Lebanon & Syria

January 26, 2014

Lebanese security forces patrol a street of the northern port city of Tripoli on January 23, 2014 as the army deployed following clashes between supporters and opponents of Syria's regime. [AFP]
00:53 GMT

A recording by a previously unknown figure was distributed on jihadist forums on Saturday, announcing the creation of a Lebanese franchise for the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), Agence France-Presse reported.

January 25, 2014

UN-Arab League envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi speaks during a press conference in Geneva on January 25, 2014. [AFP]
22:14 GMT

The first day of face-to-face talks between Syria’s rival sides did not yield substantial results, International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi told reports Saturday, adding that he hoped the discussions would eventually lead to aid supplies reaching the besieged city of Homs.

January 24, 2014

yrian National Coalition leader Ahmad Jarba arrives with his delegation to meet UN-Arab League envoy for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi on January 24, 2014 at the "Geneva II" peace talks in Geneva. [AFP]
23:17 GMT

he Syrian government and its opposition will hold their first face-to-face negotiations in the same room in Geneva on Saturday to try to resolve nearly three years of civil war after negotiations almost collapsed before they started.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif [AFP]
22:55 GMT

Iran wants all foreign fighters to leave Syria, according to the country’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohammad Javad Zarif.

Iran's president Hassan Rouhani addresses the World Economic Forum in Davos on January 23, 2014. [AFP]
11:09 GMT

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has stressed that the fate of Syria needs to be determined solely by the Syrian people, rejecting any interference in the future of the Arab country.

January 23, 2014

Bashar al-Assad has been starving its people and blocking humanitarian access to them as a “war strategy,”. [Huffington Post]
18:26 GMT

The regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has been starving its people and blocking humanitarian access to them as a “war strategy,” which can be considered a war crime or a crime against humanity, Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty told Al Arabiya News in Davos on Wednesday.

US Secretary of State John Kerry gestures during a press conference closing the so-called Geneva II peace talks dedicated to the ongoing conflict in Syria, on January 22, 2014. [AFP]
17:14 GMT

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told Al Arabiya News Channel on Thursday that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had “committed war crimes” and was “not ready for a solution” to the ongoing Syrian crisis.

Rebel fighters gesture next to the bodies of handcuffed and blindfolded dead men laying on the ground of the Aleppo headquarters of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant earlier this month. (AFP/File)
12:29 GMT

According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, nearly 1,400 people have died since rebels started fighting against the Al Qaeda-affiliated ISIL earlier in January this year.

The defectors said that they were "deceived" into joining the fight against the regime (Courtesy of The Guardian)
10:29 GMT

Video footage released this week shows Free Syrian Army rebels defecting from their ranks and joining Assad's regime forces.

A woman stands in the devastation of her town of Reyhanli, following a twin suicide bombing attack in May 2013. According to Turkish intelligence, more attacks are coming. (AFP/File)
07:39 GMT

The Turkish authorities have issued a warning to Syrians working with opposition groups in Turkey, citing intelligence reports that Al Qaeda-affiliated rebels are planning attacks on them during the Geneva II peace talks.

A member of the charity Oxfam places a rose by temporary gravestones in a demonstration against the war in Syria on the sidelines of the Geneva II peace talks in Montreux on January 22, 2014. Improving humanitarian aid to Syrians is among the topics that will be discussed by the two warring sides. (AFP)
07:23 GMT

Syria's two sides are both prepared to discuss improving access to humanitarian deliveries, prisoner swaps and local ceasefires, U.N.-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said following the conclusion of the first day of the Geneva II conference.

Saad Hariri, son of slain former Lebanese premier Rafiq Hariri, speaks during an interview at the Hotel Des Indes in the Hague on January 16, 2014. [AFP]
05:21 GMT

Two witnesses who lost their brothers testified on Wednesday to the court about the grief and pain they felt after the attack which killed former Lebanese PM Hariri.

"Bad blood" between the Syrian opposition and regime may have a deep impact on the success of the Geneva II peace talks, U.N.-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi said. Here, Brahimi awaits peace talks in Montreux on January 22, 2014.  (AFP)
04:57 GMT

Ahead of the one-on-one talks to be held between the Syrian regime and opposition delegations on Thursday, U.N.-Arab League envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi said that the speeched made on the first day Geneva II proved the wide ideological divide between the two sides.

January 22, 2014

"Enough is enough," Ban Ki-moon told Syria's delegations on Wednesday. (AFP/File)
20:07 GMT

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told both Syrian sides on Wednesday to start the dialogue needed to end the Syrian civil war, following the Geneva II peace talks in Montreux, Switzerland.

A volunteer shares out food to the people in the Bab al-Salam refugee camp for displaced Syrians near the border with Turkey on 2 July 2013. (AFP/File)
18:44 GMT

Amnesty International Secretary General Salil Shetty on Wednesday said that Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime is blocking humanitarian aid to those in need and starving the population as a "war strategy".