Syria

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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8:33am

Tue February 28, 2012
The Two-Way

As Bombardment Continues, Rebels Smuggle Journalist Out Of Syria

A man burns a portrait of Syrian President Bashar Assad during a demonstration on the outskirts of Idlib, northern Syria, on Sunday.
Rodrigo Abd AP

A British photojournalist hurt during the government shelling of Homs is now safe in Lebanon, his employer told Reuters.

Reuters adds that The Sunday Times said Paul Conroy was in "good shape and good spirits."

Conroy was hurt in the same incident that killed two other journalists, including his colleague Marie Colvin and Frenchman Remi Ochlik. There is no word whether French journalist Edith Bouvier, who is also hurt, is still in Syria.

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2:52pm

Mon February 27, 2012
Middle East

In A New Setback, Syrian Opposition Splits

Originally published on Mon February 27, 2012 5:59 pm

A man burns a portrait of Syrian President Bashar Assad during a Sunday demonstration on the outskirts of Idlib in northern Syria.
Rodrigo Abd AP

Monday was a rough day for the opposition in Syria. Senior officials in the main opposition group announced that they're forming a new organization. The development was the latest sign of the divisions within the Syrian opposition that's trying to oust the government of President Bashar Assad.

At the same time, Assad's government said that nearly 90 percent of voters endorsed constitutional reforms in a referendum a day earlier, even though the Syrian opposition and international critics called the balloting a farce.

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2:22pm

Mon February 27, 2012
The Two-Way

Red Cross Reaches Hama, Homs, Delivers Food, Medical Aid

A spokesman for the International Committee of the Red Cross tells NPR's Newscast Unit that ambulances from the Syrian Arab Red Crescent were able to evacuate three people from the Baba Amr neighborhood of Homs, which have been heavily shelled in recent days.

One of the people evacuated was "a pregnant woman in urgent need of care," said Simon Schorno, who added the ambulances "also brought in emergency medical supplies to be distributed immediately."

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