Lebanon & Syria

January 8, 2014

US, EU and Arab officials meeting in Rome as the Friends of Syria Group [AFP]
11:38 GMT

Ministers from the Friends of Syria grouping are due to hold talks in France on Sunday with leaders of the mainstream opposition to President Bashar al-Assad ahead of peace talks due later this month.

Rebel fighters, one holding a weapon, walk in a street on January 7, 2014 in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo. [AFP]
10:47 GMT

The headquarters of al-Qaeda-linked jihadist group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), in the main northern city of Aleppo has been seized by fighters from several Syrian rebel brigades.

Lebanese soldiers at the site of a car bomb attack on a Hezbollah convoy travelling towards the border crossing with Syria on Tuesday. [ AFP]
10:16 GMT

A Lebanese judge requested the death penalty Wednesday for 14 suspects accused of terrorist attacks including last year’s ambush of a Hezbollah convoy that killed one of the party’s fighters.

Abdullah Azzam Brigades claimed responsibility for the November bomb attack on the Iranian Embassy in Beirut (File Archive/AFP)
08:20 GMT

Experts expect that the Al Qaeda-linked Abdullah Azzam Brigades will attack the Lebanese Army in the upcoming days

An image grab taken from a video released on January 4, 2014 by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)'s al-Furqan Media allegedly shows ISIL fighters marching at an undisclosed location. [AFP]
08:02 GMT

Al-Qaeda group known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on Tuesday urged its fighters to “crush” other rebel groups in Syria, in an audio message from the group’s spokesman.

Syria's Information Minister said this week that the "Syrian street" wants Assad to run for president in this year's upcoming elections (File Archive/AFP)
07:49 GMT

The Syrian people have allegedly decided that President Bashar Assad should be nominated for another presidential term in this year's upcoming elections.

Ahmad Jarba was recently re-elected to lead the Syrian opposition National Coalition this month (File Archive/AFP)
07:13 GMT

Syrian opposition members remain undecided on whether they will attend peace talks in Switzerland this month with regime counterparts.

January 7, 2014

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Saud al-Faisal speaks to reporters during a visit to Pakistan on Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2014. [AFP]
17:39 GMT

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister Prince Saud al-Faisal demanded on Tuesday that the opposition Syrian National Coalition be the only legitimate umbrella of the Syrian opposition, ahead of the planned Geneva II peace talks.

A handout picture taken on January 5, 2014, and released by Norwegian Armed Forces, the Danish support vessel L17 "Esbern Snare" [AFP]
16:58 GMT

The Syrian regime has moved the first shipment of chemical material out of the country after transporting it from two sites to the port city of Latakia and onto a Danish vessel, the joint mission overseeing the disarmament said Tuesday.

Syrian rebels have clashed with Al Qaeda-linked opposition in Idlib and Aleppo in particular (File Archive/AFP)
14:34 GMT

Regime-led air strikes killed 10 civilians in northern Syria Tuesday and at least 34 Al Qaeda linked fighters have died in Idlib over the past three days.

Although the U.N. has stopped updating its Syria death toll, the number of civilians dying has not stopped. It has now exceeded 130,000, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. (AFP/File)
11:10 GMT

According to a U.N. human rights official, the organization will not be updating the death toll in the Syrian civil war as it is becoming increasingly more difficult to verify facts on the war-torn ground.

Hezbollah soldiers have been supporting regime fighters within Syria. One of Hezbollah's Lebanese commanders was recently killed in a battle near Damascus (AFP)
10:10 GMT

Hezbollah pledged this week that it will not end its support for the government of Syrian President Bashar Al Assad.

January 6, 2014

People carry one of the two bodies during the funeral of Malak Zahwa and her step-mother Iman Hijazi, who both died in a car bomb that targeted a Beirut's suburb the day before on January 3, 2014. The death toll of the blast has now risen to six. (AFP)
12:46 GMT

The death toll of last week's deadly bombing of Beirut suburb Haret Hreik has risen to six after Al Manar TV journalist Abbas Karnib died on Monday.

Rebel infighting has left many of Syria's northern cities in shambles (Ahmad Aboud/AFP)
11:39 GMT

Syrian rebels managed to free 50 individuals who had been captured and held hostage by Al Qaeda-linked jihadists.

Syrian rebels and regime fighters signed a truce in Damascus on Sunday. (AFP/File)
10:21 GMT

Syrian rebels and regime troops fighting in the northern suburbs of Damascus - in Barzeh - on Sunday signed a truce after "intense negotiations".