Syria News Wire

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Entries from January 2006

Bashar to annouce reforms in Syria – Amnesty International back in Syria

January 21st, 2006 · 3 Comments · Uncategorized

After all hope was lost. After 5 years and little change. After international pressure strengthening the hand of the old guard. Finally, Bashar is to relaunch his reform program. But there have been false dawns before. And today is different: with US tanks on the Syrian border, and unprecedented domestic attacks from key Syrians like […]

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Damascus travel article: ‘Withstanding winds of change’

January 19th, 2006 · 5 Comments · Uncategorized

From the Travel section in today’s Guardian newspaper (UK): Withstanding winds of change Historian Hywel Williams explores the many ages of Damascus, a bustling oasis surrounded by deserts and turmoil Wednesday January 18, 2006 There are many roads that lead to Damascus. There’s the one from Jordan to the south, which passes near Ezra – […]

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US targets Asef Shawkat

January 19th, 2006 · 1 Comment · Uncategorized

The US’s latest diplomatic cruise missile has just hit Syria’s former head of Military Intelligence, Asef Shawkat. They’ve frozen all of his assets in the States. All US banks must block access to his accounts, and no American is allowed to do business with him. He’s accused of supporting terrorism in Iraq, Palestine and Lebanon. […]

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SNAP: Asef Shawkat’s assets frozen in the US

January 19th, 2006 · No Comments · Uncategorized

Shawkat’s money and property in America has been frozen because of his “links to terrorism” in Lebanon and Iraq. More follows… (coming next: full details, background, analysis)

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Political prisoners released: Riyad Sayf, Mamun Homsi

January 18th, 2006 · 3 Comments · Uncategorized

The Syrian government has intervened to release two prominent Syrian opposition activists. Riyad Sayf and Mamun Homsi were two of the leaders of the Damascene Spring, ushered in after Bashar became President in 2000. They were arrested in a crackdown by the old guard a year later. The release comes just 2 months after the […]

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Khaddam to form Syrian Government in Exile

January 16th, 2006 · 13 Comments · Uncategorized

One day after France signalled that he was no longer welcome, former Syrian Vice President Abdul Halim Khaddam has announced he is forming a government-in-exile. The news contradicts his insistence that his words against Bashar were not a bid to seize the Syrian leadership. The man who was one of Hafez’s closest aides for 30 […]

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France washes its hands of Khaddam

January 14th, 2006 · 18 Comments · Uncategorized

France is desperately trying to get rid of former Syrian Vice President Abdul Halim Khaddam, it emerged tonight. A delegation of French diplomats arrived in Saudi, to arrange for him to be transferred out. Saudi said no. The French delegation immediately went across to the UAE – it’s not clear what their response is. It […]

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Khaddam personally accuses Bashar of murdering Hariri

January 13th, 2006 · 3 Comments · Uncategorized

Former Vice President Abdul Halim Khaddam went on British television (Sky News) today to make that statement. The wild claims would have got top billing on the news two weeks ago, but the slow drip-drip effect of Khaddam’s comments are becoming as monotonous as another bombing in Baghdad. No-one cares. And quite rightly. By next […]

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Is Bashar about to agree to be interviewed by the UN?

January 9th, 2006 · 11 Comments · Uncategorized

The UN confirmed that they received a reply to the request to interview Foreign Minister Farouq Ash-Sharaa and President Bashar Al-Assad. That reply confirmed that Syria is willing to let the UN meet Sharaa. There was no mention of Bashar. Days later Bashar told an Egyptian newspaper that allowing the UN to interview him would […]

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Khaddam plots coup d’etat, wants Bashar in jail – analysis

January 7th, 2006 · 5 Comments · Uncategorized

Former Syrian Vice President Abdul Halim Khaddam has admitted that he wants to overthrow Bashar’s government. But he still insists he doesn’t harbour any intentions of becoming President. Don’t forget, Khaddam was President in the interim period between Hafez’s death and Bashar’s appointment. There was said to be much wrangling behind the scenes, with many […]

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