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U.S. may close embassy in Syria as violence mounts

WASHINGTON — The United States is considering closing its embassy in Damascus over increasing safety concerns as the death toll mounts in the Syrian regime’s crackdown on protests, US officials said Friday. “We are considering closing the embassy due to the deteriorating security situation in Syria, and our increasing concern…

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,…

Qatar emir says he favors Arab force in Syria

Qatar favours sending Arab forces into Syria to stop the deadly 10-month crackdown on dissent as the Arab League said Saturday it will reassess its heavily criticised observer mission there. The emir of Qatar, in an interview with US network CBS to air Sunday, says he favours dispatching Arab troops to Syria to “stop the…

Syria’s First Lady falling from grace

Not so long ago, she was the darling of the international press, described as a “rose in the desert” and “a ray of light in a country full of shadow zones.” But today, Syria’s First Lady is being likened to a modern-day Marie-Antoinette, drawing criticism for staying mum on a…

Thousands attend funerals of Damascus blast victims

Thousands of people on Saturday attended prayers in memory of the 44 people killed by suicide bombers in Syria’s capital as charge and counter-charge swirled over who was behind the attacks. The funeral prayers, at Damascus’s central Omayyad Mosque, came as an Arab League delegation met Foreign Minister Walid Muallem…

44 dead in Damascus suicide bombings

Suicide bombers hit two security service bases in Damascus on Friday, killing 44 people, in attacks the regime blamed on Al-Qaedabut which the opposition said were the work of the regime itself. The attacks were the first against the powerful security services in the heart of the capital since an uprising against President Bashar…

Syria opposition urges UN action over ‘massacres’

The opposition Syrian National Council on Wednesday urged theUN Security Council and Arab League to hold emergency meetings after “massacres” carried out by regime forces. Reacting to reports this week of the killing of hundreds of civilians, the opposition bloc called for an “emergency UN Security Council session to discuss the regime’s massacres in…

Syria to allow Arab League monitors to observe cease fire with protesters

Syria on Monday pledged full cooperation with the Arab League after it finally agreed to allow an observer mission to monitor a deal to end nine months of bloodshed, in a move dismissed by the opposition. Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi said an advance team of observers would head to…

Iraq to launch mediation to end Syria crisis

DAMASCUS — Iraq’s foreign minister will hold talks with the Damascus regime and opposition groups to try to end months of unrest, as deadly clashes raged Sunday between deserters and regular troops. A senior Omani government official meanwhile said the Arab League was “optimistic” that by Monday Syria will sign…

UN estimates over 5,000 dead in Syria crackdown

Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad killed at least 13 people on Tuesday, reports said after the UN estimated more than 5,000 have died in a nine-month crackdown on dissent. UN rights chief Navi Pillay gave the latest death toll — amounting to a jump of 1,000 in less than…

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