Category: Middle East

US drone strike kills al-Qaeda suspects in Yemen

Ref: At least three suspected al-Qaeda militants have been killed by a US drone strike in Yemen’s south-western al-Bayda province, say local officials.
The men were reportedly hit as they travelled in a car in el-Manaseh village on the outskirts of Radda.

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Israel attack kills Hamas commander

Ref: Israel killed the military commander of the Islamist group Hamas in a missile strike on the Gaza Strip on Wednesday and launched air raids across the enclave, pushing the two sides to the brink of a new war.

Israel attack kills Hamas commander

Israel attack kills Hamas commander

The attacks marked the biggest escalation between Israel and Gaza militants since a 2008-2009 conflict and came despite signs on Tuesday that neighbouring Egypt had managed to broker a truce in the enclave after a five day surge of violence. Read more →

Qatar ruler set for landmark visit to Gaza

Ref: The Emir of Qatar is due to arrive in Gaza – the first head of state to visit since Hamas came to power there in 2007.

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani is expected to launch a $254m (£158m) construction project to help rebuild the war-torn Palestinian territory.

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani

Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani

Qatar has become one of Hamas’s main benefactors since the Islamist movement fell out with its long-term ally Syria.

The Palestinian Authority expressed reservations about the emir’s visit.

The Qatari ruler will fly to Egypt and cross into Gaza by car amid tight security. Read more →

Syrian govt adopts multipartism: report

Ref: Syria’s government has adopted a draft law authorising multipartism in a move that could end the decades-old monopoly on power of President Bashar al-Assad’s Baath party, a report said on Monday.

The law was adopted by the government during the night, the official SANA news agency reported.The government “adopted a draft law regarding political parties in Syria as part of a programme of reform aimed at enriching the political life, creating a new dynamic and allowing for a change in political power,” SANA said.

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UNSC slams embassy attacks in Syria

Ref: The UN Security Council on Tuesday condemned “in the strongest terms” attacks by demonstrators on the US and French embassies in Damascus.

Both Washington and Paris sharply denounced Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who has been trying for four months to stamp out a broad popular revolt with troops and tanks.
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Syria accused of crimes against humanity

Ref: The Syrian government’s violent suppression of the revolt against its rule could amount to a systematic campaign of crimes against humanity, a human rights group has said.

London-based Amnesty International says it has gathered proof of such crimes by the government in the northern town of Tell Kalakh.
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Syria: President Bashar al-Assad keeps to hardline

Ref: Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has blamed anti-government protests on a small group of “saboteurs”.

In his third address to the nation since protests began, he said Syria should deal with people`s demands for reform but that a “small faction” was exploiting popular grievances.
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Syrian forces 'storm town near Turkey border'

Ref: Syrian troops and gunmen loyal to President Bashar al-Assad are reported to have stormed the town of Bdama near the Turkish border.

The alleged assault on Saturday followed another Friday of protests, which have grown in size despite Assad’s wide-ranging military campaign to crush a three-month old uprising. Security forces shot dead 19 protesters on Friday, activists said.
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Syrian Troops Retake Key Town After `Mutiny`

Ref: Syrian troops backed by helicopters and tanks have taken control of the restive northern town of Jisr al Shughour.

The operation comes as President Bashar al Assad continues his crackdown against dissidents challenging his 11-year rule.

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Syrian troops 'widening' crackdown

Ref: Syrian security forces are reportedly widening an operation in the north of the country aimed at cracking down on anti-government protests amid reports of defections from the army’s ranks.

Troops pushed towards the town of Maarat al-Numaan after detaining hundreds of people in a sweep through villages near Jisr al-Shughur, the Reuters news agency reported on Tuesday, citing residents who fled the area.
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