July 13th, 2011
12:12 AM ET

Video: Tensions escalate between Syria, U.S.

Editor's note: Syria and the U.S. are trading barbs in the wake of mob attacks on the U.S. Embassy in Damascus. Jill Dougherty reports.

Related: Syria slams Clinton comments; 'national dialogue' ends

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Middle East
July 12th, 2011
01:45 PM ET

Syria slams Clinton comments; 'national dialogue' ends

Damascus, Syria (CNN) - The embattled Syrian government lashed out at U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her criticism of Bashar al-Assad's regime Tuesday and hailed the political leadership's initiative to pursue reforms, one of which is the just-completed "national dialogue" meeting.

Quoting an official Syrian source, the state-run Syrian Arab News Agency Tuesday upbraided Clinton, who criticized Syrian authorities Monday for not protecting the U.S. and French embassies in Damascus, which were attacked by demonstrators.

Clinton said President al-Assad "has lost legitimacy" and wants to deflect attention from the government's four-month, internationally-reviled crackdown on peaceful protesters. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights has said that about 1,400 civilians and 350 security and military forces have died since the unrest began.

The Syrian source called the comments "additional evidence of the flagrant U.S. interference in Syrian domestic affairs." There has been criticism of U.S. officials since last week, when U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford visited the city of Hama and met protesters there.

The issue emerged at the United Nations on Tuesday.

Peter Wittig of Germany, the U.N. Security Council president, condemned the attacks on Tuesday and urged Syrian authorities to protect diplomatic property and personnel.

Syrian Ambassador to the U.N. Bashar Ja'afari said the United States and France have exaggerated the facts about the attacks.

As for Clinton, she insisted that Syria meet its "international obligations immediately" to safeguard diplomats and property, hours after U.S. officials say that hundreds descended on its embassy for the third time in four days, scaling its walls and inflicting considerable damage.


Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Middle East
June 29th, 2011
11:44 PM ET

KTH: Kucinich under fire for trip, remarks

Editor's note: Anderson Cooper reports on Democratic Rep. Dennis Kucinich's controversial trip to Syria.

Related: U.S. lawmaker on fact-finding mission to Syria

June 29th, 2011
09:00 AM ET

U.S. lawmaker on fact-finding mission to Syria

Damascus, Syria (CNN) - U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, the Ohio Democrat who's long been an outspoken anti-war voice in Congress, visited volatile Syria to explore the possibility of a resolution to the violence spiraling across that country.

Kucinich is part of a small delegation on a fact-finding mission to Syria and neighboring Lebanon.

He said in a statement Monday that he pursued the trip because his constituents, in a Cleveland-area district that includes many Arab-Americans, asked him to look into "conditions on the ground" and see if there's a solution to a situation that's "spinning out of control."

The state-run Syrian Arab News Agency said President Bashar al-Assad met with Kucinich and the accompanying delegation Monday.

Criticism of Kucinich's trip has surfaced among activists because it is seen as legitimizing the al-Assad government.

But in his statement, Kucinich said he was planning to meet with "democracy activists, non-governmental organizations, small business owners, civilians as well as government officials."

Kucinich emphasized Tuesday that he met with people who are "actively involved" in the opposition, as well as government officials.

"I think it's really important for people involved in making policy to hear both sides," Kucinich told CNN.

The lawmaker arrived in Lebanon later Tuesday, where he plans to meet with President Michel Suleiman.

"Peace is not just the absence of war," Kucinich said, according to the statement.


Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Middle East
June 29th, 2011
02:10 AM ET

Video: Author optimistic about 'Arab Spring'

Editor's note: Author Bruce Feiler speaks with Anderson Cooper about the wave of popular uprisings that have swept the Arab world.

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Islam • Middle East
June 27th, 2011
11:56 PM ET

Video: Activist speaks out against crackdown

Editor's note: CNN's Anderson Cooper speaks with Razan Zaitouneh, a human rights activist in Syria.

Related: Videos belie Syrian regime's denial

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Middle East
June 27th, 2011
11:55 PM ET

KTH: Videos belie Syrian regime's denial

Editor's note: A steady stream of amateur video is undermining the latest claim from the Syrian regime. CNN's Anderson Cooper reports.

Related: Activist speaks out against crackdown

June 27th, 2011
08:45 AM ET

Syrian general: Hundreds of soldiers, police killed by armed gangs

Damascus, Syria (CNN) - Syria's military spokesman says more than 400 members of security forces have been killed in the months-long unrest that has taken hold in the country, a charge that came as videos surfaced allegedly showing children killed in the violence.

In an interview with CNN in Damascus, Maj. Gen. Riad Haddad said that 1,300 security personnel also were wounded, and that 300 soldiers, 60 security officials and 50 police died in the violence.

He also has said 700 people, whom he described as terrorists, and their families had fled Syrian authorities for Turkey.

Haddad offered no details about the killings of the security forces other than to blame the deaths on armed gangs. CNN cannot independently verify the claim.

President Bashar al-Assad has faced growing criticism from leaders in the United States, Europe and elsewhere over his government's violent clampdown on demonstrators. Al-Assad has repeatedly blamed "armed gangs" in explaining its military crackdowns, which have pushed thousands of Syrians to flee to Turkey.

Security sources in Lebanon told CNN that about 1,000 Syrians have crossed into Lebanon near the town of Hermel.

Months of protests have left more than 1,100 dead, according to human rights activists. But the extent of the carnage is not clear. About 10,000 people have been jailed since mid-March when the protests began, said Rami Abdelrahman, head of the London-based Syria Observatory for Human Rights.

CNN cannot independently verify the claims of the activist or the human rights group.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Middle East
June 24th, 2011
11:30 PM ET

Video: 'We will carry on,' says Syrian student

Editor's note: Anderson Cooper speaks with a Syrian college student about what is going on in his country.

Related: Activist group cites 10 dead in Friday's demonstrations in Syria

Filed under: 360° Radar • 360º Follow • Middle East
June 24th, 2011
11:15 PM ET

KTH: Protests persist in Syria

Editor's note: CNN's Anderson Cooper reports on ongoing protests in Syria despite a brutal crackdown by the Assad regime.

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