Today, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad announced the formation of a new government to be headed by Adel Safar. Current Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem and Minister of Defense Ali Habib will remain in their posts. The change will mostly affect the Interior Ministry, the Ministry of Information, and the Ministry of Finance. According to the BBC, Syrian TV reported that President al-Assad also decided to release all those detained in connection to the latest events with the exception of those who committed crimes “against the homeland and the citizen.”
Al-Jazeera reports on the latest developments in Libya, where Gaddafi forces killed 23 people in the western city of Misurata. A spokesman for the revolutionaries said that most of the victims were killed while they were in line at a bakery to buy bread. The revolutionaries warned of a “massacre” in Misurata if NATO does not intervene by force to protect civilians from more shelling by Gaddafi’s battalions.
The Bahraini Ministry of Justice has filed lawsuits to disband the al-Wefaq National Islamic Society and the Islamic Action Association, the two main opposition groups in Bahrain. Al-Alam reports that the February 14th Revolutionary Youth Coalition has called for protests in an attempt to break the siege imposed on the Suliamaniyah medical center. The coalition also called for massive sit-ins in front of the local mosques after Friday prayer. Meanwhile, joint Saudi-Bahraini forces have stormed the villages of Karizakan and Beni Jamra, fired tear gas at residents, and cut off the villages’ major roads.
Syria TV reports that a five-year-old girl in occupied Palestine was wounded when an Israeli settler hit her with his car in the West Bank town of Hebron. She was hit while playing near her home and was immediately taken to the hospital.
Today marks the 36th anniversary of the attack on a bus in Ain el-Remmaneh, considered to be the first spark of the Lebanese civil war. To commemorate the day, a group of youths are running a free bus service from Dawra to Hamra. One organizer told New TV that the free transportation service was to “allow people to tell us about their experiences and memories of the war,” so that the violent war may be “remembered but never repeated.”