Connect to share and comment

Syrian army retakes Crusader castle from rebels

By Oliver Holmes BEIRUT, Lebanon (Reuters) - Syrian soldiers have raised the national flag on the battlements of a 900-year-old Crusader castle after a three-month siege that ended on Thursday when rebel fighters fled. The recapture of Crac des Chevaliers, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a real and symbolic victory over divided rebel factions.

Syria army seizes famed Crusader fort in border push

Syrian regime forces seized the famed Crusader fort Krak des Chevaliers on Thursday, marking a significant advance in their drive to seal the Lebanese border and sever rebel supply lines. "The Syrian Arab Army raises the flag of the nation over the Krak des Chevaliers castle in Homs province, after crushing the terrorists who were holed up there," state television said. The government forces entered the fort, which had been under opposition control since July 2011, after fierce clashes in the nearby village of Al-Hosn.

Jordan intercepts drugs, arms haul from Syria

Jordanian border guards have intercepted two vehicles crossing from Syria loaded with arms and thousands of Captagon tablets, a drug widely used by Syrian rebels, the army announced Thursday. The Petra news agency quoted an army official as saying one of the vehicles and its cargo was destroyed when it was fired on by border guards during the operation late on Wednesday. The other was found to be carrying 209 weapons, which the report did not identify, and 10,000 capsules of Captagon, the brand name for the amphetamine phenethylline.

Scores of Syrian rebels flee into Lebanon after ambush

TRIPOLI, Lebanon (Reuters) - Dozens of wounded Syrian rebels crossed over a river into Lebanon on Thursday after government soldiers ambushed them as they tried to flee a besieged area, Lebanese medical sources said. The ambush was part of a campaign by the Syrian army and allied militias to secure towns and villages along the Lebanese border as well as a highway from the capital Damascus to the coast that is vulnerable to rebel attack.

Syria army seizes famed Crusader fort pressing border campaign

Syrian regime forces seized famed Crusader fort Krak des Chevaliers on Thursday, killing dozens of rebels in the surrounding area and sending scores fleeing across the nearby Lebanese border. "The Syrian Arab Army raises the flag of the nation over the Krak des Chevaliers castle in Homs province, after crushing the terrorists who were holed up there," state television said. Lebanon's Al-Mayadeen TV, a private broadcaster sympathetic to Syria's government, broadcast live footage from the fort.

Cross-border fire by Syria army wounds 25: Lebanese sources

Cross-border shelling by the Syrian army wounded 25 people in northern Lebanon early Thursday, hours after twin air raids hit another border area, Lebanese security sources said. The flare-up came as Syrian troops backed by fighters of its Lebanese ally Hezbollah pressed offensives on the Syrian side of the frontier, prompting an exodus of both rebels and civilians. The artillery fire hit several homes in the Wadi Khaled area on Lebanon's northern border, a Lebanese security source said.

11 rebels killed fleeing famed Crusader fort: Syria army

Syrian troops killed 11 rebels as they fled the village of Al-Hosn, home to famed Crusader castle Krak des Chevaliers, for the nearby Lebanese border Thursday, a military source said. "During the operations in the Al-Hosn area, armed men (rebels) tried to flee for Lebanese territory. They fell to an ambush laid by the army, and 11 armed men were killed," the source told AFP. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported 60 people "killed or injured as they fled areas of Al-Hosn for the Syrian border with Lebanon."

Syria, Russia criticise US over embassy closure

Syria denounced as illegal Wednesday Washington's decision to close its embassy, while Russia said the move meant the United States had renounced its role as a peace sponsor. Their remarks came as Damascus said Israeli air raids on Syrian territory earlier Wednesday had killed a soldier and wounded seven others, warning that they endangered regional security. Meanwhile, Syrian state media said troops were advancing in the Qalamoun region near the Lebanese border after capturing the rebel stronghold Yabrud on Sunday.

Lebanon reopens road near Syria border after protests

Lebanon's army deployed in a tense town near the border with Syria on Wednesday, reopening the main road after its closure heightened sectarian tension across the country. Mostly Sunni Arsal had been sealed off by residents from the mainly Shiite neighbouring town of Labweh, where one person was killed last week by rocket fire. On Wednesday, more rocket fire launched from across the border hit two areas of eastern Lebanon, causing no casualties, the army said.

Syrian planes pound Damascus suburb, breaking truce

Syria's air force bombarded a suburb northwest of Damascus on Wednesday, killing seven people and violating a truce that had been in place since October, a monitoring group said. "Seven men have been killed in air strikes targeting the edges of Qudsaya, and an eighth man was shot dead by an army sniper," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. Among the dead were an unknown number of anti-regime activists, said the Britain-based group.
Syndicate content