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Latest Bashar Al-Assad Items
Fewer than half the leaders of the Arab world showed up at an Arab summit in Baghdad on Thursday, a snub to the Iraqi government that reflects how trenchantly the sectarian division between Sunnis and Shiites and the rivalry with neighboring Iran define the Middle East's politics today.
Gunmen struck Thursday in Aleppo, Syria's largest city, and in a suburb of Damascus, both strongholds of regime support, killing two army colonels and kidnapping a high-ranking pilot.
Arab countries, divided over how to stop Syria's bloodshed, plan to call for the Syrian regime to halt its crackdown on civilians, let in humanitarian groups and free detainees, according to recommendations Wednesday by foreign ministers preparing for a summit this week.
Syria accepted a cease-fire drawn up by U.N. envoy Kofi Annan on Tuesday, but the diplomatic breakthrough was swiftly overshadowed by intense clashes between government soldiers and rebels that sent bullets flying into Lebanon.
Syrian troops shelled rebel-held neighborhoods in Homs on Monday, the latest barrage in a bombardment that has lasted several days and appeared to be the groundwork for an assault to push the fighters out of the country's third-largest city.
President Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan agreed during a nearly two-hour meeting Sunday to beef up "nonlethal" aid to Syrian opponents of the regime of dictator Bashar Assad.
Syrian forces attacked flash-point areas Sunday, carrying out raids and clashing with rebels as President Bashar Assad's allies in Russia said the country may be facing its last chance for peace.