Claimed video of Free Syrian Army forces firing on regime troops in Deir Ez Zor on Tuesday
See also Syria Diary: "We Are Completely Trapped in Homs" br>
Egypt Revealed: Military Rulers "Planned with Judge to Preserve Their Power" br>
Tuesday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Just Another Day --- 114 People Die on Monday
1823 GMT: Bahrain. Gulf News Daily reports that three of the seven men accused of attacking security forces with Molotov cocktails in Abu Qawa in February --- seriously injuring one policeman --- were in prison at the time of the attack, according to their defence lawyer. The paper quotes lawyer Shazlan Khamis as having told the High Criminal Court yesterday:
My three clients were convicted of participating in an illegal gathering and were in jail at the time of the attack, the investigating officer had initially claimed they were on the run, but that's not true because they were jailed.
The investigating officer on the case says that "secret sources" revealed to him the identity of all seven men, adding that "they were already in jail for another case when we questioned them."
1815 GMT: Bahrain. A final verdict was expected today in the case of the 28 Bahraini medical professionals facing misdemeanour charges (see 0615 entry). However, in court the judge postponed the case until September 4th, reports Human Rights First, adding that the delay is so the judge can "consider allegations of torture against the medics during their detention last year". Commenting on the decision, Brian Dooley of Human Rights First said:
“Justice delayed is justice denied even longer for these medics who should not be on trial in the first place. Today’s delay shows the dictatorship is refusing to listen to international calls for reform by continuing with these politically-motivated trials. The medics should all have been acquitted today and investigations opened into who tortured them in custody.”
The NGO also quotes the reaction of neurosurgeon Nabeel Hameed, one of the 28:
Our suffering continues and our future is unclear. All the medics are disappointed as it means our lives continue in suspended animation.
The National Authority to Reform Information and Communication was tasked with writing new laws to regulate print and broadcast media in March 2011.
1529 GMT: Yemen. A local official said Yemeni troops opened fire on Tuesday on dozens of jobless protesters who demonstrated near an oilfield operated by France's Total in the southeastern Hadramaut Province.
The official said 10 people were injured, two seriously.
Claimed footage of shelling today of Rastan near Homs:
1248 GMT: Syria. State news agency SANA has posted the English translation of the second part of President Assad's interview with a Turkish newspaper, in which he castigates Turkey's Prime Minister Erdogan for intervening and effectively supporting terrorism in Syria (see 0930 GMT).
The head of the United Nations monitors, Maj. Gen. Robert Mood, has said the observers will only return to the streets when violence ebbs.
The monitors withdrew to their hotels in Damascus last month.
1240 GMT: Syria. The bodies of two Turkish pilots, killed when their jet fighter was shot down on 22 June by Syrian forces, have been located in the Mediterranean. Efforts are under way to retrieve them.
1020 GMT: Syria. Claimed footage of a Libyan medical team crossing the Turkish border into Syria:
As messy as it has been and unfinished as it remains, Yemen’s transition accomplished two critical goals: avoiding a potentially devastating civil war and securing the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who had ruled the impoverished country for over three decades. It also cracked the regime’s foundations, while making it possible to imagine new rules of the game.
Still, much remains in doubt, notably the scope and direction of change. The nation essentially has witnessed a political game of musical chairs, one elite faction swapping places with the other but remaining at loggerheads. Important constituencies --- northern Huthi, southern Hiraak, some independent youth movements --- feel excluded and view the transition agreement with scepticism, if not distain. Al-Qaeda and other militants are taking advantage of a security vacuum. Socio-economic needs remain unmet. The new government must rapidly show tangible progress (security, economic, political) to contain centrifugal forces pulling Yemen apart, while reaching out to stakeholders and preparing the political environment for inclusive national dialogue.
0939 GMT: Syria. Khalid Saleh, an executive member of the Syrian National Council, has told The Guardian, in the aftermath of the opposition conference in Cairo (see 0510 GMT), "Agreement on the transitional plan is the biggest challenge. We are trying to work through that. I think we will have something finalised in the next few weeks." He continued:
The international community has a moral duty to show support for the Syrian people ....
It is almost impossible to try and bring different opposition parties [together] and tell them to agree on the details. There is not a single united opposition movement in the whole world.
The international community is sometimes using the disunited opposition card to just cover up their inability to take hard decisions.
0930 GMT: Syria. In the second part of his interview with a Turkish newspaper, President Assad has sharply attacked Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, "With his desire from the beginning to interfere in our internal affairs, unfortunately, in the subsequent period he has made Turkey a party to all the bloody acts in Syria....Turkey has given all kinds of logistical support to the terrorists killing our people."
In the first part of the interview, Assad had been more conciliatory, saying he wished his forces had not shot down a Turkish jet on 22 June.
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu dismissed the comment as a lie, doubting Assad had any such regrets.
0859 GMT: Bahrain. The Guardian reports on the regime's efforts to obtain a seat on the UN Human Rights Council's advisory committee in September.
A letter from Bahrain proposing the "entirely qualified" nominee, Saeed Mohammed al-Faihani, has been sent to the 57 member states of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation seeking their support.
The organisation also asserts that the authorities have also arbitrarily detained Palestinians fleeing Syria in a refugee holding center, without any options for release other than return to Syria.
The newspaper claimed 842 Colombian troops and retired soldiers have already joined the forces of the UAE, which is paying salaries up to 10 times what the Colombian state provides.
0615 GMT: Bahrain. Attention returns to the courtroom today, where 28 medical staff on misdemeanour charges are handed their verdicts.
The 28 doctors and nurses were tried in June 2011 after several weeks in detention and allegations that they were abused.
Twenty medics convicted of more serious charges had their sentences reviewed that month. Nine were given reduced terms, while nine had their sentences quashed.
0510 GMT: Syria. Tuesday was marked by continuing, sometimes heavy clashes from Deir Ez Zor in the northeast to the suburbs of Damascus.
Video indicated battles between the regime forces and the Free Syrian Army in Deir Ez Zor, with activists reporting 14 deaths in the area. Near the capital, President Assad's military --- despite re-taking the suburb of Douma last weekend --- continued to shell nearby. Twelve people reportedly perished.
The Local Coordination Committees of Syria put the total casualties at the hands of security forces at 71.
The developments overtook political news, such as the conclusion of the two-day meeting of Syrian opposition groups in Cairo. They agreed generally on support for the Free Syrian Army and the exclusion of President Assad or other senior regime figures from a transitional national unity government.
However, some groups --- including the Free Syrian Army --- refused to come to Cairo and some left the proceedings. Those who remained could not find consensus over foreign intervention. More importantly,they did not reach an agreement on a unified body to represent the opposition.