Lebanon & Syria

November 21, 2013

Rajaa Nasser, pictured right, was arrested Thursday prior to his scheduled trip to Moscow on Nov. 26 to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (Courtesy of Al-Monitor)
12:58 GMT

Syrian opposition leader Rajaa Nasser was arrested by government police days before he was scheduled to leave for talks in Moscow.

Syria's government will no longer allow Arab nationals to enter the war-torn country without a visa (Omar Ibrahim/Reuters)
07:19 GMT

Two suicide bombers detonated near the town of Nabk on the Lebanese border to halt regime gains in the strategic area. The Syrian government also announced Wednesday that it will tighten its border policies for Arab nationals in efforts to curb Islamists from entering Syria to support opposition groups from toppling the regime.

November 20, 2013

Nabih Berri, the speaker of the Lebanese parliament, said Wednesday that the suicide bombers who attacked the Iranian embassy in Beirut were from the same group that tried to assassinate him. (Image courtesy of SaidaOnline)
15:34 GMT

Nabih Berri, the speaker of the Lebanese parliament, said Wednesday that the suicide bombers who attacked the Iranian embassy in Beirut were from the same group that tried to assassinate him.

Syrians who fled recent violence in the mountainous Qalamoun region, waiting to be registered by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on November 19, 2013 in Arsal. [Getty Images]
13:31 GMT

The U.N. confirmed Wednesday that 2,200 Syrian families have arrived in the east Lebanon border town of Arsal in the past five days.

The suicide bombers reportedly detonated at a checkpoint manned by regime forces in Qara (Bassam Khabieh/Reuters)
12:23 GMT

Two car bombs targeting regime forces near the Lebanese border in Qalamoun Wednesday have killed at least seven soldiers.

Syrian government representatives will not attend any proposed Geneva II conference if they are expected to relinquish their power, President Assad shared with Lebanese reporters Wednesday (File Archive/AFP)
11:44 GMT

In the latest act that has undermined the proposed Geneva II peace talks to end the war in Syria, President Bashar al-Assad told a Lebanese daily Wednesday that "there is no need [for us] to go [to Geneva]" if the Syrian opposition National Coalition expects us to relinquish power."

The UN report is "careful not to assign blame" for atrocities in Syria, but does seem to fully blame the government for the August chemical weapon attacks (File Archive/AFP)
08:08 GMT

UN General Assembly's vote Tuesday that demands immediate humanitarian access to Syrians trapped in the country as part of siege tactics blames both sides for the acts of violence, but comes close to blaming the regime for the use of chemical weapons in August.

People gather near the site of the bombing Tuesday (Ahmad Omar/AP)
07:01 GMT

Lebanese President Michel Suleiman is working to ensure that Tuesday's bombings in the capital do not pull the country further into regional turmoil, but the politicization surrounding the blasts has the potential to divide factions in the government and on the street.

Private Gulf money has been a major source of funding for extremist rebel groups like the al-Qaeda affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (File Archive/AFP)
05:41 GMT

Kuwaiti officials are denying that money from the Gulf country is flowing to the war-torn country of Syria to fund extremist rebel groups. However, a New York Times report issued earlier this week suggests otherwise.

November 19, 2013

A Lebanese army soldier patrols a street with an armoured vehicle in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli on October 29, 2013. [IBRAHIM CHALHOUB/Getty Images]
15:48 GMT

Syrian troops on Tuesday captured the village of Qara in the mountainous Qalamoun region along a key supply route between Damascus and Homs

The Russian Orthodox Church has warned of a “genocide” against Christians and other religious minorities, urging the international community to take action. (AFP/Getty File)
12:07 GMT

The Russian Orthodox Church has warned of a “genocide” against Christians and other religious minorities, urging the international community to take action.

People gather at the site of a blast in Bir Hassan neighbourhood in southern Beirut on November 19, 2013. At least 22 people were killed in a double bomb attack outside the Iranian embassy in Beirut. (AFP)
11:29 GMT

The Abdullah Azzam Brigades, a Lebanese militant group affiliated with Al Qaeda, has taken responsibility for the twin suicide attack on the Iranian embassy in Beirut.

7 deaths have been reported thus far from the explosion (Courtesy of Zaman Alwsl)
08:09 GMT

A car bomb detonated near the Iranian embassy in Beirut Tuesday. At least seven people died from the explosion.

Preceding the collective EU decision to not host the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons on home soil, Albania publicly refused to take on the task following international momentum to encourage Tirana to host the mission (Courtesy of EU)
05:59 GMT

In a complete turnaround move, EU nations collectively declined to host the destruction of Syrian chemical weapons in their countries late Monday after previously showing interest to OPCW to serve as hosts.

November 18, 2013

Russian president Vladimir Putin telephoned Iran's president Hassan Rouhani Monday two days ahead of talks in Geneva on Tehran's nuclear program (AFP/Getty Images)
12:43 GMT

In a day full of diplomatic dealings, Russian President Vladimir Putin telephoned Iran's president Hassan Rouhani and met with Syrian government representatives in Moscow.