June 2, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Syrian rebels battling the forces of President Bashar al-Assad must receive ammunition and heavy weapons to counter the regime's tanks and aircraft or it will be impossible for them to prevail, Sen. John McCain said days after he quietly slipped into Syria to meet with the opposition. "They just can't fight tanks with AK-47s," McCain said Friday in a telephone interview. The Republican lawmaker and 2008 presidential candidate made an unannounced visit to Syria on Monday, traveling across the border near Kilis, Turkey, and spending about two hours meeting with rebel leaders.
May 30, 2013 |
LONDON - A day after securing an end to the European Union's weapons embargo on Syria, Britain and France are facing criticism from Russia, and pressure at home and abroad, to show restraint before acting to arm the rebels seeking to oust Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Britain, along with France, scored a diplomatic victory in Paris on Monday, effectively blocking an attempt by other European nations to extend the regional embargo that has prevented them from sending weapons to help the Syrian opposition.
May 28, 2013 |
BRUSSELS, Belgium - The European Union has decided to lift the arms embargo on the Syrian opposition while maintaining all other sanctions against President Bashar al-Assad's regime after June 1, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said late Monday. The decision "sends a very strong message from Europe to the Assad regime," Hague said after an all-day meeting that laid bare EU hesitation on feeding arms in a foreign conflict only months after it won the Nobel Peace Prize. Hague insisted that Britain had "no immediate plans to send arms to Syria.
May 26, 2013 |
NEW DELHI - Suspected Maoist rebels set off a land mine and opened fire Saturday on a convoy of cars carrying local leaders and supporters of India's ruling Congress party in eastern India, killing at least 17 people and wounding 24, police said. Senior police officer M. Gupta said the attack occurred in the Sukma area, about 215 miles south of Raipur, the capital of Chhattisgarh state. Two state party leaders and five police officers were among those killed in the attack, said R. K. Vij, a top state police officer.
May 24, 2013 |
AMMAN, Jordan - The United States and its partners will widen support for the Syrian rebels, potentially by sending more weapons or taking other measures short of sending U.S. forces, if diplomacy fails to end a civil war that has killed "upwards of 100,000" people, Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday. With the Syrian rebels he is trying to help in disarray, Kerry lowered expectations for an international effort to draw rebels and a resurgent Syrian regime to the bargaining table.
May 22, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - A Senate panel voted Tuesday to provide weapons to rebels battling the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the first time lawmakers have endorsed the aggressive U.S. military step of arming the opposition. The Foreign Relations Committee voted 15-3 for a bill that would give lethal aid and military training to vetted rebel groups, and would slap sanctions on anyone who sells oil or transfers arms to the regime. An intense committee debate over the bill underscored congressional fears on greater involvement in a Mideast war after more than a decade of American combat in Iraq and Afghanistan.
May 17, 2013 |
BEIRUT - Rebel fighters battled regime troops inside the walls of the sprawling central prison compound in Syria's largest city Wednesday, hours after blowing open the gate with twin car bombs in an attempted jailbreak, activists said. The orchestrated assault began at dawn, but by nightfall, the rebels had not dislodged regime forces or freed the 4,000 prisoners held there, according to two pro-opposition monitoring groups. Across Syria, the Internet was restored after a blackout of more than eight hours, the second nationwide outage in a week.
May 15, 2013 |
HEROR, Iraq - A convoy of gunmen opened fire on a row of liquor stores in eastern Baghdad immediately after sunset on Tuesday, killing 11 people and wounding five others, officials said. Police said the gunmen were in four cars that had stopped in the area and attacked shortly after sunset. Hospital officials confirmed the casualties. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to media. The attack in the Zayouna neighborhood came as the stores were at their peak business time, when commuters buy alcohol on the way home from work.
May 14, 2013 |
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.
May 1, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama is preparing to send lethal weaponry to the Syrian opposition and has taken steps to assert more aggressive U.S. leadership among allies and partners seeking the ouster of President Bashar al-Assad, according to senior administration officials. The officials emphasized that supplying arms was one of several options under consideration and that political negotiation remained the preferred option. To that end, the administration has launched an effort to convince Russian President Vladimir V. Putin that the probable use of chemical weapons by the Syrian government - and the more direct outside intervention that could provoke - should lead him to reconsider his support of Assad.