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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…

25 killed in Syria as troops pound Homs

Syrian forces on Monday pounded the powderkeg city of Homs with rockets and mortars, killing 25 people and wounding scores amid outrage over a Russia-China veto of a UN resolution to stop the violence. In Homs, upwards of 17 civilians were killed and dozens wounded as security forces renewed their…

China rejects U.S. accusations it protects Syrian regime

China Monday rejected US accusations that Beijing and Moscow were responsible for protecting the Syrian regime, after they vetoed a UN resolution condemning Damascus for its crackdown on protests. “China does not accept the accusations” of the United States on the Syrian veto, foreign ministry spokesman Liu Weimin told reporters.…

Graphic: Syrian boy with his jaw blown off

Few videos could highlight the tenuous situation in Syria as one published Sunday afternoon showing a boy with his jaw completely blown off. The video also contains other children with their limbs removed during Syrian President Bashar Assad’s violent crackdown on dissent. The condition of the boy is unclear at…

Army attacks Syria’s Homs, 200 killed: activists

The Syrian army unleashed a massive attack on the city of Homs early Saturday, bombing the protest hub and killing at least 260 people in a bloody “massacre”, activists and witnesses said. The Syrian government denied involvement in the violence, blaming “armed gunmen”, as television stations showed images of bodies…

Sen. Lugar wary of aiding Syrian opposition

WASHINGTON — Republican US Senator Dick Lugar, one of his party’s elder statesmen on foreign policy, cautioned Tuesday against providing US aid to Syria’s opposition “at this point.” “I think for the time being we should back our ambassador, who I think is doing a great job of witnessing what…

Arabs suspend observer mission, Syria deaths spike

The Arab League suspended its controversial observer mission in Syria on Saturday as the bloodshed in a crackdown on anti-regime protests spiked, with the death toll topping 210 in four days. The announcement came as the opposition Syrian National Council said its leader would travel to New York to press…

Gulf states pull observers out of Syria

Gulf states on Tuesday followed Saudi Arabia’s lead in pulling their observers out of Syria, while urging the UN Security Council to pile pressure on Damascus to end its crackdown on dissent. “Gulf Cooperation Council states have decided to follow Saudi Arabia’s decision to pull out its observers from the Arab League mission in Syria,” the…

Syria rejects Arab League call for power change

Syria on Monday rejected an Arab League plan for President Bashar al-Assad to transfer power to his deputy, calling the initiative a “flagrant interference,” state TV quoted an official as saying. “Syria rejects the decisions taken which are outside an Arab working plan, and considers them an attack on its…

Arab League calls on Syria’s Assad to step aside for sake of peace

The Arab League on Sunday asked the UN to support a new plan for resolving the crisis in Syria that sees President Bashar al-Assad transferring power to his deputy and a government of national unity within two months. Assad should “delegate powers to the vice president to liaise with a…

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