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Obama approves non-lethal aid to Syrian rebels

US President Barack Obama has approved non-lethal US aid, including communications equipment and medicines for Syria’s rebels, and plans to increase the package over time, a US official said Friday. The administration had previously indicated it would take such a step, in line with an initiative by the international “Friends…

Syria bolsters assault on rebels despite peace plan

Fierce clashes erupted Tuesday as Syria’s regime sent reinforcements into rebel areas and the West sought to warnDamascus of UN action unless it sticks to an agreement to pull back its armour. Peace envoy Kofi Annan on Monday told the UN Security Councilthat President Bashar al-Assad had agreed to “immediately” start pulling back his forces and complete…

Obama pledges ‘non-lethal’ aid for Syria rebels

MOSCOW — US President Barack Obama pledged Sunday to send “non-lethal” aid to the Syrian rebels while peace envoy Kofi Annan piled diplomatic pressure on the regime by seeking the backing of its ally Russia. The announcement was the most overt show of US support for the rebels to date…

U.S. weighs ‘non-lethal’ aid to Syria rebels

WASHINGTON — The United States is looking at delivering non-lethal aid to Syria’s rebels, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Wednesday, hinting at the first direct US assistance to forces seeking President Bashar al-Assad’s downfall. While the United States is outraged at the killing of civilians it does not believe in…

Syrian rebels ‘in tactical pull out of Baba Amr’

Syrian rebels “tactically” pulled out of the Homs neighbourhood of Baba Amr Thursday after nearly two days of an all-out assault by forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad, the head of the Free Syrian Army said. Rebels “have pulled out tactically in order to protect the remaining civilians,” Colonel Riyadh…

Lieberman: Time for U.S. to arm ‘brave’ Syrian rebels

Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) said Sunday that the United States should provide medical aid, training and arms to those seeking to oust President Bashar al-Assad. “The reality on the ground is since the U.N. resolution was vetoed by Russian and Iran [sic], the Assad government has begun to kill its…

U.S. closes Syria embassy, pulls out all staff

The United States closed its embassy in Syria and pulled out remaining staff on Monday over serious security concerns as President Bashar al-Assad’s regime intensified its bloody crackdown. US President Barack Obama stressed it was important to resolve the ongoing conflict diplomatically, framing it as very different from the situation…

Violence keeps Syria on edge, Arab mission in doubt

AMMAN (Reuters) – Scattered violence broke out on Friday in Syria, where Arab peace monitors have completed a month-long mission, ahead of Muslim prayers that are often followed by demonstrations for and against President Bashar al-Assad. Security forces prevented prayers at the Omari mosque in the southern town of Deraa,…

Obama decries Syria violence

WASHINGTON — US President Barack Obama on Tuesday decried continued and “unacceptable” levels of violence in Syria and pledged to redouble international efforts to force President Bashar al-Assad to step down. Obama also thanked King Abdullah II of Jordan in the Oval Office for being the first Arab leader to…

Clinton to meet Syrian opposition in Switzerland: officials

VILNIUS — US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will meet Syrian dissidents in Switzerland on Tuesday, officials said, as Washington sees Damascus increasingly isolated over its crushing of pro-democracy protests. A State Department official told reporters on condition of anonymity Monday that Clinton will meet with seven political opponents of…

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