Lebanon & Syria

November 7, 2013

OPCW inspectors visited 21 of the 23 chemical production sites in October, but were unable to visit the Aleppo facility along with one other due to security concerns (Courtesy of BBC)
11:16 GMT

Inspectors from the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) told reporters Thursday that Syria has provided video and photographic evidence indicating that a chemical weapons site has been dismantled and abandoned. OPCW has accepted the footage as proof that 22 out of the 23 declared chemical production facilities in Syria have now been destroyed.

Clashes between rebels and regime forces have destroyed the neighborhoods near Sayeda Zainab (Courtesy of Voice of America)
10:51 GMT

Syrian regime forces supported by Hezbollah fighters retook the rebel-controlled town of Sbeineh near Damascus Thursday.

The Syrian opposition National Coalition previously met with Brahimi in Damascus in late October (Louai Beshara/AFP)
05:52 GMT

Syria's opposition National Coalition said Wednesday that UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi must remain neutral after the envoy cited the opposition as "causing the new delays" to the peace talks. Syrian president Bashar al-Assad also publicly described Syria's conflict as comparable to Algeria's civil war.

A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) shows people gathering outside the entrance to the Hijaz railroad company in Hijaz square. (Image credit: AFP)
04:54 GMT

AFP reports that eight people were killed in a bomb blast in Hijaz Square in Central Damascus. In addition, a further 50 were wounded.

November 6, 2013

Rebel fighters walk in the rubble of destroyed building in Syria. (Image credit: AFP)
19:27 GMT

A car bomb killed at least eight security personnel on Wednesday in an attack on a military intelligence building in the southern Syrian city of Suweida, which has been largely peaceful during the Syrian civil war.

An explosion from the arms depot near Homs killed dozens earlier this year (Courtesy of BBC)
11:18 GMT

Syrian rebels seized one of the largest arms depots located in the central Homs province Wednesday. However, Syrian security officials in Damascus denied the takeover, saying that "fighting was still underway."

The OPCW has stated that it will run out of funding for its Syria mission by the end of this month (Mohammed Abdullah/Reuters)
06:38 GMT

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, the international body responsible for the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons, told reporters that its funding for the mission will finish by the end of this month.

Samantha Power was appointed as the U.S. ambassador to the UN on August 1 after serving on the National Security Council. [dailymail]
06:16 GMT

With skepticism about whether the Syrian government has been completely transparent about its chemical weapons stockpiles, accuracy checking is in full swing by OPCW officials.

The US embassy in Lebanon was forced to deny reports that its officials have been meeting in secret with Hezbollah. (AFP/File)
05:41 GMT

The United States' embassy in Beirut has categorially denied reports that US officials have been engaging with "the terrorist organisation Hezbollah".

November 5, 2013

Russia's representatives to Tuesday's preparatory meetings for proposed Syria peace talks accused Syrian opposition figures of opposing "the Geneva communique" (AFP)
15:33 GMT

The proposed Geneva II peace conference hoped to end the conflict in Syria will not take place in November as originally hoped, according to Russia's Itar-Tass news agency.

Lbeanon has criticized the Arab League for failing to attend to the needs of the thousands of displaced Syrian refugees living in Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. (AFP/File)
07:01 GMT

A Lebanese minister on Monday criticized the Arab League for failing to properly respond to the growing humanitarian crisis of the thousands of Syrian refugees displaced across the Middle East.

Islamic Revolutionary Guards [frontpagemag.com]
04:00 GMT

Iran’s semiofficial Mehr news agency says a commander in its Revolutionary Guard has been killed in Syria.

November 4, 2013

The Turkish army stopped the chemical-carrying convoy on the border near the Turkish town of Reyhanli (Courtesy of the Guardian)
12:07 GMT

The Turkish army seized a large amount of chemicals from a convoy attempting to illegally enter the country from Syria.

Fierce clashes raged across the suburbs of Damascus as a mortar shell hit the capital's ancient citadel. In this picture, released by SANA,  a man inspects a damaged car close to a textile plant which was hit by a mortar shell in an attack on the al-Dweila neighbourhood of southeast Damascus on November 3, 2013.(AFP/SANA)
06:40 GMT

A mortar shell hit Damascus' ancient citadel late on Sunday evening, wounding several people as fighting between supporters and opponents of Syrian President Bashar Assad raged across the capital.

Syrian opposition Coalition president Ahmad al-Jarba said that the opposition would not enter the talks "unless it is with dignity, and unless there is a successful transfer of power with a specific time frame, and without the occupier Iran at  the negotiating table" (Courtesy of Francois Mori/AP)
05:53 GMT

Syrian National Coalition President Ahmad al-Jarba announced Sunday that the opposition would not attend peace talks in Geneva unless there is a clear timeframe for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to exit from office. Al-Jarba also said the opposition would not participate if Iran is at the table of discussions.