Arab States Weekly Review Oct 27th – Nov 2nd 2012

A four-day ceasefire during the holy Eid holiday failed to hold in Syria. Fighting continued in and around Damascus.

Following clashes between anti-government demonstrators and the police, Bahrain banned all protests in the country. The interior minister said that the “repeated abuse” of the right to freedom of expression could no longer be accepted, and that protests would be permitted only once security and stability were restored.

Arab States Weekly Review Oct 20th – 26th 2012

The Syrian regime was blamed for a huge bomb in Beirut that killed Lebanon’s internal security head and seven others. Ten people died in sectarian clashes following the explosion.

Forces loyal to the Libyan government took control of most of Bani Walid, a former stronghold of Qaddafi.

A United Nations envoy said that the Syrian government and most rebel leaders have agreed to abide by a ceasefire during the four-day Muslim holiday of Eid al Adha.

Arab States Weekly Review Oct 13th – 19th 2012

Human Rights Watch reported that the Syrian regime was using cluster bombs in an attempt to suppress the rebel movement.

Libya’s fledgling parliament elected a new prime minister. Ali Zidan is a former career diplomat who served under Muammar Ghaddafi until going into exile in 1980.

The electoral commission in Jordan said there would be an election on January 23rd 2013. The oppostion Islamic Action Front, a group affiliating itself to the Muslim Brotherhood, said it would boycott the poll.

Arab States Weekly Review Oct 6th – 12th 2012

Libya’s government sacked Mustafa Abushagur, the country’s proposed new prime minister, only three weeks after he had taken office because it objected to the government of technocrats he had proposed. A weak caretaker government will continue in the meantime.

Egypt’s president Mohamed Morsi pardoned all political prisoners arrested since the start of the revolt last year against Hosni Mubarak, except for those convicted of murder.

Tensions between Turkey and Syria remain high as they continue to shell each other following a spillover effect from the Syrian uprising. Turkish jets forced a Syrian passenger plane en route to Moscow to land in Turkey because there was “objectionable material” on board according to the foreign minister.

In Jordan a group close to the Muslim Brotherhood organised protests against what it claimed was King Abdullah’s failure to make adequate reforms in the run-up to an election expected next year.

Arab States Weekly Review Sept 29th – Oct 5th 2012

Tensions rose between Turkey and Syria after five people in a Turkish border town were killed by Syrian shelling. Turkish artillery responded, killing several Syrian soldiers near the town of Tel Abyad.

Fighting continued in between President Assad’s forces and rebels in Syria’s second city of Aleppo, as at least 40 people were killed in explosions.

Iraqi officials reported that September has been the country’s deadliest month for two years. At least 365 people were killed in attacks, carried out mainly by Sunni extremists against Shias, who dominate the government.

Arab States Weekly Review Sept 22nd – 28th 2012

Four soldiers were killed beside Syria’s military HQ in Damascus in an attack by rebels who set off several car bombs.

Several of Libya’s Islamist militias, including the one believed to have killed US Ambassador to Libya on September 11th, were disbanded or brought under command of the armed forces.

Arab States Weekly Review Sept 15th – 21th 2012

Heavy fighting continued in Syria’s capital Damascus and Aleppo. Human rights groups and a UN report accused the regime of war crimes, but also stated that opposition fighters were committing atrocities.

Arab States Weekly Review 8th – 14th Sept 2012

The US embassies in Egypt and Libya were attacked by rioters enraged by an amateur film which insulted the founding prophet of Islam. An attack on the US consulate in Benghazi killed four Americans, including the Ambassador. Barack Obama vowed to catch the killers. Egyptian rioters stormed the embassy in Cairo and hoisted an Islamic flag.

The defence minister in Yemen survived an assassination attempt that left 12 people dead, when a bomb exploded near his office in the capital Sana’a.

Tareq Al-Hashemi, Iraq’s vice-president, was sentenced to death in absentia for alleged murder. He blames the prime minister Nuri Al-Maliki, denouncing the trial as being politically motivated.

Arab States Weekly Review 1st – 7th Sept 2012

Syrian government forces shelled parts of Aleppo, killing at least 19 people. At an Arab League summit in Cairo, Egypt’s president Muhammad Morsi called on Bashar Assad, his Syrian counterpart, to step down.

Arab States Weekly Review 25th – 31st Aug 2012

Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi flew to China and Iran, saying he pursued a “balanced” foreign policy. It was the first time in decades than an Egyptian president had visited Iran. In Tehran he attended a summit of the Non-Aligned Movement.

Government forces in Syria were reported to have killed at least 380 people in Daraya, a town on the south-western edge of Damascus. President Bashar Assad said his forces need more time to win the battle against the rebels.

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