Middle East

 

UN makes record funding appeal for Syria

17 Dec 2013

 

BEIRUT (AP) — The exodus of millions of people from Syria in one of the largest refugee flights in decades is pushing neighboring countries to a breaking point, and thousands of lives are threatened with the onset of a bitter winter…. 

Syrian refugee children shout during a spontaneous protest they initiated against Syrian President Bashar Assad, in a camp in Yayladagi, Turkey, near the Syrian border, Wednesday, June 15, 2011.

 

Iraq Parliament Speaker calls on Maliki government to resign

Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki speaks during a ceremony marking a Police Day at the police academy in Baghdad, Iraq

BAGHDAD – Parliament speaker Osama al-Nujaifi called on Monday for the cabinet to resign and for early elections to be held, as a seven-day wave of violence killed more than 230 people in Iraq. The initiative is aimed at…
photo: AP / Hadi Mizban

 

 

 

 

Iraqi al-Qaeda, Syrian group join forces

10 Apr 2013
Al-Qaeda’s branch in Iraq and the most powerful rebel extremist group in Syria have officially joined ranks against President Bashar Assad to forge a potentially formidable militant force in the Middle East. The merger of the Islamic State in Iraq and Jabhat al-Nusra forms a new entity that could be an even stronger opponent in the fight to topple…
In this Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012 photo, Free Syrian Army fighters fire at enemy positions during heavy clashes with government forces, in the Salaheddine district of Aleppo, Syria.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Egyptian Copts and Muslims clash again in central Cairo, one killed

08 Apr 2013
CAIRO: One person was killed and more than 80 were wounded in clashes at the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in central Cairo on Sunday after a funeral service for four Egyptian Christians killed in sectarian violence with Muslims, state media said. Christian-Muslim confrontations have increased in Muslim-majority Egypt since the overthrow of president…
A tear gas canister is fired by Egyptian riot police into the compound of the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral after the funeral of four Christians killed in sectarian clashes near Cairo over the weekend in Cairo, Egypt, Sunday, April 7, 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

U.N. Says It Is Running Out of Money to Assist Wave of Refugees From Syria

06 Apr 2013
GENEVA — The United Nations will soon have to start cutting off lifesaving aid to people fleeing the war in Syria because the exodus has far outstripped financial support from international donors, one agency at the center of the humanitarian relief effort warned on Friday. Multimedia Video Feature Watching Syria’s War Aleppo Civilians
This citizen journalism image provided by Aleppo Media Center AMC which has been authenticated based on its contents and other AP reporting, shows Syrian refugees filling their buckets at Atmeh refugee camp, in the northern Syrian province of Idlib, Syria, Friday, April 5, 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The cost of war: 2 million Syrian youths afflicted by trauma, disease, malnutrition

13 Mar 2013
March 13, 2013 — Updated 0435 GMT (1235 HKT) (CNN) — The Syrian civil war has taken a massive toll on the most innocent of victims, the aid agency Save the Children said Wednesday. More than 2 million children have been afflicted by trauma, malnutrition or disease, the group said. In addition, one in three children have been injured in the…
A Syrian man carries his sister who was wounded in a government airstrike hit the neighborhood of Ansari, in Aleppo, Syria, Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013.

 

 

 

 

 

Rebels fight for control of key Damascus suburb

From Salma Abdelaziz and Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
March 2, 2013 —
Rebel fighters take position to fight against pro-government forces in Aleppo on February 9, 2013.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Syria’s foreign minister visits Tehran, rejects foreign interference
  • Rebels and Syrian forces clash in the Damascus suburb of Jawbar

 

 

Karzai: No more NATO air strikes

17 Feb 2013
KABUL, AfghanistanAngry over civilian deaths, President Hamid Karzai announced plans Saturday to ban Afghan security forces from requesting international air strikes on residential areas. If he issues the decree as promised, the move would pose a significant new challenge to government troops who have relied heavily on foreign air power to give…
Secretary of Defense Leon E. Panetta, right, hosts a full honors arrival ceremony to welcome Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai to the Pentagon Jan. 10, 2013.
photo: US DoD / Glenn Fawcett

 

Syrian opposition chief, Russian minister meet, state news agency reports

By CNN Staff
February 3, 2013
People protest with banners and signs during a rally against the 49th Munich Security Conference on February 2, 2013.
People protest with banners and signs during a rally against the 49th Munich Security Conference on February 2, 2013.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The talks take place on the sidelines of a security conference in Germany
  • Russia is a longtime ally of Syria; It does not recognize the opposition
  • The opposition leader also meets with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden

 

 

 

Iran says it will resume nuclear talks in Kazakhstan

February 3, 2013
German Foreign Minister, Guido Westerwelle (L) and Iran's Ali Akbar Salehi, gesticulate on the second day of the the 49th Munich Security Conference on February 2, 2013 in Munich.
German Foreign Minister, Guido Westerwelle (L) and Iran’s Ali Akbar Salehi, gesticulate on the second day of the the 49th Munich Security Conference on February 2, 2013 in Munich.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Iran’s foreign minister says indirect talks will resume on February 25
  • The talks will be between the five members of the UN Security Council, Germany and Iran
  • The talks will take place in Kazakhstan, the minister says

 

 

 

 

 

ESCALATION

Israel Conducts Airstrikes on Syria
January 30, 2013

Israel Conducts Airstrikes on Syria

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This really isn’t good. Regional security officials report that Israel conducted an airstrike on Syria. Though the target was not disclosed, the strike reportedly happened near the border with Lebanon. The officials said that Israel was planning to hit a shipment of weapons going to Hezbollah in Lebanon. The shipment allegedly contained powerful SA-17 missiles.

 

 

 

 

Syrian refugee flood breaches 700,000

By Ben Brumfield and Saad Abedine, CNN
January 29, 2013 —
The number of Syrian refugees registered with the U.N. jumped by about 110,000 in January.
The number of Syrian refugees registered with the U.N. jumped by about 110,000 in January.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • U.N. official: “It’s an unrelenting flow” of refugees
  • 110,000 more refugees registered with the United Nations in January
  • Jordan, Turkey and Lebanon have the highest number of Syrians who have fled
  • There were fewer than 20,000 registered Syrian refugees a year ago

(CNN) — History books are filled with mentions of “great migrations” — vast displacements of people in the face of cataclysmic events.

Syrians fleeing their country’s civil war may go down as yet another one.

The number of refugees registered with the United Nations jumped by 110,000 in January, bringing the total to just shy of 585,000.

If the masses of refugees awaiting registration are included, the number burgeons to 708,477, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fate of women still tied to arranged marriages in post-Taliban Afghanistan

29 Nov 2012
Just before she leapt from her roof into the streets of Kabul, Farima thought of the wedding that would never happen and the man she would never marry. Her fiance would be pleased to see her die, she later recalled thinking. It would offer relief to them both. Farima, 17, had resisted her engagement to Zabiullah since it was ordained by her…
File -  In Herat, Afghanistan, women line up to collect bags of split chick pea, wheat, and cooking oil being distributed by the UN World Food Programme (WFP).
photo: UN / Eric Kanalstein

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Palestinian “state” vote a crisis moments

28 Nov 2012
By Victor Kotsev Thursday is shaping up as a big day in Palestinian history. Exactly 65 years after the United Nations resolution partitioning British Mandatory Palestine was adopted (and rejected at the time by the Arabs), the General Assembly will vote on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas‘s proposal for non-member state status for Palestine
The Security Council held a meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question. Riyad H. Mansour (left), Permanent Observer of Palestine to the UN, at the meeting, 27 November, 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

 

One killed in border shooting after Gaza cease-fire

Gaza cease-fire

Palestinians gather Friday along the Israel-Gaza border fence east of Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip. (Bernat Armangue / Associated Press / November 23, 2012)

GAZA CITY — The cease-fire between Israel and Hamaswas tested Friday when a group of Gazan youths approached the border in an area Israel considers an off-limits buffer zone. One young man was shot and killed, Palestinian officials said. Nineteen other people were reportedly injured.

The shootings marked the first episode of violence since the cease-fire went into effect. A family member of the man who was killed told Reuters his relative had been shot after trying to put a Hamas flag on the fence and shouting “Jabari is behind you.” Hamas military commander Ahmed Jabari was killed in a surprise attack by Israel last week.

Israeli military officials told reporters that soldiers had fired warning shots in the air to push the Palestinians back from the fence, then fired at their legs after they didn’t move back.

Hamas said it would file a complaint with Egypt about the incident, but that it did not expect a breakdown in the cease-fire over the incident.

The truce struck Wednesday ended eight days of aerial strikes and rocket attacks that killed 166 Palestinians and six Israelis.

Both sides agreed to halt attacks; letting goods and people move from the Gaza Strip is up for discussion later. The vagueness of the deal regarding border restrictions disappointed many Gazans.

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘TODAY IS DIFFERENT’

Gazans Pick Up Pieces After Cease-fire With Israel.. 161 Palestinians Killed In 8-Day Offensive.. Negotiations Could Open Blockade.. Mixed Feelings In Israel.. The HUGE Price Tag Of Israel’s ‘Iron Dome’..

 

 

 

 

Anonymous declares ‘cyberwar’ on Israel

November 20, 2012 —

Watch this video

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Israel says its government websites have been hit by 44 million attacks
  • The hacker collective Anonymous claims some responsibility
  • The group says it has posted e-mail addresses online
  • Cyberattacks are the third front in the conflict between Israel and Gaza, Israeli official says

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Israel says Gaza operation could expand; France says ‘war can be avoided’

From Josh Levs and Sara Sidner, CNN
November 18, 2012 — Updated 1510 GMT (2310 HKT)
Watch this video

Gaza ground war could be imminent

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: French foreign minister: “War can be avoided”
  • NEW: 57 Palestinians killed, Palestinian official says; does not say how many militants
  • NEW: Arab League delegation plans one-day visit to Gaza for Monday
  • NEW: Rocket hits a car in Israeli city of Ofakim, injuries reported, Israel says

 


 

 

 

 

ROCKET WAR

Israel-Hamas Conflict In Gaza Escalates.. Militants Barrage Israel With Rockets.. Israel Moves Troops To Gaza Strip.. Tel Aviv Hit.. Heaviest Fighting In 4 Years.. 3 Dead In Israel.. At Least 15 Palestinians Killed.. More Than 100 Injured.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Israeli army scores ‘direct hits’ on Syrian target

Reuters | 12 November, 2012 15:54
An Israeli soldier overlooks a tank relocation in Alonei Habashan in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, on November 11, 2012. Israeli troops fired warning shots into Syria in response to mortar fire, the army said, in the first Israeli fire directed at the Syrian military in the Golan Heights area since the 1973 war.
Image by: AFP PHOTO/JALAA MAREY

Israel’s army fired tank shells into Syria on Monday and scored ‘direct hits’ in response to a Syrian mortar shell that struck the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, the Israeli military said in a statement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IRAN’S SECRET WAR
Cyber Attacks, Drones And Proxy Battles Show Shifting Tactics

 

 

FRIEND OR FOE
Foreign Fighters Worry And Boost Syrian Rebels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

‘I NO LONGER BELIEVE THOSE POLITICIANS’

Palestinian Split Looms Large In West Bank Vote

 

 

Beirut Bombing: Casualties Reported As Car Bomb Rocks Lebanese Capital

By BASSEM MROUE 10/19/

Beirut Bomb Lebanon

BEIRUT — Lebanese Red Cross and security officials say a car bomb in east Beirut has killed at least eight people and wounded dozens in the worst blast the city has seen in years.

The motive behind the attack was not immediately clear. But it comes at a time when Lebanon has seen a rise in tension and eruptions of clashes stemming from the civil war in neighboring Syria.

The security officials and officials from the Red Cross said at least 61 people were wounded. The state news agency said 78 were wounded. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to talk to the press.

An Associated Press reporter at the scene saw bloodied victims being loaded in ambulances and heavy damage to residential buildings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Egypt’s Morsi pardons revolution’s political prisoners

Egypt’s Morsi pardons revolution's political prisoners
© AFP

One hundred days into his term as Egyptian president, Mohammed Morsi (pictured), pardoned all those arrested during the revolution and up until June this year, a decree on his Facebook page announced Monday.

 

 

 

 

 

French spies were able to set a trap for Gaddafi by obtaining the leader’s phone number from the Syrian government, enabling them to pinpoint his location when Gaddafi made a call. This would explain how revolutionary forces were able to find the former leader, who was hiding in a drainpipe in the Libyan town of Sirte.

 

Ex Libyan Spy Chief Says French, Syrian Agents Behind Gaddafi’s Death

MEDIAPART (France), CORRIERE DELLA SERA (Italy) DREAM TV (Egypt)

PARISThe former intelligence chief for Libya’s National Transitional Council (NTC) has alleged that a French secret agent working with the complicity of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad killed the Libyan leader, Colonel Gaddafi.

NTC spy chief Rami el-Obeidi told Paris-based news website Mediapart on Tuesday that “French agents directly executed Gaddafi” on October 20 2011, in an affair that implicates both former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the now embattled Syrian leader Assad.

In October 2011, the press reported that the Libyan dictator was beaten and killed by rebel forces after being found hiding in a drainpipe. However, longstanding rumors that foreign agents orchestrated the killing has gained credence in recent days after an interview last week on Egypt’s Dream TV with Mahmoud Jibril, who’d served as interim Libyan Prime Minister following Gaddafi’s death.

“It was a foreign agent who infiltrated the revolutionary forces and killed Gaddafi,” Jibril told the Cairo-based TV station.

Italian daily Il Corriere della Sera followed that up with an accusation by Western diplomatic sources in Tripoli that said it was “almost certainly French” secret service agents involved in Gaddafi’s death. At the time, Gaddafi was threatening to reveal details that he helped finance Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2007 electoral campaign.

Rami el-Obeidi suggests to Mediapart that the French government under Sarkozy wanted to silence Gaddafi.

He suggests that French spies were able to set a trap for Gaddafi by obtaining the leader’s phone number from the Syrian government, enabling them to pinpoint his location when Gaddafi made a call. This would explain how revolutionary forces were able to find the former leader, who was hiding in a drainpipe in the Libyan town of Sirte.

El-Obedi also suggests that Bashar al-Assad, attempting to divert attention away from the conflict in Syria, gave French forces information of Gaddafi’s whereabouts in exchange for France easing pressure on Damascus.

British and Turkish agencies were also supposedly informed, although it was “an exclusively French operation.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem told the UN on Monday that the United States, France and several Arab states support “terrorism” by backing anti-regime rebels with arms and aid in “blatant interference in the domestic affairs of Syria”.

 

France and US fund ‘terrorism’, says Syrian envoy
DIPLOMACY

France and US fund ‘terrorism’, says Syrian envoy

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem told the UN on Monday that the United States, France and several Arab states support “terrorism” by backing anti-regime rebels with arms and aid in “blatant interference in the domestic affairs of Syria”.

 

 

 

 

 

Now in power, rifts emerge within Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood

Now in power, rifts emerge within Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood

How to deal with the U.S. and Israel, the movement’s longtime foes, is one of the issues creating divisions within the Muslim Brotherhood now that it is running the government.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Americans prepare to mark 11th anniversary of 9/11 attacks

11 September, 2012
 Thousands will gather on Tuesday in New York, suburban Washington and rural Pennsylvania to mark the 11th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, but at the somber day’s biggest venue, Ground Zero in lower Manhattan, this year’s observance will be missing a key feature from years past: politicians’ voices.
The Tribute in Light shines above the World Trade Center and the Statue of Liberty, left of center, Monday, Sept. 10, 2012 as seen from Bayonne, N.J. Tuesday will mark the eleventh anniversary of the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
photo: AP / Mark Lennihan

 

 

 

 

Pakistan celebrates Independence Day

15 Aug 2012
Islamabad, August 14: Pakistan celebrated Independence Day Tuesday with great enthusiasm. The day dawned with 31 gun salute in the capital and 21 gun salute in the provincial capitals. Special prayers were offered for the well being and better future of Pakistan. Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf addressed a gathering at a flag hoisting ceremony…
Students hold a huge Pakistani flag at mausoleum of Mohammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan to mark Independence Day, in Karachi, Pakistan, Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2012.
photo: AP / Shakil Adil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Egypt President Mohammed Morsi Orders Defense Minister Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi Retirement

Egypt President Orders Retirement
In this Thursday, July 5, 2012 file image released by the Egyptian President, Egyptian Field Marshal Gen. Hussein Tantawi, left, new President Mohammed Morsi, center, and Armed Forces Chief of Staff Sami Anan, right, attend a medal ceremony, at a military base east of Cairo, Egypt.

 

 

 

16 Egypt border guards killed, Islamists suspected

06 Aug 2012
EL-ARISH, Egypt (AP) — Masked gunmen killed 16 Egyptian soldiers Sunday at a checkpoint along the border with Gaza and Israel, the first such attack on troops — and then the attackers drove off, crashing into Israel, officials said. Egypt blamed Islamist militants from Gaza and Egypt’s troubled Sinai Peninsula. President Mohammed Morsi said..
File - An Israeli soldier secures an area near the border between Israel and Egypt, Monday, June 18, 2012.
photo: AP / Tsafrir Abayov

 

 

 

 

IRAQ AFTER THE AMERICANS

The U.S. Is Moving On, But Where Is Iraq Headed?

 

 

 

 

 

Syrian rebels say fight for Aleppo has begun

AP | Jul 22, 2012 |

An image released by the Syrian opposition Shaam News Network on Saturday, allegedly shows destruction on the outskirts of Damascus

BEIRUT — Syrian rebels have launched an offensive to “liberate” the country’s largest city of Aleppo, an opposition commander said Sunday, while in Damascus government troops backed by helicopter gunships wrested back control of rebel-held neighbourhoods.

The fighting showed that even as President Bashar Assad’s forces appeared close to regaining control of Damascus after days of intense street battles, the rebels could still mount a new operation in Aleppo, Syria’s commercial hub and bedrock of support for the regime.

With Syria’s civil war moving from the countryside and smaller cities into the country’s two main urban centres, an activist group said the death toll had risen to more than 19,000 since the uprising began in March 2011.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights also said July is shaping up to be the deadliest month in the conflict so far, with 2,752 people killed in the first three weeks.

The opposition has also taken control of four border crossings with Iraq and Turkey, most recently the Bab Al Salamah post on the Turkish frontier.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Israel, U.S. discuss possibility of IDF strike against Syria, report says

19 Jul 2012
U.S. security officials have discussed with their Israeli counterparts the possibility that Israel could strike Syria‘s weapons facilities, the New York Times reported on Thursday, citing administration officials….
Israel, U.S. discuss possibility of IDF strike against Syria, report says

 

 

 

 

 

LOST IN TRANSITION
The Uncomfortable Blame-Game For Afghanistan’s Civilian Casualties

 

 

 

 

HEY, NEIGHBOR!
Iraq And Iran Buddy Up As Iraq Rises From The Ashes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FIRST FREELY-ELECTED ISLAMIST SWORN IN

President Mohammed Morsi Promises ‘New Egypt’..

 

 

 

Israel continues strikes on Gaza Strip

23 Jun 2012
Israel has launched more air strikes on the Gaza Strip overnight, after killing two people in earlier raids, according to Palestinian health ministry sources. The latest strikes targetted two camps of the armed wing of Hamas, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, in central and northern Gaza; and a former Hamas security post in Gaza City.
Palestinian mourners carry the body of militant Basil Ahmad during his funeral in Bureij refugee camp, central Gaza Strip, Friday, June 22, 2012.

 

 

 

 

Tahrir Square fills up as Egypt awaits result

22 Jun 2012
Thousands of protesters have filled Cairo‘s Tahrir Square overnight as Egypt‘s rival presidential candidates accused each of trying to steal an election whose result is still not known five days after polling ended. Another two days of uncertainty and name calling seem likely over the weekend which begins on Friday, though there was no immediate results…Yet Egypt’s ruling military warned it would “deal firmly” with any attempt to harm the public interest, and blamed political divisions on the release of unofficial presidential poll results by candidates
Egyptian men chant anti-Supreme Council for the Armed Forces (SCAF) slogans in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, 21 June, 2012.
photo: AP / Manu Brabo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taliban burqa takes life of four French soldiers in Afghanistan

09 Jun 2012
PARIS – A suicide bomber dressed in a burqa blew himself up near a French patrol in Afghanistan on Saturday, killing four soldiers and wounding five, one of the deadliest attacks on the French contingent in months, as the Taliban step up a spring offensive. The French president’s office on Saturday confirmed that four French soldiers were killed…
French President Francois Hollande reviews troops at Forward Operating Base (FOB) in Nijrab, Kapisa region, Afghanistan Friday, May 25, 2012, where most of French troops are stationed in Afghanistan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Al-Qaida No. 2 dies in US drone strike in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD, PakistanA U.S. drone strike in northwest Pakistan has killed al-Qaida’s second-in-command, officials from both countries confirmed Tuesday, the most significant victory so far in the controversial bombing campaign and the biggest setback to the terror network since the death of Osama bin Laden. Abu Yahya al-Libi
This undated image taken from video provided by IntelCenter shows al-Qaida's former second-in-command Abu Yahya al-Libi.
  IntelCenter….. Abu Yahya al-Libi…

 

 

 

 

 

 

US drone attack ‘targeted al-Qaeda deputy’

A US drone strike on Monday in Pakistan targeted al-Qaeda’s second-in-command Abu Yahya al-Libi, US officials say. They say it is still unclear whether he was among those killed in the strike on a suspected militant compound in North Waziristan, near the Afghan border. Two missiles by the unmanned aircraft killed 15 people, Pakistani officials…
File - An armed MQ-9 Reaper unmanned aircraft sits in a shelter Oct. 15 at Joint Base Balad, Iraq, before a mission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 On the surface, the first round of the Egyptian presidential election seemed to show that the Muslim Brotherhood and the remnants of the Mubarak regime are locked in mortal combat for the political soul of Egypt — as Brotherhood candidate Mohamed Morsi faces pro-military candidate Ahmed Shafik in a second round of voting in June.

Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood presidential candidate Mohamed Morsi holds a news conference in Cairo on Tuesday.
Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood presidential candidate Mohamed Morsi holds a news conference in Cairo on Tuesday.

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Mohammed Ayoob: Muslim Brotherhood lost half its support between the two elections
  • The Brotherhood can’t govern by itself with support of only 22% of electorate, he writes
  • Ayoob: Mubarak-linked candidate did well, but social justice proponent did well, too
  • Liberals, Nasserists and Brotherhood must form their own coalition.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Egypt election: Bigger fight ahead for presidential rivals

Egyptians are beginning to get used to democracy. Since the fall of Hosni Mubarak, they have had a constitutional referendum, four rounds of voting in the parliamentary elections, and now the first round of the first free presidential election in the country’s history. That may explain the relatively modest turnout in the presidential vote -…
Egyptian demonstrators gather to denounce the electoral success of Ahmed Shafiq, a presidential candidate, in Tahrir Square in Cairo, Egypt on Friday, May 25, 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yemen violence worsens as suicide bomber kills 90

A still image taken from video shows army personnel helping injured soldier at the scene of a suicide attack in Sanaa May 21, 2012. REUTERS-Yemen TV via Reuters TV
A still image taken from video shows army personnel running to the scene of a suicide attack in Sanaa May 21, 2012. A uniformed man blew himself up in the midst of a military parade rehearsal attended by senior officials in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Monday, killing 63 soldiers, a police source said. REUTERS-Yemen TV via Reuters TV
YEMEN-SUICIDEBOMB- - Map of Yemen locating the capital Sanaa where a suicide bomber killed at least 63 soldiers at a military parade rehearsal on Monday. RNGS. (SIN08)
An explosives expert jumps from a military truck as he arrives at the site of a suicide bomb attack at a parade square in Sanaa May 21, 2012. REUTERS-Khaled Abdullah


SANAA | Mon May 21, 2012

(Reuters) – A suicide bomber with explosives strapped under his uniform killed more than 90 people at a military parade rehearsal in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Monday, an attack which will alarm Washington as its involvement in the front-line state deepens.

The bombing also wounded about 200 people, officials said, making it the bloodiest single incident in the city in recent years.

Yemen’s defense minister and chief of staff were both present at the rehearsal for Tuesday’s National Day parade but neither was hurt. A police source said he could not rule out the bombing was an attempt to assassinate them.

Weakened by an uprising that eventually toppled former leader Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen’s government has lost control over whole swathes of the country, allowing militants to overrun several towns in the southern province of Abyan.

 

 

 

 

 

Hard days ahead in Afghanistan: Obama

Washington, May 21: US President Barack Obama claims that NATO remains united on Afghanistan but warns that there will be “hard days” ahead for the Western alliance. “Just as we’ve sacrificed together for our common security, we will stand united in our determination to complete this mission,” Obama said in Chicago on Sunday, The Associated Press
President Barack Obama, right, shakes hands with with Afghan President Hamid Karzai, left, during their meeting at the NATO Summit in Chicago, Sunday, May 20, 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

 

An anti-government protester runs holding a teargas canister fired by riot police during clashes after a procession to visit the grave of Ismael Abdulsamad in the village of Salmabad south of Manama, Bahrain, April 16, 2012. Abdulsamad died two weeks ago from a single gunshot wound to the thigh fired from a moving car, Ministry of Interior statement said.

Main Image

 

 

 

 

 

Policemen sit in the back of a police pick-up outside Sanaa International Airport, after the airport was reopened, April 8.

 

 

Among Yemenis, there is some optimism that President Hadi will manage to more effectively deal with AQAP than his predecessor, who many analysts say lacked a clear plan to combat the group.

“Yemen doesn’t have a strategy to work against Al Qaeda because of the weakness of the state, which has existed for a long time, since well before the uprising,” says Saeed Ali Al-Jemhi, author of Al-Qaeda in Yemen. “When there is no serious and clear strategy to deal with Al Qaeda, the end point is that Al Qaeda will not be stopped.”

Moments after being sworn in as president in February, Hadi pledged to combat terrorism, saying it was Yemenis’ “patriotic and religious duty” to do so. A former general, Hadi also has the endorsement of the US and other Western nations who will now be watching for those strong statements to turn into action.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ISRAELI FOREIGN MINISTER: IRAN WAR WOULD BE ‘NIGHTMARE’

 

 

 

Amid Nuclear Sabre-Rattling, Israelis and Iranians Reach Out via Facebook

 

 

 

 

Israel sought high-tech weapons from US, official says
ISRAEL

Israel sought high-tech weapons from US, official says

Israel asked the US for high-tech weaponry suitable for use against Iran during this week’s visit from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to Washington, an anonymous Israeli official said Thursday. The White House denies the reports.

 

 

 

 

 

 Hajjah, Yemen. Tahani (in pink), who married her husband Majed when she was 6 and he was 25, poses for this portrait with former classmate Ghada, also a child bride, outside their mountain home in Hajjah. Nearly half of all women in Yemen were married as children. Child marriage is outlawed in many countries and international agreements forbid the practice yet this tradition still spans continents, language, religion and caste.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FUNERAL EXPLOSION

Car Bomb Rocks Baghdad.. Explosion Leaves At Least 32 Dead.. 200 Killed This Month

 

 

 

 

The first Egyptian parliament elected since President Hosni Mubarak resigned last February after a popular uprising is holding its inaugural session. Islamists dominated the elections held for the People’s Assembly over the past three months, winning 73% of the seats.

A general view of the first Egyptian parliament session

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HEADING FOR CIVIL WAR?

Deepening Conflict In Iraq.. Violence Surges Following American Troop Withdrawal.. Police Officers Killed By Insurgents

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Egypt’s New Political Equation: Military, Muslim Brotherhood, Salafis

Maya Alleruzzo / AP

Mohamed Morsi, left, of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and Egyptian presidential hopeful Amr Moussa, right, talk before Christmas Eve mass, led by Coptic Pope Shenouda III at the Coptic cathedral in Cairo, Egypt, Jan. 6, 2012.

 

 

 

 

 

Saudi Women To Vote Without Male Approval

Saudi Women

 

 

 

 

 

EGYPT’S BLOODY CROSSROADS

What Comes After Tahrir Square? HuffPost Reports From Cairo

 

 

 

CITY BATTLEGROUND

Second Day Of Clashes Between Protesters And Security Forces Rock Cairo.. Death Toll Rises.. Hundreds Injured

 

 

 

 

Across Egypt, many women are taking part in the long parliamentary elections, the first in the country after the Arab spring. Women’s votes have proven to be a powerful weapon in the fierce electoral battle between Islamist parties and Liberal ones, helping one side win over the other in many cases. Only four of 366 women candidates made their way to the parliament in the first stage of the elections.

Egyptian workers count votes at a counting centre at Imbaba in Giza

 

 

  2 Responses to “Middle East”

  1. Hello. Your blog is super.

  2. I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills and also with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Either way keep up the nice quality writing, it is rare to see a nice blog like this one nowadays..

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

(required)

(required)