JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia, Sept 15- As President Barack Obama knits together an international coalition to take its campaign against Islamic State from Iraq into Syria, fighters like Ammar al-Wawi could make the difference.
*Russia says air strikes would be aggression. BEIRUT, Sept 11- By striking Islamic State in Syria, the United States would be weakening one of President Bashar al-Assad's major enemies. The U.S. strategy for tackling Islamic State in Syria is unlikely to yield quick results.
*Qatar seeks to free more US hostages in Syria- source. DOHA, Aug 26- Qatar is working to help free four Americans held hostage in Syria by various armed groups, a Gulf source familiar with the matter said on Monday, a day after the Gulf Arab state's diplomacy helped free a journalist held since 2012..
*U.S. air support helping Kurds in Mosul Dam drive. DOHUK, Iraq, Aug 17- Kurdish fighters pushed to retake Iraq's largest dam on Sunday in an attempt to reverse gains by Islamic State insurgents who have overrun much of the country's north, officials said.
DOHUK, Iraq, Aug 17- Kurdish fighters are advancing towards the militant-held city of Mosul, aiming to reverse gains by Islamic State insurgents, witnesses and a Kurdish peshmerga commander said on Sunday.
BEIRUT, Aug 12- Islamic State insurgents who seized a Lebanese border town this month planned to turn Lebanon into another Iraq by unleashing sectarian war between Sunnis and Shi'ites that would have endangered the nation's very existence, the army commander said.
*Saudi kings gives $1 bln to Lebanese army. ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF ARSAL, Lebanon Aug 6- L ebanon's army surrounded a border town occupied by Islamist militants on Wednesday as mediators reported progress in negotiations to end to the most serious spillover of Syria's civil war yet onto Lebanese soil.
*Saudi kings gives $1 bln to Lebanese army. ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF ARSAL, Lebanon Aug 6- L ebanon's army surrounded a border town occupied by Islamist militants on Wednesday, arresting men and evacuating refugees as the most serious spillover of Syria's civil war onto Lebanese soil lurched into its fifth day.
*Saudi kings gives $1 bln to Lebanese army. ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF ARSAL, Lebanon Aug 6- L ebanon's army and Islamist militants clashed on Wednesday in breach of a ceasefire aimed at ending five days of fighting in the most serious spillover of Syria's civil war onto Lebanese soil.
*Saudi kings gives $1 bln to Lebanese army. BEIRUT, Aug 6- The Lebanese army and Islamist militants clashed on Wednesday despite a 24- hour ceasefire agreed to end five days of fighting that has killed dozens of people in the most serious spillover of Syria's three-year civil war into Lebanon.
OUTSKIRTS OF ARSAL, Lebanon, Aug 4- The Lebanese army advanced on Monday into a border town attacked by Islamists at the weekend in the most serious spillover of the three-year-old Syrian civil war into Lebanon, and the Beirut government said the deadly assault would not go unpunished.
June 19- For other related diaries, please. BEIRUT- Arab Economic Forum in Lebanon. SEOUL- South Korean Finance minister Hyun Oh- seok speaks at the Parliament session on recent events.
BAGHDAD, June 13- Iraq's most senior Shi'ite Muslim cleric urged followers to take up arms against a full-blown Sunni militant insurgency to topple Shi'ite Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, escalating a conflict that threatens civil war and a possible break-up of the country.
*Iraq's most senior cleric urges followers to fight. BAGHDAD, June 13- Iraq's most senior Shi'ite cleric urged his followers to take up arms to defend themselves against a relentless advance by Sunni militants, in a sharp escalation of a conflict which is threatening civil war and the potential break-up of the country.
*ISIL taking arms seized from Iraqi army into Syria- monitors. *Gaining freedom of movement blurring Iraq, Syria borders. BAGHDAD, June 13- Islamist rebel fighters captured two more Iraqi towns overnight in a relentless sweep south towards the capital Baghdad in a campaign to recreate a mediaeval caliphate carved out of fragmenting Iraq and Syria.
PARIS/ BRUSSELS, June 5- French President Francois Hollande sought to widen the basis of his fight against a possible $10 billion U.S. fine facing bank BNP Paribas ahead of a meeting with Barack Obama on Thursday, warning of "consequences across the euro zone".
WARSAW/ PARIS, June 4- French President Francois Hollande said on Wednesday he will raise concerns about a possible $10 billion- plus U.S. fine on BNP Paribas that he considers "disproportionate" with his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama.
Kerry, on a brief visit to Beirut, also announced more aid to help Lebanon and other countries in the region struggling to cope with millions of Syrian refugees.
DAMASCUS, June 3- Syrians voted on Tuesday in an election expected to deliver an overwhelming victory for President Bashar al-Assad but which his opponents have dismissed as a charade in the midst of Syria's devastating civil war. Assad, looking relaxed and wearing a dark blue suit and light blue tie, voted at a central Damascus polling station with his wife Asma.
BEIRUT, June 1-- It was not so long ago that Bashar al-Assad's enemies thought he was finished.