Gunshots have been reported in several areas of downtown Beirut, Lebanon, where people rallied outside the Prime Ministers office. Anti-Syrian protesters called for a “Day of Rage” to coincide with the funeral of slain security chief al-Hasan.
The deadly blast in Beirut which killed eight and wounded 118 more has risked destabilizing Lebanon while civil war rages in Syria. Middle Eastern analyst Ali Rizk told RT that the one with the most to gain from the attack was not Syria, but Israel.
President Vladimir Putin took the opportunity - at a time when bilateral relations between the two former Cold War powers are showing signs of strain - to send a message of peace and friendship to the United States on a very historic occasion.
Manpads - portable anti-aircraft weapons - have reached rebels in Syria, media report. But with little information as to who is operating them, concerns are mounting that Al-Qaeda affiliated extremists may benefit from advanced supplies.
Most of the arms funneled to Syrian rebels reportedly end up in the hands of hardline Islamist extremists, including those affiliated with Al-Qaeda. There is no way of vetting rebel groups to bolster only those with more secular views.
Ankara has placed a ban on Syrian Airlines flying into Turkish airspace, after a diplomatic row that began when Turkey seized cargo from a Syrian civilian plane it forced to land in Ankara. Earlier, Damascus closed its airspace to Turkish airlines.
Washington has accused Moscow of "morally bankruptcy" in Syria after Turkey intercepted a Syrian civilian plane. But the US cannot be an honest broker, analyst Jeff Steinberg told RT, because of its ill-covered support of the Syrian rebels.