Syria’s Assad says ousted Baathists made mistakes

President Bashar al-Assad. Photo: AFP

Ruling party leaders removed in a reshuffle this week had made mistakes while in office, Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad told the Baath party’s mouthpiece in an interview published on Thursday.

Thursday, 11 July, 2013, 7:07pm

More than 100,000 killed in Syrian war, says human rights group

 President Bashar Assad. Photo: AP

More than 100,000 people have been killed since the start of Syria’s conflict over two years ago, an activist group said on Wednesday.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has been tracking the death toll in the conflict through a network of activists in Syria, released its death toll at a time when hopes for a negotiated settlement to end the civil war fade.

26 Jun 2013 - 7:14pm

Kerry seeks to coordinate aid to Syrian rebels

John Kerry. Photo: AFP

Washington wants Western and Arab allies to commit to directing all aid to Syrian rebels through the Western-backed Supreme Military Council, a senior US official said before talks in Qatar on Saturday, to try to reduce the power of jihadi groups.

22 Jun 2013 - 5:12pm

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.

17 Jun 2013 - 4:23am 1 comment

Al-Qaeda's Iraq head, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, defiant over Syria bid

Al-Qaeda's global leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri

The leader of al-Qaeda's Iraq arm defiantly has rejected an order from the terror network's central command to stop claiming control over the organisation's Syria affiliate, according to a message purportedly from him that was posted online.

17 Jun 2013 - 5:32am

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 to increase military support to Syria rebels

Syrian rebel fighters belonging to the "Martyrs of Maaret al-Numan" . President Barack Obama has authorised sending US weapons to Syrian rebels for the first time. Photo: AFP

President Barack Obama has authorised sending US weapons to Syrian rebels for the first time, a US official said on Thursday after the White House said it has proof that the Syrian government had used chemical weapons against opposition forces fighting to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad.

14 Jun 2013 - 11:34am 1 comment

Lebanon issues warning after Syria helicopter attack

Members of the free Syrian Army preparing their weapons, in the neighborhood of al-Amerieh in Aleppo, Syria. Photo: AP

Lebanon’s army warned on Wednesday it will hit back against any new attacks from Syria after a helicopter gunship struck an eastern town, ratcheting up tensions amid US-British talks on the conflict.

13 Jun 2013 - 11:34am

Syrian army pounds Aleppo airbase

Syria rebels fighters sitting together in a building close to the northern city of Aleppo. Syria’s army launched multiple attacks on rebels on Tuesday in Aleppo. Photo: AFP

Syria’s army launched multiple attacks on rebel positions on Tuesday in the northern province of Aleppo, including insurgent-held areas of a key airbase, a monitoring group said.

11 Jun 2013 - 4:15pm

Syrian child execution by jihadist rebels puts militant justice in spotlight

People run for cover after what activists said was shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Raqqa province, eastern Syria. Photo: Reuters

Photographs of the bloodied face of a 14-year-old boy executed in front of his parents by jihadist rebels in northern Syria have thrown into stark relief the sometimes extreme justice meted out in rebel-held areas.

11 Jun 2013 - 11:01am 2 comments

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

UN seeks fresh Golan troops after Austria pullout

Austria's Defence Minister Gerald Klug during a news conference in Vienna. Austria will withdraw its peacekeepers from the U.N. monitoring force on the Golan Heights. Photo: Reuters

The UN force in the Golan Heights was thrown into disarray on Thursday after Austria withdrew its troops and two peacekeepers were injured as Syrian government and rebel fighters battled for a border crossing.

Peacekeepers from the Philippines and India were wounded by mortar shrapnel as the Syrians fought for the strategic crossing, according to diplomats.

7 Jun 2013 - 10:59am

US condemns Hezbollah-backed assault on Syrian town

President Bashar al-Assad. Photo: AP

The United States on Wednesday condemned a Hezbollah-backed assault on the town of Qusayr, as France kept up the pressure for action over what it said was the regime’s use of sarin gas.

The condemnation came as efforts to organise a peace conference in Geneva between the warring sides stalled, with diplomats blaming differences over who could take part.

6 Jun 2013 - 2:02pm

Syrian army in full control of Qusayr region, says state TV

A Syrian army soldier exits his tank in the southwestern neighborhood of the Syrian city of Qusayr. Photo: AFP

Syria’s army has overrun the strategic town of Qusayr, state media said on Wednesday, after a blistering offensive spearheaded by thousands of fighters from Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement.

5 Jun 2013 - 2:36pm

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