Bashar Assad

10:12am

Fri February 17, 2012
The Two-Way

Syrian Troops Step Up Homs Shelling After U.N. Resolution

More horrific reports out of Homs only a day after the United Nations General Assembly called on President Bashar al-Assad's regime to end its shelling of the city.

Voice of America reports activists say:

... tank fire and artillery shelling hit four neighborhoods in the central protest city Friday which has spearheaded the 11-month uprising.

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1:20pm

Wed February 15, 2012
Middle East

Syria's Neighbors Fear That Fighting Could Spread

Originally published on Wed February 15, 2012 5:55 pm

The fighting in Syria was seen as a spark for clashes in the Lebanese city of Tripoli last week. Here a Lebanese woman and her daughter look out the window of their bullet-pocked home in Tripoli on Sunday, Feb. 12.
Adel Karroum EPA /Landov

Now that the uprising in Syria has turned into a heavily armed conflict, many in the region are worried that the violence will spread beyond its territory.

Syria borders Iraq, Turkey, Jordan and Israel, as well as Lebanon, where clashes erupted last Friday in the northern coastal city of Tripoli.

Sunni Muslims in one Tripoli neighborhood began protesting against Syrian President Bashar Assad. They put up a huge banner on the side of a mosque that had a picture of Assad, wearing a military uniform, with a big red X across his face.

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6:26am

Wed February 15, 2012
The Two-Way

As Crackdown Continues, Syria's Assad Calls For Constitutional Referendum

Civilians flee from fighting on Tuesday, after Syrian army tanks enter the northwestern city of Idlib, Syria.
Anonymous AP

As government forces continued to shell the cities of Homs and Hama, Syrian President Bashar Assad announced his country would hold a referendum on a new constitution on Feb. 26.

According to the Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA), the state's official news outlet, the new constitution would end the Baath party's monopoly on power. SANA added:

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2:00am

Thu February 9, 2012
NPR Story

Does Russia Have A Cogent Middle East Strategy?

Originally published on Thu February 9, 2012 9:27 am

Russia's support for Syrian President Bashar Assad has put it at odds with other countries in the Arab world.

Russia drew a lot of flack from Arab countries and the West when it vetoed a U.N. Security Council resolution aimed at pressuring Assad to stop his crackdown on protesters. That has some analysts in Russia doubting whether the Kremlin really has a cogent strategy for the Middle East.

The dilemma for Russia policy in the Arab world can be illustrated by two very different events that took place this week.

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5:00am

Wed February 8, 2012
The Two-Way

Report: Pentagon 'Beginning Review Of Syria Options'

Originally published on Wed February 8, 2012 6:36 am

A Syrian rebel stands guard at a street in Idlib, Syria, Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2012.
AP

As the U.S. continues to search for diplomatic solution to the crisis in Syria, "the Pentagon and the U.S. Central Command have begun a preliminary internal review of U.S. military capabilities," CNN is reporting.

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