Lebanon & Syria

October 24, 2013

An alleged "terrorist" attack on a gas pipeline left Damascus in a blackout late Wednesday (Reuters)
06:49 GMT

Power cuts near Syria's international airport late Wednesday left the capital in a blackout. Government sources suggest that terrorists are responsible for the power outage. Fighting continued elsewhere in the country late Wednesday, while a government official told international reporters that "only Syrians" will choose the country's next leader.

October 23, 2013

Residents of the rebel-held East Ghouta area outside Damascus worry that the regime's blockade will soon make their living situation comparable to areas like Moadamiya, where a yearlong blockade has led to starvation, fatal illness and deplorable humanitarian conditions (Courtesy of Violations Documentation Center in Syria)
17:20 GMT

Syrian army forces sealed the last smuggling routes into the rebel-held eastern suburbs of Damascus, and rebel groups in Homs clashes with the regime near Mahin in an attempt to capture a major weapons depot Wednesday.

Defense minister Moshe Ya'alon said that "we continue to maintain our red lines on Syria." The minister's comments coincided with reported Israeli airstrike on the Lebanese-Syrian border Wednesday (Courtesy of the Times of Israel)
13:49 GMT

Israel reconfirmed Wednesday that they would plan to prevent any transfer of military arms to militants in Syria, coinciding with a reported Israeli airstrike on the Syria-Lebanese border.

Abbas Hammoud, one of the nine Lebanese pilgrims held hostage in Syria for 17 months, is welcomed by his mother Mayla Aldurr upon his arrival at his home in the coastal city of Tyre in south Lebanon on October 20, 2013. On Wednesday, an activist announced that the Syrian authorities had released 14 women detained in the country as part of a hostage exchange deal. (AFP)
10:50 GMT

14 women who were being held in Syria have been released as part of the hostage exchange for two kidnapped Turkish pilots, a human rights activist said Wednesday.

A gunman carries a rifle as he runs in Tabbaneh area in Tripoli, Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013. (The Daily Star/Antoine Amrieh)
07:45 GMT

One teenager died and several people -- including four soldiers -- were wounded after clashes broke out in Lebanon's north-western city of Tripoli.

An image grab taken from a video uploaded on YouTube by Moadamiyet al-Sham media centre on October 22, 2013 allegedly shows smoke billowing above buildings after shelling by Syrian goverment forces in Damascus' rebel-held Moadamiyet al-Sham suburb. (AFP PHOTO / YOUTUBE / MOADAMIYET AL-SHAM MEDIA CENTRE)
07:13 GMT

Syrian government forces battled with Al Qaeda linked rebels in a Christian majority town and on the strategic Homs-Damascus highway on Tuesday, according to state media reports and activists.

October 22, 2013

Syrian opposition National Coalition (SNC) leader Ahmad Jarba met with Friends of Syria representatives in London ahead of November's meeting in Istanbul where all opposition parties will collectively decide whether to attend peace talks in Geneva (Suzanne Plunkett/AFP)
18:12 GMT

After a long day of discussion Tuesday in London between Western and Arab powers and Syrian opposition leaders, the parties collectively announced that President Bashar al-Assad should be excluded from future government positions.

Government warplanes launched airstrikes throughout Aleppo Tuesday (AP)
15:02 GMT

Government warplanes attacked rebels near Aleppo and Damascus and shelling campaigns from both sides Tuesday killed civilians countrywide.

Syrian workers eyed with suspicion as Jordanian government looks to legitimize workers. [Haytham al-Moussawi]
14:01 GMT

With many Syrian refugees working illegally in Jordan, the kingdom is prepared to start a mass exit if work permits aren't established by November 2013.

Assad gives interview on upcoming meetings and possibility for re-election. [AFP]
07:24 GMT

Syria considers attending Geneva talks while Assad personally considers re-election.

A handout picture released by the official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) on October 15, 2013 shows President Bashar al-Assad (C) and Syrian Grand Mufti Ahmed Hassun (C-R) praying at the Sayeda Hassiba mosque in the capital Damascus. (Image credit: AFP)
06:00 GMT

In a television interview with Syria's Al Mayadeen TV, Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad has expressed optimism that he would continue to stay in power in Syria.

October 21, 2013

A handout picture released by the Iraqi government shows UN-Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi (L) meeting with Iraq's deputy prime minister in charge of energy Hussain Ibrahim Saleh. (Image credit: AFP PHOTO/HO/IRAQI GOVERNMENT)
17:23 GMT

Lakhdar Brahimi, UN envoy for Syria arrived in Baghdad on Monday to hold talks with Iraqi leaders aimed at garnering support for Syria peace talks in Geneva next month.

Syria warplanes launched strikes in the Damascus suburb of Mleha Monday after rebels seized the area's checkpoint from government forces (AFP)
12:57 GMT

Syrian government warplanes striked rebel-held areas southeast of Damascus Monday and regime troops continued onslaught of Moadamiyet al-Sham.

Residents in northern Lebanon's town of Arsal are preparing for the battle for Qalmoun in Syria, which is expected to spillover into Lebanese territory due to Hezbollah's involvement in the civil war. The battle for Qalmoun is expected to be a sequel to the fight for Qusair in June. (AFP/File)
08:36 GMT

Amid media reports pointing to signs that the Syrian army is preparing to launch an attack to regain rebel-held areas in the strategic border area of Qalamoun, officials in the adjacent Lebanese village of Arsal say they will only take up arms if provoked by Hezbollah.

Awaiting confirmation on the status of the negotiated release of hundreds of women. [naharnet]
08:12 GMT

Syria has not shown proof of keeping hostage exchange agreement regarding almost 200 female detainees.