Syria

3:02pm

Thu March 1, 2012
Middle East

Syrian Army Drives Rebels From Embattled City

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 10:17 pm

Syrian mourners in Qusayr, a few miles outside Homs, carry the body of a man killed by shrapnel, during his funeral on Tuesday. After a month-long assault by the Syrian army, rebels were forced to retreat from Homs on Thursday.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

A key rebel stronghold in the central Syrian city of Homs has fallen to the Syrian army.

Residents fled as government forces bombarded the city's Baba Amr neighborhood for nearly a month. On Thursday, the rebels withdrew.

When the Syrian uprising began nearly a year ago, Baba Amr saw regular, daily protests. Then after months of being shot, detained and tortured, protesters began taking up arms. Those armed civilians were later joined by defectors from the Syrian military, and together, they called themselves the Free Syrian Army.

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11:35am

Thu March 1, 2012
The Two-Way

Russia, China Join Call For Syria To Let U.N. Human Rights Official Visit

In what Israel's Haaretz.com is referring to as a "rare move" by longtime supporters of Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime, Russia and China today joined other members of the U.N. Security Council in calling on Syria to let U.N. humanitarian chief Valerie Amos see what's happening inside that nation.

Syria so far has not allowed Amos to visit.

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10:19am

Thu March 1, 2012
The Two-Way

Syrian Activist: 'It's Snowing And We're Shaking Here'

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 10:22 am

According to activists inside and outside Syria, the government's 27-day siege against the opposition stronghold of Baba Amr has now succeeded. Initial reports suggest that forces are entering this neighborhood in the city of Homs, but details are sketchy at best because most of the reporters and citizen journalists covering the story have either fled or died.

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7:00am

Thu March 1, 2012
The Two-Way

Anti-Assad Fighters Said To Be Retreating From Beseiged Syrian District

Syrian mourners on Wednesday carried the body of a man who was killed in fighting near Homs.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

There are reports from several news outlets that fighters who have been battling the Syrian Army in the beseiged Baba Amr district of Homs are retreating from that area.

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10:01pm

Wed February 29, 2012
National Security

Officials Look For Signs Of Al-Qaida Surge In Syria

Originally published on Thu March 1, 2012 10:18 am

This frame grab from video provided by the SITE Intel Group shows al-Qaida's leader Ayman al-Zawahiri calling on Muslims to support rebels in Syria. The video was released earlier this month.
AP

U.S. intelligence officials tracking the situation in Syria have their eye on one group in particular: al-Qaida's affiliate in Iraq.

The group has longstanding ties to Syria, and its early members weren't just Iraqis; many of them were Syrians. The former leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, not only established a network of fighters in Syria, but he also folded them into his northern Iraqi faction of al-Qaida.

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