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Syria: Rebels and Kurds clash in Aleppo

ALEPPO — A Kurdish militia group, which has maintained relatively fluid alliances during the 2-year-old Syrian conflict, clashed with Free Syrian Army rebels on Friday. Several people were killed in the initial fighting, including an 8-year-old boy. Heavy gunfire and mortar attacks continued into the night.

Syria: What would US military intervention look like?

As evidence of possible chemical weapons use in Syria mounts, so do the calls in some quarters for a full-scale military intervention in the now two-year-long conflict that has cost roughly 70,000 lives. President Barack Obama had said chemical attacks by regime forces on Syrian civilians would constitute a “red line” for his administration in its willingness to intervene against the brutal government of Syrian president, Bashar Al Assad. 

Syria uses chemical weapons against rebels, Israel says

JERUSALEM — Brigadier-General Itai Brun, head of research at the Israeli army's intelligence division, said victims showed signs of poisoning by the deadly nerve gas sarin, including contraction of the pupils and foaming at the mouth. France and the UK have also presented evidence to the United Nations of chemical weapons use in Syria. US President Barack Obama once said such developments would be a "game changer."

Israel may be operating in Syria

JERUSALEM — While the Israeli forces may be operating in a non-military capacity, it would be the first time they have been known to set foot in Syria since the 1970s.

On Location Video: Stalemate in Aleppo

Young rebels are disillusioned by the standoff in Syria's largest city.

Syrian conflict exacts heavy toll on women

IDLIB PROVINCE, Syria — As the death toll across the country approaches 90,000 by some counts and the refugee crisis soars past a million, the battle for Syria is rippling far beyond the visible tragedies. One woman explains that women are suffering most from Syria’s war. “Our husbands are always gone," she says. "We must deal with everything alone.”

On Location Video: Syrians in Exile

LEBANON — After two years of war, hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled to Lebanon. Some 8,000 Syrians cross the border every day.

Wading into Syria, BRICS take on political role

DURBAN — The BRICS group of emerging economies on Wednesday called for “full and unimpeded” access for humanitarian groups in Syria, a sign that what began as an economic bloc to rival Western powers may be embracing an increasingly political role.

Kurds in Syria: A struggle within a struggle

ALEPPO — Ethnic Kurds account for 11 percent of the Syrian population; around the same percentage as the Alawite minority. But while the latter group dominates Bashar al-Assad's government, the Kurds have been deeply oppressed. Now, taking advantage of the power void left in the wake of opposition and government clashes, the Kurds control large amounts of the Syrian Kurdish region with little government resistance.

Lacking international support, Syria's rebel hackers are losing the cyber war

The Syrian Electronic Army is on the offensive, targeting rebels and activists in support of the Syrian government.
Sea 03 22 2013Enlarge
A screenshot of the Syrian Electronic Army's website. (Screengrab/Screengrab)

On Syria’s digital battlefield, hackers loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad are defeating the rebels' cyber militias.

Just as the Syrian opposition leans on the West to supply weapons and other military aid, rebel hackers depend on the international community to help bolster their tactics.

But even as the conflict reaches new stages of violence – more than 70,000 people have been killed so far – support among international hacker communities is waning.

Last year, rebels enjoyed massive support from international hacker collectives like Anonymous, which launched several attacks on the Assad government. Early in 2012, Anonymous said it accessed several regime email accounts, including an account belonging to the Syrian president. Anonymous renewed their pledge to support Syrian hackers last November as the Assad regime threatened to shut down internet access across the country.

But after several arrests and convictions, Anonymous’ OpSyria seems to have ground to a halt. Without wider international support, Assad's Syrian Electronic Army’s dominion in the Syrian internet war is all but unchallenged.

In recent weeks, the Syrian Electronic Army has launched a number of successful campaigns, seizing control of social media accounts belonging to a broad range of news organizations and nonprofit foundations. The Syrian Electronic Army says western news organizations are outlets for Syrian rebel propaganda.

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