Syrian opposition members say they have sensed a shift in Russia's stance on the conflict in their homeland and voiced hope Tuesday that Moscow will crank up pressure on Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime.
ENNISKILLEN, Northern Ireland — World leaders gathered in Northern Ireland for the G8 summit are girding for what Canadian officials say “won’t be an easy discussion” with Russian President Vladimir Putin over his support of an Assad regime that is warning Europe will “pay the price” if its arms Syrian rebels.
BRUSSELS — A day after the European Union agreed to lift its arms embargo for Syrian rebels, Russia confirmed Tuesday it was giving the Syrian government more high-powered missiles – raising the prospect of a new foreign-fed arms race in the Middle East.
President Bashar al-Assad said his regime has conquered the "conspiracy" against it, even as rebels overran the capital of Raqa province and captured its governor in the biggest success of their revolt.
President Barack Obama meets Russia's Vladimir Putin on Monday for potentially vexatious talks, as both leaders now offer open military backing to rival sides in Syria's civil war. Obama, who leaves Washington on Sunday, will confront Putin at the G8 summit in Northern Ireland, after his administration signaled it would begin arming vetted rebels battling Syria's government, Russia's top Arab ally.
The international envoy to Syria said after talks with the country’s leader Monday that the situation was “worrying” and gave no indication of progress toward a negotiated solution for the civil war.
Lakhdar Brahimi’s mission came as activists reported intense fighting in the central province of Hama, where anti-government gunmen entered the predominantly Alawite town of Maan. Assad’s regime is dominated by members of his minority Alawite sect, an off-shoot of Shiite Islam, while most of the rebels are Sunni Muslims.