Bashar Al-Assad

Let Syrians decide their fate

US President Barack Obama. Photo: AP

US President Barack Obama has succumbed to pressure to get his country directly involved in Syria's civil war. He has decided to arm the rebels, using as justification a belief that Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad's government has deployed chemical weapons against the fighters trying to overthrow the regime. The US is also considering imposing a no-fly zone, which, if approved, would be its first direct military intervention in the conflict. A worrying path has been embarked upon that offers no solution to a dispute that Syrians, not outsiders, should decide.

Monday, 17 June, 2013, 4:23am 1 comment

Mursi cuts ties with Syria, backs no-fly zone

Egypt's President Mohammed Mursi. Photo: Reuters

Egyptian President Mohammed Mursi said he had cut all diplomatic ties with Damascus and backed a no-fly zone over Syria, pitching the most populous Arab state more firmly against President Bashar al-Assad.

17 Jun 2013 - 5:32am

US mulls no-fly zone after ‘Syria crossed red line’

A rebel fighter holds a rocket in the metal workshop in Aleppo province where it was made. Photo: NYT

The United States is considering imposing a no-fly zone in Syria, its first direct military intervention in the two-year-old civil war, Western diplomats revealed yesterday after the White House said Syria had crossed a "red line" by using nerve gas.

15 Jun 2013 - 4:43am

Syria's civil war threatens to escalate into regional sectarian conflict

Hezbollah fighters attend a rally in southern Lebanon. Photo: AP

The Egyptian cleric was in a fervour. As Hezbollah's Shiite fighters helped Bashar Assad to crush Syrian rebels, he wanted to sound the alarm to Sunnis across the Middle East.

9 Jun 2013 - 7:18am

Bolstered by victory in Qusair, Assad forces turn sights on Homs, Aleppo

A makeshift hospital rebels set up in Qusair. Photo: Reuters

With fresh momentum from the capture of a strategic town in western Syria, President Bashar al-Assad's forces have turned their sights to driving rebel fighters from the country's densely populated heartland, including the cities of Homs and Aleppo.

8 Jun 2013 - 3:00am

France and Britain confirm use of sarin nerve gas in Syria

"Homs is bleeding" says a message on a wall in Raqqa province, east Syria. Photo: Reuters

France said on Tuesday it has confirmed that the nerve gas sarin was used “multiple times and in a localised way” in Syria, including at least once by the regime. It was the most specific claim by any Western power about chemical weapons attacks in the 27-month-old conflict.

Britain later said that tests it conducted on samples taken from Syria also were positive for sarin.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

Double blow to Syrian peace hopes

Forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Qusair. Photo: Reuters

Syrian President Bashar Assad said the regime has received the first shipment of sophisticated Russian anti-aircraft missiles, while the main Western-backed opposition group announced yesterday that it would not participate in peace talks.

31 May 2013 - 4:47am

Assad implies Russian missiles have arrived in Syria

Russia has delivered sophisticated air defence missiles to Syria, President Bashar al-Assad has implied in an interview to be aired on May 30 on Lebanon's Al-Manar television, the network said. Photo: AFP

The Syrian president has told Lebanon’s Hezbollah-owned TV station that Damascus received the first shipment of Russian air defence missiles, according to remarks released on Thursday.

31 May 2013 - 2:14am

Israel warns Russia of strikes on arms supplies to Syria

A Russian S-300 anti-aircraft missile system. Photo: AP

Israel’s defence minister on Tuesday signalled that his military is prepared to strike shipments of advanced Russian weapons to Syria, in a rare implied threat to Moscow. Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon issued his warning shortly after a top Russian official said his government reserves the right to provide Syria with state-of-the-art S-300 air defence missiles.

29 May 2013 - 2:32am

EU failure will allow Britain, France to arm Syrian rebels against Assad

Merkava tanks are stationed in the Israeli annexed Golan Heights near the border with Syria. Photo: AFP

After a marathon negotiating session in Brussels, EU governments failed to bridge their differences and let a ban on arming the opposition expire, with France and Britain scoring a victory at the expense of EU unity.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

Syria 'ready' to attend peace talks in Geneva

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem. Photo: AP

The Syrian government has agreed in principle to take part in an international conference in Geneva next month aimed at ending the country's civil war, its foreign minister said yesterday.

27 May 2013 - 5:59am

Hezbollah chief pledges victory in Syria, Assad's fall will lead to 'dark period'

A TV grab from Al-Manar television shows Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah. Photo: EPA

Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah's comments offered the clearest public confirmation yet that the Iranian-backed group is directly involved in Syria’s war.

26 May 2013 - 2:47pm

Obama, Erdogan insist Assad must go as part of any Syrian solution

Barack Obama checks to see if he still needs an umbrella during the news conference with Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Photo: Reuters

US President Barack Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan insisted that President Bashar al-Assad must step down amid a flurry of moves to organise peace talks to end Syria's bloody civil war.

18 May 2013 - 1:32am

Syrian rebels demand more support from Western backers

Soldiers of the Free Syrian Army on Friday. Photo: Reuters

At a weekend meeting intended to smooth differences between the rebels and their backers, the Syrian National Coalition criticised its Western and Middle Eastern backers for failing to stop attacks by President Bashar al-Assad's forces that it said were imperiling thousands. The group said the backers were capable of detecting planned attacks and halting them before they occurred.

22 Apr 2013 - 5:06am

Syria’s Assad says West will pay for ‘supporting’ al-Qaeda

President Bashar al-Assad speaks during an interview in which he warns the West it will pay a price for backing al-Qaeda in his country's civil war as the terror network becomes emboldened. Photo: AP

President Bashar al-Assad warned on Wednesday the West that it will pay a heavy price for its alleged support of al-Qaeda in Syria and said his regime’s defeat is not an option.

18 Apr 2013 - 3:51pm