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Syria

02.03.2013

The Syrian Army has inflicted heavy losses on foreign-backed militants across the country.

A unit of the army chased an armed militant group on the outskirts of Damascus on Friday, the official SANA news agency reported.

Some members of the group, which was blocking roads and attacking citizens, were killed by Syrian soldiers.

Syrian troops also killed a number of militants and several of their leaders in the Khan al-Asal area in the countryside outside Aleppo.

02.03.2013

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Muallim has arrived in Tehran to discuss the two-year crisis in the country, Mehr News Agency reported on March 2.

According to the report, al-Muallim will meet with his Iranian counterpart Ali-Akbar Salehi and Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council (SNSC) Saeed Jalili.

Clashes between Syrian government and opposition forces have increasingly risen since early 2011, resulting in over 70, 000 deaths.

27.02.2013

Syrian Army soldiers have killed dozens of foreign-sponsored militants during mop-up operations on the outskirts of Damascus, Press TV reports.

A number of gunmen were killed during intense clashes with Syrian troops in the town of Daraya, located 8 kilometers (5 miles) southwest of Damascus, on Tuesday, the state-run SANA news agency reported.

In addition, a unit of the Syrian Army killed several snipers in the town. Government troops also destroyed a car loaded with weapons and munitions in a separate operation.

25.02.2013

The number of supporters of a Syrian political settlement is increasing, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said today while opening talks with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem, RIA Novosti reported today.

"There are sane forces that more acutely aware of the need to rapidly start the negotiations and political settlement," he said. "The number of supporters of a realistic line is increasing. Those who want to continue the war until victory feel this. They are trying to stifle the positive trends in the opposition ranks and not to allow the beginning of a dialogue."

20.02.2013

At least two mortar shells fell Tuesday near the southern fence of the Syrian presidential palace in Damascus, which activists said is the closet attack yet to one of President Bashar al-Assad's residences, DPA reported.
An official source confirmed to the state news agency SANA that shells fired by "terrorists" fell near the Tishreen Palace, west of the capital, resulting only in material damage.

The palace is located near the highly-secured Mezze neighbourhood. Opposition fighters claimed the source of the shelling was the rebel-held Daraya suburb.

20.02.2013

Typhoid has broken out in an opposition-held region of Syria due to people drinking contaminated water from the Euphrates River, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has said, al Jazeera reported.

An estimated 2,500 people in northeastern Deir az-Zor province have been infected with the contagious disease, which causes diarrhoea and can be fatal, the UN agency said on Tuesday.

20.02.2013

A military solution to the Syrian conflict is not working and it becomes clear that dialogue is needed between the Syrian government and opposition, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Wednesday, RIA Novosti reported.

"The need to start a dialogue becomes more and more clear," he said on Wednesday, opening the first session of the Russian-Arab Cooperation Forum at the ministerial level.

Lavrov said Moscow is contributing to the creation of conditions for dialogue to be launched as soon as possible without preconditions based on the Geneva agreements.

18.02.2013

About 60 per cent of Syrian refugees residing on the Turkish-Syrian border are children, Anadolu agency reported on Monday.

This shows that 10,000 out of 17,000 refugees residing at the Atma camp on the Turkish border with Syria, are children under the age of 16.

It is reported that the Turkish government has created all the necessary conditions for children living in the most difficult conditions, to continue their education. In particular, schools were constructed and teachers speaking Arabic were involved.

15.02.2013

An estimated 40,000 people have fled a town in eastern Syria after three days of heavy fighting, the United Nations food agency said on Friday, Reuters reported.

The World Food Programme said it had delivered additional rations to the area in recent days, adding: "A WFP team visited the area and estimated that around 40,000 people have fled al-Shaddadeh to al-Hassakeh city."

Rebels seized al-Shaddadeh in Syria's oil-producing east on Thursday after the fighting which killed 30 of their fighters and 100 Syrian troops, a violence monitoring group said.

12.02.2013

Syrian Minister for National Reconciliation Ali Haidar said Monday he is ready to meet with the head of the opposition Syrian National Coalition, Moaz al-Khatib, outside Syria, DPA reported.
"I am willing to meet with Mr Khatib in any foreign city where I can go in order to discuss preparations for a national dialogue," Ali Haidar told the British newspaper The Guardian.

His remarks were the most positive response the Syrian government has yet given to answer last week's call by al-Khatib for dialogue.