Syria Crisis Digest: May 19-May 25

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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 19 - May 25 In Review

  • Syria's conflict spilled across the border into Lebanon on Monday when clashes in the capital Beirut killed 2 people and left at least 15 injured. Violence broke out after Lebanese soldiers killed an anti-Syrian Sunni cleric and his bodyguard in the north of the country.
  • A Palestinian writer who spent nearly 3 weeks in a Syrian jail called the country's prisons "human slaughterhouses." Salameh Kaileh described the prisons as "hell on earth."
  • A group of Lebanese Shiite pilgrims was kidnapped by Syrian rebels. The men were released unharmed.
  • A bomb planted under a military bus exploded near the Damascus airport, killing one soldier. 23 soldiers were injured.
  • Thousands of protesters hit the streets in demonstrations across the country on Friday. Activists reported 2 people were killed when security forces opened fire to disperse a protest in Aleppo.
  • In an interview with Christiane Amanpour, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the UN peace plan is the only way to bring an end to the violence in Syria. "At this time, we don't have plan B," Ban stressed.
  • At least 50 people reportedly were killed by Syrian forces on Friday in Houla, Homs.

Media Not To Miss

BBC -- 'Battle For Syrian Town Despite UN Brokered Ceasefire'
Paul Wood reports for the BBC from the rebel-held town of Rastan. The crucial border town has been at the center of intense fighting between opposition forces and government troops. "In Rastan you're always waiting for the next shell," Wood says.

Christian Science Monitor -- 'Syrian doctors turn to smuggling supplies as war rages on'
Providing medical care to those wounded in Syria is a challenge; the government controls the hospitals, making access to medical treatment difficult.

Tucked away in the underground garage of a nondescript apartment building in northern Jordan, the door to “the warehouse” is easy to miss. It looks like it should be a janitor’s closet or a boiler room. In fact, the tiny basement apartment is a way station for smugglers moving a vital product.

Read the full story here.

BBC -- Relatives Await Hostages' Return In Beirut A group of Lebanese pilgrims were released after they were stopped on a bus returning on a bus from Iran through Syria and kidnapped.

The Independent -- 'French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy calls for West to intervene in Syria'
BHL's new film, The Oath of Tobruk, is slated to debut at Cannes on Friday, May 25. In an interview with The Independent, BHL said, "It is time for us to intervene. One of the targets of movie is to show what can be done in Syria. I know that it is possible to do, it is feasible and it is doable and it's a shame that it is not done and this is why the movie is done, to show what can be done."

Read the whole story here.