Results tagged “Syria”
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An Electricity Ministry official was killed by an IED attack on his car; several government officials have been assassinated in recent weeks. Two Syrian bishops abducted last week are still missing. Rebels have threatened to take the conflict into Lebanon.
Israel alleged that Syrian government forces had used chemical weapons, but US officials remained skeptical. Two Syrian bishops who had been abducted were reportedly freed; they are said to have been kidnapped by non-Syrians who spoke Arabic. The reports of their release have not been confirmed.
The EU for the first time relaxed Syrian sanctions, in order to ease shortages and provide economic support in rebel-held areas; the export of crude oil from those areas will be allowed, as will EU investments and the import of gas and oil technology. Gunmen kidnapped a Greek Orthodox bishop and an Assyrian Orthodox bishop as they traveled in a rebel-held area from Turkey to Aleppo; the gunmen killed the bishops' driver. Government forces are focusing on Damascus and strategic areas connecting the capital with Homs and the coast.
Clashes between the Al Nusrah Front and villagers from al Masreb in Deir Ezzour resulted in the deaths of 17 villagers and 20 Nusrah fighters; Al Nusrah also took 13 villagers captive and burned houses in the village. The director of the Aleppo mosque has disappeared since being taken by government forces on April 9. Heavy fighting continued in Homs near the contested town of Qusair, close to the border with Lebanon.
President Assad accused the West of supporting al Qaeda fighters in Syria and Libya, and warned that the militants would later strike back at the US and Europe. He also accused Jordan of allowing thousands of anti-regime fighters to enter Syria. US intelligence is reviewing allegations that the Assad regime has used chemical weapons. Rebels captured a military base in Homs.