New House authorization for training Syrian rebels to be introduced on Monday, and added to continuing resolution funding bill likely as an amendment, senior House Armed Services Committee aide says - @frankthorpNBC
Editor's note: Brother of David Haines releases statement: 'David was most alive and enthusiastic in his humanitarian roles... He was and is loved by all his family and will be missed terribly' - Jimmy
Editor's note: President Obama: 'The United States strongly condemns the barbaric murder of UK citizen David Haines by the terrorist group ISIL. Our hearts go out to the family of Mr. Haines and to the people of the United Kingdom. The United States stands shoulder to shoulder tonight with our close friend and ally in grief and resolve. We will work with the United Kingdom and a broad coalition of nations from the region and around the world to bring the perpetrators of this outrageous act to justice, and to degrade and destroy this threat to the people of our countries, the region and the world.' - Jimmy
White House says it would like Congress to include an authorization for arming and training moderate Syrian opposition in a continuing resolution bill for funding the government that is expected to pass next week - @Reuters
Update: Spokesman for UK PM David Cameron says air strikes by UK against the Islamic State in Syria are not ruled out; comments by Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond meant to rule out air strikes against Syrian President Assad - @patrickwintour
Free Syrian Army members patrol Attarib, on the outskirts of Aleppo, on July 30, 2012. (Zohra Bensemra / Reuters)
The uprising in Syria was sparked in March 2011 in the southern city of Daraa with demonstrators angered by the arrests of young people who scrawled anti-government graffiti. Their grievances and calls for reforms were met with a violent security crackdown, reportedly by by President Bashar al-Assad's forces. The unrest served to catalyze anti-government protests across the nation.
More than 20,000 people have been killed since the uprising broke out, according to the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights in August 2012. In August 2012, Arab states -- including Saudi Arabia and the UAE -- urged their citizens to leave Lebanon after a mass kidnapping in retaliation for events in Syria raised fears that violence could be spilling across the region. - AFP, CNN, AP, Reuters
Toward the end of 2012, parties including Russia and UN peace envoy Lakhdar Brahimi have worked to broker a peace deal between the Syrian regime and rebel forces.