- Marco Rubio: U.S. at social, moral crossroads
- ‘We’re coming for you, Barack Obama’: Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL
- White flags baffle NYPD: ‘We’re lucky it wasn’t a bomb’
- N.Y. Gov. Cuomo’s office interfered with, pressured corruption commission: report
- Brit lawmaker: I would fire on Israel if I lived in Gaza
- VA apologizes to forgotten Marine veteran locked in Fla. clinic, forced to call 911
- U.S. social and economic trends on worrisome track, survey finds
- McDonald nomination unanimously referred to full Senate
- Chuck Norris honorary chairman of NRA voter registration campaign
- GOP outraged Obamacare investigators able to get coverage with fake IDs
Both sides deny there’s civil war in Syria
Russia, U.S. trade charges
Question of the Day
BERLIN — Syrian troops stormed a rebel-held area on the Mediterranean coast Wednesday, driving out opposition fighters and retaking the Haffa region as world leaders debated the mounting violence there and mulled how to quell it.
France’s foreign minister said Syria has descended into “civil war,” a day after the United Nations‘ peacekeeping chief employed the same term to describe the ongoing strife there. But both Syria’s regime and the rebels rejected the notion that a civil war is occurring.
“If you can’t call it a civil war, then there are no words to describe it,” said French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, addressing journalists in Paris.
Meanwhile, Russia’s foreign minister accused the U.S. of arming Syria’s rebels, a charge Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton denied while expressing concern over Moscow’s military ties to the regime in Damascus.
“[This] contrasts with what the United States is doing … which is providing arms to the Syrian opposition that are being used against the Syrian government.”
The response from Washington was swift. “The United States has provided no military support to the Syrian opposition. None,” Mrs. Clinton said at the State Department.
“We do not and have not supplied weapons to the Syrian opposition,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said. “You know our position on that, and we’ve made it very clear. That position has not changed.”
The 15-month-old conflict in Syria, sparked during the Arab Spring protests of last year, is pushing the Middle Eastern nation to the brink of total warfare, analysts said.
“Syria is nearing the point of no return,” said Fawaz Gerges, director of the Middle East center at the London School of Economics. “What we are witnessing here is a steady march toward all-out sectarian strife.”
War or civil war
In retaking the mountainous Haffa region along the Mediterranean, Syrian forces helped create a buffer for President Bashar Assad’s hometown of Kardaha in Latakia province, which lies about 20 miles from the region.
Latakia is the heartland of the Alawite minority to which Mr. Assad and the ruling elite belong, although there is a mix of religious groups there, the Associated Press reported.
Syria’s army and the opposition’s Free Syrian Army are clashing in towns and villages throughout the country.
Last month in the town of Houla, 108 people were massacred, including women and children, in one of the bloodiest incidents since the uprising began. The Assad regime denied its troops were behind the killings and blamed foreign terrorists.
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Susan Crabtree is an award-winning investigative reporter with more than 15 years of reporting experience in Washington, D.C. Her reporting about bribery, corruption and conflict-of-interest issues on Capitol Hill has led to several FBI and ethics investigations, as well as consequences for members within their caucuses and at the ballot box. Susan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- GOP senators want IG probe of Sebelius' 'Obamacare' fundraising
- Teaming up with Christie, Obama says Jersey shore 'back in business'
- No Moore: Obama flubs name of Oklahoma city devastated by tornado, calls it 'Monroe'
- Obama to Okla. tornado victims: 'We have got your back'
- Aide involved in Benghazi talking points scrubbing promoted by Obama
Latest Blog Entries
Ashish Kumar Sen is a reporter covering foreign policy and international developments for The Washington Times.
Prior to joining The Times, Mr. Sen worked for publications in Asia and the Middle East. His work has appeared in a number of publications and online news sites including the British Broadcasting Corp., Asia Times Online and Outlook magazine.
- Boko Haram takes credit for abduction of Nigerian schoolgirls, threatens to sell them
- Al Qaeda core degraded, but 'more aggressive' affiliates still pose threat to U.S.
- Political uncertainty and violence in first Iraqi election since U.S. withdraw
- Egypt judge sentences 683 Islamists to death over Morsi-tied violence
- Doctor's killing in latest Afghanistan attack puts NGOs in crosshairs
TWT Video Picks
The subsidies are a hit with patients who don't exist
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of mixing politics and business
- House task force to recommend National Guard on border, faster deportations
- Democratic Sen. John Walsh plagiarized War College master's thesis: report
- 'We're coming for you, Barack Obama': Top U.S. official discloses threat from ISIL terrorists
- Obama orders Pentagon advisers to Ukraine
- Netanyahu's Wikipedia page replaced with giant Palestinian flag
- David Perdue defeats Jack Kingston in Georgia Republican Senate primary runoff
- Hezbollah warring in Syria could join fight against Israel
- Despite rhetoric, gun prosecutions plummet under Obama
- DEACE: How to go from civil rights icon to bigot in one quote
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq