Huffpost WorldPost

Syria Crisis Digest: May 12 - May 19

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Each week, HuffPost World will provide the top stories out of Syria and a recap of events in the country's year-long uprising, as President Bashar Assad’s regime continues its bloody crackdown.

May 12 - May 18

  • Spill-over from the crisis in Syria resulted in sectarian violence across the border in Lebanon's northern city of Tripoli. One civilian and two soldiers were killed in the clashes.
  • The Syrian army intensified its assault on the town of Rastan. Opposition fighters killed at least 23 soldiers and shelling killed several civilians.
  • Burhan Ghalioun, the newly re-elected head of opposition umbrella group the Syrian National Council, offered his resignation on Thursday after increasing criticism of his leadership. His resignation underscores the appearance of a divided opposition in Syria.
  • Mourners paid tribute to Marie Colvin, an American war correspondent for the Sunday Times, who was killed in Homs in February.
  • In a rare interview with Russian television, Syrian President Bashar Assad claimed that Syrians support his government's reforms and denied facing domestic opposition.
  • A UN monitor team spent a night under protection of opposition fighters in Khan Sheikhoun, Idlib province, after their convoy was attacked.
  • The European Union slapped new sanctions on 3 people close to the Assad regime.
  • The Islamist Al-Nusra Front claimed responsibility for two suicide bombings in Damascus.

Media Not To Miss

YouTube Footage Purportedly Shows UN Observer In Syria Under Fire

A man wearing a blue UN observer vest army-crawls away from the fire before being pulled from the street by two men. Read more here.

BBC Interview With Bashar Assad

In his first media interview this year, Assad admitted that Syria was affected by sanctions and that his government had captured foreign merceries.

Photos From The Associated Press
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In this Thursday, May 17, 2012 photo, Syrians gather around Arabic writing made from fire which reads, "we will continue," during a demonstration in Zabadani neighborhood, Damascus, Syria. (AP Photo/Fadi Zaidan)

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In this image made from amateur video released by the Shaam News Network and accessed Tuesday, May 15, 2012, purports to show a wounded boy at a makeshift clinic in Idlib, Khan Sheikhoun, Syria.

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In this citizen journalism image provided by Sham News Network SNN, an anti-Syrian regime protester, holds up a Cross and Crescent painted with colors of the Syrian revolution flag during a demonstration against Syrian President Bashar Assad in the Damascus suburb of Yabroud, Syria, Friday, May 18, 2012.

NYT's The Lede -- Student Protests In Aleppo

Live footage of student protests at Aleppo University was streamed online on Thursday. Watch one of the clips below and read more here.