Iranians rally to denounce Bahrain-Saudi Arabia union
BBC Arabic - Reuters agency reported that according to eyewitnesses, tens of thousands of Bahrainis protested outside of the capital al-Manama against the unity plan between the Arab Gulf countries. Also, thousands of Iranians protested in Tehran after Friday prayers against the unity plan between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia, which was described by the Imam of Friday prayers, Ayatollah Kazem Siddiqui, as an 'American-Zionist conspiracy'. Protesters gathered in front of Tehran University, raising the Bahraini flag and chanting condemnations of Saudi Arabia, America, and Israel.
U.N. Security Council demands Sudan pull out troops from Abyei
Al Alam - The UN Security Council has commanded Sudan to immediately and unconditionally withdraw from the border region of Abyei, the disputed area with South Sudan. But Khartoum said it would only withdraw after a joint monitoring military force is formed in the region. Khartoum occupied the Abyei region in May, 2011, after an attack from South Sudan on a convoy of Sudanese army personnel. The occupation has displaced tens of thousands of civilians. These developments are taking place after armed conflicts and continual tension between the two sides in the oil-rich, border region of Heglig.
Egypt's military ruler pledges fair presidential elections
Dubai - Field Marshall Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, head of the Military Supreme Council, vowed to secure an ideal election, worthy of post-revolution Egypt. Tantawi's vows flowed in the direction of the judiciary's statements, which aimed to disperse the Egyptian people's fears of fraudulent elections, following the numerous violations cited in several presidential candidates' campaigns. However,the election campaigns continue with vigor, amid accusations exchanged between the candidates that play on the weaknesses of each part
Israel and Iran beat the 'drums of war' ahead of nuclear talks in Baghdad
Al Jazeera - Israeli air force commander, Ido Nehushtan, said his forces are entirely ready to carry out any military operation it may be assigned to, including striking Iran's nuclear sites. On the other hand, the secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council, Saeed Jalili, warned the super powers of making any miscalculations and issuing statements that could harm the negotiations scheduled for May 23rd, in Baghdad, regarding Tehran's nuclear program. The US-Israeli statements on the matter were issued at a critical time, only several days before resuming the P5 +1 talks with Iran concerning its nuclear issue.
Iraqis mark national day for the martyrs of the mass graves
Al Forat - May 16th was chosen to be the annual day dedicated to the martyrs of the mass graves, after the first and largest mass grave was discovered in the al-Mahawil region, of northern Babil province in 2003, after the Saddam regime collapsed. Considered the bloodiest in modern history, the barbaric massacres claimed the lives of tens of thousands of men, women and children, after they were buried alive or killed execution-style.
Image: Pro-government protesters show Bahraini and Saudi flags tied together, symbol of the unity of the two countries, as they participate in a pro-government rally held in al Fateh Grand Mosque in Manama February 11, 2012. Thousands of pro-government supporters attended the rally, which was organised by The Gathering of National Unity society, holding Gulf countries flags condemning the acts by opposition groups of Bahrain. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed
South Sudan refuses to withdraw troops from oil-rich town
Al Jazeera - South Sudanese President Salva Kiir Mayardit refused to withdraw his forces,from the oil-rich region Heglig, and threatened to take over Abyei if the Sudanese forces do not retreat from the area. Sudan announced it will mobilize its forces to recover the Heglig region. Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir said the Sudanese army is capable of resolving any aggression on his country,in a response to South Sudan's People's Liberation Army's taking over Heglig. The UN Security Council called on Sudan and South Sudan to halt the border battles, and return to negotiations, in order to avoid further deterioration of the situation by the border.
Bahrain protestors rally to demand realse of dying activist al-Khawaja
Al-Alam - Bahraini regime forces crushed demonstrations, held across various provinces, in solidarity with detained activist, Abdulhadi al-Khawaja, who has been on a hunger strike for more than two months. Fourteen international organizations called for mounting pressure on al-Manama to release al-Khawaja. The rights groups said that the court's ruling against al-Khawajah, and other activists, is a blatant violation of their rights to freedom of expression, and the freedom to hold public gatherings and assemblies, under the provisions of the international law. Bahraini protestors are demanding the downfall of the regime, which has failed to bring about a solution to the political crisis in the country and are vowing to continue their mobilization, until all of their rights and demands are attained.
Clashes near Turkish border on second day of fragile Syria truce
BBC Arabic - Two days after a ceasefire took place in Syria,the Syrian Revolution's General Commission said eight civilians were killed in different parts of Syria. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said clashes erupted in the morning between Syrian forces and members of the Free Syrian Army in Idlib province, near the Syrian-Turkish border. Damascus said what happened near the border is part of the implementation of Annan’s plan, and a redeployment of its forces. As for the breach, it said it was caused by yesterday’s attack on a military vehicle.
Egyptians rally against former regime candidates
Al-Alam - Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians demonstrated in a million-man march to protect the revolution in Tahrir Square in the center of the Egyptian capital Cairo. This comes in response to a call by the country's Islamist parties and groups. The protestors affirmed the revolution is still continuing against anyone who tries to steal it, and they expressed their rejection to the idea of boycotting the presidential elections. They also stressed the Egyptian people will overthrow the regime's remnants through the ballot box.
Arab Hero Ahmed Ben Bella dies at 96
New TV - Ahmed Ben Bella was a figure more esteemed than a revolutionary hero, and seen as a prisoner with a will stronger than his warden's. He lives in the Arab consciousness as one of the most important figures of this nation’s recent history. Soaring from his position as a fighter in the Algerian million-martyr revolution, and reaching his destination as the first president of the republic established following the country's victory. He restored Algeria's natural status in the heart of the nation's struggle, and restored his people's stolen identity. Ben Bella departed the world as a history maker, and he goes down in history as one of the most glorious leaders of this nation.
Image: Supporters of Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) take part in a rally in support of South Sudan taking control of the Heglig oil field, in Juba April 13, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer
(Euronews: 0314 PST, April 11, 2011) Libyan rebels celebrated regaining control of Ajdabiya after NATO aircraft destroyed at least 11 tanks. Although they've long complained about what they say is an ineffective NATO response to government attacks, the rebels were more than satisfied with the alliance's approach over the weekend.
Ajdabiya is a gateway to their stronghold of Benghazi, some 150 km up the Mediterranean coast. It has been the launch point for insurgents during a week-long fight for the oil port of Brega and its fall would be a serious loss.
(Al Jazeera English: 0747 PST, April 8, 2011) Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO secretary-general, talks to Al Jazeera about what he says is progress being made in implementing UN Security Council resolution 1973 - and about the deaths caused by NATO forces near Brega.
He says there has been no breach of the arms embargo since NATO has been enforcing it. the bombing of "friendly forces" was a "very unfortunate incident," and that he "strongly regrets the loss of life" - but that the situation on the ground is "very fluid."
(ITN News: 0529 PST, April 8, 2011) UK Foreign Secretary William Hague says it would not harm NATO to apologise for accidently killing Libyan rebels.
(ITN News: 0800 PST, April 8, 2011) NATO releases video of an airstrike in Libya amid claims of "friendly fire" by anti-Gaddafi forces on the ground.
NATO is coming under fire for its actions in Libya -- both for not doing enough to protect civilians in Misurata in the west of the country, and for overzealousness in launching misguided air strikes in the east.
(Al Jazeera English: 0738 PST, April 7, 2011) NATO's latest air strike in the eastern Libyan town of Brega that killed at least five people -- the second such friendly fire incident this week -- has raised doubts in the minds of many, who wonder whether it was really a mistake.
At the same time, rebel fighters who criticized NATO's mission failure to protect civilians in Misurata, do realize they cannot win the battle against the Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi, alone.
Thousands of civilians have also begun to flee intense fighting particularly in the coastal areas between Brega and Ajdabiya, further east. Al Jazeera's Gerald Tan reports.
(Russia Today: 0521 PST, April 7, 2011) Rebels in Libya say they've been hit by a NATO airstrike, with some reports suggesting as many as 13 people have been killed. This comes as UK officials are investigating Libyan claims that British planes destroyed the Arab state's largest oil field, killing three guards. RT's Paula Slier reports from Tripoli.
These two videos both report on claims made by Libyan state TV that allied air strikes caused civilian casualties. The first, from ITN News in the UK, explicitly plays down the Libyan reports and shows only footage of the burning military base targeted in the raid. The second, from Russia Today, has no commentary, but includes more of the original report, including footage of the civilians Libya claims were killed and injured in the same attack.
(ITN News: 0404 PST, March 24, 2011) Libyan television shows what it says is a military base in flames after coalition air strikes on Tripoli.
(Russia Today: 0309 PST, March 24, 2011) Libyan broadcasters claimed that an unknown number of civilians were injured and killed in coalition airstrikes in Tripoli late on Wednesday. Fresh explosions and gunfire have been heard in the Libyan capital Tripoli, with reports saying coalition forces are targeting major military facilities across the country. Allied forces have also conducted air strikes against troops loyal to the leader Muammar Gaddafi, in the country's western city of Misurata.
WARNING: This video contains some graphic images.
(Russia Today: 0753 PST, March 23, 2011) Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi vowed to fight until the end as he made his first public appearance since the international allied operation began on Saturday. Gaddafi said his troops will be victorious in what he called a "crusader battle." His address preceded a fourth night of air strikes. RT's Paula Slier is following developments in the capital Tripoli.
(Euronews: 2328 PST, March 22, 2011) Western nations backing the UN no-fly zone over Libya have agreed a role for NATO in the campaign but they will have to clarify the mission's aims before winning wider support. President Obama who wants the US to take a back seat has persuaded a reluctant France to accept the involvement of the alliance.
(ITN News: 0709 PST, March 23, 2011) A Libyan TV host has pulled a gun out from under his desk while presenting a program.
(Euronews: 0528 PST, March 22, 2011) A public clash between Russia's leaders over Libya has revealed cracks in the world's most famous political duo. President Dmitry Medvedev appeared to criticize Prime Minister Vladimir Putin after the latter described western military action in Libya as a medieval crusade.