Report accuses UN of loss of impartiality in Syria

Jun 15 2016
Al Jazeera

A report released by rights group The Syria Campaign accuses the United Nations of delivering 99 percent of its aid to government-controlled territories, and calls on the UN to "restore its impartiality". 

The report, based on interviews with aid workers, including current and former UN staff, finds the UN in Syria in breach of its humanitarian principles and at risk of fuelling the conflict.

Syria's Assad Hardens Position in Address to Parliament

Jun 07 2016

Syrian President Bashar Assad hardened his position on U.N.-sponsored peace talks in his first address to the newly elected parliament broadcast on state television on Tuesday.

"We will not agree to any topic outside the statement of principles we presented to the U.N. We just won't accept it," Assad told lawmakers.

The document submitted by the government delegation stresses that Syria will be ruled by a "unity government" -- not a "transitional governing body" without Assad as called for by the opposition.

EU extends sanctions on Syria regime for another year

May 28 2016
Straits Times

The EU on Friday (May 27) extended for another year sanctions against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime over its "violent repression" of civilians, maintaining an oil embargo and a freeze on Syrian central bank assets.

The European Council, which groups the 28-member bloc, rolled over existing sanctions in line with a decision it took in December 2014 to continue sanctions "as long as repression continues," it said in a statement.

"The Council extended EU restrictive measures against the Syrian regime until 1 June 2017," the statement said.

Syria Talks on Hold for Two-Three Weeks, Says UN Envoy

May 27 2016
The Wire

Geneva/United Nations: There will be no new round of Syria talks for at least two or three weeks, the office of UN special envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said in a statement on Thursday, after he consulted the UN Security Council for about two and a half hours.

“He briefed on his intention to start the next round of talks as soon as feasible but certainly not within the next two/three weeks,” said the statement.

It said de Mistura wanted to see progress on the ground, particularly relating to the cessation of hostilities and humanitarian access.

Kurdish-led SDF launches offensive on Syria's Raqqa

May 25 2016
Al Jazeera

Kurdish-led forces have massed thousands of fighters as part of a military offensive to take over Raqqa, the northern Syrian city controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group for more than two and a half years. 

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a US-backed coalition of armed groups led by the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), said it has mobilised thousands of fighters in the countryside north of Raqqa. 

Fighting was reportedly ongoing on Tuesday near Ain Issa, situated 55km from the ISIL-controlled city. 

Assad holds parliamentary election as Syrian peace talks resume

Apr 13 2016

Syrians voted in a parliamentary election in government-held areas of the country on Wednesday in what they called a show of support for President Bashar al-Assad, while his opponents and Western powers denounced the poll as illegitimate.

The election went ahead independently of a U.N.-led peace process aimed at ending the five-year-long war. A second round of talks began in Geneva on Wednesday but an upsurge in fighting has darkened the already bleak outlook for diplomacy.

SNC seeks cooperation with leading Islamist factions

Jun 04 2015

The Western-backed opposition wants to include Ahrar al-Sham, Army of Islam and other Islamists within its military ranks.

BEIRUT – The Western-backed Syrian National Coalition is looking to include influential Islamist factions within the ranks of a new unified military structure, a coalition member says. 

The move to restructure the military command comes after SNC chief Khaled Khoja on Tuesday dissolved the Supreme Military Council that ostensibly oversees the FSA.

OIC says it won't recognize Syria presidential poll

Jun 20 2014
World Bulletin

The foreign ministers of Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) member states on Thursday said they would not recognize Syria's recent presidential election, saying the poll violated resolutions issued at the Geneva 1 and 2 conferences.

In a final communiqué issued following their meeting in Saudi Arabia's city of Jeddah, OIC foreign ministers added that the so-called "Geneva process" had called for the formation of a transitional Syrian government with the aim of launching an inclusive political process.

Al Asad recibe a sus dos contrincantes en las pasadas elecciones sirias

Jun 10 2014
El Diario

El presidente sirio, Bachar al Asad, recibió hoy por separado a los que fueron sus dos contrincantes en las pasadas elecciones, Hasan Abdalá al Nuri y Maher Abdel Hafez Hayar, en las que el mandatario fue reelegido.

Medios oficiales sirios mostraron imágenes del jefe de Estado en esas entrevistas en las que departió amigablemente con sus ambos políticos.