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Syria forces ‘kill 58 civilians,’ Red Cross calls for truce

DAMASCUS — Syrian forces killed 58 civilians Tuesday as they blitzed the city of Homs and a village in Idlib province, monitors said, as the Red Cross sought a truce to deliver aid and the UN demanded access for humanitarian workers. The latest killings came as Russia, a key ally…

Syria intervention ‘very difficult’: top U.S. general

WASHINGTON — The top US military officer warned Sunday that intervention in Syria would be “very difficult” and said it would be “premature” to arm the besieged country’s opposition movement. General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, told CNN that Syria was the focus of competing…

Syria forces fire on funeral, China urges bloodshed end

Security forces shot dead a mourner at a huge funeral on Saturday for demonstrators killed in rare protests in the Syrian capital, as a senior Chinese envoy issued a plea for the bloodshed to end. The Damascus funerals were for four people, two of them teenagers, killed when security forces…

New York Times reporter Anthony Shadid dies in Syria

(Reuters) – Pulitzer-prize winning New York Times foreign correspondent Anthony Shadid died on Thursday in Syria of an apparent asthma attack, the newspaper reported. Shadid, 43, was on a reporting assignment in eastern Syria when he died, according to an obituary posted on the Times web site. It said Shadid…

U.S. says Syrian referendum plan is ‘laughable’

WASHINGTON — The United States Wednesday dismissed Syria’s call for a referendum on a new constitution, which critics see as a move designed to ease global outrage over the government’s bloody crackdown. “It’s actually quite laughable — it makes a mockery of the Syrian revolution,” White House spokesman Jay Carney…

Assad sets Syria vote to end Baath rule

DAMASCUS — Syria’s president decreed a vote this month on a new constitution that would effectively end nearly 50 years of single party rule, state media said, as troops reportedly stormed centres of dissent. A day after flatly rejecting UN allegations of crimes against humanity, Bashar al-Assad called the ballot…

Syria resumes shelling after rejecting peace force

Regime forces resumed their assault on the Syrian protest city of Homs on Monday, activists said, after Damascus rejected an Arab plan to send a peacekeeping force to the unrest-hit country. Shortly before sunrise, the army launched mortars into Baba Amr, a rebel stronghold in the central city, as forces…

Arab ministers to meet over escalating Syria crisis

Arab League foreign ministers will meet on Sunday in Cairo to discuss their next move over the Syrian crisis with the bloodshed showing no signs of abating, even spilling over into Lebanon. The Syrian National Council (SNC) said Arab recognition of the opposition umbrella group was imminent after Syrian authorities…

Powerful car bombs rip through Syrian town

Two powerful car bombs targeting security posts ripped through Syria’s second city of Aleppo on Friday, killing at least 25 people and wounding 175, even as tanks surged into battered protest hub Homs. State television said “armed terrorist groups” carried out the attacks, the first in Aleppo since the outbreak…

‘God help us’: appeal from Syria’s Homs

BEIRUT — Residents of Homs on Monday described scenes of panic and carnage in the city of central Syria undergoing a fierce assault by government troops, urging outside powers to intervene to halt the bloodshed. “What is happening is indescribable,” said Wael, a resident reached by telephone. “Security forces have…

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