U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's forces used chemical weapons on a small scale against rebel fighters in Syria's civil war, the White House said on Thursday.
Austria began the withdrawal of its 380 soldiers from the United Nations peacekeeping force on the Golan Heights.
Brush fires from stray mortar bombs were still ablaze on the occupied Golan Heights on Friday as Israeli farmers returned to their fields, a day after battles in Syria's civil war reached a U.N.-manned border crossing.
Syrian forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad fought off an attempt by rebels to seize the sole crossing between Syria and Israel on Thursday, while army troops sought to ram home strategic gains further to the north.
Syrian President Bashar Assad said Russia has delivered an advanced air defense system to his civil war-torn country.
Syria fired on and damaged an Israeli army jeep, and Israel retaliated with a missile attack, the Israeli military said.
A mortar shell fired from Syria landed in the Golan Heights in Israel for the second straight day.
Syria's government and rebels accused each other of launching a deadly chemical attack near the northern city of Aleppo on Tuesday in what would, if confirmed, be the first use of such weapons in the two-year conflict.
Syrian rebels holding 21 U.N. peacekeepers near the Israel's Golan Heights in southern Syria said on Friday no talks were under way to free the men and gave no indication that they would be released soon.
Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak called on Wednesday for tougher world action against Bashar al-Assad, saying he doubted the Syrian president "lost an hour's sleep" over the expulsion of his envoys from several capitals after the Houla massacre.
The United Nations hopes to get permission from the Syrian government in coming days to send more aid workers to the country to help at least one million people in need of urgent assistance, a top U.N. humanitarian official said on Friday.
Syrian artillery pounded rebel-held areas of Homs as President Bashar al-Assad's government announced that voters had overwhelmingly approved a new constitution in a referendum derided as a sham by his critics at home and abroad.
Former Libyan leader Muammar Gahdafi died of wounds suffered on Thursday as fighters battling to complete an eight-month-old uprising against his rule overran his hometown Sirte, Libya's interim rulers said.
Think kiwis and kumquats. While it is true that they are both fruits, the similarities between them end right about there. So, too, the similarities between Libya and Syria.
Libyan rebels appeared to be in control of most of Tripoli, the Pentagon said on Tuesday, adding that it was sticking to its assessment that leader Muammar Gadhafi had not left the country.
Hundreds of rebel fighters on Tuesday looted an armory in part of the compound of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi that they had overrun, seizing new sniper rifles in plastic cases, a Reuters witness said.
Syrian security forces opened fire on demonstrations Friday in the capital Damascus and the coastal city of Latakia - the heartland the ruling elite - wounding at least five people as thousands took to the streets in several places across the country, witnesses said.
U.S. officials say the Obama administration has decided to give the Libyan opposition $25 million in non-military assistance after weeks of assessing their capabilities and intentions. The officials said Wednesday that Congress was briefed on the plan on Tuesday.
Libya declared a ceasefire in the country and will comply with a United Nations resolution passed overnight, Libyan Foreign Minister Moussa Koussa said on Friday. The conciliatory message was in sharp contrast to comments made by Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi just before the UN vote, in which he said that forces loyal to him would mercilessly attack rebels.