Syria conflict

Drumbeat on Syria echoes calls for war on Iraq in 2003

Children play on the toppled statue of President Bashar al-Assad's father, Hafez al-Assad, in Raqqa province, eastern Syria. The civil war has killed 100,000.Photos: Reuters, AP

A grim-faced secretary of state reading a bill of charges against a rogue Arab leader. The White House promising intelligence that will provide proof about weapons of mass destruction. Frenetic efforts to piece together a coalition of the willing. Breathless news reports about imminent bombing raids.

Friday, 30 August, 2013, 4:12am

British ‘no’ to air strikes hits Obama’s plans for coalition against Syria

British Prime Minister David Cameron makes the case for launching military action against Syria in the House of Commons in London. Photo: Reuters

British lawmakers have rejected their government’s call for military strikes against the Syrian regime, leaving the US to look elsewhere for international partners while reserving the right to  act alone against Damascus.

30 Aug 2013 - 9:10pm 5 comments

Chinese civilians flee Syria as Beijing calls for restraint

Rebel fighters and civilians surround vehicles transporting UN inspectors to the site of a suspected gas attack. Photo: AFP

With US warships poised to punish Syria for allegedly using chemical weapons, the few Chinese civilians and company employees still in the country are fleeing and China's foreign minister and state media have warned against the use of force and called for a political solution.

30 Aug 2013 - 8:14am 15 comments

Weapons depot blast kills 40 in Homs after rebel rocket attack

The explosion set of a fireball above Homs. Photo: AP

A video grab shows a fireball from an explosion at a weapons depot set off by rocket attacks that struck government-held districts in the central Syrian city of Homs. Ugarit News posted the video, which has authenticated based on its contents and Associated Press reports.

3 Aug 2013 - 3:42am

US says fighter jets, missiles will stay in Jordan after joint exercises

US officials declined to say how many F-16 jets had been deployed. Photo: AFP

The Pentagon confirmed on Saturday that F-16 fighter jets and Patriot missile interceptors will remain in Jordan after the end of a joint military exercise this month.

16 Jun 2013 - 12:48pm

UN condemns Syrian use of foreign fighters in Qusayr

Delegates attend a Human Rights Council debate on the deteriorating situation in Syria at the UN in Geneva. Photo: Reuters

The UN’s top rights body on Wednesday voted to condemn the Syrian regime’s use of foreign fighters in the besieged town of Qusayr and ordered an urgent probe into the killings in the town.

30 May 2013 - 1:57am

Lebanon's capital hit by rockets amid fears Syria's civil war is spreading

Lebanese security forces inspect the site of a rocket attack in a southern suburb of Beirut. At least four people were wounded when two rockets exploded. Photo: AFP

A pair of rockets slammed into a car dealership and a residential building in strongholds of Lebanon's Hezbollah militia in southern Beirut yesterday, wounding four people and raising fears that Syria's civil war is increasingly spreading into Lebanon.

27 May 2013 - 4:26am

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

Russia, US agree joint push for peace in Syria

US Secretary of State John Kerry (left) speaks with Russian Foreign minister Sergei Lavrov at the joint press conference during their meeting in Moscow, on Tuesday. Photo: EPA

After months of sharp differences, Russia and the United States have agreed to push both sides in Syria to find an end to the bloodshed.

8 May 2013 - 2:53pm

Syrian peace envoy expected to quit mission impossible

Veteran Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi

Veteran Algerian diplomat Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN-Arab League envoy for Syria, has insisted throughout his career that there is no "hopeless situation", but he has not managed to find a magical solution to end Syria's civil war.

6 May 2013 - 4:08am

Israel's strikes on Syria send message to Tehran

Smoke and fire over Damascus early on Sunday after Israel launched air strikes targeting a shipment of missiles believed to be bound for Hezbollah in Lebanon. Photo: AP

Although Israel has maintained official silence on the strikes, a senior Israeli source said they had both targeted "Iranian missiles destined for Hezbollah".

6 May 2013 - 4:55am

Syria dismisses US, UK chemical weapons claims as lie

Smoke rising after heavy shelling in Houla in Syria's Homs province. Photo: AFP

The 46-year-old, one of the European Union’s youngest prime ministers, is then expected to unveil his programme in a parliamentary session on Monday, before the government is put to a confidence vote in parliament on Tuesday.

28 Apr 2013 - 10:44am

Hundreds of fighters going to Syria ‘a serious threat’ to EU

EU anti-terror chief warns of threat posed by Europeans fighting in Syria. Photo: AFP

The departure of hundreds of young Europeans to fight in Syria poses “a serious threat” to Europe’s security, the EU’s anti-terror chief Gilles de Kerchove said on Thursday.

EU citizens were heading “in the hundreds” to Syria which was drawing foreign fighters “in the thousands if we aggregate with those leaving from the Balkans and North Africa,” he said.

26 Apr 2013 - 8:41pm

Syria air strikes kill 20 people including civilians, activists say

Smoke rises from Sheikh Saeed on the Airport Road near Aleppo city. Forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad began military operations towards Sheikh Saeed to pave the way for their troops to enter. Photo: Reuters

President Bashar al-Assad’s air force has been one of his biggest assets in the two-year-old civil war and he has used warplanes and helicopters to try to check rebel advances, although the regime also frequently hits civilian areas.

14 Apr 2013 - 10:30am

Top Syrian general defects to rebel side

Mohammed Khallouf.

The defection of Brigadier General Mohammed Nour Ezzedeen Khallouf comes a day after the rebels' top military commander again called for members of the armed forces to join the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, now entering its third year.

18 Mar 2013 - 4:03am