Middle East News – July 29th

The Syrian armies offensive into Aleppo has been met with the most violent fighting in the year long civil war

– An exchange of prisoners in Syria grew contentious and nearly resulted in further violence – CNN

– The Syrian army offensive into Aleppo has been met with unprecedented bloodshed, leaving almost 20,000 dead in the last couple days – Al-Bawaba – The Syrian Foreign Minister also announced that the rebels defending Aleppo would surely be crushed in the coming days – Al-Bawaba

– A Kurdish leader in northern Iraq has declared that any cuts in funding to the Kurdish sections of the country would amount to a ‘declaration of war’ – Al-Jazeera

– Though the firepower of the Syrian rebels has increased exponentially in the past few months it still remains far short of what is necessary to fully combat the Assad regime’s forces – CNN

– Jordan has opened its first official refugee camp for Syrians fleeing that countries’ civil war – The camp will house nearly fifty thousand refugees in the coming months – Al-Bawaba

– An Italian embassy staffer has been kidnapped in Yemen, further proof that security in that country is quickly unraveling – Al-Jazeera

– In a speech yesterday in Jerusalem Mitt Romney declared the United States has a moral duty to block Iran’s building of nuclear power plants – BBC

Middle East News – July 19th

The suicide blast on an Israeli tourist bus in Bulgaria has been blamed on Iran by Israeli media sources. Iran’s government has called these claims ‘ridiculous.’

– Russia and China voted yesterday against a UN resolution to introduce further sanction on Assad’s embattled Syrian regime.  Their veto prompted angry responses from Western nations who are ‘appalled’ by both countries’ apparent lack of concern for the Syrian situation – BBC

– Israel has announced that they will actively try to stop Syrian refugees from entering into Israel through the Golan Heights – Al-Bawaba

– Assad emerged on a state-wide Syrian television broadcast yesterday amid speculation as to his whereabouts following deadly attacks on high up members of his cabinet in the capital of Damascus – CNN – Meanwhile, Assad is staying away from Damascus due to the heavy fighting occurring there – Al-Bawaba

– Naharri Mohammed Ali Naharri, a 13-year old imprisoned for the last fourteen months for her role in Arab Spring protests in Yemen, has been released and spoken out about her jail sentence.  She says she was tortured and blindfolded repeatedly and showed off her many scars to the cameras. – Al-Bawaba

– Jews worldwide mourn the death of Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, age 102, a prominent orthodox rabbi who was one of the most respected voices on Torah law in the world – BBC

– Iran has denied Israeli claims that it was involved in the recent suicide attack on Israeli tourists in Bulgaria, calling these claims ‘ridiculous’ – Al-Jazeera

Middle East News – July 18th

– Tens of thousands of textile labororers in northern Egypt have gone on strike to ask for higher wages.  This will be the first significant test for newly elected Mohamed Morsi, as spreading labor unrest will further handicap Egypt’s ability to pay back its international debts – Al-Jazeera

– Yesterday three top officials in the Assad regime were killed in Damascus, prompting US officials to declare that Assad is slowly ‘losing control’ of the country – BBC – Assad’s brother-in-law was among the dead in Damascus – Al-Bawaba

– An interesting spread about the Olympic athletes who persevered through the turmoil of the Arab Spring and hope to proudly represent their countries in the rapidly approaching London Olympics – CNN

– A bomb attack has killed seven Israeli tourists traveling near the Bulgarian city of Burgas.  The Israeli government has blamed Iran for this attack, the latest in a series of attacks blamed by Israel on Iran – BBC

– Relatives of three Americans killed in drone strikes on Al-Qaeda forces in Yemen have filed suit against the US government.  They allege that the attacks were illegal and unconstitutional – BBC

– Yemen’s president has announced the detainment of a group of terrorists apparently funded by Iran.  Following this arrest he released a strongly worded statement warning Iran to stay out of Yemen and quit interfering – BBC

Middle East News – July 10th

A grainy photo of the recent execution carried about by Taliban soldiers in Afghanistan

– The United States has admitted to being involved in ‘direct strikes,’ which probably means drone strikes, against suspected terrorists in both Yemen and Somalia in the last year – Al-Jazeera

– A group of fifty four African migrants attempting to sail from Libya to Italy were found dead aboard their makeshift ship today.  They died from a lack of water and basic necessities on the hundreds of mile long journey over open ocean – BBC

– Moroccan activists have begun to protest that the government repeal a law that forbids individuals to have sex before marriage – Al-Bawaba

– Thousands of protestors gathered in Cairo’s central square to protest a top court’s ruling that president Mohamed Morsi could not reform the Islamist-led parliament that was dissolved last month by the military – Al-Jazeera

– Violence continues to spiral in Yemen as terrorists unleashed a bomb attack on a police academy training facility as class was let out.  Over a dozen cadets were killed in this latest attack – Al-Jazeera

– The Taliban in Afghanistan is growing in strength and confidence, as evidenced by the recent execution of a woman to throngs of cheering spectators – CNN

Middle East News – July 8th

Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s newest president, was applauded by many for reforming the country’s parliament that was dissolved by the military less than a month ago

– Bahrain is planning to build a sprawling Industrial City area that will help to prop up the entire countries economy by creating over 240,000 jobs and will satisfy Bahrain’s projected economic needs until 2040 – Al-Bawaba

– Yemen’s military has been placed on high alert after Al-Qaeda officials threatened to perform a prison break on prisons holding large numbers of captive Al-Qaeda militants.  This is the next step in the war between government and militant forces that has been escalating throughout the year – CNN

– Netanyahu’s party has backed a controversial law that would take away the conscription exemption given to many members of ultra-orthodox Jewish sects – BBC

– Koffi Anan has publicly admitted that he ‘failed’ in his duty to relieve the crisis in Syria while also saying that Iran needed to be an integral part of any peace talks with the Assad regime due to its close connections to the embattled Syrian government – Al-Bawaba

– In a widely supported move, Muhammad Morsi, Egypt’s new president, has annulled the ruling of the military that effectively dissolved the country’s parliament two weeks ago. Many are hopeful that this is a sign Morsi will honor his pledge to support democracy in Egypt – BBC

– Thousands of Syrians fled to Jordan amidst the violent chaos in their country, with a few of their lives being detailed here – Al-Bawba

– The United Nations had released a new memorandum that details the strategies that it hopes to use in Syria after previous strategies of placing observers throughout the country had categorically failed – CNN

– A U.S. judge has ordered the state of Iran to pay $813 million to the families of U.S soldiers killed in the 1983 terrorist attack in Beirut, Lebanon that Iran is known to have directly sponsored.  If Iran will pay the settlement is unknown – Al-Jazeera

– Libyan election officials have begun to collect and count the votes from the country’s first modern democratic election. The liberal party is rumored to be in the lead throughout most of the country – BBC

– Syrian forces have begun holding “large-scaled military exercises” in order to simulate the threats presented by the entrance of foreign military powers into the nation, a fear that grows more possible the longer the Syrian conflict continues – BBC

Middle East News – June 7th

Abid Hamid Mahmud, shown during his time in Saddam Hussein’s administration, was executed today by the Iraqi government

– Who are the ‘shabiha,’ the name given to state sponsored militia groups that have been blamed for much of the Syrian violence? – BBC

– Ten years after his capture, Abid Hamid Mahmud, Saddam Hussein’s top security aide, has been executed by the Iraqi government – BBC

– So, what’s the difference between the two remaining Egyptian presidential candidates, and who are their supporters? – BBC

– As reports surface of another mass murder by Assad’s Syrian army UN observers were directly blocked from investigating by soldiers at select checkpoints – This is the first time that Syria has directly stopped the investigative efforts of UN observers and shows a complete failure of the UN mission – Al-Jazeera

– Algeria, long one of the smallest players in OPEC, has announced that it is stepping up oil and natural gas production in order to raise its stock in OPEC – Al-Jazeera

– Amid the chaos in Syria, a similar humanitarian crisis in the conflict between Sudan and South Sudan is occurring – Humanitarian groups say that foreign intervention is needed to save thousands of civilians from the daily aerial strikes that are occurring on the border between these two feuding nations – Al-Jazeera

– Should the Middle East be WMD free? – Al-Jazeera

– Taliban soldiers have been arrested in connection to the poisoning of well water at a school in Afghanistan in the first arrest of its kind in Afghanistan – Al-Jazeeera

– Amid the growing violence in Yemen there is talk of dividing the country into two nations, or rather a return to the North and South Yemen divide that existed until 1980 – Al-Jazeera

– In prison Mubarak has continued to suffer from ‘acute depression’ and ‘hypertension,’ though his condition is likely to garner little sympathy from thousands of Egyptian protesting his perceived light jail sentence – Al-bawaba

– The Saudi Arabian government has issued a call to its female students to ‘try harder’ and to tighten up their lax uniforms in the next week or they will face legal measures – Al-Bawaba

Middle East News – May 31st

– An Iranian man who escaped Iran after being imprisoned has begun a journey to run across the entire Middle East (finishing at Mt. Everest) in order to raise awareness for peace and solidarity in the region – CNN

– Yemen, which relies primarily on tourism and oil for its economy, has witnessed a sharp decline in tourism in recent months as violence between Yemen’s government and Al-Qaeda militants heightens – Al- Jazeera

– Israel has returned the bodies of ninety Palestinians who have been killed in conflicts with Israel since 1967 after holding them against Palestinian will for decades – Al-Jazeera

– Hillary Clinton directly blamed Russia for propping up Asad’s Syrian regime and said that Russia could be one of the primary causes of an impending civil war in Syria – BBC

– An Israeli citizen has been jailed for attempting to become a Palestinian citizen, highlighting the extensive tensions that still exist between these two ‘countries’ – al-bawaba

– The rebels in Syria have said that they give Assad until noon on Friday to okay the peace plan put forward by the UN’s Kofi Annan – if he does not accept the plan the rebels will also not stick by the plan’s stipulations, probably leading to further escalations of violence – al-bawaba

– Iranian officials have admitted that they have been supplying Assad’s regime with weapons and supplies through the ue of civilian airplanes, propping up his floundering regime – al-bawaba