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Syria's War

Breaking news coverage of developments in Syria's War and the broader regional conflict, including allegations of the deadly use of chemical weapons and the international community's response

  • Israel strikes Syria in Golan Heights

    Israeli warplanes unleashed airstrikes Wednesday against Syrian army targets in response to a roadside bombing in the Golan Heights that wounded four soldiers the day before, the Israeli military said.

    In addition to the airstrikes, Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon warned Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that if he pursues a path harmful to Israel, he would "regret his actions."

    Syrian military officials said the strikes killed one soldier and injured seven others.

    Tuesday's roadside bombing and Wednesday's strikes are the most significant escalation between Israel and Syria since the Syrian conflict began three years ago, though neither country has expressed interest in entering a war.

    The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has a network of activists on the ground in Syria, said the Israeli air force targeted several "strategic posts of the Syrian army" near the villages of Kom and Nouriyeh.

    The military said the Israeli air force targeted a Syrian army training facility, an army headquarters and artillery batteries early Wednesday morning. Israel also carried out artillery strikes against Syrian military targets shortly after Tuesday's bombing.

    "There is a new situation on the Syrian frontier," said lawmaker Shaul Mofaz, a former defense chief. "This will continue to be a serious challenge for us."

    Read more at Al Jazeera America
  • Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday that the decision by the United States to suspend operations of Syria's embassy in Washington and consulates n other cities was "worrying and disappointing".

    Worsening relations between the United States and Russia over Ukraine in recent months have clouded efforts by the two countries to broker a peace deal in Syria, which is in its fourth year of civil war.

    [Reuters]
  • Opinion: Kiss the jackboot

    Last month at a rally for Gen. Abdel Fattah el-Sissi in Cairo, children could be seen throughout the crowd balancing boots on their heads for the cameras. This is the latest visual metaphor in the streets of Egypt and Syria: the jackboot. The message: total submission to the new military regime.

    In Syria supporters of President Bashar al-Assad announce their loyalty to the government using the same symbol with a floral twist. A monumental pro-regime jackboot statue in the devastated city of Homs is filled with huge colorful blooms, while the most frenzied pro-regime Syrians favor putting real military boots full of flowers on their heads, sometimes even kissing the boots.

    In the fast-moving semiotic arena of the last three years of upheaval in the Arab world, this is one of many iconic images that have emerged in the lexicon of the Arab street for the attention-deficient global press — Mohamed Bouazizi’s self-immolation, which sparked the uprisings; the “Dégage!” (Get out!) slogan that forced Zine el Abidine Ben Ali from Tunisia; the tweets and video clips of the long-gone Egyptian revolution of #Jan25. Three years on, these powerful symbols of popular resistance to authoritarianism are spent, and the disturbing kitsch of fascism has taken their place.

    A verbal corollary is the “terrorist” label. The Palestinians have fought for decades against the demonizing label used indiscriminately by the U.S. and Israel, but now Middle Eastern governments have seized on “terrorist” with gusto to dehumanize and make scapegoats of their domestic opponents. The Assad regime staved off effective international action for its massive crimes against humanity by portraying its civil opposition as a monolith of terrorism. In Egypt the anti–Muslim Brotherhood witch hunt purports to ascribe all the evils of a deeply flawed system to this “terrorist” minority.

    Read more at Al Jazeera America
  • The Russian Foreign Ministry says the United States' decision to shut the Syrian embassy is 'worrying and disappointing,' Reuters reports.
  • Some wounded Syrians seek treatment from Israeli hospitals

    By: Ashley Gallagher

    GOLAN HEIGHTS – Syrians wounded in their country’s three-year civil war have recently been crossing their country’s southern frontier to seek medical care in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. Israel and Syria remain technically at war, and recovering the Golan Heights — occupied by Israel since the war of June 1967 — is a shared goal of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and the opposition. A roadside bomb targeting an Israeli jeep wounded four soldiers near the Golan town of Majdal Shams on Tuesday. Still, Israel’s Military Medical Corp has opened its doors to the most seriously injured Syrian patients.

    Col. Dr. Salman Zarka says he “swore to give medical assistance to people in need” and decided to take on a humanitarian project by helping set up a field hospital close to the frontier, giving patients with life-threatening injuries a chance to survive.

    Zarka says some of those crossing are Syrian civilians caught in the crossfire. But more often than not, they receive rebel and government fighters unable to find substantial care on their side of the frontier.

    “I can remember Ibrahim,” says Zarka. “Ibrahim used to be an Assad regime officer. He told us very clearly, he used to think we are inhuman and now that we saved his life, he thinks different.”

    Zarka believes medicine can change people and feels privileged to help those he always learned were his enemy. A Palestinian Druze citizen of Israel, he speaks Arabic with his patients and does what he can to make them feel comfortable and welcome.

    The Israeli paramedics patrol the border and provide treatment for casualties they encounter. Once Syrians are evaluated, some are sewn up and treated on the ground. Others are taken to a makeshift field hospital for basic surgery and recovery. But patients who require extensive surgery are sent to a civilian hospital, Ziv Medical Center, in the Israeli town of Tsfat, about an hour away.

    Read more at Al Jazeera America
  • The Syrian army says Israeli airstrikes against its military posts in the Golan Heights have killed one Syrian soldier and wounded seven.

    The army says the raids targeted three posts near the town of Quneitra on the edge of the Israeli-held part of the heights on Wednesday.

    The statement also warns Israel against escalating the situation by repeating such "hostile acts." It says they "endanger the security and stability of the region."

    Earlier in the day, the Israeli military said its warplanes unleashed airstrikes against Syrian army targets in response to a roadside bombing in the Golan Heights that wounded four Israeli soldiers the day before.

    [The Associated Press]
  • According to a statement, Syrian forces say one killed, seven wounded by Israel's air strike near Golan Heights, Reuters reports.

    Syrian forces reportedly say such attacks endanger stability and security in the region.
  • UN: Syria war crimes evidence solid enough for indictment

    U.N. investigators said on Tuesday they had expanded their list of suspected war criminals on both sides of Syria's civil war and the evidence was solid enough to prepare an indictment. But with Syrian ally Russia almost certain to block any United Nations Security Council referral to the International Criminal Court, it is unlikely the panel's announcement will see suspected perpetrators of war crimes brought to justice.

    The chairman of the U.N. commission of inquiry on Syria, Paulo Sergio Pinheiro, told a news conference the "perpetrators list" includes the heads of intelligence branches and detention facilities where torture occurs; military commanders who target civilians; officials overseeing airports from where barrel bomb attacks are planned and executed; and leaders of armed groups involved in attacking civilians.

    Some 20 investigators have carried out 2,700 in-person and Skype interviews with victims, witnesses and defectors in the region to create the report for the United Nations Human Rights Council. They have never been allowed to enter the country, now in its fourth year of an increasingly sectarian conflict.

    Despite the accumulation of evidence, diplomats say it is unlikely Syria would be referred to the ICC, which tries war crime suspects in The Hague, any time soon.

    As Syria has not signed the Rome statutes establishing the ICC, the Security Council would need to make the referral. Russia, supported by China, has shielded its ally Syria throughout the war, vetoing three U.N. resolutions that would have condemned President Bashar al-Assad's government and threatened it with possible sanctions.

    "We do not lack information on crimes or even on perpetrators. What we lack is a means by which to achieve justice and accountability but this is not in our powers," Pinheiro said.

    Read more at Al Jazeera America
  • Kerry: The interests that brought #Russia to table on Syria, Iran are still there...We've been able to find 'big-ticket' cooperation
  • Kerry: We've all seen pictures of the emaciated corpses. 'You can't believe you're living in 2014.'...Assad will never regain legitimacy
  • Kerry:We just felt v strongly that the illegitimacy of the Assad regime is so overwhelming - 140k killed, >10k children, refugees, displaced
  • US halts Syrian embassy operations, orders diplomats to leave

    The State Department on Tuesday demanded that Syria’s government immediately suspend its diplomatic operations in the United States, and staff who are not U.S. citizens or permanent residents have been told to leave the country, a senior State Department official said.

    The order essentially shutters Syria’s embassy in Washington, D.C., and the honorary consulates it runs in Michigan and Texas.

    It comes three years since the start of the civil war that has killed more than 140,000 people in Syria, where various opposition groups are fighting to force out President Bashar al-Assad.

    U.S. special envoy to Syria Daniel Rubenstein said the order responds to a decision by Assad's government to suspend Syria’s own consular services.

    "We have determined it is unacceptable for individuals appointed by that regime to conduct diplomatic or consular operations in the United States," said Rubinstein, whose appointment was announced by the State Department on Monday.

    "Consequently, the United States notified the Syrian government today that it must immediately suspend operations of its embassy in Washington, D.C., and its honorary consulates in Troy, Michigan, and Houston, Texas," Rubenstein said in a statement.

    Read more at Al Jazeera America
  • Following the announcement that Syria suspending consular services and given the atrocities in Syria, the White House felt the move in terms of Syria's embassy was appropriate, White House spokesman Jay Carney said when asked about the timing of the move. 
  • U.S. Special Envoy for Syria Daniel Rubinstein released the following statement about Tuesday's diplomatic developments:

    This week marks the three-year anniversary of the Syrian revolution. For three years, Bashar al-Asad has refused to heed the call of the Syrian people to step aside. He has directed a war against his own people and created a humanitarian catastrophe in order to hold on to power and protect his narrow interests.



    Following the announcement that the Syrian Embassy has suspended its provision of consular services, and in consideration of the atrocities the Asad regime has committed against the Syrian people, we have determined it is unacceptable for individuals appointed by that regime to conduct diplomatic or consular operations in the United States.



    Consequently, the United States notified the Syrian government today that it must immediately suspend operations of its Embassy in Washington, DC and its honorary consulates in Troy, Michigan, and Houston, Texas. Syrian diplomats at the Embassy and Syrian honorary consulates are no longer permitted to perform diplomatic or consular functions and those who are not U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents must depart the United States.



    Despite the differences between our governments, the United States continues to maintain diplomatic relations with the state of Syria as an expression of our longstanding ties with the Syrian people, an interest that will endure long after Bashar al-Asad leaves power.



    The United States will continue to assist those seeking change in Syria, to help end the slaughter, and to resolve the crisis through negotiations – for the benefit of the Syrian people.


  • According to the State Department, the United States has immediately suspended the operations of the Syrian embassy in Washington, as well as honorary consulates in Michigan and Texas, Reuters reports.

    The U.S. special envoy for Syria says it is 'unacceptable' for individuals appointed by the Assad regime to conduct diplomatic and consular operations in the United States.
  • Cont'd: #Syrian diplomats..no longer permitted to perform diplomatic or consular functions & those not US citizens/residents must depart US
  • New US #Syria envoy Rubinstein: US notified Syria gov today it must immediately suspend ops of its DC embassy, consulates Michigan, Houston
  • US notified #Syria govt today that it must immediately suspend operations of its Embassy in DC and its honorary consulates, per @StateDept
  • The United Nations has added to its list of suspected war criminals attached to the Syrian civil war, Reuters reports.

    From Reuters:

    United Nations human rights investigators have added to their list of suspected war criminals from both sides in the Syrian civil war after a new round of atrocities in recent weeks, its head said on Tuesday.


    The U.N. inquiry has identified military units and security agencies as well as insurgent groups suspected of committing abuses, Paulo Pinheiro told the Human Rights Council.


    Four confidential lists of suspects on both sides have been drawn up to date.


    "This 'perpetrators list', as we call it, contains names of persons criminally responsible for hostage-taking, torture and executions," said Pinheiro, a Brazilian chairing the inquiry.


    "It also contains names of the heads of intelligence branches and detention facilities where detainees are tortured, names of military commanders who target civilians, airports from which barrel bomb attacks are planned and executed, and armed groups involved in attacking and displacing civilians."


    In its update report, the U.N. commission of inquiry on Syria said the period of January 20 to March 10 was marked by escalating hostilities between insurgent groups throughout northern and northeastern provinces as Islamist rebel strongholds came under attack.


  • The New York Times' Anne Barnard takes a look at what three years of civil war has truly done to Syria.

    From the Times:

    Day after day, the Syrian civil war has ground down a cultural and political center of the Middle East, turning it into a stage for disaster and cruelty on a nearly incomprehensible scale. Families are brutalized by their government and by jihadists claiming to be their saviors as nearly half of Syrians — many of them children — have been driven from their homes.


    At the start of the fourth year since Syrians rose up in a peaceful movement that turned to arms after violent repression, a snapshot of the country presents the harsh truth that Syria’s descent is only accelerating, with nothing to check it.


    The government bombards neighborhoods with explosive barrels, missiles, heavy artillery and, the United States says, chemical weapons, then it sends in its allies in Hezbollah and other militias to wage street warfare. It jails and tortures peaceful activists, and uses starvation as a weapon, blockading opposition areas where trapped children shrivel and die.


    The opposition is now functionally dominated by foreign-led jihadists who commit their own abuses in the name of their extremist ideology, just last week shooting a 7-year-old boy for what they claimed was apostasy. And some of those fighters, too, have targeted civilians and used siege tactics.


  • #Syria Israeli border An Israeli army jeep drove over explosive device near Syrian border . Reports of 2-3 wounded .
  • The Israeli military says a bombing has wounded several soldiers along the Syrian frontier, The Associated Press reports.
  • A California man who prosecutors say was on his way to Syria to join an Islamist militant group was arrested on Monday near the U.S.-Canada border in Washington state on a charge of attempting to provide material support to a terrorist organization, federal officials said.

    The U.S. Department of Justice said in a statement that 20-year-old Nicholas Teausant had planned to cross into Canada and travel on to Syria to join an al Qaeda-linked militant group, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

    [Reuters]
  • According to federal prosecutors, a California man arrested the United States-Canada border on a terror charge had been headed to Syria to join a militant group, Reuters reports.
  • A 107-year-old woman who fled the conflict in Syria has been reunited with her family in Germany.

    German officials say Sabria Khalaf arrived Monday from Greece where she had originally applied for asylum.

    Under European Union rules refugees have to apply for asylum in the first member state they reach, putting a heavy burden on Mediterranean nations like Greece and Italy.

    A spokesman for the Office for Migrants and Refugees, Christoph Sander, says a decision was made to expedite Khalaf's transfer to Germany on humanitarian grounds.

    Khalaf, who fled Syria seven months ago, was greeted by 20 family members when her plane arrived at Duesseldorf airport, the dpa news agency reported.

    [The Associated Press]
  • Road to Umayyad Square in #Damascus with its distinctive fountains & monuments, one person killed today in mortar attack on square #Syria
  • Syria envoy Brahimi is in Tehran and having meeting with Iran officials, spokesman for UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said at his Monday briefing. 
  • The State Department has announced Daniel Rubinstein as the new special envoy for Syria.

    From the department:

    Daniel Rubinstein will be an outstanding successor to Ambassador Robert Ford as the U.S. Special Envoy for Syria.


    This position is as important as it is challenging. Like Robert, Daniel is a Senior Foreign Service officer who speaks fluent Arabic and is widely respected in the region. It's more than fair to say that he is among our government’s foremost experts on the Middle East and has served with distinction in some of our most challenging and high profile regional Missions, including Damascus. Wherever he's served -- from Jerusalem to Amman, from Baghdad to Tel Aviv, from Tunis, to the Sinai, and most recently back in Washington in the INR Bureau where I was reacquainted with him -- Daniel has excelled.


    There's no denying the tough challenge that Syria represents for any diplomat. We're entering the fourth year of a bloody and brutal conflict that's wrecked havoc on the country, its people, and the region. Special Envoy Rubinstein’s leadership and counsel will be vital as we redouble our efforts to support the moderate opposition, shore up our partners, counter the rise of extremism that threatens us all, and address the devastating humanitarian crisis and its impact on the neighboring states. Special Envoy Rubinstein will travel to the region later this month to begin consultations with Syrians and others seeking an end to the slaughter and a different kind of future.


  • Syrian government troops take opposition stronghold

    Syrian government troops backed by Hezbollah fighters took full control of the strategic town of Yabroud on Sunday after driving out opposition forces, helping President Bashar al-Assad secure the land route connecting the capital city of Damascus with Aleppo and the Mediterranean coast.

    The fall of Yabroud, the last opposition bastion near the Lebanese border, could sever a vital insurgent supply line and consolidate government control over a swathe of territory from Damascus to the central city of Homs.

    The army "restored security and stability to Yabroud … after eliminating a large number of terrorist mercenaries," the Syrian military said in a statement hailing the strategic victory.

    A military source said that about 1,000 fighters from the Al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front had held out on Saturday to fight government forces, which had entered eastern districts of Yabroud and captured several hilltops.

    "They fought a fierce battle and then from last night until the early hours of today they all pulled out," he said.

    The source said the militants had withdrawn to the nearby villages of Hosh Arab, Fleita and Rankos as well as Arsal, a Lebanese border town 13 miles to the northwest.

    Hezbollah-operated Al Manar television broadcast scenes from Yabroud's main square, where people walked around and talked in apparent safety. Soldiers replaced the three-star flag of the Syrian revolution with the government's two-star banner.

    Footage from earlier in the day showed empty streets, shuttered shops and abandoned homes in a main thoroughfare. Heavy gunfire could be heard in the background.

    Read more at Al Jazeera America
  • A Lebanese security source told an Al Jazeera Arabic correspondent that Syrian warplanes have carried out more than 17 airstrikes on mountainous areas surrounding Arsal, Ras Baalbek and al-Masalik al-Waara — which are located between the cities of Yabroud and Flita in Lebanese territory — since Sunday morning.

    One of the airstrikes killed two women and two children when their car was targeted on the way to the Ras Al-Maara district inside Syrian territory.

    Syrian warplanes stepped up the bombardment on a road linking the Syrian town of Flita with Lebanese territory — the only corridor left for Syrian refugees fleeing al-Qalamun city toward Lebanon.

    The airstrikes coincide with the Syrian army’s announcement that it has entered the city of Yabroud, which is near the Syrian-Lebanese border.
  • Now sound of mortar shells crashing in government-controlled central #Damascus after news of regime capture of rebel-held #Yabroud #Syria
  • #Syria government forces claim to have arrested and killed large number of fighters following the fall of #Yabroud
  • Syrian regime's capture of Yabroud has driven estimated 1000+ rebels into Lebanon, right after fighting Hezbollah. Recipe for disaster here.
  • #Syria Syrian army takes control of #Yabroud this was the last rebel's stronghold town in Qalalamoun mountains .
  • Syria said Sunday its military has seized a key town on the Lebanese border that was the target of a months-long army offensive. Activists said fighting was still ongoing but the government was in effective control of much of Yabroud.

    Yabroud was an important supply line for rebels into neighboring Lebanon, and overlooked an important cross-country highway. Its fall, coming as the Syrian conflict enters fourth year, would be the latest blow to rebels since the initiative passed to the government in the spring of 2013.

    It is the last major rebel-held town in the mountainous Qalamoun region, where President Bashar Assad's forces have been waging an offensive for months to try to sever rebel supply lines across the porous border into eastern Lebanon. Its fall would come just a week after the Syrian army seized the village of Zara, which also served as a conduit for rebels from mountainous northern Lebanon into central Syria.

    Syria's state news agency SANA reported that military forces seized Yabroud early Sunday and were now combing the city, removing booby-traps and bombs and hunting down rebel hold-outs.

    Kasem Alzein, a Syrian pro-rebel doctor who lives in the nearby border town of Arsal, said military forces entered the eastern part of Yabroud and that rebels fled to the nearby town of Flita. He said a small hardcore group of fighters had decided to fight to the death in the city.

    "They don't want to surrender," he said.

    But, he said, "supplies are cut off. The weapons that were promised (to rebels) never arrived."

    "Qusair will repeat itself," Alzein said, referring to another strategic rebel-held town on the Syrian border that fell last summer. As in the Qalamoun offensive, Lebanese Hezbollah militants played a key role backing government troops.

    Gunfire and clashes could be heard on footage broadcast live by the Lebanon-based Al-Mayadeen. It showed troops walking through empty streets.

    Meanwhile, a new flare-up of violence in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli linked to the Syrian civil war left 12 people dead in recent days, Lebanon's state-run news agency said.

    NNA says the latest fatality was a soldier, killed when attackers fired on his armored vehicle with rocket-propelled grenades and small arms on Sunday.

    His death brings the death toll to 12 since clashes erupted Thursday, the NNA said.

    The clashes pit Sunni gunmen from the neighborhood of Bab Tabbaneh who back Syria's Sunni-majority rebels against rivals from nearby Jabal Mohsen, dominated by the Alawite sect, also the faith of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

    Some Sunni gunmen have also attacked Lebanese soldiers, accusing them of loyalty to rival sectarian factions in Lebanon.

    [The Associated Press]
  • UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Emergency Relief Coordinator Valerie Amos released this statement on the third anniversary of Syria's civil war:


    Three years after the start of Syria’s conflict, we estimate that more than 9 million people need aid and protection inside Syria and another 2.5 million have fled the country. The humanitarian consequences of the fighting are staggering and despite our best efforts, aid workers are struggling to reach everyone who needs help. An estimated 3.5 million people are living in 'hard-to-reach' areas and have received very little aid. Some 220,000 have been besieged for months, 175,000 in areas controlled by the government and 45,000 in areas controlled by opposition groups. We have not been allowed to help them and they have not been allowed out of their communities. In some areas there are reports that people have run of food. 

     
    People in entire neighbourhoods and towns are being intimidated into submission. Children, women and men are being used as pawns by parties to the conflict in their battle for territorial advantage. After three years, the figures, although horrific, no longer have the impact they should. Well over 100,000 people have been killed. An entire generation of children has been traumatized and brutalized. Hospitals and school playgrounds have been attacked; residential neighbourhoods are flattened by barrel bombs. Our collective voice should be raised in protest at the flagrant violations of international humanitarian and human rights law. 
     

    The international community needs to show the courage and determination to do all that is necessary to reach a political solution. Without that, we will see years more of destruction and continued brutality meted out to the people of Syria. 

  • UN: 9 million Syrians now displaced as conflict ticks into fourth year

    On the eve of the third anniversary of unrest that led to the Syrian civil war, the United Nation's refugee agency (UNHCR) said Friday that the country now leads the world in forced displacement, with more than 9 million people uprootedas a result of the conflict.

    The total number of displaced people is comprised of over 2.5 million refugees who are living in neighboring countries and 6.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) within Syria, according to the UNHCR. The number of people uprooted — half of which are children — equals 40 percent of the country’s pre-war population.

    In crossing the 9 million mark, experts believe that Syria has overtaken Afghanistan as the world’s leader in forcibly displaced persons.

    “It is unconscionable that a humanitarian catastrophe of this scale is unfolding before our eyes with no meaningful progress to stop the bloodshed," said U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres. "No effort should be spared to forge peace. And no effort spared to ease the suffering of the innocent people caught up in the conflict and forced from their homes, communities, jobs and schools."

    The unresolved conflict will see the number of displaced people rapidly rise in 2014, the U.N.-Arab League peace mediator Lakhdar Brahimi warned Thursday. And fragile peace talks could be scuppered if the Syrian government goes ahead with holding an election that would all but guarantee a new presidential term for Bashar-Al Assad, whose family has ruled Syria for 44 years.

    Read more at Al Jazeera America
  • #Syria Brahimi to Iran on Sunday to discuss Syria
  • Ban Ki-moon just finished.
  • A reporter asks Ban for his reaction to comments from Syrian ambassador Jafaari that upcoming elections in Syria are essentially none of the UN's business.

    "In the case of Syria, while we are now engaging in the negotiations, the main purpose is to establish a traditional governing body. That depends on who becomes the candidate for the presidency," says Ban. "When Assad becomes a candidate, this will make moving the Geneva peace process ahead very difficult. "
  • "I am urging again the United States and Russian Federation to re energize and refocus their political influence so the two parties can engage in more constructive dialogue on a political solution," says Ban
  • UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is addressing the press now.

    "After two rounds of talks, neither side is displaying any will to compromise or any awareness of the suffering of the Syrian people," says Ban. "All those who persist in seeking a military solution are making a political solution more distant/"
  • Al Jazeera's James Bays asks Jafaari if he's "unhappy" with how UN envoy Brahimi is performing his role -- Jafaari has previously told Brahimi to 'behave' in a meeting on Syria -- and whether the Crimea crisis is distracting from the crisis in Syria.

    "Sometimes the special representatives go beyond their mandates," says Jafaari. "And I need to remind them that 'guys, you have limits.'"
  • A reporter asks Syrian ambassador Jafaari is Syria is opposed to parallel talks to bring an end to the ongoing Syrian civil war.

    "I know that you are a seasoned report and an experienced reporter, but I don't like the way you're asking this, and you must have missed my comments." Jafaari responds. "Mr. Brahimi chose himself to put combating terrorism as item #1 on the Geneva agenda, because *he* felt that combating terrorism was a priority. The other side misinterpreted the meaning of 'combating terrorism', and this is where things got stuck."
  • Syrian ambassador Bashar Jafaari has essentially hijacked Secretary-General Ban's press conference. The press is very unhappy with him.
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