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Gulf leaders demand end to Syrian bloodshed

Gulf Arab states on Saturday turned up the heat on Damascus, joining a growing chorus of pressure after Syrian security forces shot dead at least 22 people as tens of thousands staged anti-regime protests. The six-member Gulf Cooperation Council called for an “immediate end to violence… and bloodshed.” Its statement…

Syria places ‘severe’ constraints on diplomats: US

The United States has urged US citizens to depart Syria “immediately,” and noted that the Damascus government has placed “severe” constraints on the travel of US diplomats in the country. The travel warning, an update to an April 25 order for US embassy staff’s family members and some non-emergency personnel…

Syria’s Assad decrees multi-party system

President Bashar al-Assad on Thursday issued a decree authorising a multi-party political system in Syria, the official SANA news agency reported. “Assad on Thursday proclaimed a presidential decree on the law of the parties,” SANA reported. The decree allows political parties to be established and to function alongside the Baath party, in power since 1963…

UN Syria talks stumble amid pressure on U.S.

The UN Security Council meets again Wednesday as it struggles over how to respond to the Syria crisis Russia warns is veering toward civil war, amid growing pressure on the US to take a tougher line. Divisions remained among the 15 nations on the wording of any condemnation of President…

Syria dissidents ask Obama to demand Assad resign

Syrian dissidents on Tuesday urged US President Barack Obama to call on Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad to quit power and pressed for UN sanctions over the regime’s deadly crackdown on protests. The demands — presented in a first meeting between US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and members of Syria’s…

Syrian army kills 136 in crackdown: activists

Syrian forces killed nearly 140 people including at least 100 when the army stormed the flashpoint protest city of Hama, activists said, prompting calls for emergency Security Council talks. Activists said it was one of the deadliest days in Syria since demonstrators first took to the streets on March 15…

Syrians mark bleak Ramadan after 80 killed in Hama

AMMAN (Reuters) – Syrians began the Muslim Ramadan fast in somber mood on Monday after troops stormed into Hama, scene of a 1982 massacre, in one of the bloodiest days in a five-month-old uprising against President Bashar al-Assad. Rights activists said 80 civilians were killed in Sunday’s tank-backed assault on…

United States denounces Syria’s army as ‘barbaric’

WASHINGTON — The United States on Monday denounced Syria’s army as “barbaric” and “reprehensible” after the latest violence, renewing its charges that President Bashar al-Assad has lost legitimacy. The State Department highlighted the death of 12-year-old boy Talhat Dalat, who human rights activists said died of his injuries on Saturday…

UN fears crimes against humanity in Syria

UN officials have said Syrian security forces may have committed crimes against humanity in their crackdown on protesters, as at least eight more civilians were killed in massive protests against President Bashar al-Assad’s rule. The UN concerns were expressed in a statement late Friday by Francis Deng, special adviser to…

Syria’s Assad vows change but not under ‘chaos’

DAMASCUS (AFP) – President Bashar al-Assad said on Monday that dialogue could lead to a new constitution and even the end of his Baath party’s monopoly on power but refused to reform Syria under “chaos.” After widespread condemnation of a brutal crackdown on anti-regime protests, the country was at a…

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