Lebanon & Syria

January 30, 2014

The complete demolition of the Masha' al-Arb'een neighborhood in Hama. (Image courtesy of Human Rights Watch)
11:09 GMT

The Syrian government has razed seven residential districts for no apparent military reason but to punish civilians who had vaguely affiliated themselves with rebels, Human Rights Watch said Thursday.

Syrian citizens build a wall to protect one of the country's archaeological sites (Courtesy of Unesco/Icom)
09:01 GMT

Destroying Syria's cultural landmarks have been used tactically by both sides to decrease the country's internal cohesion and identity, undermine the opponent's power, and "rewrite the history" of Syria for the future by removing all reminders of the past, but it has also been a lucrative industry and not just Syrians are involved....

Arrangements for Kurdish autonomy within Syria's Afrin, Rojava and Kobani have developed over the past month (File Archive/AFP)
07:02 GMT

The third and final local government administration was named by Syria's Kurds who are pushing for autonomy within Syria.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper tells the senate about Al Qaeda in Syria and the regime's growing biological weapons capability on January 29, 2013. (AFP)
06:45 GMT

United States intelligence chief James Clapper warned on Wednesday that the Syrian regime may be advancing its biological weapons, whilst Al Qaeda is looking to carry out more terror attacks on U.S. soil.

The trial of four men accused of murdering former Lebanese PM Rafik Hariri is in its second week at an unprecedented tribunal at The Hague. [blouin]
04:49 GMT

After a two-year probe into Gerhard Lehmann, the chief investigator at UNIIIC has been cleared of bribery allegations made by Hezbollah.

UN-Arab League envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi attends a press briefing on peace talks at the United Nations headquarters in Geneva.[AFP]
04:33 GMT

While his hopes for progress in the first rounds of talks is low, International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi claims the "ice is breaking" over Syria peace talks.

January 29, 2014

The Syrian opposition representatives arrive to the fifth day of talks in Geneva (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP)
11:57 GMT

Syrian opposition and regime representatives resumed talks in Geneva Wednesday after U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi cancelled the afternoon session of Tuesday's talks.

U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi cancelled Tuesday afternoon's talks in Geneva (File Archive/AFP)
07:53 GMT

Talks between Syrian opposition and regime representatives in Geneva stalled Tuesday while negotiations continued in Syrian to evacuate the besieged city of Homs.

January 28, 2014

U.N. envoy Lakhdar Brahimi told reporters Monday that despite the slow pace of talks, getting both the opposition and regime in the same room has represented a major step forward (File Archive/AFP)
12:43 GMT

The U.N. will try to break a deadlock that has halted Syrian peace talks in Geneva as the long-awaited conference enters its fourth day of negotiations.

Palestinian children in Gaza stage a funeral in solidarity with their countrymen trapped in the besieged Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus. (AFP/File)
10:01 GMT

Over the past few days, seven Palestinian refugees have died in Damascus' Yarmouk refugee camp as residents continue to struggle against widespread hunger and a lack of medical supplies.

Britain may begin accepting vulnerable Syrian refugees "within days" under the government's new plans. Here, Syrian refugee children pose for a picture in Jordan's Zaatari refugee camp (AFP/Syria).
07:44 GMT

As London said it was planning to let hundreds of Syrian refugees enter the UK, Britain's top refugee group called on the government to speed up the process as quickly as possible.

The Syrian flag flying next to destruction in the Bab Amro neighborhood of Homs, Syria, on May 2, 2012. (AFP/File)
06:50 GMT

Over 250 women and children trapped in the Syrian city of Homs are refusing to be evacuated without their male relatives as U.N.-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said humanitarian aid would be allowed into Homs, which has been under siege for nearly 600 days.

The U.S.' supply of "light arms" to moderate Syrian rebels is expected to end in September of this year. How they are sure the weapons will stay in the hands of "moderates" in the sprawling conflict is unknown.(AFP/File)
06:34 GMT

U.S. Congress has reportedly given the green light to the delivery of light arms to the Syrian rebels deemed "moderate" in the south of Syria until the end of the government's fiscal year, which ends in September 2014.

Lebanese security forces patrol a street of the northern port city of Tripoli on January 23, 2014 as the army deployed following clashes between supporters and opponents of Syria's regime. [AFP]
05:51 GMT

Discussions continue on keeping Lebanon out of the growing crisis in the Middle East.

Residents of the Yarmuk Palestinian refugee camp mourn over dead bodies during a group funeral on January 26, 2014, south of the Syrian capital Damascus. [AFP]
05:27 GMT

Opposition groups at impasse after Geneva II meeting ends day on a "sour note" over Assad discussions.