Weekly Roundup (5/13)

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-This week the regime’s assault on protestors ramped up in Baniyas, Homs (second link here) and Hama, among other cities.

-Assad is clearly following the strategy of ‘[crushing] dissent town by town.

– Aleppo has started to see protests with week, with the biggest being yesterday at a student rally that was broken up by security forces.

– Interesting article about the activists in Syria

– The UN has put the number of dead in Syria as high as 850. The total number of arrested is reported to be 8,000, but I’ve heard as high as 10,000.

– Aljazeera journalist was Dorthy Parvaz was reportedly deported to Tehran on May 1st, where she is still being held. Another man that I’ve been following, a Jordanian names Raad Kawar, is still in Syrian custody.

– For the latest death toll and arrest information, I’d recommend following human rights activist Wissam Tarif on twitter.

Professor Landis explores the “What Will a Post Assad Syria Look Like?” He labels himself a pessimist, and I’d certainly agree.

– There were two notable interviews this week from within the Syrian regime (or at least close to it).  The first was with Assad’s advisor Bouthaina Shaaban where she announced that the regime has the upper hand, the second was with Rami Makhlouf a Syrian businessman in the Assad family who says that the regime will fight to the end.

-The US has been ratcheting up the rhetoric against Syria, with Hillary Clinton making her strongest statements to date yesterday.

– More notably, there is a bipartisan non-binding resolution in the Senate stating that Assad has lost his legitimacy. Senators Lieberman and Rubio spearheaded the bill, with a total 17 co-signers.

-On May 8th 12 were killed and over 200 wounded during clashes outside a church in Cairo. 190 people are going to be tried for the violence.

– The clashes are said to sectarian and a threat to Egypt’s future. This has led to calls for a “Million Man” march against such violence.

– In response the violence, the care taker government has relaxed laws related the building of churches.

– Here is one of the many comments that I saw  on Facebook in response to the violence:

“Recent events in Egypt does not touch in any way to any muslim who understand his religion Correctly . who did this are people who want to tamper with the security and stability of Egypt and they are numerous. They know very well that the ignition of the sectarian strife is the easiest way to shake the security and stability of Egypt.”

– David Kirkpatrick wrote an article entitled Crime Wave in Egypt Has People Afraid, Even the Police. Like some of his other pieces, I find this to be exaggerated.

– Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh continues to hold out and resist anti-regime protesters.

– The opposition’s ‘supreme revolution committee’ plans to escalate protests and has set a May 20th date for marching on the presidential palace if Saleh hasn’t left.

– The US resumed drone attacks in Yemen three days after Osama bin Laden’s death. The attacks are said to be have been aimed at the American born cleric Anwar Al-Alwaki, but he escaped the attack.

– For a great analysis of Al-Qaida in the  Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), check out Jeb Boone’s blog post. It may not be as strong as some in the west think, and the leaders are not necessarily who we thought they were.

I know a whole lot about Libya, but here are a few things I’ve seen in the news:
– The Libyan opposition is to travel to the White House today and, among other things, push for recognition.

– The US has authorized an additional $25 million worth of non-lethal aid, which will likely be sent to the rebel stronghold of Benghazi

– A NATO strike hit the Gaddafi compound after he makes first appearance. Rumors say that he could be hurt and has fled the capital of Tripoli.

This entry was posted in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Yemen. Bookmark the permalink.

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