Iran Election Guide

Donate to EAWV

Or, click to learn more


Entries in King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa (65)


Middle East Today: Iraq --- Bombs Kill More than 35 on Wednesday

Photo: Ako Rasheed/ReutersIraq: Security Forces Raid Farm of Sunni Tribal Leader

Security forces have raided the farm of prominent Sunni tribal leader Sheikh Ali Hatem al-Suleiman, seeking to arrest him.

Al-Suleiman, emir of the Dulaim tribes, has been instrumental in setting up the "Army of Pride and Dignity", a tribal force in Ramadi and elsewhere in Anbar Province, west of Baghdad.

The emir said that dozens of Army of Pride and Dignity members later tracked down the Iraqi army convoy that conducted the raid and clashed with it, freeing three farmers who had been seized.

"This is it; enough is enough. We will attack every Iraqi army checkpoint in Anbar if they don't withdraw from Anbar province immediately," Al-Suleiman said. "We will not accept any talks or negotiations with the government anymore."

Click to read more ...


Bahrain Special: How British Government Helped Regime Denounce Press Freedom...on World Press Freedom Day

Journalist Ahmed Hassan, Killed March 2012I suspect George Orwell would be impressed.

The headline on the British Government's website appears straight-forward: "British Embassy Bahrain Marks World Press Freedom Day". The introduction sounds promising: "The British Embassy asked Bahraini journalists and commentators to write a brief article outlining their views on the freedom of expression in Bahrain."

So who would the British government select to address this important issue and what would the answers be?

Would the British government open a discussion of how Bahrain's mainstream press and broadcasting is almost exclusively pro-regime outlets?

Would it allow comment from or pay tribute to those reporters who have tried to bring alternative views?

Would there be recognition of those journalists who have been refused entry to Bahrain, or asked to leave the country, or those who have been detained, sentenced to prison< terms, or even killed by security forces?

Well, no.

Click to read more ...


Bahrain Analysis: 5-Point Guide to Crown Prince's "Return to Dialogue" (Gengler)

Crown Prince Salman's speech at the Manama Dialogue last Friday

How fitting it would be if Bahrain's uprising were finally resolved in the same manner in which it originally was not resolved --- with a political deal brokered by the Crown Prince --- an appropriately absurd result to highlight even more starkly how far the turmoil, bloodshed, and political posturing of the previous two years accomplished *literally* nothing.

Click to read more ...


Bahrain Feature: "Collective Punishment" on Al-Eker Village After Policeman Killed

Claimed footage from Bahrain State TV of Thursday night's explosion --- circled in red about two minutes into the video --- which killed one policeman and injured another

It has been another tense day in the Kingdom.

Al-Eker village has been under a state of near-siege since late Thursday night after a policeman died there. Throughout Friday, there were reports of house raids, arrests and violence by security forces --- including shooting into properties --- while human rights defenders were prevented from entering Al-Eker by police. Today, citizens are reportedly still being prevented from entering or leaving the village.

Click to read more ...


Bahrain, Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Ripping Up King Hamad, Taking Out Assad's Air Force

1932 GMT: Syria. With military progress largely stalled, the Syrian military is expanding their bombing campaign in Idlib - and the target is civilians. According to the AFP, at least 44 people were killed in airstrikes in Ma'arrat al Nouman. This video shows a bomb falling on Ma'arrat Harma (map), to the west of most of the fighting:

Meanwhile, the Free Syrian Army reportedly launched an all-out attack on the Wadi al Daif base, just east of Ma'arrat al Nouman, the largest base in the are, and one that the FSA has had surrounded for days:

Click to read more ...


Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Deaths and Executions on Both Sides

Claimed footage of an attack on a building of the security forces in Zabadani in Syria

See also Syria Video Feature: Does the Free Syrian Army Represent The People?
Monday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Deaths and Executions on Both Sides

2010 GMT: Syria. According to the Local Coordination Committees, 115 people have been killed by regime forces today:

40 martyrs were reported in Aleppo; 25 in Damascus and its suburbs; 23 Hama including martyrs from Kafarzeta and Halfaya; 11 in Deir Ezzor, among them 4 in the shelling of Shehail and 4 in Bokmal; 6 in Daraa; 5 in Idlib; 2 in Lattakia;2 in Banyas 1 in Homs.

See our note on the numbers release by the LCCs.

As you can see, the deaths in Aleppo today have been very high, with Damascus and Hama (particularly Kafer Zita, as we noted earlier) accounting for most of the rest of the fatalities today.

We saw a continuation of a pattern that has become familiar - the regime is using longer-range artillery, and air strikes, to inflict much of this damage, both to buildings and to lives. However, after several weeks of intensification, there are no signs that either the Free Syrian Army, nor the peaceful protesters, show any sign of giving up their resistance to President Bashar al Assad.

Click to read more ...


Bahrain Live Coverage: Will High-Profile Activists Receive Court Verdicts Today?

Sunday night's rally in Bilad AlQadeem in support of political prisoners

See also Bahrain Opinion: You Can Imprison the 13 Activists. You Cannot Imprison Their Ideas.
Tuesday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: At Least 250 Civilians Die on Monday

1606 GMT: Zainab AlKhawaja's mother reports that her trial was adjourned again today, with a resumption on 10 September. Zainab is also in court tomorrow on separate charges.

The case of Ammar Ali Mansoor AlSawad (see 0535 GMT), along with 16 other boys accused of rioting and burning a police jeep, has been adjourned until 1 October.

1509 GMT: The BBC's Frank Gardner quotes a British minister as saying that the UK is "very disappointed" at today's verdict on the 13 political prisoners and has called for an urgent appeals process. This is a strong --- and rare --- public response from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, signaling a recognition that "reforms" in Bahrain are not going as its allies had planned.

Click to read more ...


Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Damascus and Its Suburbs Hammered Again

Bahraini activist Ali Mushaimaa protests Thursday's visit by King Hamad to British Prime Minister David Cameron in London (Photo:Instagram)

See also Syria Snap Analysis: New Patterns in a Bloodier Conflict
Thursday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: A Nationwide Battle

1913 GMT: Syria. According to the Local Coordination Committees, an Al Jazeera reporter was wounded in the Saif al Dawla district of Aleppo:

1900 GMT: Syria. The fighting in Syria has crossed over the border into Iraq. This week, the Free Syrian Army made significant advances near al Bukamal, in the Deir Ez Zor region. In response to the FSA capturing several border crossing points, Syrian jet fighters reportedly attacked the border crossings, moving over Iraqi air space in the process.

Now, the LCC reports that Iraqi soldiers have also fired at Syrians near Al Bukamal.

Click to read more ...


Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Fighting Continues in Aleppo

A reporter for Press TV, escorted by Syrian military, declares that Salah Ed Dine is Aleppo is free of "terrorists" --- In his previous broadcast from Aleppo on 30 July, the reporter said, "All is normal"

See also Syria Opinion: "Nobody Is Above Criticism"
Iran and Syria Audio Feature: Why Tehran's Conference "Stunt" Means Little --- Scott Lucas with Monocle 24
Friday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: The Battle for Aleppo Continues

2025 GMT: Syria. The Local Coordination Committees reports that 80 people have been killed by security forces today, including 19 in Damascus and its suburbs and 15 in Aleppo Province.

1915 GMT: Syria. A Lebanese judge has charged former Minister of Information Michel Samaha and two Syrian army officers with setting up an armed group to incite sectarian strife through “terror attacks”, including bombings and assassinations.

One of the Syrian officers as General Ali Mamluk, the Syrian National Security chief.

The indictment also said that Samaha and the Syrian army officers set up the armed group to commit crimes, fueling sectarianism “by targeting the authority of the state and its civil and military institutions.” It alleged that the group conspired “with the intelligence services of a foreign country to undertake attacks against Lebanon".

Samaha was arrested on Thursday, initially in a case linked to explosives.

Click to read more ...


Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Annan Quits, The Mass Killings Do Not

Claimed footage of the aftermath of regime attacks on the Yarmouk refugee camp in Damascus, which killed at least 20 people on Thursday (Warning: Graphic)

See also Syria Audio Feature: "Annan's Resignation is A Sideshow...and What Is Really Important" --- Scott Lucas with Monocle 24
Syria Video Feature: Fighting the Battle with Camera Phones
Thursday's Syria (and Beyond) Live Coverage: Is Aleppo Out of Control?

2040 GMT: Syria. For two weeks we have been talking about the likelihood that the Syrian Army will liberate Aleppo in the sudden push of a massive military assault on the country's largest city. For two weeks, we have been saying that the Free Syrian Army will make Assad pay for every inch of that liberation. Now, however, we need to consider that the most likely scenario may no longer be regime victory in Aleppo.

The roads north of Aleppo are virtually clear of the Syrian army. The area as far east as Kobani (also known as Ayn-al-Arab), and as far west as Dar T'Izzah, all the way north to the border with Turkey, is either completely or largely in insurgent hands. Free Syrian Army fighters have captured perhaps hundreds of vehicles, some of them armoured, and a few of them are tanks.

The FSA has more and more weapons, and has proven it can beat Assad's armour. Those fighters have been hit hard by the helicopters and jet fighters, but have proven that they are strong enough to take those hits. We have now gone many days without a regime victory in the area, and the FSA continues to advance. Perhaps as much of 70% of Aleppo is under some degree of FSA control, while the insurgents are closing in on Assad's military bases south of Salaheddin.

Common knowledge says that the regime will strike soon, but common knowledge said that the regime would retake the city last Saturday. It didn't happen. The FSA won the battles. In fact, there is no available empirical evidence that suggests the Assad regime can win the future battles inside Aleppo.

A quick look at the map tells the story --- the area in blue is area over which the FSA has at least partial control, though this is likely too conservatively drawn):

View Syria - 2012 August 3 - EA Worldview in a larger map

The regime is working against the clock. Since February, the Syrian military has not retaken a single city or town that has been in insurgent control for more than 2 weeks. Reporters on the ground are saying that the FSA is become better equipped and better supplied and that its ranks, both inside Aleppo and outside, are growing.

The regime could make a significant military assault in a bid to take Aleppo back, but it would likely have to be much larger than anything we have seen so far.

Without being alarmist, the most likely scenario may not be a regime assault on the city. Soon, the Free Syrian Army could be poised to take Aleppo --- all of it.

Click to read more ...

Page 1 2 3 4 5 ... 7 Older Posts »