A demonstration in Amouda in northeast Syria on Wednesday night
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Clashes between protesters and police outside the US embassy in Cairo have left hundreds injured, according to the health ministry, which last put the number of injured at 224.
1535 GMT: Egypt. Anti-US sentiments, protests, riots, embassy stormings, RPG attacks... it's all very dramatic and scary stuff right now...
But really, protests against the US have been pretty small today. Besides Tuesday's protests in Cairo, the terrorist attack conducted by a relatively small amount of insurgents in Libya, and the few hundred angry rioters in Yemen, we haven't really seen widespread protest against the US.
Foreign Policy's Blake Hounshell states what's been on our minds:
Friday could prove me wrong but so far, isn't the real story how small all these anti-U.S. protests have been?— Blake Hounshell (@blakehounshell) September 13, 2012
Agreed RT@blakehounshell: BTW I don't think the demos at U.S. embassy Cairo are really about the film. Now just shabab vs. riot police.”— ashraf khalil (@ashrafkhalil) September 13, 2012
1500 GMT: Syria. Meanwhile, 65 people have already been killed by Assad forces today, according to the Local Coordination Committees of Syria:
27 martyrs were reported in Aleppo including 14 in Bab town, 18 in Damascus and its Suburbs including 8 from one family in Yalda town,6 in Deir Ezzor including 3 from Bokmal, 6 in Lattakia, 4 in Idlib, 3 in Daraa, and 1 in Homs.
Al Bab is northeast of Aleppo, and is somewhat of a "back door" for the FSA to enter the eastern districts. Not only this, but Al Bab connects Aleppo to Turkey, but also to the eastern provinces of the country. While the Assad army has had no success north of Aleppo, it has been pounding Al Bab for weeks in an attempt to stem the flow of supplies to the FSA, and break the resolve of the residents.
1450 GMT: Egypt. Journalist Ashraf Khalil has just left the US embassy in Cairo. He reports that several hundred "hot heads," perhaps Ultras, but not Islamists, are throwing rocks and chanting nearby:
@kaylangeiger not cosmopolitan. Young, poor and angry. Revolutionaries are sitting this out, so far— ashraf khalil (@ashrafkhalil) September 13, 2012
Scary part is that if this continues, these clashes will produce martyrs, which will fuel more clashes. Cycle of stupidity rolls on. #egypt— ashraf khalil (@ashrafkhalil) September 13, 2012
1354 GMT: Egypt. An incredible interaction between the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and the US embassy staff in Cairo:
@usembassycairo we understand you're under a lot of stress, but it will be more helpful if you point out exactly the Arabic feed of concern— Ikhwanweb (@Ikhwanweb) September 13, 2012
The Cairo embassy staff is already in hot water with members of the Obama administration for its reaction to the crisis yesterday. While statements made by some American politicians were misleading, the State Department did ask embassy staffers to remove their earliest statements - but those requests were apparently denied.
1312 GMT: Egypt. The Muslim Brotherhood has released a statement concerning the events of September 11, 2012. It condemns the anti-Islamic videos, and calls for the "West" to act to stop such speech. The statement also says that such incidents could cause some to "loathe the West, especially the USA."
The statement does condemn the violent reaction against US interests, and it also calls for Muslims to be better role models.
Certainly, such attacks against sanctities do not fall under the freedom of opinion or thought. They are crimes and assaults against Muslim sanctities, and must not be tolerated by the countries where they are produced or launched, since they are also detrimental to the interests of those countries in dealings with the peoples of the Muslim world.
The West has passed and imposed laws that punish those who deny or express dissident views on the Holocaust or question the number of Jews killed by Hitler, a topic which is purely historical, not a sacred doctrine.
The peoples and governments of the Muslim world have every right to condemn, with all peaceful and legal means, this new violation and heinous attack, and to take appropriate action to deter repeats of such acts of barbaric aggression.
While we reject and condemn the bloodshed and violent response to that abuse and the incredible tolerance certain countries show towards it, we cannot ignore the fact that these countries never made a move regarding the abuse until after the strong reaction seen across the Muslim world.
1302 GMT: Syria. The Syrian National Council, the most recognized opposition leadership group, has released a statement concerning the events of 9/11, condemning (perhaps predictably) both the anti-Islamic "bigots" and the violence against the US embassies:
As we condemn the insults and consider them an assault on the feelings and beliefs of nearly one fourth of the population of the globe we stress the right of everyone who has been offended to express peacefully their rejection and condemnation of those who perpetrated them. However, the reaction by murder, burning, and destruction is rejected and unequivocally condemned.
The Syrian National Council condemns the killing of the US ambassador and the employees of the US embassy in Libya. This act is rejected and violates Islamic Shari'ah and all conventions of international relations that prohibit any assault on envoys and ambassadors and prohibits holding them responsible for actions committed by their compatriots.
An brief analysis - it's clear that the message was aimed more at Syrians on the ground than at the US - most of the first half of the 4 paragraph statement talks about the outrage over the attacks on the "tolerant message of Islam."
That's to be expected - while the SNC is having trouble establishing a leadership role abroad, it has struggled to establish itself as a leader inside Syria.
1238 GMT: Egypt. US embassies are in a tricky spot. In most countries, the US has little recourse for what happens immediately outside the embassy, and has to rely on the host nation to provide security, as the area just outside embassy walls is sovereign ground.
As such, US President Obama has spoken to Egyptian President Morsi on the phone, reiterating the need for Egypt to protect foreign embassies, and stressing that while efforts to insultIslam are inappropriate, assaults on US property and staff are completely unacceptable.
Morsi expressed condolences for the loss of life in Libya, and vowed to protect the embassies.
This conversation happened after President Obama stated in an interview that Egypt is not an ally, "but we don't consider them an enemy," a strong reversal of US rhetoric.
Obama said in an interview with the Spanish-language network Telemundo that Egypt is a "new government that is trying to find its way." He warns that if the Egyptian government takes actions showing "they're not taking responsibility," then it would "be a real big problem."
1231 GMT: Egypt. Ahmed Nazif, a former Prime Minister under President Hosni Mubarak, has been sentenced to three years for the unlawful possession of property and for making illegal profits from a public-interest company.
Nazif was also fined 9 million Egyptian pounds ($1.48 million). Prosecutors said he made 64 million Egyptian pounds (about $10.5 million) by illegally acquiring land and an Alexandria apartment and making private profits from a public institution he founded.
Nazif, who was in office from 2004 to 29 January 2011, just after the start of the uprising against Mubarak, had already been handed a suspended sentence on separate corruption charges.
1228 GMT: Yemen. The AP posts this video, raw footage of the storming of the US embassy, complete with a clip of a soldier on a vehicle-mounted heavy machinegun firing warning shots and aiming at protesters:
1221 GMT: Yemen. reports that there have been two distinct waves of protesters at the US embassy in Yemen - the first staged a sit-in protest, while the second, coming hours later, turned the scene into a riot.
At least one protester has been shot dead by police outside the embassy. The situation there is highly chaotic:
James Miller takes over today's live coverage from the very busy Scott Lucas.
1159 GMT: Bahrain. Writing for The New Statesman in Britain, Mehdi Hasan has complained, "While We Wring Our Hands Over Syria, There’s Silence Over Torture in Bahrain". He features this challenging remark from human rights activist Maryam Alkhawaja:
[The violence] has got worse. The Bahraini regime has made some superficial changes but the situation on the ground hasn’t changed....Torture has moved from official torture centres to unofficial torture centres.
The article follows an appeal by 11 human rights organisations to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, asking her to support the suspension of all American military aid to Bahrain.
1154 GMT: Egypt. President Morsi has responded to the demonstrations and violence at and near US diplomatic missions in Egypt and Libya, saying he supports peaceful protest but not attacks: "Expressing opinion, freedom to protest and announcing positions is guaranteed but without assaulting private or public property, diplomatic missions or embassies."
As Morsi's statement was broadcast, demonstrators hurled stones at a police cordon blocking their approach to the US Embassy in Cairo. Police responded with tear gas..
State news agency MENA reported that 16 people were injured.
Morsi pledged to protect foreigners in Egypt, a comment he repeated during a news conference in Brussels.
A crowd gathered at dusk, about 7 p.m. (1700 GMT), chanting slogans against the film and angry at Washington's failure to act against its promoters. At some point, shooting began, with some in the crowd thinking they were under fire from the consulate. Around 10 p.m., rioters surged into the compound, bullets and grenades flew, and fires started.
Among the assailants, Libyans identified units of a heavily armed local Islamist group, Ansar al-Sharia, which sympathizes with al Qaeda and derides Libya's U.S.-backed bid for democracy.
Eventually, some three dozen Americans drove off to a safe house, knowing one diplomat was dead and Ambassador Christopher Stevens missing. When an eight-man rescue team flew in from Tripoli, they and their Libyan escorts were pinned down with the survivors by another attack in which two more Americans died.
Meanwhile, Stevens, 52, had been found by local people and taken, unrecognized, to a hospital, around 1 a.m. A doctor failed to revive him and pronounced him dead of smoke inhalation.
Around dawn, at 7 a.m., the beleaguered American survivors, with their battered military rescue party, were finally escorted back to Benghazi airport by a convoy of Libyan militia fighters in dozens of vehicles, to be flown to Tripoli and safety.
1005 GMT: Yemen. Back from an academic break to find footage of hundreds of demonstrators trying to get into the US Embassy in Sana'a:
0645 GMT: Libya. A protest condemning the attack on the US Consulate in Benghazi:
0621 GMT: Syria. Overshadowed by Wednesday's events in Libya, 173 people died at the hands of security forces, according to the Local Coordination Committees. There were 67 deaths in Aleppo Province, 25 in Damascus and its suburbs, 20 in Daraa Province, 20 in Deir Ez Zor Province, and 15 in Hama Province, including the claimed execution of 11 people in Halfaya as they were working on a farm.
0620 GMT: Libya. As we catch up with latest developments, we open with an analysis, "Questions --- and Fears --- Over the Benghazi Attack".