01 Apr 13
The Syrian National Coalition, the main opposition group to Bashar Assad’s regime, took Syria’s seat at the Arab League meeting in Qatar. President Assad said the seat had been handed to “bandits and thugs”.
Lebanon’s prime minister, Najib Mikati, resigned amid disagreements over the supervision of an election due in June and the choice of an internal security chief. Neighbouring Syria’s war has further destabilised Lebanese politics.
24 Mar 13
The pace of killing in Syria’s civil war is twice as fast as in the Iraq war according to figures published by the Iraq Body Count, an independent organisation. Syria’s conflict has claimed at least 70,000 deaths in two years. Meanwhile Syrian state media report a poison-gas attack in Aleppo with both sides of the conflict accusing each other of carrying out the attack.
A wave of bombings killed at least 60 people in Iraq on the tenth anniversary of the America-led invasion. Responsibility was claimed by a group linked to Al-Qaeda.
09 Mar 13
Egypt’s general election, which was planned for April 22nd, is to be delayed after an administrative court ruled that the electoral law must first be reviewed by the Supreme Constitutional Court. The opposition threatened to boycott the vote because it claimed that the law favoured the ruling Islamists.
02 Mar 13
The National Salvation Front, a combination of Egyptian opposition parties, has decided to boycott the parliamentary elections on April 22nd. The move will likely ensure that Islamist parties retain control of the legislature. The group’s spokesman said the poll would not be fair.
A string of missile attacks carried out by the Syrian government killed 141 people in Aleppo, according to Human Rights Watch.
22 Feb 13
Tunisia’s prime minister Hamadi Jebali resigned following ructions after the assassination earlier this month of an opposition leader.
Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah swore in 30 women to the kingdom’s previously all-male 150-member Shura Council, the country’s senior advisory body. The move was criticised by conservative clerics.
22 Feb 13
The Syrian National Council announced that Qatar will hand it control of the Syrian embassy in Doha. Qatar was one of the first governments to recognise the group as the official representative of the Syrian people.
22 Feb 13
Chokri Belaid, a prominent opposition leader in Tunisia, was shot dead by unknown assailants outside his house. The killing sparked angry protests which forced the prime minister to promise a new government of technocrats.
Investigators in Bulgaria concluded that Hizbullah, a Lebanese party-cum militia, was behind July’s bombing of a bus near a Black Sea resort which killed five Israeli tourists and the bus driver. Israel called on the EU to list Hizbullah as a terrorist group.
03 Feb 13
At least 50 people died in Egypt following clashes between security forces and opponents of Egypt’s Islamist government. Some of the country’s generals warned that the state could collapse if the violence doesn’t stop.
Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN and Arab League envoy to Syria, told the UN Security Council that the country is being destroyed “bit by bit”. The UN Refugee Agency estimates that more than 700,000 Syrians have fled abroad.
26 Jan 13
Security forces in Algeria ended a four-day assault of Islamist terrorists on a gas plant in the country’s south-east. The counter-attack left at least 37 foreign workers dead as well as almost all of the 30-odd terrorists.
19 Jan 13
Islamists in Algeria seized a gas plant with foreign workers, including American, British and French nationals. A group with links to the local Al-Qaeda representation claimed the attack was a reprisal for French intervention in Mali.
At least 87 people were killed on an attack on Aleppo’s university in northern Syria. The rebels and Bashar Assad’s government blamed each other.