Arab States 2012 Review

Opposition to the Assad regime in Syria escalated into a full-scale civil war, resulting in at least 30,000 deaths. Fighting reached the capital Damascus, and the rebels gained control over large parts of the country. Turkey occasionally exchanged artillery fire with Syria.

Egypt was plagued by further sporadic violence as the Arab spring of 2011 failed to bring stability. Mohamed Morsi won the presidential election and became the first elected Islamist head of state in the Arab world. He proposed a new constitution that critics say is excessively Islamist and endangers minorities.

The National Transitional Council in Libya handed over power to an elected congress, though factional fighting continued. The American ambassador to Libya was killed on the 11th of September in an attack on the US consulate in Benghazi.

A week-long war in Gaza was sparked by Israel’s air strike which killed the head of Hamas’ military wing, which left 140 Palestinians and six Israeli’s dead. Egypt brokered a ceasefire.

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