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Syrian Opposition

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NEWS
November 10, 2011 | By Patrick J. McDonnell, Los Angeles Times
BEIRUT, Lebanon - Deep fissures between Syrian opposition factions were evident Wednesday when egg-throwing dissidents sought to prevent other opposition figures from meeting with Arab League officials in the Egyptian capital. Some activists reportedly chanted "traitors" as a delegation of Syrians tried to enter the league headquarters. The head of the visiting delegation, Hassan Abdel Azim, was eventually able to go inside and meet with Nabil el-Araby, the Arab League's secretary-general, Al-Jazeera reported.
NEWS
March 19, 2013 | By Karin Laub, Associated Press
BEIRUT - Syria's main opposition group is launching its most serious attempt yet to form a rival government to President Bashar al-Assad's regime, convening in Turkey on Monday to choose an interim prime minister for areas the rebels control. Twelve candidates are running, including economists, businessmen, and a former Syrian cabinet minister. Some warn setting up such a government could close the door to negotiating an end to Syria's civil war and instead harden the battle lines even more.
NEWS
July 3, 2012 | By Aya Batrawy and Elizabeth A. Kennedy, Associated Press
CAIRO - At a meeting Monday, the Arab League chief urged exiled Syrian opposition figures to unite as a new Western effort to force President Bashar Assad from power faltered. Meanwhile, an additional 85 soldiers, including a general, fled to Turkey in a growing wave of defections. Turkey's state-run Andolou news agency said the group of defectors also included 14 other officers, ranging from a colonel to seven captains. It is one of the largest groups of Syrian army defectors to cross into Turkey since the uprising against Assad began.
NEWS
June 20, 2005 | By Hannah Allam INQUIRER FOREIGN STAFF
Syrian opposition leaders are watching with a mixture of jealousy and despair as voters in other Arab countries cast ballots in elections hailed as the slow march of democracy throughout the Middle East. Initially hopeful that reforms in Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt and the Palestinian territories would lead to an opening in Syria, opposition figures say it now appears change will again pass them by. The Baath Party regime led by President Bashar al-Assad is adapting just enough to survive under intense international scrutiny, Syrian dissidents said in recent interviews.
NEWS
February 27, 2013 | By Matthew Lee, Associated Press
BERLIN - Skeptical Syrian opposition leaders agreed Monday to attend an international conference in Rome after first threatening to boycott the session that was to be the centerpiece of Secretary of State John Kerry's first overseas mission in his new job. Opposition leaders had protested what they see as inaction by other nations in the face of violence from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime. Kerry not only made a public plea at a joint news conference Monday with British Foreign Secretary William Hague, he also called Moaz Khatib, leader of the Syrian Opposition Council, "to encourage him to come to Rome," a senior U.S. official said.
NEWS
May 30, 2013 | By Anthony Faiola, Washington Post
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.
NEWS
November 20, 2012 | By Slobodan Lekic and Don Melvin, Associated Press
BRUSSELS - The newly formed Syrian opposition coalition received backing from the European Union on Monday in a significant vote of confidence for a movement struggling to prove its credibility and gain the trust of the country's factions. EU foreign ministers stopped short of offering official diplomatic recognition because that can only be decided by each member country individually. But the endorsement of the coalition as a legitimate voice for Syria's people represents a major step forward in the West's acceptance of the group.
NEWS
August 28, 2012 | Associated Press
BEIRUT - A Syrian military helicopter crashed in a ball of fire Monday after apparently being hit during clashes between government forces and rebels in the capital Damascus, activists said, in a sign of the fighters' growing abilities as they struggle to topple President Bashar Assad's regime. A video posted on the Internet showed the chopper engulfed in flames and spinning out of control shortly before it hit the ground amid bursts of gunfire near a mosque. Rebels shout "Allahu Akbar!"
NEWS
June 10, 2012 | By Liz Sly, Washington Post
BEIRUT, Lebanon - An increasingly effective Syrian rebel force has been gaining ground in recent weeks, stepping up its attacks on government troops and expanding the area under its control even as world attention has been focused on pressuring Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to comply with a U.N. cease-fire. The loosely organized Free Syrian Army now acknowledges that it is also no longer observing the truce, although rebel commanders insist they are launching attacks only to defend civilians because of concerns generated by two recent massacres in which most of the 186 victims were women and children.
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NEWS
May 30, 2013 | By Anthony Faiola, Washington Post
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.
NEWS
May 22, 2013 | By Donna Cassata, Associated Press
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.
NEWS
May 22, 2013 | By Anne Gearan, Washington Post
MUSCAT, Oman - Iran has sent soldiers to Syria to fight alongside forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad and those of the Lebanon-based Hezbollah militia, a senior State Department official said Tuesday. An unknown number of Iranians are fighting inside Syria, the official said, citing accounts from opposition forces supported by Western and Arab governments. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to preview a strategy session that Secretary of State John Kerry will hold Wednesday with key opposition supporters.
NEWS
April 21, 2013 | By Matthew Lee, Associated Press
ISTANBUL - The United States is providing Syrian rebels with $123 million in new nonlethal aid that may include body armor and other types of supplies that haven't been part of the assistance package in the past. The additional money will double the nonlethal assistance to the Syrian opposition as well as increase humanitarian aid. The nonlethal aid could include armored vehicles, night vision goggles and advanced communications equipment. Foreign ministers from the main supporters of the rebels trying to topple the Syrian government were meeting in Istanbul over the weekend to increase pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad to step down.
NEWS
March 22, 2013 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
BRUSSELS, Belgium - France and Britain are pressing the European Union to end its embargo on arms for the Syrian opposition, in the hope that they can encourage President Obama to follow their lead. French and British leaders' frustration with U.S. waffling on Syria was palpable in Brussels last week. As the flood of refugees from Syria grew to tsunami levels, threatening to destabilize much of the region, French President Francois Hollande declared bluntly, "The biggest risk is inaction.
NEWS
March 19, 2013 | By Karin Laub, Associated Press
BEIRUT - Syria's main opposition group is launching its most serious attempt yet to form a rival government to President Bashar al-Assad's regime, convening in Turkey on Monday to choose an interim prime minister for areas the rebels control. Twelve candidates are running, including economists, businessmen, and a former Syrian cabinet minister. Some warn setting up such a government could close the door to negotiating an end to Syria's civil war and instead harden the battle lines even more.
NEWS
March 16, 2013 | By Zeina Karam and Karin Laub, Associated Press
BEIRUT - On the second anniversary of Syria's uprising, there were only small protests and a few firecrackers defiantly popping in the capital of Damascus - a grim contrast to the early days when crowds of demonstrators danced to the drums of rebellion against President Bashar al-Assad. Syrians on Friday marked the start of the revolt by saying they feared for their country's future amid a grinding civil war that has killed tens of thousands, displaced millions, wrecked whole neighborhoods in cities and towns, and turned neighbor against neighbor.
NEWS
March 4, 2013 | By Trudy Rubin, Inquirer Columnist
B iscuits and Band-Aids . Those two words sum up the farcical "new" policy toward Syria that Secretary of State John Kerry announced at a Rome meeting with Syrian opposition leaders. In what was ballyhooed as a major breakthrough, the United States will, for the first time, provide aid to the armed Syrian opposition. So what are we giving to help Syrian rebels confront the missiles and bombs that have killed tens of thousands of civilians? Not desperately needed antitank or antiaircraft weapons, but medical aid and MREs, those ready-to-eat-meals used as field rations for American soldiers.
NEWS
February 28, 2013 | By Adam Schreck and Qassim Abdul-zahra, Associated Press
BAGHDAD - Iraq's prime minister warned Wednesday that a victory for rebels in the Syrian civil war would create a new extremist haven and destabilize the wider Middle East, sparking sectarian wars in his own country and in Lebanon. Nouri al-Maliki stopped short of voicing outright support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's embattled regime. But his comments in an interview with the Associated Press marked one of his strongest warnings yet about the turmoil that the collapse of the Syrian government could create.
NEWS
February 27, 2013 | By Matthew Lee, Associated Press
BERLIN - Skeptical Syrian opposition leaders agreed Monday to attend an international conference in Rome after first threatening to boycott the session that was to be the centerpiece of Secretary of State John Kerry's first overseas mission in his new job. Opposition leaders had protested what they see as inaction by other nations in the face of violence from Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime. Kerry not only made a public plea at a joint news conference Monday with British Foreign Secretary William Hague, he also called Moaz Khatib, leader of the Syrian Opposition Council, "to encourage him to come to Rome," a senior U.S. official said.
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