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  • At least 39 said killed and dozens wounded by Syria troops in Daraa

    April 25, 2011 | 1:58 pm

    At least 39 people were killed and 70 wounded Monday by Syrian security forces in the southern city of Daraa, pro-democracy activists said, after the army moved into the city where the current wave of protests began, and fired at protesters.

    “Bodies of the dead and wounded were seen...

  • U.S. plans sanctions on Syria in wake of brutal crackdowns

    April 25, 2011 | 8:19 am

    The Obama administration may level sanctions against Syria as punishment for President Bashar Assad’s government’s violent crackdown on protesters, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

    The U.S. is currently drafting an executive order that will empower President Obama to...

  • Death toll in Syria protests climbs to at least 25

    April 22, 2011 | 10:46 am

    Security forces shot dead at least 25 pro-democracy protesters in Syria on Friday, human rights campaigners said,  as protesters flooded into the streets after prayers in at least five major areas across the country.

    The protesters were killed in suburbs and towns surrounding...

  • Iran assisting Syria in crackdown, according to U.S. intelligence

    April 14, 2011 | 11:13 am

    Iran reportedly is providing material assistance to the Syrian government in its effort to quell protests.

    The Wall Street Journal on Thursday quoted Obama administration officials as saying that they have intelligence showing that Iran is providing the Assad regime in Syria with...

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  • Gilad: Israel faces isolation ‘no less severe than war’

    April 4, 2011 | 5:28 pm

    The chief of Israel’s diplomatic-security bureau warned this week that Israel faced an isolation “no less severe than war” should the United Nations recognize Palestine as an independent state this September.

    In remarks carried by Channel 10, General (res.) Amos Gilad said behind...

  • U.S.: Violence isn’t the answer to grievances of Syrian people

    April 1, 2011 | 3:28 pm

    The White House on Friday condemned Syria’s violent crackdown on anti-government protesters and urged Syrian President Bashar Assad to promptly take concrete steps toward meaningful reform.

    “The Syrian government has an important opportunity to be responsive to the legitimate...

  • Turkey to UN: We seized illegal Iran arms shipment en route to Syria

    March 31, 2011 | 5:03 pm

    Turkey has informed a UN Security Council panel that it seized a cache of weapons Iran was attempting to export in breach of a UN arms embargo, according to a document obtained by Reuters on Thursday.

    Security Council diplomats said the report of the seizure from an Iranian cargo...

  • Assad blames protests on ‘Israeli agenda’

    March 30, 2011 | 8:46 am

    Syrian President Bashar Assad blamed recent anti-government protests on “enemies with an Israeli agenda” during an address to the nation.

    “Our enemies work every day in an organized and public fashion to hurt Syria,” Assad said Wednesday in his first public address since...

  • N.Y. rabbi pleads guilty to money laundering

    March 29, 2011 | 3:38 pm

    A leader of New York’s Syrian Jewish community pleaded guilty to laundering money through a religious charity.

    Rabbi Saul Kassin, 79, pleaded guilty as part of a plea bargain Monday in federal court. He faces up to $250,000 in fines and could face up to five years in prison, though...

  • Unrest in Syria presents Israel with potential dangers and opportunities

    March 29, 2011 | 3:16 pm

    With the turmoil rocking the Middle East now threatening the regime in Syria, Israel faces potentially grave dangers and huge opportunities.

    The dangers are clear: The emergence of a more radical regime in Syria could mean a stronger Iran-Syria-Hezbollah axis. Iran could get direct...

  • U.S. condemns Syria’s ‘brutal repression’ of protesters

    March 29, 2011 | 2:50 pm

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton condemned the Syrian government on Tuesday for the harsh way it had responded to pro-democracy protests, while the State Department spokesman said Syria must make more progress on reforms.

    “In a series of side meetings I also had the chance to...

  • Syria government resigns in effort to appease protesters

    March 29, 2011 | 8:58 am

    Syria’s Cabinet resigned Tuesday to help quell a wave of popular fury that erupted more than a week ago and is now threatening President Bashar Assad’s 11-year rule in one of the most authoritarian and closed-off nations in the Middle East.

    Assad, whose family has controlled Syria...

  • Report: U.S., France nixed Kerry visit to Syria

    March 28, 2011 | 10:34 am

    The Obama administration and France reportedly nixed a visit by U.S. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) to Syria.

    Kerry (D-Mass.), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has cultivated a relationship with the regime otherwise treated as a pariah in the West in the hope of...

  • Clinton: U.S. not ready to intervene in Syria

    March 28, 2011 | 8:47 am

    The United States is not ready to send troops to Syria, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said.

    “Certainly we deplore the violence in Syria,” Clinton said during an interview on the “Face the Nation” program on CBS Television that aired Sunday. “We call—as we have on...

  • When Syria falls

    By Rob Eshman

    March 23, 2011 | 2:11 pm

    The writer Leon Wieseltier opened his keynote address at the Daniel Pearl Memorial lecture at UCLA last month with a telling joke.

    “For 50 years, nothing ever changed in the Middle East,” he said, “until the minute I sat down to write this speech.”

    How true. Monarchs and...

  • Warren Christopher, overseer of Mideast talks, dies

    March 21, 2011 | 1:11 pm

    Warren Christopher, the U.S. Secretary of State whose intensive shuttling shepherded talks with Syria, Jordan and the Palestinians in the mid-1990s, has died.

    Christopher died March 18 at home in Los Angeles of complications from cancer. He was 85.

    As secretary of state under...

  • At funeral, Syrian protesters chant for freedom

    March 21, 2011 | 1:02 pm

    Anti-government demonstrators chanted “God, Syria, freedom” at the funeral of a fellow protester in the southern Syrian city of Deraa.

    The protesters at Monday’s funeral added to the chant, “The people want the overthrow of corruption,” Reuters reported. Black-uniformed security...

  • Fresh clashes in Syria as thousands protest Assad regime

    March 21, 2011 | 8:56 am

    The Syrian army deployed on Monday at the entrances to the southern city of Daraa as officials tried to calm passions following protests for freedom in which five civilians were killed, residents said.

    Thousands of mourners marched at the funeral of 23-year-old Raed al-Kerad who died on Sunday, the latest of five protesters to be killed by security forces. Mourners chanted slogans demanding political freedom and an end to corruption.

    “God, Syria, freedom. The people want the overthrow of corruption,” they chanted.

    Read more at Haaretz.com.

  • Syria eyes Libya seat on human rights council

    March 10, 2011 | 10:21 am

    Syria is seeking to replace Libya on the United Nations Human Rights Council.

    Libya was suspended from the 47-nation body on March 1, the first time a country has been suspended since the council was founded in 2006.

    Syria, led by President Bashar Assad, declared Wednesday that it...

  • Hamas officials go to Syria to confer on Shalit deal

    March 4, 2011 | 10:13 am

    A Hamas delegation from Gaza reportedly is en route to Syria to discuss a possible deal for the release of captive Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

    The delegation was to leave Gaza on Friday for Sudan, then continue on to Damascus, the Gaza-based Palestine Today reported. The Hamas leadership in Damascus traditionally has taken a harsher line on Israel-related issues than the Hamas leadership in Gaza.

    Israel and Hamas have been in touch via a German mediator regarding talks to release Shalit, who was taken captive in a cross-border raid in June 2006.

  • Iranian warships dock in Syria

    February 24, 2011 | 10:17 am

    Two Iranian warships that passed through the Suez Canal reportedly docked in Syria.

    The ships, a frigate and a supply ship, arrived at Syria’s main port at Latakia on Wednesday night after becoming the first Iranian naval ships to pass through the canal since the 1979 revolution.

    ...
  • Nuclear site reportedly identified in Syria

    February 24, 2011 | 8:56 am

    A suspected nuclear site has been identified in Syria using commercial satellite photos.

    The installation is said to be a nuclear conversion plant, according to the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security, which published photos of the site in a report...

  • Syria-bound Iranian warships stop in Red Sea

    February 17, 2011 | 10:19 am

    Two Iranian warships bound for Syria withdrew a request to sail through the Suez Canal.

    The ships stopped Thursday in an area near the Saudi Arabian Red Sea port city of Jiddah after reportedly withdrawing the request. Other reports suggested that the ships never requested...

  • Israel watching Syria-bound Iranian warships

    February 16, 2011 | 2:06 pm

    Two Iranian warships have left for Syria and plan to sail through the Suez Canal, Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said.

    Lieberman in a statement released Wednesday called the move a recurring Iranian “provocation.” His statement suggested that Israel would not ignore...

  • Hoenlein reveals secret Syria visit

    February 14, 2011 | 12:22 pm

    Malcolm Hoenlein, head of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said he met for several hours with Syrian President Bashar Assad during a secret visit to Damascus.

    In an interview published Monday by The Associated Press, Hoenlein said his recent...

  • Presidents Conference’s Hoenlein, Assad meet in Damascus

    January 3, 2011 | 1:55 pm

    Malcolm Hoenlein, the executive vice president of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, met with Syrian President Bashar Assad in Damascus.

    Hoenlein said the meeting Monday was at the invitation of Syria and not, as had been reported originally by the...

  • WikiLeaks: U.S. accuses Syria of arming Hezbollah

    December 7, 2010 | 10:08 am

    The United States accused Syria of arming Hezbollah with advanced ballistic missiles, a new document released by WikiLeaks showed.

    The document was released by the site Tuesday, the same day that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange turned himself in to London police and was arrested...

  • Clinton, Syrian FM discuss Israel-Syria talks

    September 28, 2010 | 10:46 am

    Hillary Rodham Clinton met with the Syrian foreign minister and discussed reviving Israeli-Syrian peace talks.

    The U.S. secretary of state met with Walid Muallem on the sidelines of the launching of this year’s U.N. General Assembly, the signature annual event that brings together...

  • Israel ready to negotiate with Syria, Peres tells U.N.

    September 20, 2010 | 3:16 pm

    Israel is ready to enter peace negotiations with Syria “right away,” Shimon Peres told the United Nations General Assembly.

    In his address Monday in New York to the international body’s annual meeting—the Nation’s Millennium Development Goals summit—Peres also said he believed that...

  • Shimon Peres: We are ready to enter direct negotiations with Syria

    September 20, 2010 | 10:29 am

    President Shimon Peres on Monday stressed Israel’s aspirations for peace with its neighbors, declaring Israel’s will to enter direct negotiations with Syria during his speech at the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals summit in New York.

    “Israel is the product of pioneering...

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