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SHOWDOWN IN THE MIDDLE EAST
Raw Analysis by Slater Bakhtavar
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Jordan, Turkey join calls for Syria to end the violence – CNN
Posted: August 16, 2011 by SlaterB in Uncategorized
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Two of Syrias neighbors joined growing international calls Monday for Damascus to halt its violent crackdown on anti-government protesters — calls that came even as the violence itself continued.In Jordan, the state-run Petra News Agency reported that Prime Minister Marouf Al Bakhit had urged his Syrian counterpart, Adel Safar,
via Jordan, Turkey join calls for Syria to end the violence – CNN.
Jordan, Turkey join calls for Syria to end the violence – CNN
Posted: August 16, 2011 by SlaterB in Jordan, Syria, Turkey
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Two of Syrias neighbors joined growing international calls Monday for Damascus to halt its violent crackdown on anti-government protesters — calls that came even as the violence itself continued.In Jordan, the state-run Petra News Agency reported that Prime Minister Marouf Al Bakhit had urged his Syrian counterpart, Adel Safar,
via Jordan, Turkey join calls for Syria to end the violence – CNN.
Factbox: Latest developments in the Libyan conflict Reuters
Posted: August 16, 2011 by SlaterB in Libya
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Reuters – Following are the latest political and military developments in the Libyan crisis. Forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi fired a Scud missile for the first time in Libyas civil war on Sunday. NATO said the use of Scud missiles by Gaddafi could harm civilians, but has as much chance of changing the military course of the war as
via Factbox: Latest developments in the Libyan conflict Reuters.
Maliki of Iraq Backs Syrias Assad, With Nudge From Iran – NYTimes.com
Posted: August 16, 2011 by SlaterB in Iran, Iraq, Syria
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Mr. Maliki’s support for Mr. Assad has illustrated how much Iraq’s position in the Middle East has shifted toward an axis led by Iran. And it has also aggravated the fault line between Iraq’s Shiite majority, whose leaders have accepted Mr. Assad’s account that Al Qaeda is behind the uprising, and the Sunni minority, whose leaders have condemned the Syrian crackdown.
via Maliki of Iraq Backs Syrias Assad, With Nudge From Iran – NYTimes.com.
Analysis: Saudi switch against Syrias Assad is blow to Iran – World news – Mideast/N. Africa – Iran – msnbc.com
Posted: August 16, 2011 by SlaterB in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria
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Saudi-Syrian relations were rarely warm, with Riyadh riled by Syrias alliance with its Shiite regional rival Iran, and they chilled further after the 2005 assassination of Lebanese statesman Rafik al-Hariri, a friend of the Saudi royal family.But until this week Saudi King Abdullah had kept silent on the violence in Syria, which human rights groups say has cost more than 1,600 civilian lives in five months of turmoil.Now the Saudis have taken a stand, perhaps deciding that Syrias diplomatic isolation and the bloodshed unleashed by its minority Alawite rulers on their majority Sunni opponents have made Damascus a ripe target of diplomatic opportunity.
via Analysis: Saudi switch against Syrias Assad is blow to Iran – World news – Mideast/N. Africa – Iran – msnbc.com.
Islamists linked to Sadat assassination returning to Egypt from Iran
Posted: August 16, 2011 by SlaterB in Egypt, Iran
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Islamist sources said fugitives who escaped Egypt to Iran in the 1980s and 1990s have been quietly returning to their homes in the Arab state. They said many of the fugitives were reported to be members of the Gamiat Islamiya, blamed for killing President Anwar Sadat in 1981.
via Islamists linked to Sadat assassination returning to Egypt from Iran.
Commentary: Saudi Arabia Moves to Take Down Syria, Iran and Hezbollah The National Interest
Posted: August 16, 2011 by SlaterB in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Syria
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The Saudis sense a strategic opportunity has opened in Syria, a unique chance to deal a mortal blow to one of their enemies, the Shia terror group Hezbollah, and a serious blow to their regional adversary Iran. Since Israel’s foolish invasion of Lebanon in 1982, the Syrian regime of Hafez and Bashar Assad has been Iran’s key partner in creating Hezbollah, arming it to the teeth with thousands of rockets and missiles and sending it to create terror throughout the region. For decades Damascus has allowed Tehran to use its airports and ports to transfer arms to Hezbollah, and more recently it has provided much of its own equipment directly to the Shia group. Iranian Revolutionary Guards have been based in Syria and thousands of Iranian tourists and spies have come to worship at Damascus’ Sayyidah Zaynab mosque, a traditional Shia holy site and an excellent place for extremists to get together under the protective eye of Syrian intelligence.
via Commentary: Saudi Arabia Moves to Take Down Syria, Iran and Hezbollah The National Interest.
Iran snipers in Syria as part of crackdown – Telegraph
Posted: August 16, 2011 by SlaterB in Iran, Syria
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Iran snipers in Syria as part of crackdown – Telegraph.
Iranian snipers have been deployed in Syria as part of an increasingly brutal crackdown on protests against the rule of President Bashar al-Assad, according to a former member of the regime’s secret police.
US to maintain military “roboust”
Posted: June 4, 2011 by SlaterB in Uncategorized
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SINGAPORE — Defense Secretary Robert Gates vowed the US military would maintain a “robust” presence across Asia backed up with new high-tech weaponry to protect allies and safeguard shipping lanes.
Seeking to reassure Asian allies mindful of China’s growing power and Washington’s fiscal troubles, Gates on Saturday told a security conference in Singapore that Washington’s commitment to the region would not be scaled back.
Instead, the US military will expand its presence in Southeast Asia, sharing facilities with Australia in the Indian Ocean and deploying new littoral combat ships (LCS) to Singapore, where it has access to naval facilities, he said.
Mass crowds reported in Syria
Posted: June 4, 2011 by SlaterB in Uncategorized
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Crowds fueled by the torture and killing of a 13-year-old boy protested today against the authoriratian rule of President Bashar Al-Assad.
Protestors defied calls of crackdown in major cities.  More than 1,000 people have been killed.  The EU and United States have imposed
sanctions on Al-Assad and many members of his regime.
The boy who was killed, Hamza Ali al-Khateeb, has become a symbol of government oppression after a video of his mutilated body was circulated on YouTube.
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