Lebanon & Syria

December 31, 2013

Syrian opposition leader Ahmad Jarba met with French president Francois Hollande earlier this week in Saudi Arabia. The opposition leader has not yet confirmed his group's participation in the Swiss peace conference scheduled for January (Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP)
11:07 GMT

Invitations for the Swiss peace conference on Syria have not yet been issued due to delays in formulating the opposition delegation.

With Chatah’s killing, the possibility of a peaceful resolution has been dealt a serious blow. Today, there is no other figure on the Lebanese political scene with the stature and credibility to bring several battling factions to the negotiating table (AFP)
08:17 GMT

Irrespective of the strife and conflict they have been through, most Lebanese people desperately want to believe the famed signer Fairuz when she sings: Even in your madness I love you (Lebanon)/because your love /gathers us together /when we are dispersed. However, following the bombing of Mohamad Chatah on December 27, one wonders if their faith in a unified Lebanon will survive yet another round of violence.

Assad called for a battle against Saudi Wahhabism Sunday (File Archive/Getty Images)
07:25 GMT

The United Nations called on the Syrian army and rebel fighters to allow urgent aid to reach a sieged community of Palestinians near Damascus who are dying from starvations while Syrian president Bashar Al Assad called for a "battle" against Saudi ideology.

A Syrian man cries carrying the body of a child killed by a barrel bomb. [gendynamics]
04:03 GMT

Assad claims views against extremism in Islam faith while continuing to engage in internal country conflict.

December 30, 2013

Security officials say Lebanese forces have fired on Syrian aircraft that violated the country’s airspace. [digitaljournal]
17:54 GMT

Lebanese forces have fired on Syrian aircraft after the warplanes crossed into Lebanese airspace.

Relatives and friends carry the coffin of 16-year-old Lebanese Mohammad al-Chaar, who died in a bomb attack that killed former Lebanese finance minister Mohammad Chatah. [AFP]
16:52 GMT

Details of the bombing which caused the death of Lebanese economist and diplomat, Mohammed Chatah, are emerging post blast.

Arsal has been the frequent target of Syrian warplanes over the past year (File Archive/AFP)
11:21 GMT

Syrian warplanes dropped four rockets near the Lebanese border town Arsal on Monday.

Syrian opposition leader Ahmad Jarba previously declined an invitation to meet with officials in Moscow in early December (File Archive/AFP)
09:08 GMT

Syrian opposition leader Ahmad Jarba will meet with Russian officials in mid-January. Jarba had previously declined an invitation from Moscow in early December.

Government airstrikes on Syria's second largest city for the past two weeks have left over 500 dead (File Archive/AFP)
07:31 GMT

At least 19 rebel fighters have died from clashes with regime forces in eastern Saturday as fighting continues between the two groups to control the Deir Ezzor military airbase

Denmark has sent one sea vessel to assist in Syria's chemical weapons removal from Latakia (File Archive/AFP)
07:03 GMT

The Danish-Norwegian flotilla responsible for removing Syria's chemical weapons is continuing to prepare for their weapon removal task ahead in Latakia. However, it is certain that the mission will not meet the anticipated Dec. 31 deadline.

A Lebanese soldier patrols in downtown Beirut (File Archive/AFP)
06:48 GMT

Saudi Arabia is giving the Lebanese army a $3 billion aid grant to boost its forces. The deal represents the largest aid package given to Lebanon's armed forces' history.

Red Crescent workers evacuated starving residents from Damascus suburbs earlier this year (File Archive/AFP)
06:36 GMT

Food supplies have finally reached the besieged suburb of Damascus, Moadamieh, but the aid is not enough to feed to starving residents. Rebels and regime fighters agreed to a rare truce earlier last week to allow the much-needed humanitarian supplies into the starving town.

December 29, 2013

A Syrian refugee family covers their make shift home with plastic sheeting as a rain and cold weather front envelops the region, close to the southern Lebanese village of Sardah on December 29, 2013. [AFP]
18:09 GMT

In the 14th attack over the last year, rockets from Syria struck Ersal, a border-town in East Lebanon.

Syrian-Kurdish refugee women wait to fill up water containers at the Quru Gusik (Kawergosk) refugee camp, 20 kilometers east of Arbil, the capital of the autonomous Kurdish region of northern Iraq. [AFP]
17:42 GMT

The United Nations said Sunday that it has completed the first aid airlift from Iraq to Syria.

The Omani pair were kidnapped near the historic city of Baalbek (Shutterstock)
11:20 GMT

Lebanon's Foreign Ministry announced Sunday that two Omani citizens who were kidnapped in eastern Lebanon earlier this week have been freed.