At least 23 wounded in Syria-linked Lebanon clashes, update

AT least 23 people have been wounded in running clashes between pro- and anti-Damascus regime supporters in Lebanon’s second largest city of Tripoli, a security official says. Exchanges of gunfire erupted on Monday and continued through the night between the mainly Sunni district of Bab el-Tebbaneh and the largely Alawite area of Jabal Mohsen.

The ‘secretive sect’ in charge of Syria

Considered by some Muslims a heretic sect, this small Levantine minority have survived persecution and the Crusades to rise to the top and take over the Syrian establishment. Alawite practices, which are said to include celebrating Christmas and the Zoroastrian new year, are little known even to most Muslims.

Confidential report finds Iran shipping arms to Syria

A confidential U.N. report reveals Iran is exporting arms to the Syrian government in violation of a ban on weapons sales, the same day President Bashar al-Assad blamed the violence in his country on the work of foreign-backed fighters.

U.S. is in a “holding pattern ” on Syria, report

Fifteen months into the crisis in Syria, and the Obama administration is, as one U.S. official describes it, in “a holding pattern,” waiting for Russia to abandon its support for President Bashar al-Assad, waiting for sanctions to topple the economy and waiting for an organized Syrian opposition to present a coherent vision for a post-Assad […]

UN team in Syria evacuated from tense town

A team of international observers was evacuated Wednesday from a tense town in northern Syria a day after their convoy was hit by a roadside bomb, a U.N. spokesman said. The team’s vehicles were struck by the blast Tuesday during a mission in the northern town of Khan Sheikhoun. None of the observers was wounded, […]

Syria’s neighbors funding, arming rebels, report

Syrian rebels battling the regime of President Bashar al-Assad have begun receiving significantly more and better weapons in recent weeks, an effort paid for by the Gulf nations and coordinated in part by the United States, according to opposition activists and U.S. and foreign officials.

The only true revolution in Syria is nonviolent

The present conflict in Syria is a rather ugly mutation of the Arab uprisings that erupted across the Middle East and North Africa over a year ago. As in other countries, the uprising in Syria began with peaceful demonstrations for democratic reform, only to devolve into a violence that has now brought the country to […]