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Syria reacts to Assad speech

JABAL AL-ZAWIA, Syria — These days, in northwest Syria, power is almost always off. So watching Syrian President Bashar al-Assad make his first public statement in six months on Sunday wasn't easy.

James Foley's kidnapping in Syria part of especially dangerous 2012 for press

American journalist James Foley, who survived capture in Libya in 2011, was taken again in Syria on Thanksgiving Day. The year 2012 was the deadliest on record for journalists.
James Foley Aleppo August 2012Enlarge
Correspondent James Foley in Aleppo, Syria in August 2012. (Nicole Tung/Courtesy)

BOSTON — There are some years that are better to have behind you.

For international news organizations that cover the more dangerous corners of the world, 2012 was one of those years.

According to the International Press Institute, there was a record number of journalists killed last year either in the line of duty or as a consequence of their reporting.


Syria's newest key battlefield: the Lebanese border

BEKAA VALLEY, Lebanon ― Near the main border crossing between Lebanon and Syria, the steady thud of exploding shells can be heard day and night. As the struggle for Damascus intensifies, the battle over Lebanon's lawless border is intensifying, dragging Hezbollah and other factions into fighting that risks spilling dangerously across borders. Could Syria's civil war turn regional?

Syria: the siege of Damascus

DAMASCUS — Six months after being driven out of central Damascus, rebel fighters are battling to gain control of it. The Free Syrian Army has cut off access to the international airport and seized several strategic military bases; they say they are seeking not peace talks but the death of the president. A western diplomat here predicts an Aleppo-style battle, "with more intense fighting, greater casualties and certainly a higher level of destruction.”

Are Syria’s rebels about to win?

LATTAKIA, Syria — With coffins stacking up at the airport in Syria’s Alawite heartland, and funerals now a daily routine for its mountain villagers, support is fraying among the community on which the Syrian regime depends.

Syria olive oil press bombed, leaving 20 dead, 50 injured

Activist Tareq Abdelhaq told Reuters at least 20 people were killed and 50 wounded in the attack on the Abu Hilal olive oil press, 2 km (1.2 miles) west of Idlib city.

The fight for Iraq plays out in Syria

DAMASCUS, Syria — Divided by history, geography and God, Iraqis Abu Mohammed and Abu Hamza both smoke Marlboro cigarettes and agree on one point: The war for Syria is also a war for Iraq. So Abu Mohammed, a Sunni, is training rebels in Aleppo. And Abu Hamza, a Shiite, is battling alongside President Bashar al-Assad’s forces in Damascus.

US journalist missing in Syria

BOSTON, Mass. — Unidentified gunmen kidnapped a foreign journalist on Thanksgiving Day. More than a month later, he remains missing. American James Foley was last seen on Nov. 22 in Idlib Province. Idlib has been the scene of heavy fighting in recent months between Syrian rebels and government forces.

Syria: Rebels losing support among civilians in Aleppo

ALEPPO, Syria — As Aleppo deteriorates, many of the city's 3 million civilians are losing patience with an increasingly violent and unrecognizable opposition — one that has been deeply infiltrated by foreign fighters and terrorist groups.

Syrian refugees in Turkey tops 100,000

According to a new statement by the Turkish Disaster Management Agency, or AFAD, the number of Syrian refugees now in Turkey has topped 100,000.
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