Sanctions bite in Syria as oil giant Shell pulls out
By REU TERS
Royal Dutch Shell is first oil major to pull out under new EU sanctions; Army defectors kill 8 Air Force personnel in ambush; UN says over 300 children among 4,000 dead.
Syria opposition leader: We would drop Iran, Hezbollah ties
Syrian National Council leader Burhan Ghalioun calls current Iran-Syria relationship 'abnormal'; says Assad has lost 'grasp on reality'.
By Reut ers
Fresh clashes in Syria 'civil war'
http://www.independent.co.uk/news/wo...internalSearchHours of clashes across Syria killed at least four people today and wounded dozens more - including an 11-year-old girl who was struck by stray bullets that flew across the border into Lebanon, officials said.
The most serious violence appeared to be in the town of Talkalakh, where witnesses reported more than six hours of explosions and gunfire.
The town is within walking distance from Lebanon, and at least two people were struck by bullets on the Lebanese side.
The girl and a 40-year-old man were taken to hospital after being struck by bullets fired from the Syrian town, Lebanese security officials said.
Deadly violence also was reported in Homs and Idlib provinces. At least four people were killed, activists said.
Syria is trying to crush an eight-month-old revolt challenging President Bashar Assad's autocratic rule, but the mounting death toll has led to broad condemnation. There also have been growing concerns that violence could lead to a wider regional conflagration.
The UN's top human rights official said this week that Syria is in a state of civil war and more than 4,000 people have been killed since mid-March.
Diplomats: Hamas quietly scales back its presence in Syria
Diplomats say dozens of operatives quietly returning to Gaza Strip in light of uncertain future of Assad regime.
By Reut eurs
When the rats leave the ship, it's an indication it is about to sink.
So Mahmoud Abbas as the PLO did sign a statement of support for Assad. I did not expect this.
I think Hamas faces a dilemma: being the Palestinian branch of the MB, it got close to the Egyptian MB and should manage the paradoxal situation of their sponsor, Assad, fighting against the Syrian MB.Tensions with Damascus rose further when Hamas opted not to sign a statement by nine other Palestinian groups, including President Mahmoud Abbas's Palestine Liberation Organization, in support of the Syrian leader.
Help from Israel is the great dark horse of all these Arab revolts. No one wants to be the first. Because that would mean everything they knew about Israel their whole life is wrong.