Connect to share and comment

Dutch priest who saw Syria as home shot dead in Homs

Dutch priest Frans van der Lugt, who gained renown for his insistence on staying in Syria's besieged city of Homs, was shot dead there on Monday by a masked gunman. The motive for his murder was unclear, although Syria's main opposition bloc and President Bashar al-Assad's regime traded blame for the killing. Van der Lugt, 75, had become a well-known figure in the Old City of Homs, respected by many for his solidarity with residents of the rebel-held area under a government siege for nearly two years.

Dutch Jesuit priest abducted and killed in Syria: report

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A Dutch Jesuit priest was abducted and shot dead by unidentified gunmen in the besieged Syrian city of Homs on Monday, Dutch media reported . Frans van der Lugt, 75, had been living in Syria since the early 1970s. Armed men took him from his home in the morning and shot him twice in the head, Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant reported, citing the head of the Jesuit order in the Netherlands.

Dutch priest who saw Syria as home shot dead in Homs

Dutch priest Frans van der Lugt, who gained renown for his insistence on staying in Syria's besieged city of Homs, was shot dead there on Monday by a masked gunman. His death was reported by the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Syria's state news agency SANA, and was confirmed by the Dutch Jesuit Order. The motive for his murder was unclear, although Syria's main opposition bloc accused the regime of President Bashar al-Assad of being behind it.

Syria's Assad says political Islam project has failed

The "project of political Islam has failed," Syria's President Bashar al-Assad said on Monday, calling for the separation of religion from politics, state television said. Assad's regime has been battling an uprising that has come to be dominated by Islamists, ranging from moderates to radicals, who want to see Syria run as an Islamic state. "The project of political Islam has failed, and there should be no mixing between political and religious work," he said in comments on the 67th anniversary of the founding of his Baath party.

Syria's Assad 'will not go' like Yanukovych: Russian official

A former Russian prime minister who recently met Bashar al-Assad said Monday the Syrian president told him he would not flee like the deposed Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych. "The Syrian president told me: 'Tell Putin that I am no Yanukovych and that I will not go,'" Sergei Stepashin told reporters in Moscow after meeting the Syrian president last week. Assad was referring to Moscow-backed Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych who was ousted by a pro-European popular uprising in February and fled to Russia.

Assad tells Russian ex-PM 'active phase' of Syria war over this year

MOSCOW (Reuters) - A former Russian prime minister who recently met Bashar al-Assad said the Syrian president told him that much of the fighting in the country's civil war would be over by the end of the year, Itar-Tass news agency reported on Monday. Russia has been Assad's most powerful supporter during the three-year conflict that activists say has killed more than 150,000 people, blocking Western and Arab efforts to drive him from power.

Syria's Assad secure, will seek re-election: Hezbollah leader

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad will stand for re-election this year and no longer faces a threat of being overthrown, the head of his Lebanese Shi'ite ally Hezbollah said in an interview published on Monday. Hezbollah Secretary-General Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, whose fighters have been supporting Assad inside Syria, also said that after three years of conflict the danger of the country fragmenting was receding.

U.S. finalizing plan to boost support for Syrian rebels: sources

By Mark Hosenball and Missy Ryan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government is finalizing a plan to increase training and small-arms shipments for Syrian rebels, two U.S. security sources said on Friday, as Syrian government troops gain momentum following the collapse of U.S.-backed peace talks. The United States would increase assistance and send the shipments to moderate rebel factions mostly based in Jordan, along Syria's southern border, the officials familiar with the plan told Reuters.

U.S. finalizing plan to boost support for Syrian rebels: sources

By Mark Hosenball and Missy Ryan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. government is finalizing a plan to increase training and small-arms shipments for Syrian rebels, two U.S. security sources said on Friday, as Syrian government troops gain momentum following the collapse of U.S.-backed peace talks. The United States would increase assistance and send the shipments to moderate rebel factions mostly based in Jordan, along Syria's southern border, the officials familiar with the plan told Reuters.

Anti-Assad allies rebuff Syrian presidential election plan

PARIS (Reuters) - International powers who support the Syrian opposition have firmly rebuffed any idea of a presidential election organized by the Syrian government in the midst of a civil war, describing the plans as a "parody of democracy" that would kill peace talks.
Syndicate content