In a meeting with Mustafa Abdul Jalil, the leader of the Libyan Transitional National Council, French President Nicolas Sarkozy promised to intensify air strikes targeting Gaddafi forces. However, France has rejected the proposition of sending ground forces into Libya to protect the residents of Misurata. According to hospital records, Misurata’s death toll is in the hundreds and continues to rise with ongoing battles between revolutionaries and Gaddafi forces. Al-Jazeera reports that Paris and London have pledged to send a limited number of military advisors in noncombat operations to Libya to improve the revolutionaries’ military organizational structures, communications, and logistics, in addition to medical and humanitarian aid.
Al-Alam reports from Yemen, where two people were killed today, each representing a different side of the struggle. A gunman opened fire on an anti-government camp in al-Hodeida, killing one man, and a police officer was later killed in clashes with demonstrators in Aden province. Yesterday, five people were killed and hundreds were injured in Sana'a when Yemeni forces opened fire to disperse an anti-regime demonstration. After three months of protests, several international mediation meetings, and ongoing violence, al-Alam describes Yemen’s political situation as “irreconcilable.”
The BBC reports from Syria, where authorities have arrested Captain Amjad Abbas, the Baniyas Security Chief. The Syrian Human Rights League expressed their hope that other guilty members of the security agencies will be held accountable for negligence. Meanwhile, students at the University of Aleppo joined in the popular protests demanding freedom. Aleppo, Syria’s second largest city, hadn't witnessed massive protests before today. Reuters quoted a human rights activist in saying that Syrian security forces and regime loyalists have attacked the rally, arresting 37 protestors and beating several others.
Future TV reports that the Egyptian fact-finding committee that investigated the attack on protestors during the January 25th revolution has issued a 400-page report. The report provides evidence that high-ranking officials in the former Egyptian regime and National Democratic Party were involved in inciting the deliberate killing of demonstrators in Tahrir Square. The report was submitted to the prosecutor-general, who will now follow up with a formal investigation.
Tonight, New TV features a profile on the Yemeni Houthi leader, Abdul Malik al-Houthi. The Houthis are a sectarian group derived from a Shiite sect called Zaidiyya. Born in 1979 and educated in Zaidiyyah religious schools, Al-Houthi has been the leader of the Houthis since 2004, when the Yemeni government had the former leader, Hussein Badreddin al-Houthi, killed. The Houthis call themselves “God's helpers,” and while the group denies having a relationship with Hezbollah, Abdul Malik al-Houthi insists that the Houthis' similarity to the Lebanese organization stemmed from their admiration for Hezbollah's resistance movement.