1. The Historic Scale of Syria’s Refugee Crisis
    The Syrian refugee crisis has exploded from about 270,000 people a year ago to today’s tally of more than two million who have fled the country.
  2. Fugitive Iraqi leader to return home if assured of fair trial
    Fugitive Iraqi vice president Tareq al-Hashemi, sentenced to death on murder charges, said Thursday he would return home if the EU could help guarantee him a fair trial.
  3. Erdogan, Syrian Rebels’ Leading Ally, Hesitates
    ISTANBUL — From the start of Syria’s civil war, rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad have had no better ally than Turkey’s prime minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
  4. UN envoy heads to Egypt to prepare Syria talks
    GENEVA: The UN special envoy to Syria, Lakhdar Brahimi, will on Saturday visit Egypt as he kicks off a regional tour to prepare for peace talks on Syria dubbed Geneva 2, his spokesman said.
  5. Iranians seek to create a tourist heaven on Persian Gulf island
    KISH ISLAND, Iran—Travel brochures advertise this Iranian island as “the pearl of the Persian Gulf.” Girls are allowed to ride bikes and smoke water pipes in public. Boys can wear arm-baring muscle shirts and sport the kinds of long hairstyles that in Tehran would draw rebukes from religious authorities.
  6. Jets bomb Syrian city after intelligence general killed
    (Reuters) – Syrian air force jets bombarded the eastern city of Deir al-Zor on Friday after heavy overnight clashes and the killing of one of President Bashar al-Assad’s top military intelligence officers, activists said.
  7. Cyprus agrees to base for Syria chemical inspections
    NICOSIA (AFP) – Cyprus said that it has approved the establishment of a support base on the Mediterranean island for chemical weapons inspectors deployed in war-hit Syria.
  8. Weapons, fighters flow to Syria’s next battlefront as offensive looms
    The Assad regime appears poised to attack the strategic rebel-held Qalamoun region, which separates regime strongholds of Damascus and Syria’s coast. Rebel forces have swelled in preparation.
  9. Lebanese official in Syria for deal on kidnapped ‘pilgrims’
    AFP – A senior Lebanese security official headed to Damascus on Friday to discuss a prisoner exchange deal that could free nine Lebanese citizens kidnapped by Syrian rebels last year.
  10. Legal experts teach Syrian rebels to prevent human rights abuses
    Activists work near the front lines to train Syrian rebels on international humanitarian law, hoping to avert rights abuses and war crimes.