Al-Alam reports on developments in Libya, where international coalition forces continue to launch strikes against Gaddafi’s battalions in various areas of the country. Gaddafi forces have confirmed their control of Libya’s third largest city, Misurata. In London, leaders from over 40 nations have formed a contact group that will meet to discuss the situation in Libya. US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, who participated in the meeting, announced that military strikes launched by coalition forces must continue until Gaddafi completely submits to UN demands. Russia has stated it will not participate in the meeting and condemns NATO’s air raids, warning they could lead to a civil war in Libya.
Al-Jazeera reports that the Syrian government has resigned due to ongoing unrest and protests. Syrian TV said that President Bashar al-Assad accepted the mass resignation. Meanwhile, thousands of Syrians poured into the streets of Damascus and Halab in a demonstration to support President Assad, carrying the Syrian flag and pictures of the president. The demonstrators chanted slogans demanding stability for Syria and supporting the country's plan for reform. Assad has said he will abolish the emergency law that has been in place for nearly forty years.
In Dubai TV’s report, Yemeni medical sources say that the death toll from the explosion at the Abyan weapons factory has risen to 150. According to local officials in the town of Khanfar, factory workers warned residents not to enter the site after it was taken over and looted by members of al-Qaeda. Yemeni authorities say the explosion was caused by metal objects striking barrels containing gunpowder. Meanwhile, the political situation in Yemen has reached a stalemate as President Ali Abdullah Saleh says he will not make any more concessions and the opposition remains unsatisfied.
Thirty-three people were killed and over 100 were wounded in Northern Iraq today in an incident in which 11 armed gunmen disguised as members of the Iraqi military stormed a government building. The BBC reports that the gunmen occupied the building for several hours and took a number of hostages before US and Iraqi forces regained control of the building. Three provincial council members, a brigadier-general, and three police officers were all killed.
Tonight, NBN gives us a profile of the first president of the Syrian Arab Republic, Shukri al-Quwatli. Described as the most prominent advocate of Arab unity in modern times, al-Quwatli is revered for resisting Turkish and French colonization and fighting for Syrian independence. Al-Quwatli was imprisoned and sentenced to death multiple times but was twice elected president by the Syrian people and fought to achieve Arab unity until his death in 1967.