This is a 2013 blog on Syria - for the latest updates from Reuters please go to our current live blog at http://live.reuters.com/Event/The_battle_for_Syria
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Syrian TV says Israeli planes attacked Damascus research centre
LONDON, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Israeli warplanes attacked a research centre in Damascus province at dawn on Wednesday, Syrian television said.
Sources told Reuters earlier that Israeli jets bombed a convoy on Syria's border with Lebanon on Wednesday, apparently targeting weapons destined for Hezbollah. Damascus province includes much of the border with Lebanon.
(Reporting By Dominic Evans; Writing by Jason Webb)
The World Food Programme (WFP) says it needs around US $260 million to fund its operations in Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Iraq and Egypt. On January 30, it released video footage of its operations in Syria and Jordan. WFP says it reaches 1.5 million people with food assistance inside Syria. Some 250,000 people receive WFP food in Homs and surrounding areas – it mainly to displaced people.
UN says unable to verify Syria complaint about Israeli planes
UNITED NATIONS, Jan 31 (Reuters) - U.N. peacekeepers in a demilitarized zone between Syria and Israel were unable to verify a Syrian complaint that Israeli planes had flown over the Golan Heights area, a spokesman for U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Thursday.
"UNDOF (the peacekeeping mission) did not observe any planes flying over the area of separation and therefore was not able to confirm the incident. UNDOF also reported bad weather conditions," U.N. spokesman Eduardo del Buey told reporters.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Sandra Maler)
A truck damaged after what activists said was shelling by forces loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad is seen in Binsh near Idlib January 30, 2013, in this picture provided by Shaam News Network. REUTERS/Muhammad Najdet Qadour/Shaam News Network/Handout
Ahmadinejad says war not solution in Syria
BEIRUT, Feb 4 (Reuters) - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said on Monday that Syria's crisis could not be solved by military means and he called for a national accord leading to elections.
"War is not the solution...A government that rules through war - its work will be very difficult. A sectarian war should not be launched in Syria," he told Al Mayadeen television.
"We believe that (deciding) whoever stays or goes is the right of the Syrian people. How can we interfere in that? We must strive to achieve national understanding, and free elections."
(Reporting by Mariam Karouny and Zahra Hosseinian; Editing by Angus MacSwan)
EU agrees to allow some non-lethal aid for Syrian opposition
BRUSSELS, Feb 28 (Reuters) - The European Union said it amended sanctions on Syria on Thursday to permit the supply of armoured vehicles, non-lethal military equipment and technical aid to the Syrian opposition, provided they were intended to protect civilians.
The measure, adopted by EU governments, extends EU sanctions on Syria until June 1 and responds to pressure from Britain and others to ease the EU arms embargo to help opponents of President Bashar al-Assad.
(Reporting by Adrian Croft; editing by Barbara Lewis)
Video uploaded by a media activist group associated with the city of Raqqa shows a statue of former Syrian president Hafez Assad toppled in the city. The video was posted as insurgents claimed the capture of the provincial capital, on the Euphrates River, in northern Syria. The video was posted to an associated Facebook page with images of the statue coming down.
Another video showing Hafez Assad statue toppled.
Source: YouTube/raqqa U.M.C
Rebels holding UN team investigated for past executions
BEIRUT, March 6 (Reuters) - Human Rights Watch said it was investigating the same rebel brigade that seized 20 United Nations peacekeepers on Wednesday for executing captured Syrian soldiers earlier this week.
Peter Bouckaert of the human rights monitoring group told Reuters it was investigating the involvement of the "Martyrs of Yarmouk" brigade in a videotaped execution of detained Syrian soldiers posted on the Internet on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Oliver Holmes; Editing by Michael Roddy)
Syrian forces fire chemical weapons at rebels, opposition says
AMMAN, March 25 (Reuters) - Syrian opposition campaigners said on Monday Syrian forces fired what they said were chemical weapons from multiple rocket launchers at rebels surrounding an army base in the town of Adra on the outskirts of Damascus, killing two fighters and wounding 23.
"Doctors are describing the chemical weapon used as phosphorus that hits the nervous system and causes imbalance and loss of consciousness. The two fighters were very close to where the rockets exploded and they died swiftly. The rest are being treated with Atropine," said Mohammad al-Doumani, an activist in the nearby town of Douma, where the wounded were transported.
There was no independent confirmation of the attack, which follows the death of 26 people in a rocket attack near the city of Aleppo last week. The authorities and rebels accused each other of firing a missile carrying chemicals there.
(Reporting by Khaled Yacoub Oweis, Amman newsroom)
Turkish military police fire teargas at protesting Syrian refugees, many hurt
BEIRUT, March 27 (Reuters) - Turkish military police fired teargas at Syrian refugees protesting against living conditions in their camp on Wednesday, wounding many, residents of the camp said.
Residents of the Suleiman Shah camp in Akcakale, a Turkish town near the Syrian border, said young men started a large demonstration after a faulty electrical supply outlet set fire to a tent earlier that day.
Three brothers aged 7, 18 and 19 were injured in the tent fire, Turkish officials said. Camp residents said one of the brothers had died.
(Reporting by Erika Solomon; Editing by Louise Ireland)
Syria's Nusra Front pledges allegiance to Qaeda's Zawahri-audio tape
BEIRUT, April 10 (Reuters) - Syria's al-Nusra Front formally pledged allegiance to al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri, according to an audio tape posted online on Wednesday.
Abu Mohammad al-Golani, leader of the Syrian group, said: "The sons of Nusra Front renew their pledge (of allegiance) to the Sheikh of Jihad Ayman al-Zawahri and declare obedience."
(Reporting by Mariam Karouny; Editing by Pravin Char)
Kerry tells Putin U.S., Russia share common interests in Syria
MOSCOW, May 7 (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday the United States and Russia share common interests in Syria, including promoting regional stability and preventing the spread of extremism.
At the start of a meeting in the Kremlin, Kerry told Putin that U.S. President Barack Obama believed the two nations can cooperate on Syria, Iran, North Korea and economic issues.
(Reporting by Arshad Mohammed adn Ale4xei Anishchuk, Writing by Steve Gutterman; Editing by Timothy Heritage)
WASHINGTON U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday approved sending American troops to bolster Saudi Arabia's air and missile defenses after the largest-ever attack on the kingdom's oil facilities, which Washington has squarely blamed on Iran. | Video