Lebanon & Syria
October 21, 2013
Amid media reports pointing to signs that the Syrian army is preparing to launch an attack to regain rebel-held areas in the strategic border area of Qalamoun, officials in the adjacent Lebanese village of Arsal say they will only take up arms if provoked by Hezbollah.
Syria has not shown proof of keeping hostage exchange agreement regarding almost 200 female detainees.
October 20, 2013
Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi said on Sunday a peace conference on Syria is set for Nov. 23 in Geneva following a meeting at the League’s headquarters in Cairo.
Iranian state media reported that UN-Arab league envoy Lakhdar Brahimi will visit Teheran next week to prepare for a proposed peace conference on Syria.
Leaders from Western and Arab countries will meet with Syria’s opposition in London on Tuesday to convince key rebel leaders to attend talks in Geneva scheduled for late November.
A car bomb hit the central Syrian city of Hama on Sunday, causing multiple casualties, according to Syrian state media reports.
Nine pilgrims, who were kidnapped by rebels in Syria last year, were released on late Saturday evening following a complex hostage deal that also saw the release of two Turkish pilots.
UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos called Saturday for a cessation of hostilities in Moadamiyet al-Sham and other towns where continued fighting and shelling have prevented aid workers from delivering supplies and medical treatment to civilians.
October 19, 2013
Two Turkish pilots who were kidnapped over two months ago in Beirut were handed over to Lebanese authorities and left Beirut airport for home late Thursday.
Russia issued an official statement Saturday that denounces US Secretary of State John Kerry's call to remove Syria's chemical weapons by ship as too "premature."
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urged Hezbollah to withdraw its forces from Syria to avoid spillover violence in Lebanon.
A suicide bomb vehicle targeting an army checkpoint near Damascus in the suburb of Jaramana killed at least sixteen soldiers Saturday
Nine Lebanese citizens kidnapped in Syria in May 2012 were released Saturday.
October 18, 2013
AP has quoted Syrian activists as saying that shelling in the Aleppo province has killed at least 20 people.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Thursday that he hopes the Syrian government’s chemical weapons arsenal will be rapidly consolidated and removed from the region.