Syria News Wire

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Entries from March 2005

Life on Death Row

March 12th, 2005 · 9 Comments · Uncategorized

2004, the year of US Envoys, the year of a trade deal with the EU, the year of Israel’s continuing satisfaction with a Syrian presence in Lebanon (it keeps Hezbollah quiet), the year of a US Ambassador in Damascus, the year of the hawks looking in Iran’s direction. What a difference a day makes. The […]

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Anti-government demo broken up in Damascus

March 11th, 2005 · 2 Comments · Uncategorized

About 100 human rights activists protested today in Damascus. Their demo was broken up by a similar number of pro-government supporters on a counter-march. The incredible scenes are thought to have occurred outside the court and in Merjeh. No arrests are reported. The demo occured a day after the largely spontaneous march in support of […]

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Lebanese opposition looks for an ‘Arab Solution’

March 10th, 2005 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Lebanese Opposition leader Walid Jumblatt (below) – who has called on Syrian forces to leave – has said ‘NO’ to UN Resolution 1559. Jumblatt has told EU Foreign Minister Javier Solana that the withdrawal should be handled under the Taif Accord – the agreement which ended the Civil War – not the UN. Every Lebanese […]

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Syria: full withdrawal before May

March 9th, 2005 · No Comments · Uncategorized

“We will withdraw as soon as possible, without delay and probably a long time before the election” said the Syrian Ambassador to the US, Imad Mustapha. He said they will pullout in a phased way so they don’t leave chaos behind. That’s what most countries of the world have been calling for…except George Bush – […]

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Regime Change

March 7th, 2005 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

America doesn’t “want regime change here, they want regime change of behaviour” says a Western Diplomat in Damascus. But to many Syrians, the last two years of gathering crescendo are the run up to an Iraq-style war in ten years. So lets turn to the Washington neo-cons driving this mad venture to find out just […]

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Hamas and Jihad expelled

March 7th, 2005 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Reports are suggesting that Syria has expelled the political leaders of Hamas and Islamic Jihad, Khalid Meshal and Ramadan Shallah. It was one of the three key Bush demands on Syria (the ‘Palestine demand’, along with the ‘Lebanon demand’ and the ‘Iraq demand’). “The government has closed their offices, cut off their phones and shut […]

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Movement?

March 7th, 2005 · No Comments · Uncategorized

The first stage in the withdrawal from Lebanon will start today, according to the outgoing Lebanese Defence Minister. The movement of all Syrian troops to the Bekaa border region will be complete by Thursday. The Syrian government’s best asset, the extremely eloquent, progressive Buthayna Shaaban (below) said the troops will be out of Lebanon “sooner […]

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Syrian News Wire nominated for an award!

March 5th, 2005 · 3 Comments · Uncategorized

The Syrian News Wire, just four weeks old, has been nominated for the 2005 Best Arab Blog Award (BABA) in the Syria category. Thank you very much to the anonymous person who nominated me last night (who are you?). It’s a privilege to have such recognition, and to have readers who keep coming back to […]

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UN Peacekeepers for Lebanon?

March 5th, 2005 · 4 Comments · Uncategorized

The UK has suggested that UN peacekeepers could be sent in to replace the Syrian troops in Lebanon. Bashar Al-Assad is expected to announce a date for their pullout tomorrow. Syrian troops were sent in to end the civil war and keep the peace, with the gratitude of the international community which had given up […]

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Syria and Iraq – the thaw?

March 4th, 2005 · 3 Comments · Uncategorized

The Syrian Ba’ath (‘renaissance’) party and the Iraqi Ba’ath Party split in the 1960s. Syria saw Saddam as an expansionist. There was a transfer of supporters – some Syrians supported Saddam (including the Ba’ath Party’s founder Michel Aflak, a Christian), and some Iraqis supported Hafez al-Assad. Saddam’s Syrians joined him in Baghdad. The Iraqis who […]

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