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Entries in Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar (26)


Israel (and Beyond) Live: A Quiet "Freeze" on Settlement Expansion?

1625 GMT:Egypt. In an apparent show of defiance of a report criticising Egypt's armed forces, President Morsi has promoted several generals.

A Government-commissioned report, portions of which have been leaked, has found that officers killed, tortured and abducted Egyptians during the 2011 uprising against the Mubarak regime and protests over the following two years.

Standing alongside members of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, Morsi said: "Any insult against the armed forces is an insult against all of us, and we reject any kind of insults....I announce this to the whole world: we appreciate the great role that the armed forces has been playing in maintaining the safety and security of this country."

Morsi promoted three major-generals to the honorific title of lieutenant-general.

As the President listened, the head of the armed forces, General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, said:

The armed forces during the last two years was very, very fond of Egypt and the people of Egypt and did not commit any malpractices whatsoever. By God I swear that the army, since 25 January 2011, did not kill and did not order to kill, did not deceive and did not order to deceive.

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Yemen Interview: President Saleh "I Will Retire When There Are Elections"

Six days after returning  to Yemen from medical treatment in Saudi Arabia, President Ali Abdullah Saleh spoke on Thursday with Aryn Baker of Time magazine and Sudarsan Raghavan of The Washington Post.

Beyond the standard rhetoric --- Saleh has authorised his Vice President to conduct dialogue with the opposition, even though that opposition is linked to Al Qa'eda, note two things.

First, any talk of negotiation is limited by Saleh's insistence that his main opponents, General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar and tribal leader Sheikh Sadegh al-Ahmar, cannot not have any influence: "[The initiative] says to remove all the elements causing tensions. Because if we transfer power and they are there, this will mean that we have given in to a coup."

And second, Saleh is playing up the image of his "alliance" with the US --- note how often he refers to co-operation with American intelligence.

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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:

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Syria, Yemen, Bahrain (and Beyond): A "Win-Win" Protest? 

2056 GMT: An activist in Bahrain writes, "the innovation of the Bahraini protesters never stops." The Bahraini government had renamed the road that led to the Pearl Roundabout Monument "Alfaroq junction" after they tore down the monument. This video, reportedly taken yesterday, shows the protesters giving the square what they believe is a more adequate name, by covering up the government's sign with their own that reads "Martyr Square."

2049 GMT: Protesters in the important and central Midan district of Damascus, chant "Long live Syria, down Bashar Assad":

2043 GMT: Evening protests in Khalidiya, Homs, led by students:

A large night protest in the Waer section of Homs:

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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, Yemen, Bahrain (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Children Chant in Damascus, Protesters Die in Sana'a

2030 GMT: Today was a very important day for two countries, where we witnessed a dramatic escalation in Yemen and the shutdown of an entire city in Bahrain. In Syria, large protests continued, despite more violence.

This video reportedly shows a large protest in the al Saqba district of Damascus:

And this video was taken in Al Hula, Homs, where 9 people were killed by security forces today. That alone would make it important. But it is unique in and of itself, because of the unique messages, written in English, on the signs that the protesters are holding:

Muslim or Christian, we all want freedom

Religion is for God, but Syria is for All Syrians

Large night protests in Dael, Daraa:

And in Khalidiya, Homs, the site of much violence and a brutal crackdown that has been intensifying in recent days, the people chant that they want the execution of President Bashar al Assad:

Our coverage will begin early tomorrow morning. Stay tuned.

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Libya, Syria (and Beyond) LiveBlog: The Opposition's Military Commander is Assassinated

Also see our latest video entry: Latest Syria Videos: Friday's Protests Across the Country - Set 1 AND Set 2

2026 GMT: An important update from an activist in Sana'a, Yemen. Loud explosions could be heard coming from north of the city, presumably fresh government airstrikes against a base that was captured by opposition tribesmen yesterday. (see update at 0920)

1959 GMT: A huge Conservative Islamist rally took place in Alexandria, Egypt, as well. Members of the 6th April Group, a liberal pro-democracy organization, were reportedly harassed and left the crowd:

1948 GMT: An important eyewitness account from a Kurdish neighborhood of Damascus:

In the Damascus neighbourhood of Rukin Aden, home to the capital’s largest Kurdish community, an eye-witness told Al Jazeera there were several hundred protesters gathered around the Saad Basha Mosque, calling for the toppling of the regime.

Anti-riot police and secret police blocked off the neighbourhood's main streets, arresting dozens of protesters and driving them off in large buses.

Protesters also reported land lines and internet had been cut since the morning.

“After four months, we are demonstrating every night despite the big security crackdown on us,” Ammar, a 28-year-old protestor told Al Jazeera.

“About 200 pro-democracy advocates and protesters were arrested but this will not stop our uprising. The regime is trying hard to finish the uprising before Ramadan. We are preparing ourselves for the Ramadan and we will organise big evening demonstrations every day, especially Rukin Adeen which has well-known religious figures and big mosques.”

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Syria (and Beyond) LiveBlog: The Regime v. People with Rocks

2040 GMT: Claimed footage of protesters throwing stones at security forces in Hama today:

1700 GMT: Activists of the Local Coordination Committees of Syria claim the death toll in Hama today is now at least 13, including a 15-year-old boy.

The activists also claim 67 people are in hospital with serious injuries, with another 200 treated and discharged.

Among those reported killed are Ahmad Bitar, Emad Mohammad Khallouf, Baha Halbosy Nahar, Hasan Saraqbi, Mohammad Swaid, Foad Al Mukhallalati, Maher Sharabi, Mohammad Qasem Owair, Mahmoud Mahalle, Omar AlDalati, a martyr from Yousfan family, Omar Bahah and Bilal Mohammad (15 years old).

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Yemen Feature: A Splintered Opposition? (Ahmed)

Dissident Military Join Protesters in Sana'a, May 2011Since President Ali Abdullah Saleh's departure immediately after the presidential palace was attacked June 3, tensions within Change Square have become more visible. Many demonstrators in [the capital] Sana'a are now turning their attention towards their leadership, which is comprised of twenty individuals collectively known as the organising committee.

The committee handles the logistics and coordinates demonstrations on behalf of demonstrators. Its critics accuse it of marginalising the voice of the youth while monopolising the decision making. Salah al-Sharafi, founder of the Union of Movements for Independent Youth, says that many of the youth have tried to voice their concerns to the committee, but to no avail.

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Bahrain, Syria (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Shutting Away the Activists for Life

2145 GMT: Claimed footage of a protest in Idlib Province in northwest Syria today:

2015 GMT: The video of Bahraini King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa's speech promoting a "national dialogue":

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