Lebanon & Syria

December 9, 2013

Auxiliary Bishop at the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East Luqa al-Khoury declared war on the Syrian rebels. [pravoslavie]
04:20 GMT

A senior Orthodox Church official has urged Christians to take up arms to defend themselves and their holy places in the wake of the recent abduction of a group of nuns from the ancient village of Maaloula in Syria.

December 8, 2013

Government forces are seeking to encircle the rebels in the Qalamoun region north of Damascus and sever opposition supply lines across the nearby border with Lebanon. [AFP]
17:41 GMT

Syrian government forces made advances on Sunday in the town of al-Nabk, one of the last rebel-held areas in Qalamoun region bordering Lebanon, a watchdog said.

Amid fresh claims of a chemical weapons attack in the rebel-held town of Nabek on Friday, hundreds of Syrian refugees entered into Jordan this weekend. Here, refugees are seen entering Jordan via the northern border last week. (Photo courtesy of The Jordan Times/Nader Daoud)
12:49 GMT

Hundreds of Syrians fled to Jordan on Saturday as allegations of a new chemical weapons attack reportedly fuelled a fresh exodus from Damascus towards the border region.

Lakhdar Brahimi meets UN secretary-general Ban Ki-moon ahead of a meeting with Bashar al-Assad. [AFP]
08:30 GMT

U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon will discuss details of Geneva II with U.N. and Arab League envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi in Paris on Sunday.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. [jagranjosh]
04:53 GMT

Syrian government and opposition to receive invitations to attend the Geneva II meetings which will be held in late January.

The photo shows Greek Orthodox nuns at the Meriamiah Church in Damascus on December 9, 2012. [alalam]
04:00 GMT

The head of Lebanon's General Security headed to Qatar on Saturday to seek assistance in the case of a group of nuns seized earlier this month in Syria.

December 7, 2013

Syrian pro-government forces patrol in their tank in the town of Nabak near Damascus on December 7, 2013. [Getty Images]
19:36 GMT

At least 40 bodies of men, women and children were discovered on Saturday in the Syrian town of al-Nabk, a Damascus suburb, in an apparent new massacre, the Syrian Revolutionary Council reported, following a heavy shelling campaign by the regime’s army.

Militants from over 80 countries fighting in Syria [Muzaffar Salman]
15:33 GMT

A report has revealed that al-Qaeda-linked groups are using “safe houses” in southern Turkey to send foreign militants to neighboring Syria to take part in the war against its government.

Rebels line a dirt escarpment as they look towards Syrian army positions south of the highway town of Maraat al-Numan on November 17, 2012. [Getty Images]
08:26 GMT

The latest violence follows warnings from Britain that a solution to the Syrian conflict must be found in 2014.

December 6, 2013

Apprentice chemical weapons inspectors of the United Nations and extras take part in an exercise during the education of OPCW inspectors at the German armed forces. [Getty Images]
08:21 GMT

Syrian opposition activists on Thursday accused President Bashar al-Assad’s forces of again using poison gas in rebel-held areas, saying victims had been discovered with swollen limbs and foaming at the mouth.

December 5, 2013

Lebanese army soldiers patrol a street in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli on December 4, 2013 as the army deployed following clashes between supporters and opponents of Syria's regime. [Ibrahim Chalhoub/AFP]
18:02 GMT

The Army said it arrested three more people in Tripoli, bringing the total number of detainees to 28 since Monday.

Al Qaeda linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant previously kidnapped approximately 200 Kurdish civilians in July (Courtesy of Al Manar)
11:10 GMT

Syrian jihadists from the Al Qaeda linked-group, Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, kidnapped 50 Kurds Thursday.

Syria's fragile domestic security situation could derail the OPCW's ambitious plan to destroy Syria's chemical weapons arsenal by mid-2014, according to the head of the mission. (AFP/File)
08:02 GMT

Syria's fragile domestic security situation could derail the OPCW's ambitious plan to destroy Syria's chemical weapons arsenal by mid-2014, according to the head of the mission.

Five Palestinians were wounded, including a 14-year-old girl, from Tuesday's bomb explosion during the funeral procession of Fatah official Brig. Gen. Mahmoud Issa ( Courtesy of Stefan Christoff/Electronic Intifada)
06:08 GMT

Recent bombing and shootings in Lebanon's Ain al-Hilweh Palestinian refugee camp has left the community-and town-paralyzed.

The U.S. and its allies have begun talks with Islamist rebels fighting in Syria ahead of the Geneva peace talks in January (AFP/File)
05:59 GMT

The United States has reached out to Islamist militias among the Syrian opposition as it seeks to reach a political solution to war in Syria, a U.S. official confirmed Wednesday.