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Lebanese navy stops second migrant boat in a week

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanon's navy stopped a boat carrying 35 Palestinian refugees to Turkey on Friday, the second time this week it has moved in to stop people apparently trying to travel on to Europe.


Russian military mission in Syria brings history full circle

MOSCOW/BISHKEK (Reuters) - Valery Anisimov and his fellow Russian servicemen were smuggled out of the Black Sea hiding below the decks of their ship, they grew their hair long so they could pass as tourists, then landed at a Syrian port to join up with government military units.


On sacred mourning day, Hezbollah rallies support for Syria fight

BEIRUT (Reuters) - In a large hangar in southern Beirut, giant banners of Hezbollah leaders killed over the years watch over a packed crowd of black-clad supporters who listen to speeches by clerics marking Ashura, the sacred day of mourning for Shi'ite Muslims.


Lebanon's Hezbollah takes aim at Saudi Arabia on Ashura

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Supporters of Lebanon's Iran-allied Shi'ite group Hezbollah chanted "Death to the Saud family" as their leader railed against Sunni-led Saudi Arabia on Saturday in a sign of deepening hostility towards the U.S.-allied kingdom.


Assad's priority to defeat 'terrorism' before elections - Russian lawmaker

MOSCOW/BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's priority is to defeat "terrorists" before holding elections but he is ready to call parliamentary and presidential polls if necessary, a Russian lawmaker who met him on Sunday said.


Lebanon arrests five, seizes two tonnes of drugs aboard Saudi-bound jet

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Lebanese authorities detained five Saudi citizens at Beirut international airport on Monday after finding two tonnes of drugs aboard a private jet bound for the Gulf kingdom, security sources and the National News Agency said.


Next meeting on Syria may be end of this week - U.S. official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Further diplomatic discussions on ending the Syrian conflict could occur as soon as the end of this week, a State Department spokesman said on Monday, acknowledging that Iran would eventually need to be involved in the talks on a political transition in Syria.


Iran to be invited to next round of talks on Syria - U.S. official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iran will be invited to participate in talks in Vienna on Friday to discuss ending the conflict in Syria, a dialogue aimed at finding a framework for political transition in Damascus, the U.S. State Department said on Tuesday.


Iran accepts invitation to Syria peace talks in Vienna

DUBAI (Reuters) - Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif and three of his deputies will attend multilateral talks on Friday in Vienna aimed at resolving the conflict in Syria, the foreign ministry was quoted as saying on Wednesday.


Arch-rivals Saudi Arabia, Iran to discuss Syria face-to-face for first time

RIYADH/DUBAI (Reuters) - Arch-rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran announced they would attend international talks in Vienna on Friday on the Syrian conflict, in what will be their first meeting to discuss the four-year-long war.