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NEWS
September 8, 2012 | By Elizabeth A. Kennedy and John Heilprin, Associated Press
BEIRUT, Lebanon - Two booby-trapped vehicles exploded within hours of each other Friday in Syria's once-impregnable capital of Damascus, killing at least five police officers as rebels increasingly target President Bashar al-Assad's seat of power. With the civil war intensifying, the head of the Red Cross warned after meeting with Assad that the situation in the country was "rapidly deteriorating. " Elsewhere in Damascus, shells struck a Palestinian refugee camp, killing 10 people, state media said.
NEWS
July 21, 2012 | By Ben Hubbard, Associated Press
BEIRUT, Lebanon - Rebels pressed their guerrilla fight to topple Syria's regime deeper into the capital on Friday, ambushing troops and attacking police stations as thousands of civilians fled to Lebanon and Iraq to escape some of the worst violence of the 16-month conflict. The two-day death toll was more than 470 people, marking some of the deadliest of the uprising. The U.N. refugee agency said that between 8,500 and 30,000 Syrians had entered Lebanon in the last 48 hours, and thousands of Iraqis have also returned home, a bitter trip for many who fled to Syria from their own country's civil war. In Damascus, Syrian forces recaptured one battle-scarred neighborhood and proudly showed reporters the bodies of rebel fighters lying in rubble-strewn streets.
NEWS
November 22, 2012 | By Barbara Surk, Associated Press
BEIRUT, Lebanon - Syrian planes bombed Damascus suburbs and rebel-held areas in the country's north Wednesday as the government criticized the European Union for endorsing a newly formed opposition coalition. The raids struck several eastern suburbs of the Syrian capital and the northern city of Maaret al-Numan, a key supply route linking Damascus and the commercial hub of Aleppo, said two activist groups. Both the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and the Local Coordination Committees also reported violence elsewhere in Syria.
NEWS
February 12, 2012 | By Bassem Mroue, ASSOCIATED PRESS
BEIRUT - Gunmen assassinated an army general in Damascus Saturday in the first killing of a high ranking military officer in the Syrian capital since the uprising against President Bashar Assad's regime began in March, the country's state-run news agency said. The attack could be a sign that armed members of the opposition, who have carried out attacks on the military elsewhere in the country, are trying to step up action in the tightly controlled capital, which has been relatively quiet compared to other cities.
NEWS
February 19, 2012 | By Neil MacFarquhar, New York Times News Service
BEIRUT, Lebanon - Hundreds of antigovernment protesters braved scattered gunfire from Syrian soldiers and a winter snowstorm to march through a middle-class neighborhood in Damascus on Saturday, the biggest such demonstration witnessed close to the heart of the capital since the country's uprising began 11 months ago. The neighborhood, Mezze, skirts the hill on which the white presidential palace sits, and as the row upon row of demonstrators walked...
NEWS
February 9, 2013 | By Zeina Karam, Associated Press
BEIRUT - Syrian rebels brought their fight within a mile of the heart of Damascus on Friday, seizing army checkpoints and cutting a key highway with a row of burning tires as they pressed their campaign for the heavily guarded capital, considered the likely endgame in the nearly two-year-old civil war. The clashes raised fears that Damascus, a major cultural center and one of the world's oldest continuously inhabited cities, could fall victim to...
NEWS
December 5, 2012 | By Ben Hubbard, Associated Press
BEIRUT, Lebanon - Syria's civil war is closing in on President Bashar al-Assad's seat of power in Damascus with clashes between government forces and rebels flaring around the city Tuesday, raising fears that the capital will become the next major battlefield in the 20-month-old conflict. Numerous reports emerged of at least a dozen people killed near the ancient city and elsewhere, and the regime said nine students and a teacher died from rebel mortar fire on a school. The state news agency originally said 30 people had been killed in the attack.
NEWS
February 12, 2012 | By Neil MacFarquhar and Hwaida Saad, New York Times News Service
BEIRUT, Lebanon - Three gunmen ambushed a military general Saturday on a residential street in Damascus, the Syrian government reported, in an assassination of a government stalwart that was the first of its kind in the Syrian capital and another step away from the nonviolent roots of the antigovernment protests. The general, Issa al-Khouli, a middle-aged physician and brigadier general who ran the Hameish military hospital, was shot as he stepped from his house, the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency reported.
NEWS
February 19, 2012 | By Zeina Karam, Associated Press
BEIRUT - Syrian security forces fired live rounds and tear gas Saturday at thousands of people marching in a funeral procession that turned into one of the largest protests in Damascus since the 11-month uprising against President Bashar Assad began. The new violence broke out during a visit by a Chinese envoy, who said his country will back a solution to the crisis based on proposals already put forward by the Arab League - even though Beijing is unlikely to support the regional bloc's call for Assad to step aside.
NEWS
November 18, 2015 | BY WILL BUNCH, Daily News Staff Writer bunchw@phillynews.com, 215-854-2957
EXPLOSIONS LIT the sky over Damascus while Khaldoun partied with his friends late into a weekend night in August 2014. Despite the nightly firefights, the shelling that tore children and other innocents to shreds one morning while Khaldoun was walking to class, despite the night that bullets ripped through his kitchen window, the soft-spoken 20-year-old psychology student had made it through three years of Syria's civil war. He had no intention of...
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NEWS
July 4, 2016
BERLIN - Lilas Al Loulou was an English literature major in Damascus and a political activist during the Arab Spring uprising. Firas Ibrahim owned a photo studio in Damascus that made wedding videos. Ahmed Samer ran a small business in Aleppo with his wife that sold air conditioners and fridges. All three fled Syria's civil war and made the risky sea journey to Greece and onward to Germany in 2015. They don't fit the fearsome stereotypes that drove the Brexit vote and have propelled populist parties across Europe.
NEWS
November 18, 2015 | BY WILL BUNCH, Daily News Staff Writer bunchw@phillynews.com, 215-854-2957
EXPLOSIONS LIT the sky over Damascus while Khaldoun partied with his friends late into a weekend night in August 2014. Despite the nightly firefights, the shelling that tore children and other innocents to shreds one morning while Khaldoun was walking to class, despite the night that bullets ripped through his kitchen window, the soft-spoken 20-year-old psychology student had made it through three years of Syria's civil war. He had no intention of...
NEWS
May 29, 2015 | By Stephan Salisbury, Inquirer Culture Writer
Collaboration always offers surprises, particularly collaboration that employs chance and ambiguity as defining principles. Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture, an organization devoted to Arab cultural life, rarely occupies familiar ground, whether in the performances it presents or in those it nurtures. But at 8 p.m. Friday at the Painted Bride Art Center (with a free and open-to-the-public reception from 6 to 7:30 p.m.), Al-Bustan will venture down a particularly mysterious path with the presentation of a completely new collaborative piece by cellist and composer Kinan Abou-afach and visual artist and digital designer Ayman Alalao.
NEWS
August 5, 2013 | By Michael Matza, Inquirer Staff Writer
As brutal images of children killed in Syria's civil war flashed on a screen inside a gym at the Foundation for Islamic Education in Villanova on Saturday, a woman in a brilliant blue head scarf sat in the audience of 100 men and women and quietly sobbed. Born in Damascus 39 years ago, she lives in Valley Forge now, but still has family in the war-torn country. For reasons of their security, she asked to be identified only by her first name, Rabab. "I am a mother," Rabab said, explaining her tears.
NEWS
July 16, 2013
BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel called yesterday for tougher European and global rules on data protection amid fallout from recent revelations about U.S. surveillance programs. Merkel pledged that Germany will take a "very strict position" in ongoing talks on European Union-wide data rules. Germany will push for those rules to oblige companies such as Google and Facebook to tell European countries who they share data with, she told ARD television. The chancellor also suggested that a protocol on data protection could be added to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, a U.N. accord that dates back to 1966.
NEWS
June 25, 2013
British police probe urged LONDON - Prime Minister David Cameron called Monday for an investigation into allegations that an undercover police officer was ordered to smear the reputation of the family of Stephen Lawrence, 18, a black murder victim. The Guardian newspaper published claims Monday from former undercover officer Peter Francis that he came under constant pressure from his superiors to "hunt for disinformation. " "To hear that, potentially, the police that were meant to be helping them were actually undermining them - that's horrific," Cameron said.
NEWS
June 16, 2013 | By Bassem Mroue, Associated Press
BEIRUT - Syrian troops pushed forward with their offensive against rebels Saturday, capturing a suburb near the Damascus international airport as the U.S. warned that the alleged use of chemical weapons by President Bashar al-Assad's forces and the involvement of the Iranian-backed militant group Hezbollah in the civil war threaten to put a proposed political settlement out of reach. The United States and Russia have been pressing for a peace conference to end Syria's civil war in Geneva, but prospects for that have been dampened after a series of regime battlefield victories and hardened positions by both sides as the death toll from the more than two-year-old conflict has surged to nearly 93,000.
NEWS
June 14, 2013 | By Karin Laub and Mohammed Daraghmeh, Associated Press
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - A refugee from Syria recently opened a bakery here, drawing long lines of customers eager to taste meat and cheese pastries with the special flavors of Damascus - a rare bright spot in the long shadow that the Syrian civil war is casting over the Gaza Strip. The conflict in Syria, about 190 miles away, is increasingly hurting Hamas-ruled Gaza financially, according to several officials in the Islamic militant group and in Islamic charities. They say Iran, an ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and a former major financial backer of Hamas, has reduced monthly cash transfers because Hamas refuses to side with the Syrian regime.
NEWS
June 13, 2013 | By Adam Schreck, Associated Press
BAGHDAD - Signs are growing that stretches of Iraq and Syria are morphing into a single battlefield for militants, exacerbating Iraq's slide into renewed deadly chaos a year and a half after U.S. troops pulled out. Iraqi border posts along the Syrian frontier are coming under attack, and Syrian truck drivers have been singled out and shot inside Iraq. Syrian soldiers earlier this year sought refuge across the border, only to be massacred by al-Qaeda. Combat-hardened Iraqi fighters, meanwhile, are crisscrossing the frontier.
NEWS
May 14, 2013 | By Albert Aji, Associated Press
DAMASCUS, Syria - Syrian rebels on Sunday released four Filipino U.N. peacekeepers they abducted last week in a dramatic incident that prompted warnings from the Philippines that the nation might pull out its contingent from the Golan Heights. Meanwhile, a Syrian official said President Bashar al-Assad's troops have the right to enter the Israeli-occupied Golan whenever they wish - a veiled threat toward Israel to stay out of Syria's conflict. Also Sunday, Damascus rejected Turkey's allegations that Syria was behind two car bombings Saturday that killed 46 people in Turkey and wounded dozens more.
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