Latest in Highlight

Advertising Area





Latest in


On the brink: Can non-violence bring Syria back?

By Michael Nagler and Stephanie Van Hook PETALUMA, California: When the Arab Spring was initiated by Mohamed Bouazizi’s self-immolation in Tunisia, it ignited longings for freedom throughout the region; more than that, it took hold of the creative imaginations of non-violent activists and millions of dissatisfied individuals around the world. Has this hope ground to …

DNE

INTERVIEW: Turkish tourism feels ripples of Arab Spring

By Lin Noueihed / Reuters DJERBA: Thirteen months of unrest in Syria have hurt tourism in neighboring Turkey, which expects visitor numbers to remain stable in 2012 at more than 30 million, Turkish Tourism Minister Ertugrul Gunay said on Monday. Speaking to Reuters on the sidelines of a Mediterranean tourism conference in Tunisia, Gunay said …

DNE

Turkey PM accuses Damascus of holding two journalists

By AFP ANKARA: Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Tuesday called on the Damascus regime to account for the fate of two Turkish journalists missing in neighboring Syria since March. “The two Turkish journalists are still in the hands of Syrians, in a prisoner position,” Erdogan told lawmakers from his ruling Justice and Development Party …

DNE

Activists: Syrian troops widen shelling attacks

By Karin Laub / AP BEIRUT: The Syrian regime widened shelling attacks on opposition strongholds Tuesday, activists said, targeting a second town in a new sign that a UN-brokered cease-fire is quickly unraveling despite the presence of foreign observers. The truce is part of an international plan to launch talks between President Bashar Assad’s regime …

DNE

Shelling in Syria as UN monitors begin mission

By Zeina Karam / AP BEIRUT: An advance team of UN observers was negotiating the ground rules with Syrian authorities Monday for monitoring the country’s 5-day-old cease-fire, which appeared to be rapidly unraveling as regime forces pounded the opposition stronghold of Homs with artillery shells and mortars, activists said. Even though the overall level of violence …

DNE

Syrian truce marred as Assad forces kill four

By Dominic Evans / Reuters BEIRUT: Syrian forces loyal to President Bashar Al-Assad killed at least four people as the opposition tried to stage protests after Friday prayers, marring a ceasefire brokered by UN-Arab League peace envoy Kofi Annan. Syrians took to the streets across the country in small demonstrations after prayers, trusting that the truce, …

DNE

Syria truce takes shaky hold, Annan presses Syria

By Mariam Karouny and Dominic Evans /Reuters BEIRUT: Syrian troops held their fire on Thursday after a U.N.-backed ceasefire deadline passed, giving respite to rebellious towns that have suffered heavy bombardments, but international envoy Kofi Annan pressed Damascus to pull its forces back entirely. “Syria is apparently experiencing a rare moment of calm on the ground,” …

DNE

Syrian military on offensive before truce deadline

By Oliver Holmes and Douglas Hamilton / Reuters BEIRUT: Syria has assured the United Nations it will respect a ceasefire with rebels due to take effect in less than 24 hours, peace envoy Kofi Annan said on Wednesday, but President Bashar Al-Assad’s forces kept up attacks in several cities. Western powers have scorned Assad’s pledges, but …

DNE

Syria violence endangers Annan’s ceasefire deadline

By Oliver Holmes / Reuters BEIRUT: Syrian troops bombarded two restive cities on Tuesday, pursuing an assault on President Bashar Al-Assad’s foes instead of halting the use of big guns and leaving towns as promised under an international peace plan that now looks in peril. The opposition Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported heavy shelling in …

DNE

Pope, in Easter message, backs Syria peace plan

By Philip Pullella / Reuters VATICAN CITY: A fatigued-looking Pope Benedict threw his weight behind a United Nations plan to end bloodshed in Syria in his Easter Sunday message, calling for “an immediate commitment” to peace efforts there. The 84-year-old pope gave a shorter-than-usual blessing from the central balcony of St Peter’s Basilica after an outdoor …

DNE

Clashes as Syrian government claims troop pullout

By Zeina Karam / AP BEIRUT: Loud explosions reverberated across the central Syrian city of Homs and clashes were reported in several areas across the country Wednesday, just hours after the government said it has started to withdraw troops from some cities in compliance with an international cease-fire plan. Activists said a 50-year-old man and his …

DNE

Annan says Syria agrees to April 10 peace deadline

By Louis Charbonneau /Reuters UNITED NATIONS: Kofi Annan asked the UN Security Council to back an April 10 deadline for partial implementation of his peace plan for Syria, telling its members that Syria had agreed to the date, diplomats said on Monday. The UN-Arab League peace envoy told the council behind closed doors that troops would …

DNE

Syria forces hit rebel bastions despite peace moves

By AFP DAMASCUS: President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime pressed its deadly campaign to crush dissent on Monday, reportedly pounding northern rebel strongholds as it brushed off a “Friends of Syria” meeting as a failure. An explosion ripped through central Damascus on Monday morning, injuring several people and damaging shops near a police station, Syrian television and …

DNE

Islamists find foothold in Syria revolt

By Erika Solomon /Reuters BEIRUT: Sheikh Abu Abdullah Zahed, a Lebanese Muslim cleric with influence amongst radical youth, is part of a growing effort to push the uprising in Syria towards militant Islam. Hardline Sunni Muslims in Lebanon are maneuvering for influence over Syrians across the border who have spent the last year fighting to topple …

DNE

Spillover from the Syrian uprising: three scenarios

By Akeel Abbas How the uprising in Syria will effect Iraq depends largely on how events unfold in Syria — and on whom you ask in Iraq. So far, one sure effect of the Syrian uprising on Iraq has been its “clarifying” quality on the nature of politics in the new Iraq. Prior to the uprising, …

DNE

Arab ministers focus talks on Syria crisis

By Prashant Rao /  AFP Baghdad: Arab foreign ministers were meeting in Baghdad Wednesday ahead of a crucial summit to thrash out the Syrian crisis after Damascus reportedly accepted Kofi Annan’s plan to end the year-long bloodshed. The gathering in the Iraqi capital comes as monitors reported that Syrian forces stormed the central Syria town of …

DNE

Turkey, Syria, Iraq and the Kurdish issue

By Soli Ozel Syria, as always, is more than just Syria. The outcome of the deepening civil war or the violent fragmentation of the country will have a bearing on developments in the region, particularly for neighboring states. The strategies chosen by the regime to fight off the challenge against it have intensified sectarian divisions. A …

DNE

Saving the Syrians

By Gareth Evans CANBERRA: Despite the United Nations Security Council’s belated endorsement of UN Special Envoy Kofi Annan’s peacemaking mission in Syria, confidence that Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad will cooperate in any serious or sustained way remains low, and calls for external military intervention continue. As Syria’s crisis goes from bad to worse, those urging armed …

DNE

Syria protesters urge military intervention

By AFP DAMASCUS: Anti-regime protesters called on Friday for foreign military intervention in Syria, as UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan prepared to brief a divided UN Security Council on his peace efforts. Ahead of UN participation in a Syrian-led humanitarian mission to protest cities at the weekend, Annan was to give a videoconference briefing to …

DNE

Syrians have a long memory

By Murhaf Jouejati Assuming that the Assad regime is about to collapse — many indications support this assumption — Russian-Syrian relations are set to go south in the post-Assad era. This conclusion is based on what one Syrian opposition leader who prefers to remain anonymous described as “outrageous” Russian behavior throughout the Syrian uprising that began …

DNE

The Syrian crisis and its implications for Turkish-Russian relations

By Ziya Meral Last week, during his weekly speech to the Justice and Development Party (AKP) group in the Turkish parliament, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan repeated his strong statements on Syria. While his call for humanitarian corridors to bring aid to Syrian people captured international attention, his talk also included an indirect yet equally strong …

DNE

Syria forces attack town; Annan receives Assad response

By Khaled Yacoub Oweis / Reuters AMMAN: Heavily armed forces loyal to President Bashar Al-Assad pounded the southern city of Deraa with anti-aircraft fire on Wednesday, reasserting control over rebel strongholds a year after the start of the Syrian revolt. On the diplomatic front, the UN-Arab League envoy Kofi Annan was considering Damascus’s response to “concrete …

DNE

Arab League: Syria commits crimes against humanity

By Agencies CAIRO: The Arab League chief said the Syrian regime’s killing of civilians amounts to crimes against humanity and called for an international inquiry. Nabil Al-Araby said Tuesday that it would not be ethical or moral to allow those behind the killings in the cities of Homs and Idlib to get away with their …

DNE

Brotherhood forms human chain for Syria in Alexandria

By Abdel Rahman Youssef ALEXANDRIA: Hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood members formed human chains across the Corniche Monday in support of the Syrian revolution. About 4,000 answered the call made by the Brotherhood, said Ibrahim El-Sayed, member of the group’s administrative office in Alexandria and the protest’s coordinator. “This is to support our brothers in Syria in …

DNE

Russia, Arabs call for end to Syria violence

By AFP CAIRO: Arab and Russian foreign ministers meeting in Cairo on Saturday called for an end to the violence in Syria “whatever its source,” as they try to reach common ground on ways to resolve the deadly conflict. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told reporters after a meeting at the Arab League headquarters on …

DNE

Syria’s Assad meets peace envoy Annan again

By Dominic Evans and Alistair Lyon / Reuters BEIRUT: Former United Nations chief Kofi Annan, on a difficult peace mission to Syria, held a second day of talks with President Bashar Al-Assad on Sunday as Syrian forces pursued a drive to crush rebel bastions in the northwest. A UN spokesman said the two men had resumed …

DNE

Syria activists fear new Baba Amr on Annan visit eve

By AFP DAMASCUS: Syrian activists voiced growing fears on Friday of a major assault like the one that devastated the Homs neighborhood of Baba Amr, on the eve of a first visit by new international envoy Kofi Annan. Troop reinforcements backed by tanks were massing in the northwestern province of Idlib, close to the Turkish …

DNE

Annan warns more militarization will worsen Syria crisis

By Samer Al-Atrush /AFP CAIRO: United Nations and Arab League special envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan, warned Thursday that further militarization in Syria will worsen a conflict there that has left thousands dead in a year. The former UN chief said he feared any miscalculation on the issue risked destabilizing the region. “I believe further militarization …

DNE

High-level meetings Monday on Syria and Mideast

By AP UNITED NATIONS: High-level meetings on Syria and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are expected to take place Monday on the sidelines of a ministerial meeting of the UN Security Council on the challenges from the “Arab Spring.” British Foreign Secretary William Hague, whose country holds the council presidency this month, invited foreign ministers from the …

DNE

UN sends aid chief to Syria as Obama rejects military force

DAMASCUS: The UN’s humanitarian chief heads for Syria Wednesday to urge the regime to let aid into devastated protest cities, with US President Barack Obama insisting military intervention would be a “mistake”. The five major UN powers discussed on Tuesday new efforts to press for a halt to the violence in Syria, which Obama called …

DNE