- Middle East Hizbullah-Backed Syrian Troops Advance in Northern Qusayr Town Syrian regime troops backed by Hizbullah fighters attacked the village of Hamadiyeh north of Qusayr of Wednesday, one of the last remaining rebel p... 22 May 2013, 16:11
- Lebanon Intermittent Gunfire in Tripoli as Death Toll Reaches 12 Sporadic gunfire violated on Wednesday the cautious calm in the northern city of Tripoli a day after fierce battles rocked the city, claiming the l... 22 May 2013, 10:01
Iran should take part in an international conference agreed by Moscow and Washington to help broker an end to the Syria conflict, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov insisted in an interview broadcast Thursday.
Lavrov told Lebanese television that Russia believed the conference, which he and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced in Moscow last week, should include Iran, a key Syria ally, while stressing that this had not been agreed.Full Story
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon stressed on Thursday that his country will not permit the transfer of weapons" from Syria to Hizbullah.”
Yaalon's statement came during talks he held with Director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency John Brennan, who arrived in Israel late on Thursday on a surprise visit to discuss the situation in Syria, an official Israeli source said.Full Story
U.S. President Barack Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to crank up pressure on Syria's President Bashar Assad Thursday, but offered no concrete new measures to do so.
Obama warned there was no "magic formula" to force Assad to leave power, as both the United States and Turkey want, but said he hoped a conference that Washington is organizing with Russia next month would be successful.Full Story
The General Directorate of General Security on Thursday announced that it has busted a network that has been smuggling antiquities from Syria into Lebanon.
“After the GDGS received a tip-off and after reporting to the Public Prosecution, a unit from the directorate's information affairs bureau raided a hideout containing a quantity of stolen relics,” it said in a statement.Full Story
French President Francois Hollande said Thursday that more efforts were needed to convince Moscow to drop its support for Syrian leader Bashar Assad.
"We must have a frank discussion with Russia to convince it that it is in its interests, in the interests of the region, in the interests of peace, to finish with Bashar Assad," Hollande told a press conference.Full Story
Angered over Bashar Assad's brutal repression of peaceful protests in Syria two years ago, Paris closed its embassy in Damascus, virtually cutting off the lifeline to the capital's once-thriving French school.
But tenacious parents and staff, driven by their love for French culture and despite financial hardship, have kept the Charles de Gaulle school open, and children continue to study their grammar despite encroaching war.Full Story
Iran on Thursday said a U.N. General Assembly vote condemning Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime over its "escalation" of the civil war will embolden "extremist groups" in Syria.
"Not only will (the U.N. condemnation) not help the problem there, but it will also escalate the actions and crimes of extremist groups in Syria," Iran's foreign ministry spokesman Abbas Araqchi said in a statement carried by the Mehr news agency.Full Story
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has now documented the deaths of at least 145 people in a "sectarian massacre" earlier in May in the coastal city of Banias, the watchdog said Thursday.
The number of identified victims, among them children and babies, has risen in the past two weeks because "dozens were missing, their bodies buried in their burnt-down homes, or under the rubble of their houses," said the Britain-based group.Full Story
Israel is warning Syria to stop transferring advanced weapons to Hizbullah and hinted it is considering more air strikes to achieve this, the New York Times reported Thursday.
"Israel is determined to continue to prevent the transfer of advanced weapons to Hizbullah. The transfer of such weapons to the party will destabilize and endanger the entire region," an Israeli official told the paper.Full Story
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron said Wednesday that "urgent" pressure must be put on the rival Syrian sides to propose names for a transitional government.
Cameron said after talks with U.N. leader Ban Ki-moon that he "fully supports" plans for a new international peace conference that could be held in Geneva next month.Full Story