Lebanon & Syria
February 19, 2014
A blast was heard in a southern area of the Lebanese capital Beirut on Wednesday morning, but the cause was not immediately clear, residents and a security source said.
Military showdowns are being prepared in Syria, rebel leaders say, after regime and opposition representatives failed to reach consensus in international peace talks last week in Geneva.
Syrian regime airplanes battered the southern city of Deraa, which lies close to the Jordanian borer, with barrel bombs on Tuesday. At least 18 people were killed, including four children.
February 18, 2014
At least seven civilians were reported dead Tuesday around Damascus from hunger and lack of medical care while rebel groups announced their plans to launch a "spring offensive" on the Syrian capital.
A human rights monitoring group has reported that Palestinian refugees from the Yarmouk camp are being tortured by the Syrian regime's intelligence, and that one man has died after being detained for five months.
Despite the official peace talks in Geneva failing to yield any progress, Syria's army and rebels on Monday based around Damascus began dialogue with one another, allowing aid and supplies to reach those who need it.
February 17, 2014
The EU has granted the U.N. chemical watchdog overseeing the destruction of Syria's chemical weapon arsenal around $16 million to ensure the stockpile is destroyed within the designated timeline
Hezbollah chief Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah said Sunday that his party would fight on in Syria despite the wave of car bombings targeting predominantly Shiite areas in Lebanon controlled by the group.
Syria's Foreign Minister told reporters this week that the United States is to blame for the failure of the second round of peace talks that recently finished in Geneva last week.
In a speech made on Sunday night, Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah said that Saudi Arabia is arming and funding terrorist groups across the Middle East.
Syrian regime forces continued to shell the town of Yabroud and the rest of the Qalamoun area over the weekend as part of an all-out assault on the rebel stronghold.
Senior British security officials say that two hundred and fifty UK-based jihadists have returned home after fighting in Syria, and that they pose a threat to the country's security and stability.
February 16, 2014
The Lebanese army discovered and dismantled a car bomb in the Bekaa Valley Sunday, shortly ahead of Hezbollah leader's Hassan Nasrallah's planned speech.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has congratulated Lebanon on the formation of the new Lebanese cabinet, and called on Premier Tammam Salam to bring stability to the restive Levant country.
A spokesman for the UN's Palestine refugee agency said Saturday that UNRWA has been unable to distribute aid in Yarmouk for the past week, leading to a potentially "life-threatening" situation for those trapped in the besieged camp.