Saturday, May 26, 2018

Syria's rebels open talks on forging united political front

BEIRUT, Lebanon — Syria's fractious opposition groups began negotiations in Qatar on Sunday to forge a more unified front in a bloody conflict that claims more than 100 lives a day.

Any attempt to restructure the opposition is unlikely to succeed — the last such meeting in Cairo in June ended in shouting and fistfights — but senior opposition figures tried to smooth over any differences in their initial remarks.

"The main aim is to expand the council to include more of the social and political components," said Abdulbaset Sieda, the current leader of the Syrian National Council.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said last week that the Syrian National Council had outlived its usefulness and should be replaced by a larger umbrella organization with more representation from inside Syria as well as from minority groups.

The council could be incorporated into that larger body, she said, but could no longer play a starring role in the exiled opposition.

Western powers hope to create a viable alternative to the government of President Bashar Assad.

While political bickering gathered steam, the fighting inside Syria continued apace.

A car bomb exploded in Damascus, wounding 11 people and causing serious damage to the headquarters building of the General Federation of Trade Unions, reported SANA, the country's official news agency.

The government blamed "terrorists" for the attack.

In clashes around Syria, three days of heavy fighting ended with rebel forces capturing the Al Ward oil field in the eastern province of Deir ez-Zour, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which tracks the conflict from abroad.

Comments

Gov. Scott declares State of Emergency across Florida over Alberto

As state authorities issued warnings of possible flooding and storm surge because of Subtropical Storm Alberto, Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for all 67 counties Saturday morning.“As we continue to monitor Subtropical Storm Albe...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Buckhorn spars with Tampa complete street activists after Bayshore tragedy

Buckhorn spars with Tampa complete street activists after Bayshore tragedy

After tragic crash caused by drag racers killed a young mother and daughter this week on Bayshore Boulevard, social media soon lit up with a crossfire of opinion on what should be done.Would a lower speed limit on Bayshore make any difference?&#...
Updated: 1 hour ago

AP Top News at 10:27 a.m. EDT

AP Top News at 10:27 a.m. EDT
Updated: 1 hour ago
North and South Korean leaders hold surprise 2nd summit

North and South Korean leaders hold surprise 2nd summit

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in have met for the second time in a month to discuss peace commitments they reached in their first summit and Kim's potential meeting with President Donald Trump
Updated: 1 hour ago
North and South Korean leaders hold surprise 2nd summit

North and South Korean leaders hold surprise 2nd summit

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in have met for the second time in a month to discuss peace commitments they reached in their first summit and Kim's potential meeting with President Donald Trump
Updated: 1 hour ago

Froome effectively seals Giro title in penultimate stage

Chris Froome effectively sealed victory in the Giro d'Italia on Saturday by holding his only remaining challenger in check up the final climb of the three-week race
Updated: 1 hour ago
Family grateful for Utah man's 'miracle' Venezuela release

Family grateful for Utah man's 'miracle' Venezuela release

A Utah man has been released from a jail in Venezuela after spending nearly two years behind bars on weapons charges
Updated: 1 hour ago
Family grateful for Utah man's 'miracle' Venezuela release

Family grateful for Utah man's 'miracle' Venezuela release

A Utah man has been released from a jail in Venezuela after spending nearly two years behind bars on weapons charges
Updated: 1 hour ago
Ricciardo takes pole position for Monaco GP ahead of Vettel

Ricciardo takes pole position for Monaco GP ahead of Vettel

Daniel Ricciardo took a dominant pole position for the Monaco Grand Prix on Saturday
Updated: 1 hour ago

The Latest: Holt's family calls Venezuela release a miracle

The family of a Utah man jailed in a Venezuelan jail for two years calls his release a miracle
Updated: 1 hour ago