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Entries in Ali Abdullah Saleh (134)


Yemen Music Special: The Katy Perry-President Saleh Mash-Up

Something completely different to mark President Saleh's return to Yemen on Friday, after more than three months in Saudi Arabia for medical treatment:


Yemen, Bahrain, Syria (and Beyond) LiveBlog: The Surprise Return of Presidents and Protests

Sanabis in Bahrain, blanketed in tear gas today

2145 GMT: We have taken a Saturday night break to recharge. Apologies for limited service --- we will be at 0600 GMT on Sunday with a full round-up of developments across North Africa and the Middle East and a special feature on Bahrain.

Meanwhile, the latest from Bahrain --- EA sources say Sanabis is a "closed" village with entrances blocked, adding, "It is too dangerous to go out."

In what appears to be a troubling development, there have been a number of house fires in villages where protests have been occurring (see 1110 GMT). What is even more troubling, again from EA sources, are claims that security forces have been setting fires to force out protesters who can be identified and arrested. One source writes, "Police thugs attacking protests in Sanabis who where trying to Extinguish a building on a fire, they attacked us with flashbangs and teargas."

Shaky video of a fire in Sanabis and disorder nearby:

A photograph of Sanabis this evening:

Click to read more ...


Bahrain, Syria, Yemen (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Reclaiming Pearl Roundabout?

2055 GMT: Manama Press, which is connected to the regime, has published a very interesting article about today's events. It starts out by describing a sermon by a leading cleric:

On Friday Sheikh Isa Qassim during his Friday sermon told worshippers “There is a class of society under repression and there are obstacles at every turn, blocking their voice. The cleric told worshippers in a mosque in Duraz, an opposition stronghold northwest of the capital, Manama, that the vote on Saturday is meaningless. This is fake democracy,”

The article then describes plans for protests. Up until halfway through, it almost reads as if the paper is supporting the protesters.

Then we get the bait and switch. The official line is that very few protesters showed up, but the Central Mall and some streets were filled with rioters who had to be dispersed and arrested.

City Centre was the Centre of the attacks where rioters created chaos and fear amongst the mall’s visitors. Security forces, including the women’s police force dealt with rioters as some of them were arrested for illegal actions. Shops in City Center were closed while the police force calmed the situation.

Two innocent female bystanders were injured by the rioters and rushed for treatment.

When the rioters entered City Centre they were chanting Down Down Hamad which led to visitors Chanting “People want Khalifa bin Salman”.

This assessment of the days developments differs starkly with reports that EA and other media groups have covered.

2044 GMT: A source in Bahrain reports that even at this hour there are many checkpoints in and around the villages that surround Sitra and Sanabis, including checkpoints at:

Click to read more ...


Yemen, Syria, Bahrain (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Who's in Charge Here?

See also US and the World (Video and Transcript): President Obama to UN General Assembly "Peace is Hard"
Yemen Analysis: The Latest Deaths and the Mistakes of US Policy
Wednesday's Syria, Yemen, Bahrain (and Beyond): A "Win-Win" Protest?

2125 GMT: Another photo of the mass opposition rally in the Bahraini capital Manama today:

2105 GMT: Claimed footage of men trying to rescue a shot companion from a street in Talbiseh in Homs Province in Syria:

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Yemen Analysis: The Latest Deaths and the Mistakes of US Policy (Johnsen)

A man is shot by a sniper at the "Kentucky Roundabout" in the Yemeni capital Sana'a

The news media, as should be expected, largely ignored Yemen when there were bloodier crises to cover in Libya and Syria and as a result so did the merry-go round experts in [Washington] DC and Europe.

But the US did not.

Now I completely disagree with the way the US has approached the crisis in Yemen since the uprising started in February, and I think my record is pretty clear on that, but I can't say it has ignored Yemen.

In fact, only a couple of weeks ago, John Brennan, who has emerged as the US point man on Yemen - which should tell you something about US priorities in Yemen, given that he is a counterterrorism adviser --- explained that Yemen's cooperation with the US was better than ever since Saleh left the country.

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Syria, Bahrain, Libya (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Watching Homs


Syria, Libya (and Beyond) LiveBlog: A Death in Bahrain

2112 GMT: James is taking a break, but he wanted to note that we've receieved dozens of protest videos from Syria, some of which we will put into a separate feature.

2106 GMT: This video claims to show protesters in the Alqarya area of Sitra, Bahrain, tonight, before the protesters are attacked by police:

Dissidents prepare to protest in Babar, Bahrain:

2051 GMT: Syrian expatriates have founded a 140 member transitional council in Turkey. The goal of the national council is to establish a vision for a post-Assad Syria, and to continue to organize peaceful pro-democracy protests:

At the meeting, 70 names were read out from a list of 140, as at least some of the rest cannot be named, possibly because they are inside Syria, says the BBC's Jonathan Head in Istanbul.

Others are in exile.

The opposition groups seem to have finally agreed to what is effectively an embryonic Syrian national assembly, says our correspondent.

For the first time, it has the full backing of all opposition groups inside and outside the country, and will now represent the opposition, he (opposition spokesman) adds.

Click to read more ...


Syria (and Beyond) LiveBlog: So What Does Protest Mean?


Libya, Syria (and Beyond) Liveblog: Where is Qaddafi's Family?

1954 GMT: NATO has conducted 120 sorties today, 42 of them hitting ground targets near Sirte, Bani Walid, and Hun, the last remaining areas with a heavy pro-Qaddafi presence.

1800 GMT: The World Food Programme [WFP] is tendering for 250,000 tonnes of gasoline on behalf of Libya's ruling interim council. The official statement reads:

At the request of Libya's National Transitional Council (NTC), WFP is looking to procure 250,000 metric tons of gasoline that would cover immediate life-saving humanitarian needs for one month. Fuel supplies have been disrupted by the fighting, and water and electricity supplies depend on fuel-run generators. Fuel is also required for hospitals, ambulances and vehicles to distribute critically needed medicines, food, water, and other supplies.

1730 GMT: Following the Eid prayers, Muslim Brotherhood called on Egyptians to protect the "freedoms" against "any manipulation of the people’s will or choice" and reemphisezed the importance of handing over power to a civil government as soon as possible.      

1710 GMT: Asset freezes and bans on business interactions were imposed on Foreign Minister Walid Muallem, top presidential advisor Bouthaina Shaaban, and Syrian ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdul Karim Ali, the US Treasury Department announced.

1645 GMT: Four video footages showing demonstrations in Damascus, Homs, Hama and Aleppo respectively.

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Syria (and Beyond) LiveBlog: The "New Normal"

1756 GMT: Semih Idiz offers an analysis on whether or not a visit by Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu to Syria will be effective. His conclusion is that Turkey has little recourse, and Assad is likely trying to bide time for his reforms to kick in (and I would add, he is attempting to discourage the opposition by killing it, a tactic which seems to be failing thus far). However, Idiz offers this interesting paragraph, hinting that even Assad will find it difficult to change Syria:

Regardless of his talk about reforms, Assad is not in a position to allow this even if he wanted to, given the privileges the Alawite minority has secured for itself over the decades and which it is unlikely to give up without a fight. The question for Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan then is what happens if Assad does not comply with Turkey’s demands.

1747 GMT: The international human rights organisation Avaaz is reporting that 2 people have been killed today in a renewed military campaign against the city of Hama, Syria.

1743 GMT: US President Barack Obama and Turkey Prime Minister Erdogan conferred today, over the phone, about the ongoing crisis in Syria:

The White House says that in a call Obama made to Erdogan Thursday, the pair agreed that the violence in Syria must stop and the demands of the Syrian people for a transition to democracy must be met. Obama and Erdogan agreed to consult closely in the coming days as the situation in Syria develops.

1709 GMT: The LCCS is reporting that 12 people have been killed today in Syria, 11 in Qussair, outside of Homs.

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