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Jordan working with UN to accommodate 130,000 Syrian refugees

Syrian families at a makeshift camp in the Prince Hashem Stadium in the Jordanian border city of Ramtha.  /The Jordan Times/Taylor Luck

Special to AMMAN — Jordan, more than one year after the Sunni revolt, has decided to establish refugee camps to accommodate the 130,000 Syrians who fled the regime of President Bashar Assad. Officials said at least two refugee camps for Syrians would be assembled in northern Jordan. The officials said the effort would be [...]

July 12th, 2012 | Posted in Exclusives,Jordan,Mideast,Syria,Top Stories,United Nations | Read More »

As Syria spirals out of control, the U.S. under Obama can only watch

Demonstrators protest against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad in Tamanna, near Idlib on June 22. The banner reads, "We kneel only for God".  /Shaam/Reuters

John J. Metzler UNITED NATIONS — As the carnage against civilians continues across Syria, there’ a compelling humanitarian case for international intervention to stop the violence which has killed more than 10,000 civilians. Yet, what started as a political uprising against the authoritarian rule of Bashar Assad sixteen months ago, has morphed into a complex [...]

June 27th, 2012 | Posted in Columnists,COMMENTARY,Exclusives,Iran,John Metzler,Life,Mideast,Stateside,Syria,Top Stories,Turkey,U.S. Politics,United Nations | Read More »

Hamas takes over UN youth camps, offer Islamic indoctrination and sports

Children learn to handle weapons at a Hamas summer camp in 2011.  /Khaled Abu Toameh via FB

Special to GAZA CITY — Hamas has replaced the United Nations in caring for hundreds of thousands of youngsters in summer camps in 2012. Hamas launched its summer camps on June 9 with 70,000 students throughout the Gaza Strip. Officials said Hamas intends to provide expanded services in wake of a decision by the [...]

June 12th, 2012 | Posted in Exclusives,Hamas,Mideast,Top Stories,United Nations | Read More »

Syrian rebels intensify attacks on Assad forces near Turkey

Syrian rebels take up positions outside of Idlib.  /AP

Special to NICOSIA — Sunni rebels have renewed their offensive against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. “They [Assad forces] are not trained for urban warfare,” Rami Abdul Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said. The Syrian Observatory reported that rebel operations were concentrated in the northern province of Idlib [...]

June 5th, 2012 | Posted in Daily Brief,Exclusives,Mideast,Syria,Top Stories,United Nations | Read More »

UN angers Hamas by hiring Israeli contractor to build Gaza water plant

The Palestinian union had accused UNICEF in Gaza of giving its bids for projects in Gaza to Israeli companies instead of Palestinian companies.

Special to GAZA CITY — The United Nations has again come under pressure in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. The United Nations Children’s Fund has aroused the furor of Hamas-aligned companies by awarding a major tender to Israeli competitors. An Israeli consortium has won a UN tender to build a water desalination plant in the [...]

June 3rd, 2012 | Posted in Exclusives,Hamas,Israel,Mideast,Top Stories,United Nations | Read More »

Solving Syria: Instead of blue helmets, why not Russian and Chinese boots on the ground?

Demonstrators protest against Syria's President Bashar Assad as they hold posters of men who they say were killed by pro-government security, in Dael near Deraa on May 28.  /Reuters/Shaam News Network

Special to By Sumantra Maitra, Over a hundred people, most of them children and women were bayoneted to a slow, systematic and horrific death ostensibly by pro-governmental forces in the Syrian city of Houla, a few days back. According to the UN Monitors, fewer than twenty people died from shelling and the others [...]

May 30th, 2012 | Posted in Exclusives,Life,Mideast,Syria,Terrorism,Top Stories,United Nations | Read More »

Obama to U.S. intelligence: Oust Syria’s Assad in 2012

People gather at a mass burial for the victims purportedly killed during an artillery barrage from Syrian forces in Houla in this handout image dated May 26, 2012. U.N. observers in Syria have confirmed that artillery and tank shells were fired at a residential area of Houla, Syria, where at least 108 people, including many children, were killed, the U.N. chief said on Sunday in a letter to the Security Council.   /Reuters/Shaam News Network

Special to WASHINGTON — For the first time since the Sunni revolt in March 2011, the United States has begun operations against the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Western diplomatic sources said the administration of President Barack Obama has ordered the U.S. intelligence community to ensure the ouster of Assad in 2012. The [...]

May 29th, 2012 | Posted in Daily Brief,Exclusives,Jordan,Mideast,Syria,Terrorism,Top Stories,Turkey,U.S. Intelligence,U.S. Politics,United Nations | Read More »

Syrian opposition denies credit for bombings at Damascus intelligence site

Syrians gather in front of the damaged military intelligence building where two bombs exploded, at Qazaz neighborhood in Damascus on May 10.  /Bassem Tellawi/AP

Special to NICOSIA — Sunni rebels have struck the heart of the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad. Two suicide car bombers blew themselves up in front of Syrian Military Intelligence during the commuter rush on May 10. Officials said at least 55 people were killed and 400 injured in what was termed the [...]

May 11th, 2012 | Posted in Exclusives,Mideast,Syria,United Nations | Read More »

UN ties weapons shipments for West Africa to Iran’s IRGC

Nigeria had in November 2010 reported Iran to the United Nations Sanctions Committee over high calibre arms and ammunition intercepted by security agencies at Apapa Port.

Special to WASHINGTON — The United Nations has sanctioned Iranian arms exporters to Africa. A Security Council committee has identified members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Force responsible for shipping weapons to African clients. On April 20, the committee, in the first such measure since June 2010, imposed sanctions on officers from IRGC’s Quds [...]

May 4th, 2012 | Posted in Africa / Europe,Exclusives,Iran,Mideast,Nigeria,Top Stories,United Nations | Read More »

EU defense cuts erode peackeeping mission in Lebanon

Peacekeeping troops with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) patrol an area near Marjayoun.  /Ali Dia/AFP/Getty Images

Special to LONDON — The United Nations peacekeeping force in Lebanon, amid pressure to cut national defense budgets, was preparing to undergo a reduction. Diplomats said a range of European Union countries were preparing to reduce their contingents in the UN Interim Force in Lebanon over the next year. The diplomats said at least [...]

April 29th, 2012 | Posted in Africa / Europe,Exclusives,France,Italy,Lebanon,Mideast,Spain,Top Stories,United Nations | Read More »

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