Rebels fight for control of key Damascus suburb
- NEW: Syria’s foreign minister visits Tehran, rejects foreign interference
- Rebels and Syrian forces clash in the Damascus suburb of Jawbar
Syrian opposition chief, Russian minister meet, state news agency reports
- 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
- 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
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
- 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.
One killed in border shooting after 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.
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 —
- 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
87 Palestinians, Including 50 Civilians Killed, 720 Wounded So Far…
Airstrike Kills 2 Children, 2 Adults, Injures 42… Alleged Ultimatum: Stop Rockets Or Offensive Steps Up… Israel Seeking Diplomatic Solution, Preparing Troops… Egypt PM: ‘We Are Close’ To Truce Deal… Over 1,350 Sites In Gaza Hit…
Israel says Gaza operation could expand; France says ‘war can be avoided’
Gaza ground war could be imminent
- 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
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
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.
Beirut Bombing: Casualties Reported As Car Bomb Rocks Lebanese Capital
By BASSEM MROUE 10/19/
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
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)
PARIS – The 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”.
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.
Egypt President Mohammed Morsi Orders Defense Minister Field Marshal Hussein Tantawi Retirement
Syrian rebels say fight for Aleppo has begun
AP | Jul 22, 2012 |
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.
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.
- 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.
Yemen violence worsens as suicide bomber kills 90
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.
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.
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.
Amid Nuclear Sabre-Rattling, Israelis and Iranians Reach Out via Facebook
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.
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.
Deepening Conflict In Iraq.. Violence Surges Following American Troop Withdrawal.. Police Officers Killed By Insurgents
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
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.