Lebanon & Syria

December 19, 2013

A Free Syrian Army soldier in a room where political prisoners were hanged by Al-Assad forces inside the central prison on April 23, 2013, in Darkoush, Syria. [Getty Images]
12:53 GMT

Frequent ‘vanishings’ in Syria and a catalogue of abuses perpetrated in ‘secret jails’ in the country were today revealed in separate reports by the U.N. and Amnesty International.

Regime airstrikes in Aleppo this week have completely destroyed Syria's second largest city (Mohamed Al Khatieb/AFP)
12:48 GMT

Syrian warplanes continued to crush Aleppo for a fifth consecutive day Thursday,

Kurdish people hold flags and shout slogans as they gather to support Syrian Kurds on November 24, 2013. [AFP]
12:38 GMT

Syrian Kurds on Thursday voiced their demand for their own delegation, seperate from both the government and opposition at next month's peace talks in Switzerland aimed at halting the conflict in Syria, Kurdish political leaders said.

Damascus has agreed to remove all of its chemical weapons out of the country via its port city of Latakia (File Archive/AFP)
09:29 GMT

Russia sent Syria 10 aircrafts filled with equipment to help Damascus remove the country's chemical weapons stockpile as part of the unprecedented mission to remove Syria's entire arsenal vis-a-vis the port city of Latakia.

Deputy Foreign Minister Mikhail Bogdanov has called on Assad to refrain from talking about his re-election prospects ahead of the Syrian peace conference in Geneva (Courtesy of Naharnet)
07:35 GMT

In a rare instance of criticism, a Russian diplomat called on Syrian President Bashar Al Assad to refrain from re-election statements ahead of proposed peace talks.

Hundreds of people were killed during the August chemical weapons attack in Damascus, which the U.N. has now condemned officially as the responsibility of the regime (File Archive/AFP)
05:19 GMT

The U.N. General Assembly approved a resolution Wednesday that expresses outrage and places blame on the Syrian regime for human atrocity and abuse.

December 18, 2013

Robert Ford told reporters Wednesday that Syria's Islamist rebels have refused to meet with the U.S. (Courtesy of Foreign Policy)
12:58 GMT

The U.S. Ambassador to Damascus told reporters Wednesday that an Islamist rebel group has refused to meet with US officials.

Vitaly Churkin, Russia's Ambassador to the United Nations, speaks to the media after a closed-door meeting of the Security Council on Syria December 16, 2013. [AFP]
09:00 GMT

Russia announced Monday that its navy was ready to escort ships carrying Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile out of the country.

Western powers have previously said that Assad would have no future role in Syria's government, but now they seem to be changing their stances (File Archive/AFP)
06:19 GMT

Western leaders showed signs Tuesday that the proposed Geneva II peace talks may "not lead to the removal" of the country's president Bashar Al Assad who may remain "key in any transitional administration."

UN-OPCW inspectors who previously visited sites of chemical weapon attacks in Syria said the country's government is not yet ready to move the chemical stockpiles to Latakia (File Archive/AFP)
05:51 GMT

The UN chemical watchdog overseeing the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons stockpile successfully finalized and approved the details of the plan Tuesday. More information will follow Wednesday.

Syria's Nusra Front was one of the two groups that claimed responsibility for Tuesday's attack (File Archive/AFP)
05:33 GMT

Syria's Nusra Front and the Marwan Hadid Brigades claimed responsibility Tuesday for attacks in Lebanon's northeastern city of Hermel as a message to Hezbollah to leave the war in Syria.

December 17, 2013

UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi has been one of the main organizers of the proposed Geneva II talks (File Archive/AFP)
12:13 GMT

The tentative Geneva II peace conference to end the conflict in Syria will now take place in the Swiss town of Montreaux due to hotel space shortages in Geneva. With conference logistics underway, Syrian regime forces still continued air raids on Aleppo's rebel-held neighborhoods for a third straight day, leaving at least 13 people dead.

OPCW received the Nobel Peace Prize this year for its work on the Syrian chemical weapon disarmament case (File Archive)
09:27 GMT

The UN chemical watchdog is scheduled to meet Tuesday to approve the final plan for the destruction of Syria's chemical weapon stockpile.

More Israeli soldiers were deployed to the border area after a Lebanese sniper shot an Israeli soldier this week (JAck Guez/AFP)
06:03 GMT

Lebanon and the U.N.'s Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) told reporters Monday evening that the Lebanese soldier who shot and killed an Israeli solder on the border acted alone.

Syrian regime forces launched fresh air raids on Aleppo Sunday (Mohammed Al Khatieb/AFP)
05:20 GMT

U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon told reporters late Monday that the Geneva II dialogue aimed to end the conflict in Syria cannot begin until a cease-fire is declared in the country.