and photographer Ricardo Garcia Vilanova, in a statement accompanied by their photos posted online on Tuesday.Full Story
The Gulf Cooperation Council condemned on Wednesday the latest bombings that shook Lebanon and called on Hizbullah's “militias” to withdraw from war-ravaged Syria.
The six Arab monarchies of the Gulf said in a statement at the end of a two-day summit in Kuwait City that they “condemned the terrorist bombings that left innocent casualties in Lebanon.”Full Story
Britain said Wednesday it has suspended non-lethal aid to the opposition in northern Syria after Islamist rebels seized key bases belonging to the Free Syrian Army, following a similar move by the United States.
"We have no plans to deliver any equipment while the situation remains unclear," a spokesman for the British embassy in Ankara told Agence France Presse.Full Story
Gulf Arab leaders meeting in Kuwait on Wednesday called for the withdrawal of all foreign troops from war-ravaged Syria, and praised Iran's new government for its shift in policy.
The leaders of the six Gulf monarchies also approved the formation of a joint military command, but postponed a decision on a proposed union apparently over differences.Full Story
Thousands of Syrian refugees living in makeshift camps in Lebanon were weathering a winter storm on Wednesday that brought snow, rain and freezing temperatures to the country.
In northern Arsal, just across the border from Syria, layers of snow sat atop flimsy shelters housing tens of thousands of recently arrived refugees.Full Story