US closes embassy in Syria as mayhem escalates
BEIRUT — The United States closed its embassy in Syria on Monday and withdrew its staff in the face of escalating mayhem that U.S. officials blamed on the Syrian government’s unbridled repression of an 11-month-old uprising.
Syria unleashes assault to take an unbowed city
BEIRUT — The Syrian government has launched a bloody assault to retake Homs, the country’s third-largest city, facing armed defectors who have prevented the government’s forces from seizing it as they did other restive locales this summer, in what may stand as one of the most violent episodes in an eight-month uprising.
Trial of deposed Egyptian leader may alter region
CAIRO — The headlines of newspapers on sale in a subway station once named Mubarak, and now renamed Martyr’s, captured the moment Tuesday that could prove one of the most remarkable in modern Arab history: “The pharaoh in the cage of the accused.”
Syrian official hopes seven-week protests are near an end
DAMASCUS, Syria — The Syrian government has gained the upper hand over a seven-week uprising against the rule of President Bashar Assad, a senior official declared Monday, in the clearest sign yet that the leadership believes its crackdown will crush protests that have begun to falter in the face of hundreds of deaths and mass arrests.
Syria intensifies military attacks against rebels
BEIRUT, Lebanon — The Syrian Army stormed the restive city of Dara’a with tanks and soldiers and helped detain dozens in towns across the country Monday in an escalation of the crackdown on Syria’s five-week-old uprising, according to residents and human rights activists. They said at least 25 people had been killed in Dara’a, with reports of bodies strewn in the streets.
Cairo moves towards normalcy as protests continue in the capital
CAIRO — As Egypt’s revolt entered its third week the government of President Hosni Mubarak sought to seize the initiative from protesters still crowding Tahrir Square on Monday, offering a pay raise for government employees, announcing a date for opening the stock market and projecting an air of normalcy in a city reeling just days ago.
Turkish cultural and economic influence on the rise in Iraq
ZAKHO, Iraq — A Turkey as resurgent as at any time since its Ottoman glory is projecting influence through a turbulent Iraq, from the boomtowns of the north to the oil fields near southernmost Basra, in a show of power that illustrates its growing heft across an Arab world long suspicious of it.
Attack on a Baghdad church <br /> strikes the country’s soul
BAGHDAD — Blood still smeared the walls of Our Lady of Salvation Church on Monday. Scraps of flesh remained between the pews. It was the worst massacre of Iraqi Christians since the war began here in 2003. But for survivors, the tragedy went deeper than the toll of the human wreckage: A fusillade of grenades, bullets and suicide vests had unraveled yet another thread of the country’s once eclectic fabric.
Turmoil in Iraq amid tight vote tally, as some charge fraud
BAGHDAD — Iraq’s major coalitions were locked in a surprisingly close race on Thursday, in initial results from elections that deepened divisions across a fractured landscape. Candidates were quick to charge fraud, heightening concerns whether Iraq’s fledgling institutions were strong enough to support a peaceful transfer of power.