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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)


January 2014 - Syria Special Weapons News

  • U.S. Concerned About Chemical Weapons Delay RFE/RL 31 Jan 2014 -- The United States has expressed disquiet over the fact that the Syrian government is behind schedule on handing over its chemical weapons materials for destruction.
  • Syria Talks End WIth No Concrete Results RFE/RL 31 Jan 2014 -- The first round of peace talks between the Syrian government and opposition has ended in Geneva without a breakthrough.
  • US 'Deeply Concerned' Over Syrian Chemical Arms Delay RIA Novosti 31 Jan 2014 -- US officials said Thursday that they are "concerned" about delays by Syrian President Bashar Assad's government in handing over its chemical weapons to be destroyed under a deal brokered by Russia and the United States.
  • 'No progress to speak of' as first round of UN-sponsored Syrian peace talks ends UN News Centre 31 Jan 2014 -- Syrian Government and opposition delegates today wrapped up what United Nations officials hope will be just the first stage of talks to end the country's civil war, with the chief mediator reporting no breakthrough to stop the "unspeakable suffering" of the Syrian people, including access for humanitarian aid.
  • Gaps 'Wide' as Syria Talks Wrap Up First Round VOA 31 Jan 2014 -- U.N. mediator Lakhdar Brahimi wrapped up the first round of Syria peace talks in Geneva Friday reporting little progress on key issues of how to end the fighting and get much-needed humanitarian aid to besieged areas.
  • US: Assad Must Meet Chemical Weapons Deadline VOA 31 Jan 2014 -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says Syria is not meeting international obligations to destroy its chemical weapons under a deal brokered by the United States and Russia. Kerry is meeting foreign and defense ministers at a security conference in Munich.
  • UN Asks West To Admit More Syrian Refugees VOA 31 Jan 2014 -- On average every week, 11,000 new Syrian refugees arrive in Lebanon. As the flow of those fleeing Syria's civil war shows no sign of abating, the top U.N. refugee official in Lebanon says Western countries must relieve the pressure and admit more Syrians.
  • France, Britain share intelligence on Syria jihadists Voice of Russia 31 Jan 2014 -- France and Britain said Friday they would work together tracking down jihadists who travel to Syria to fight with Islamic extremists then pose a security threat when they return home.
  • First round of Syria peace talks will end tomorrow with little headway – UN-Arab League envoy UN News Centre 30 Jan 2014 -- After a "tense but rather promising" meeting today between representatives of the Syrian Government and the main opposition group on reaching a political end to the country's three-year-civil war, the United Nations/Arab League mediator said that the first round of talks will end tomorrow with no serious breakthrough and no major change in the position of either side.
  • UN urges Syria to speed up its role in elimination of chemical weapons Xinhua 28 Jan 2014 -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon on Tuesday said he has expressed concern to the Syrian government of its "now behind schedule" elimination of chemical weapon and said it was "imperative" Damascus "intensify its efforts."
  • Tense, but 'Promising,' Moments in Syria Talks VOA 30 Jan 2014 -- The top mediator for the Syria talks in Geneva, Lakhdar Brahimi, said there were 'tense' but 'promising moments' during Thursday's negotiations between the Assad government and opposition representatives.
  • Syrian parties recognized that terrorism is a serious problem for the country - Brahimi Voice of Russia 30 Jan 2014 -- The Syrian parties have recognized that terrorism exists in their country, but they failed to reach an agreement on how to fight against it. This came today as a statement by Special Envoy of the UN and the League of Arab States Lakhdar Brahimi following the results of the inter-Syrian negotiations in Geneva.
  • No Iranian troops fighting in Syria: FM Zarif Iran Press TV 29 Jan 2014 -- Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has reiterated that the Islamic Republic has deployed no military forces in war-stricken Syria.
  • At Syria Talks, Ice is 'Breaking Slowly' VOA 29 Jan 2014 -- U.N.-Arab League mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said the United Nations and the Assad government are still negotiating sending aid convoy to rebel-held city of Homs during comments to the press in Geneva, where peace talks are being held.
  • Syria: UN ready to rush food, medicines into besieged Homs once green light is given UN News Centre 28 Jan 2014 -- United Nations trucks in Syria are on standby to deliver urgently needed food and medicines to 500 besieged families who have been trapped in the Old City of Homs without any aid for almost two years, once the warring parties allow access, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) announced today.
  • Syria urges US to stop providing arms to militants Iran Press TV 28 Jan 2014 -- A Syrian deputy foreign minister has called on the United States and its allies to stop arming terrorist groups who are fighting against the Syrian government.
  • Deadlocks Remain as Syria Talks Break For Day VOA 28 Jan 2014 -- Syrian peace negotiations broke off earlier than planned Tuesday amid mutual accusations and what the opposition delegation said were serious differences over the goal of the talks.
  • New supplies of weapons to Syrian conflict area lay groundwork for supporting terrorists - Lavrov Voice of Russia 28 Jan 2014 -- New supplies of weapons to Syria provide solid preconditions for supporting terrorists in the region, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.
  • No new session at Geneva-2 after Syrian gov't accuses US of 'arming terrorists' Voice of Russia 28 Jan 2014 -- Syria government delegation in Geneva has denounced the decision of the US Congress on the supplies of armaments to the moderate forces of the Syrian opposition, meaning the mujaheddins of the Islamic Front. Syria's warring sides will not meet again at peace talks in Geneva on Tuesday, the opposition said.
  • Syria talks turn to political issues as question of aid delivery stalls - UN-Arab League envoy UN News Centre 27 Jan 2014 -- Discussions on humanitarian issues at the Syria talks in Geneva "have not produced much," said the Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States today, but he added "there is still hope," and the talks will resume tomorrow.
  • US resumes aid to militants in Syria Iran Press TV 27 Jan 2014 -- As negotiations between Syrian officials and the country's foreign-backed opposition hit a deadlock over the issue of transfer of power, the United States has resumed deliveries of aid to the opposition.
  • No Breakthrough in Syria Talks, Brahimi Says VOA 27 Jan 2014 -- International mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said Syrian government and opposition delegates will begin tackling the thorny issue of a possible transitional government when the Syrian peace talks resume on Tuesday.
  • Second chemical shipment removed from Syria - UN Voice of Russia 27 Jan 2014 -- A second shipment of chemical weapons material has been removed from Syria under a deal to eliminate its arsenal, the joint UN mission overseeing the disarmament said Monday.
  • Syria, opposition discuss prisoners' release in Geneva Iran Press TV 26 Jan 2014 -- Delegations representing the Syrian government and foreign-backed opposition are holding face-to-face talks in the Swiss city of Geneva for the second straight day amid fundamental differences.
  • Syria: Civilians to be allowed out of Homs, UN-Arab League envoy says UN News Centre 26 Jan 2014 -- The Syrian Government has agreed to allow women and children in the besieged Syrian city of Homs to leave “immediately", the Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States today said after a second day of face-to-face talks in Geneva.
  • Syria Talks Shift to Political Issues VOA 26 Jan 2014 -- Syrian government and opposition negotiators are to get down to the main topic of their talks Monday, a political settlement to the country's nearly three-year-long civil war.
  • Aid convoys to be in Homs Monday, civilians can leave district - Brahimi Voice of Russia 26 Jan 2014 -- The first convoy to reach the northern city of Homs is expected to reach the besieged city as early as Monday after the Syrian government agreed to allow access to the city, UN Special envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, announced.
  • Syrian Government, opposition to meet on Saturday, UN-Arab League envoy says UN News Centre 24 Jan 2014 -- Representatives of the Syrian Government and opposition groups have agreed to meet tomorrow for the first time ever in the same room, the Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States said in Switzerland after another day of bilateral talks with both sides, which he described as "encouraging."
  • Syria: first face-to-face talks off to a 'good' start, UN-Arab League envoy says UN News Centre 25 Jan 2014 -- Representatives of the Syrian Government and opposition groups today discussed humanitarian issues and tomorrow will focus on release of prisoners and kidnapped victims, the Joint Special Representative of the United Nations and the League of Arab States today said following the opposing sides' first ever meeting at a negotiating table.
  • Geneva Communique: Road Map for Syria Political Transition VOA 25 Jan 2014 -- At an international peace conference for Syria in June 2012, participants agreed to what has become known as the Geneva Communiqué. It laid out a six-point plan intended to stop the violence and move the two sides towards a political settlement. The United Nations is trying to implement that framework at peace talks going on now in Switzerland where the two parties have finally agreed to meet.
  • Syrian Parties Meet for First Time VOA 25 Jan 2014 -- Negotiators from the Syrian government and opposition are meeting together for the first time with the United Nations and Arab League mediator in Geneva, after the process nearly broke down on Friday.
  • Syria rejects SNC demand for transitional government Iran Press TV 24 Jan 2014 -- Syria has ruled out the formation of a transitional government in the violence-wracked country as the Geneva II talks on the Syria crisis inch closer to a deadlock.
  • Syria sides have not discussed core issues: Brahimi Iran Press TV 24 Jan 2014 -- The UN-Arab League Special Representative for Syria Lakhdar Brahimi says the country's opposing sides have not discussed core matters following two days of talks in Geneva.
  • UN Envoy: Syria Talks to Resume on Saturday VOA 24 Jan 2014 -- Representatives of the Syrian government and opposition are to meet face-to-face for the first time Saturday in Geneva, after days of mutual threats to withdraw from the talks.
  • Nearly 1,400 people killed in Syria infighting Iran Press TV 23 Jan 2014 -- Nearly 1,400 people have been killed in Syria since infighting erupted among foreign-backed militant groups in the Arab country.
  • Syria Talks Move to Crucial Stage VOA 23 Jan 2014 -- Senior representatives of the Syrian government and opposition are expected to hold their first direct talks after nearly three years of bitter fighting on Friday, when they gather with a mediator at the United Nations' European headquarters.
  • Syria Peace Talks Start Amid Acrimony RFE/RL 22 Jan 2014 -- The first day of the internationally-backed Syrian peace talks have been marked by acrimony, with the Syrian government rejecting demands that President Bashar al-Assad leave power to clear the way for a transitional government.
  • Geneva-2 Conference on Syria Kicks Off in Switzerland RIA Novosti 22 Jan 2014 -- The long-awaited Geneva-2 peace conference bringing together warring parties in Syria and top global diplomats started Wednesday in the Swiss town of Montreux.
  • Syrian Sides Are Committed to Peace Talks, Planning Prisoner Swap RIA Novosti 22 Jan 2014 -- Russia, the United States and the UN are devising a plan for a prisoner swap between the two sides in war-torn Syria, Russia's foreign minister said Wednesday.
  • Ban opens Syrian peace talks, urges all sides to seize 'historic' opportunity to end bloodshed UN News Centre 22 Jan 2014 -- Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today opened a concerted new effort to end the brutal civil war in Syria, urging the Government, the opposition, and representatives of some 40 other countries and regional organizations to seize the historic opportunity to end the bloodshed.
  • Syria: UN agency calls for urgent aid delivery to besieged Palestinian refugee camp UN News Centre 22 Jan 2014 -- As world leaders meet in Montreux, Switzerland, seeking a political solution to the crisis in Syria, the United Nations is calling on all parties in the strife-torn nation to facilitate the urgent provision of humanitarian aid to Palestinians trapped in the Yarmouk refugee camp.
  • UN Envoy to Meet Two Syrian Sides Thursday VOA 22 Jan 2014 -- U.N. mediator Lakhdar Brahimi said he will meet Syrian opposition and government delegations separately Thursday, a day ahead of their first negotiations when he will try to bring them together to discuss ending that country's bloody civil war.
  • Geneva-2: Assad will not step down - Syrian Information Minister Voice of Russia 22 Jan 2014 -- Syria's Information Minister Omran al-Zoubi said on Wednesday that President Bashar al-Assad will not step down, as demanded by some of the international powers seeking to end the country's protracted conflict.
  • Syrian army and rebels clash as Geneva peace conference begins Voice of Russia 22 Jan 2014 -- Fightings between Syrian army and rebels begin across the country as a peace conference in Geneva began to put an end to a three-year long bloodshed. More than 130,000 people have died in Syria's conflict, and more than a quarter of the population of 23 million now live as refugees, either within Syria or in neighboring countries.
  • UN invite withdrawal regrettable: Iran FM Iran Press TV 21 Jan 2014 -- Iran has called 'regrettable,' the United Nations secretary-general's rescinding his invitation to the Islamic Republic to participate in the forthcoming international conference on the Syrian crisis.
  • Iran never requested presence in Syria talks: Official Iran Press TV 21 Jan 2014 -- Iran Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham says the Islamic Republic had never requested to attend the forthcoming international conference on the Syria crisis.
  • Syria army seizes warehouse full of weapons Iran Press TV 21 Jan 2014 -- The Syrian army says it has seized a warehouse full of weapons and ammunition used by foreign-backed militants near the capital Damascus.
  • Russia Says Revoking Iran Invite To Syria Talks 'Mistake', Not 'Catastrophe' RFE/RL 21 Jan 2014 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says the UN decision to withdraw an invitation to Iran to attend peace talks on Syria was a 'mistake' but not a 'catastrophe.'
  • On eve of Syrian peace conference, Ban holds intensive talks with participants UN News Centre 21 Jan 2014 -- Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon arrived in Switzerland today on the eve of a United Nations-led conference on ending the nearly three-year-old Syrian civil war and immediately went into talks with participants from various countries and regional organizations involved.
  • Dim Hopes for Breakthrough in Syrian Peace Talks VOA 21 Jan 2014 -- President Barack Obama spoke with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin by telephone on Tuesday, and the leaders discussed an internationally sponsored conference on Syria. The Russian president's official website said their conversation was 'businesslike and constructive.'
  • Assad Focuses on Fighting Terrorism, Not Power-Sharing, at Switzerland Talks VOA 21 Jan 2014 -- Syrian peace talks are scheduled to start Wednesday in Switzerland, nearly three years after the start of the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad. The government in Damascus is rejecting calls that it share power, saying these talks should be about fighting terrorism.
  • Iranian Invite to Geneva 2 Withdrawn VOA 20 Jan 2014 -- After a brief diplomatic firestorm, the United Nations announced Monday that Iran will not be attending an international peace conference on Syria in Switzerland later this week.
  • Ban withdraws Iran's invitation to Syria talks, saying its statements contradict assurances UN News Centre 20 Jan 2014 -- Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today withdrew his invitation to Iran to attend a United Nations conference on ending the nearly three-year-old Syrian civil war, voicing “deep disappointment” that Iranian public statements were totally inconsistent with oral assurances he had been given.
  • UN chief invites Iran to Geneva II conference on Syria IRNA 20 Jan 2014 -- United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Iran has been invited to the Geneva II conference on the Syrian crisis.
  • US pressures UN to withdraw Iran invite to Syria talks Iran Press TV 20 Jan 2014 -- The United States is exerting pressure on the United Nations to withdraw its invitation of Iran to take part in this week international peace conference on the Syrian crisis.
  • Ban Invites Iran To Syrian Peace Talks RFE/RL 20 Jan 2014 -- UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon says he has invited Iran to participate in preliminary Syrian peace talks in Montreux, Switzerland.
  • Ban to make statement today on Syrian peace meeting following 'intensive and urgent' talks UN News Centre 20 Jan 2014 -- "Intensive and urgent" discussions are currently under way over this week's United Nations peace conference in Switzerland that seeks to end the nearly three-year-old Syrian civil war following the reported emergence of problems, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said today.
  • UN Invite to Iran Throws Syria Talks Into Doubt VOA 20 Jan 2014 -- The fate of Syria peace talks was in question Monday after the opposition Syrian National Coalition slammed a United Nations decision to invite Iran to the table and said it would not attend.
  • UN Chief says 'intensive and urgent discussions are underway' regarding Syria talks Voice of Russia 20 Jan 2014 -- UN leader Ban Ki-moon said Monday that 'urgent' talks on the Syria peace conference scheduled this week are being held after the Syrian opposition threatened to withdraw if Iran takes part.
  • Iran says will attend Syria talks, rejects conditions Voice of Russia 20 Jan 2014 -- Iran will attend Syrian peace talks this week in Switzerland but without preconditions, foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham told the official IRNA news agency.
  • More French militants go to Syria: Interior Minister Iran Press TV 19 Jan 2014 -- France's Interior Minister Manuel Valls has expressed concern about the growing number of French nationals, including minors, who leave the country to join the foreign-backed militants fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
  • Syrian National Coalition To Attend Peace Talks RFE/RL 19 Jan 2014 -- The main Syrian political opposition group in exile has agreed to attend peace talks starting next week in Switzerland.
  • Syrian Opposition Goes to Conference With Aim to Oust Assad RIA Novosti 19 Jan 2014 -- Syria's main western-backed opposition group that had earlier agreed to take part in an international reconciliation conference said its only aim would be to pressure President Bashar Assad to resign, Western and Arab media reported.
  • Syria: Ban hails opposition group's 'courageous' decision to attend peace conference UN News Centre 19 Jan 2014 -- Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has welcomed the decision taken on Saturday by the opposition National Coalition of Syrian Revolution and Armed Forces to participate in this week's international conference that aims to peacefully resolve the ongoing conflict.
  • Syria: Report on Assad Quotes 'Inaccurate' VOA 19 Jan 2014 -- Syrian state media have dismissed as 'inaccurate' a report that President Bashar al-Assad told visiting Russian lawmakers he has no intention of giving up power and the issue is not up for discussion.
  • Russia steps up military aid to Syrian government Iran Press TV 18 Jan 2014 -- Russia has reportedly increased its military aid to the Syrian government which is engaged in fighting against foreign-backed Takfiri militants.
  • Syrian National Council Agrees to Attend Peace Talks with Government VOA 18 Jan 2014 -- The main Syrian political opposition group has voted to attend internationally sponsored peace talks next week in Switzerland.
  • Damascus Says It's Ready For Prisoner Exchange, Cease-Fire RFE/RL 17 Jan 2014 -- Syria says it is prepared to exchange lists with rebel forces on a possible prisoner exchange.
  • Foreign Intervention Still a Threat to Syria - Lavrov RIA Novosti 17 Jan 2014 -- Russia's Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Friday that attempts are continuing to prepare the grounds for a military intervention in war-torn Syria.
  • Syrian Government Offers Alliance to Moderate Opposition RIA Novosti 17 Jan 2014 -- Syria's government is ready to join forces with its current opponents to combat Islamic terrorists, the country's Foreign Minister said Friday.
  • Impeding aid to besieged refugee camp in Syria may amount to war crime - UN official UN News Centre 17 Jan 2014 -- The United Nations human rights chief today strongly condemned the repeated obstruction of aid convoys trying to bring supplies to a besieged Palestinian refugee camp in Syria, stating that impeding humanitarian assistance to desperate civilians may amount to a war crime.
  • Syria Ready for Ceasefire in Aleppo VOA 17 Jan 2014 -- Syria's government says it has given Russia a plan for a cease-fire in the country's largest city of Aleppo and an exchange of prisoners with Syrian rebels.
  • More than 1,000 militants killed in Syria infighting Iran Press TV 16 Jan 2014 -- The infighting among al-Qaeda-linked militants and armed opposition groups has claimed more than 1,000 lives over the past two weeks.
  • Syria: UN-Arab League envoy regrets opposition group's absence from Geneva talks UN News Centre 16 Jan 2014 -- The United Nations and Arab League Joint Special Representative for Syria regrets the decision of one of the opposition groups, the National Coordination Committee (NCC), not to take part in next week's international conference in Switzerland seeking to end nearly three years of civil war.
  • Rising number of mass executions may amount to war crimes, senior UN official warns UN News Centre 16 Jan 2014 -- The United Nations human rights chief today warned armed opposition groups in Syria that executions and unlawful killings violate international law and may amount to war crimes, as reports continue to emerge of mass executions in the northern part of the strife-torn nation.
  • UN: Syria Mass Executions Could Be War Crimes VOA 16 Jan 2014 -- The U.N. human rights office says armed opposition groups in Syria, particularly an extreme al-Qaida-linked faction, are committing a 'soaring' number of killings in the country's north that could amount to war crimes.
  • Syria: UN agency determined to reach besieged Palestinian refugee camp near Damascus UN News Centre 15 Jan 2014 -- "Bursts of gunfire, including machine gun fire, erupted close to the trucks and UNRWA vehicles," the United Nations agency assisting Palestine refugees said today, recalling how its staff attempted to get to a camp in the suburb of Yarmouk where both Palestinians and displaced Syrians are believed to be starving to death.
  • Syria army mop-up operations continue across country Iran Press TV 15 Jan 2014 -- The Syrian army is pushing ahead with its mop-up operations to clear foreign-sponsored militants fighting against the government from different areas across the country.
  • More Than $1 Billion Pledged At Syria Donors Conference RFE/RL 15 Jan 2014 -- Donors have so far pledged more than $1 billion for UN humanitarian efforts in Syria at an international donors conference in Kuwait.
  • Top UN officials appeal for critical funds to assist millions affected by Syria conflict UN News Centre 15 Jan 2014 -- Top United Nations officials at a major donors' conference today appealed for urgent funds to assist millions of people inside Syria and in neighbouring countries who have been affected by the conflict that has raged for nearly three years.
  • Donors to Increase Humanitarian Aid for Syria VOA 15 Jan 2014 -- International donors met in Kuwait City Wednesday to make pledges of new funding to address the humanitarian needs of Syria's civil war.
  • In show of solidarity, Ban, senior UN officials visit Syrian refugees in northern Iraq UN News Centre 14 Jan 2014 -- Visiting with Syrian refugees in northern Iraq, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today called "heart-breaking" what he saw in Kawrgosik camp, saying he was particularly saddened to see so many young children, women and vulnerable people suffering from "this man-made tragedy."
  • Indonesian Jihadists in Syria Highlight Conflict's Global Draw VOA 14 Jan 2014 -- As the war in Syria enters its third year, the conflict continues to attract Islamic fighters from the Arab world, and from countries as far flung as Kazakhstan, Australia and Indonesia. The trend has become a major concern for Western governments.
  • ISIL militants seize Syria's Raqqah: Foreign-backed group Iran Press TV 14 Jan 2014 -- Foreign-sponsored Syrian opposition sources say al-Qaeda-linked militants from the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) have seized the northern Syrian city of Raqqah as infighting among Takfiri groups intensifies in the Arab country.
  • Cape Ray Conducts Final Sea Trials for Syria Mission AFPS 13 Jan 2014 -- The Military Sealift Command container ship MV Cape Ray left Portsmouth, Va., Jan. 10, to conduct its final sea trials in preparation for its upcoming mission to destroy Syrian chemical weapons, Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman, said today.
  • Syrian army makes more gains in Aleppo Iran Press TV 13 Jan 2014 -- Syrian forces have managed to retake full control of four areas in the northern province of Aleppo after heavy clashes with foreign-backed militants.
  • Moscow urges Iran, Syrian opp. to attend Geneva II Iran Press TV 13 Jan 2014 -- Russia warns the Geneva II conference on the Syrian crisis may fail unless both Iran and the Syrian opposition participate in the negotiations.
  • U.S., Russia Discuss Syria Cease-Fire, Prisoner Exchange RFE/RL 13 Jan 2014 -- The United States and Russia have discussed the possibility of organizing a cease-fire in Syria in the run-up to peace talks in Switzerland next week.
  • Russia, US Push for Ceasefire and Increased Aid in Syria RIA Novosti 13 Jan 2014 -- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State John Kerry called for a partial ceasefire in Syria and an increase in the flow of international aid to the embattled nation during a meeting in Paris on Monday.
  • Friends of Syria Push Opposition Toward Geneva Talks VOA 13 Jan 2014 -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry joined other foreign ministers backing opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Paris Sunday. They are trying to bring together disparate civilian and military components of the uprising ahead of planned peace talks later this month. Syria's government and its opponents remain divided over the purpose of those talks.
  • US, Russia Split Over Inviting Iran to Syria Peace Talks VOA 13 Jan 2014 -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met Monday in Paris to plan for Syrian peace talks later this month. The men could not agree on inviting Iran to join those talks.
  • Press Availability With Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and UN Special Representative Lakhdar Brahimi US Dept. of State 13 Jan 2014
  • 'World must do more' to aid besieged communities in Syria, urges top UN relief official UN News Centre 12 Jan 2014 -- United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos sounded the alarm today on behalf of more than 9 million desperate Syrians – particularly people trapped in areas cut off from aid by months of fighting between Government and rebel forces – and called on the world to also do more for those that have been displaced by violence or otherwise impacted by the ongoing crisis.
  • Syrian army kills over 40 rebels in Aleppo Voice of Russia 12 Jan 2014 -- More than 40 rebels, most of them are foreigners, according to local media, were killed in a special operation carried out by the Syrian armed forces in Retyan village in the northern countryside of Aleppo.
  • At least 700 killed in Syria rebel-jihadist battle - NGO Voice of Russia 12 Jan 2014 -- Fierce fighting between jihadists and rival rebel groups in Syria in the past nine days has killed at least 700 and led to the disappearance of hundreds more, an NGO said Sunday.
  • Syria troops retake key town near Aleppo Iran Press TV 11 Jan 2014 -- Syrian troops have taken over a key town near the city of Aleppo and are advancing on some parts of the city, reports say.
  • Rebels clash in North Syria, bodies pile up in hospital - monitors Voice of Russia 11 Jan 2014 -- An al Qaeda affiliate in Syria battled rival rebels across the country's north on Saturday and dozens of bodies piled up in a hospital in an insurgent-held city, a monitoring group said.
  • No al-Qaeda militants left in Aleppo: Syria opposition Iran Press TV 09 Jan 2014 -- Syrian opposition sources say that "hardly any" militants from the al-Qaeda-linked group, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, are left in the northern city of Aleppo.
  • Russian, Iranian Presidents Discuss Upcoming Syria Talks RIA Novosti 09 Jan 2014 -- Russia's President Vladimir Putin spoke with his counterpart in Iran on Thursday about Tehran's nuclear program and the upcoming Geneva 2 international peace conference.
  • Russia Blocks UN Move to Condemn Syria Bombing - Report RIA Novosti 09 Jan 2014 -- Russia has blocked an effort at the United Nation to condemn air strikes carried out by the Syrian government on cities inside the war-torn Middle Eastern country, according to media reports.
  • World Food Programme chief says tragic Syria crisis is 'more than numbers' UN News Centre 09 Jan 2014 -- With the humanitarian situation in war-torn Syria "getting more difficult every day", the head of the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is urging the international community to continue supporting the wide-scale relief effort underway, and calling for increased access so aid workers can deliver basic supplies to families trapped in areas of heavy fighting.
  • Security Council expects Syria to meet June deadline for chemical weapons removal, official says UN News Centre 08 Jan 2014 -- Despite a delay in eliminating Syria's chemical weapons material, the United Nations Security Council expects that there will be no delay beyond the end-of-June deadline for the total removal of all such materials, the head of the group charged with the effort said after briefing the 15-member body.
  • UN: Destruction of Syria's Chemical Weapons Moving Ahead VOA 08 Jan 2014 -- The international special coordinator overseeing the removal and destruction of Syria's chemical weapons said Wednesday that despite insecurity, she hopes to meet the mission's deadline of the end of June.
  • Militants in Syria seize ISIL's Aleppo headquarters Iran Press TV 08 Jan 2014 -- Foreign-backed militants have seized the headquarters of al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo as infighting intensifies among the militants in the Arab country.
  • Syria Rebels Seize al-Qaida Base in Aleppo VOA 08 Jan 2014 -- Syrian activists say rebels in the northern city of Aleppo have seized control of a hospital that had been used as a base by their al-Qaida-linked rivals, as infighting among groups opposed to President Bashar al-Assad raged into a sixth day.
  • UN, partners seek $1 billion to save Syria's children from becoming 'lost generation' UN News Centre 07 Jan 2014 -- The United Nations and its humanitarian partners today appealed for $1 billion to save millions of Syrian children from becoming a "lost generation," doomed by the civil war in their country to a life of despair, diminished opportunities and broken futures.
  • Al-Nusra chief calls for ceasefire with FSA militants Iran Press TV 07 Jan 2014 -- The leader of the terrorist al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front has called for a ceasefire between his group and the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) as infighting intensifies among foreign-backed militants in Syria.
  • First shipment of chemicals leaves Syria: OPCW Iran Press TV 07 Jan 2014 -- The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) says it has started shipping Syrian chemical weapon materials out of country.
  • Al-Qaeda Affiliate Calls For Truce With Syrian Rebels RFE/RL 07 Jan 2014 -- The leader of an Al-Qaeda-linked group in Syria has called for a cease-fire with other rebel groups in a bid to end several days of fighting among opposition forces.
  • First chemical arms materials leave Syria, joint OPCW-UN mission confirms UN News Centre 07 Jan 2014 -- The process of removing Syria's most critical chemical weapons material outside of the country for destruction began today, the head of the Joint Mission of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) and the United Nations confirmed.
  • UN: First Chemicals Have Left Syrian Port VOA 07 Jan 2014 -- The international chemical weapons watchdog says Syria has moved the first batch of toxic chemicals out of the country after transporting it from two sites to the port city of Latakia and onto a Danish vessel.
  • First batch of Syrian chemical arms material shipped out of Latakia Voice of Russia 07 Jan 2014 -- The first shipment of chemical material has been removed from Syria under a deal to rid the country of its chemical arsenal, the joint mission overseeing the disarmament said Tuesday.
  • Background Briefing: Senior State Department Officials US Dept. of State 06 Jan 2014
  • Invitations to Syria peace conference being sent out today, UN spokesperson confirms UN News Centre 06 Jan 2014 -- Preparations for the long-sought international conference on Syria are moving ahead, with the United Nations reaching out to the more than 30 participating Member States and with a call on the Syrian opposition to name members of its delegations.
  • Syria FSA lays siege to al-Qaeda-linked ISIL Iran Press TV 06 Jan 2014 -- The so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) has laid siege to the al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants in the Syrian city of Raqqa.
  • Kurdish fighters recapture Tal Hamis in NE Syria Iran Press TV 05 Jan 2014 -- Kurdish fighters in Syria have recaptured a key town in the country's northeast, Press TV reports.
  • 200 militants surrender to Syria army in Damascus Iran Press TV 05 Jan 2014 -- A group of 200 militants from the al-Qaeda-linked al-Nusra Front and the so-called Free Syrian Army (FSA) operating in Syria have surrendered to the country's army in the capital Damascus.
  • Infighting intensifies among militants in Syria Iran Press TV 05 Jan 2014 -- Infighting has intensified among foreign-backed militants in several provinces in Syria's northwest.
  • Infighting kills 50 militants across Syria Iran Press TV 05 Jan 2014 -- Infighting between foreign-backed militants across Syria has killed at least 50 and injured dozens since Friday, a Britain-based group says.
  • Militants halt fighting in Damascus district: Reports Iran Press TV 06 Jan 2014 -- Foreign-sponsored militants in the northern Damascus district of Barzeh have agreed to halt fighting against the Syrian government after nearly a year of clashes, reports say.
  • New militant group kills 36 Qaeda rebels in Syria Iran Press TV 04 Jan 2014 -- Thirty-six al-Qaeda-affiliated militants have been killed in clashes with a newly formed militant group in Syria.
  • Army team to destroy Syrian chemical weapons afloat Army News 03 Jan 2014 -- Some 64 specialists from the Army's Edgewood Chemical Biological Center are expected to depart for the Mediterranean in about two weeks aboard the ship MV Cape Ray to destroy chemical weapons from Syria.
  • Press Availability at Cape Ray DoD 02 Jan 2014 -- Presenters: Bryan Whitman, Department of Defense Spokesman; Frank Kendall, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics; Paul Jaenichen, Acting U.S. Maritime Administrator; Captain Rick Jordan; Robert Malone; Adam Baker
  • China, Russia warships to help Syria arms removal: Report Iran Press TV 03 Jan 2014 -- Russia and China are to dispatch warships in an effort to help safeguard the mission of eliminating Syria's chemical weapons.
  • US Ship Prepared to Destroy Syrian Chemical Weapons VOA 03 Jan 2014 -- Shipyard workers are readying the MV Cape Ray for a mission to destroy Syria's most potent chemical weapons arsenal at sea.
  • Scandinavian ships set sail for Syria to remove chemical weapons Voice of Russia 03 Jan 2014 -- Danish and Norwegian vessels left the Cypriot port of Limassol on Friday and made for Syria to escort a delayed shipment of chemical weapons for destruction, a spokesman said.
  • Further Delays Hit Syria Chemical Weapons Disarmament VOA 02 Jan 2014 -- The operation to remove and destroy Syria's chemical weapons continues to be delayed by security problems and bad weather. Several countries have sent warships to escort the weapons offshore - but the shipments have yet to reach the Syrian coast. However, officials involved in the operation insist the overall operation is still on track.
  • Turkey seizes arms on Syria border Iran Press TV 02 Jan 2014 -- Turkish security forces have seized a large shipment of weapons in an area on the Syrian border, media reports say.
  • No letup in Syria clean-up of foreign-backed militants Iran Press TV 01 Jan 2014 -- The Syrian army is pushing ahead with its clean-up operations against foreign-sponsored militants in several areas across the country.



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