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Syria

03.06.2013

At least one member of Lebanon's Hezbollah group has been killed overnight in clashes with Syrian rebels in Lebanon's eastern border region Al Jazeera reported.

Lebanese security sources reported the death on Sunday, saying that about 15 rebels had also been killed in the violence, east of Baalbek in the Bekaa Valley.

The conflict in Syria has been increasingly spilling over to its smaller neighbour, with deadly fighting shaking the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, and rockets hitting the Bekaa Valley and Beirut's southern suburbs.

28.05.2013

European Union attempts to reach a common position on its arms embargo for Syria have failed, Austrian Foreign Minister Michael Spindelegger said Monday, leaving all EU sanctions on Syria - including a ban on weapons sales - to expire later this week, dpa reported.

28.05.2013

Britain has "no immediate plans" to arm Syria's opposition, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said Monday, adding that the European Union's decision to end its arms embargo on rebel forces sent a "strong signal" to the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, dpa reported.

"This decision today gives us the flexibility in the future to respond to a worsening situation or to the refusal of the Assad regime to negotiate," Hague added.

22.05.2013

Seven Egyptian soldiers were released onr week after being captured in the Sinai Peninsula by suspected jihadists, state-run television said Wednesday.

Army spokesman Ahmed Mohammed said the release was made possible by "efforts made by the Egyptian military intelligence service and tribal leaders" in Sinai, dpa reported.

The fate of the kidnappers themselves was not clear.

They were reportedly jihadists in Sinai seeking the release of imprisoned relatives or associates.

22.05.2013

Key members of the Friends of Syria group were meeting in Jordan Wednesday, with the aim of laying the groundwork for talks to bring about an end to the Syrian conflict, dpa reported.

Foreign ministers of the United States, Britain, France, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Germany and Italy were gathering in Amman.

It was unclear whether the opposition Syrian National Coalition would attend.

17.05.2013

United Nations General Secretary Ban Ki-moon has voiced disappointment about Syria's refusal to let UN inspectors enter the country to check reports about the use of chemical weapons, dpa reported.

"It is deplorable that the team could not visit Syria to do an investigation on the ground," Ban said Friday after talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, the Interfax news agency reported.

Lavrov said that Russia supports the UN investigation and expressed hope that an agreement between Damascus and the UN will be found.

13.05.2013

The entire responsibility for the attacks in Turkey lies with the government of the country and personally to Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Syrian Information Minister Omran Al-Zoubi told RT TV channel in Arabic, Rusiya al-Yaum on Monday.

"The responsibility for what happened lies with the government of Turkey and Erdogan personally. He has no right to build his political career on the blood of Turkish and Syrian people," Al-Zoubi said.

13.05.2013

The Syrian regime was behind the terrorist attack in Reyhanlı in Turkey's Hatay province, TRT Haber TV channel quoted Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan as telling reporters on Monday.

According to Erdogan, the Syrian opposition bears no connection to the terrorist attack.

Erdogan said that the terrorist attack in Reyhanlı will be discussed during his visit to the U.S. and that Turkey will have a number of points to discuss on the issue.

He said that after his visit to the U.S., he intends to visit Reyhanlı and hold meetings with the families of bombing victims.

07.05.2013

A mortar shell launched from Syria landed on the Israeli-controlled side of the Golan Heights Tuesday morning, the third since the night before, an Israeli military spokeswoman said, dpa reported.

The two previous mortar shells struck Monday night.

The Israeli army had said the projectils that landed Monday were rockets, but the spokeswoman told dpa Tuesday they had, in fact, been mortars. They all landed in open fields, causing no injuries or damage.

06.05.2013

U.N. human rights investigators have gathered testimony from casualties of Syria's civil war and medical staff indicating that rebel forces have used the nerve agent sarin, one of the lead investigators said on Sunday, Reuters reported.

The United Nations independent commission of inquiry on Syria has not yet seen evidence of government forces having used chemical weapons, which are banned under international law, said commission member Carla Del Ponte.