Today, a Reuters reporter who had been detained in Syria and afterward expelled, published an account of the cruelty he witnessed in Syria's prisons. That account of gross human rights abuses can be found at:
Witness: Shattered humanity inside Syria's security apparatus | Reuters
Last edited by donsutherland1; 05-26-11 at 11:37 AM.
yesterday in yemen:
Al-Qaeda gunmen seize Yemen city Zinjiba - TelegraphHundreds of suspected al-Qaeda gunmen have captured the southern Yemeni city of Zinjibar after heavy fighting with security forces. Government officials said that the provincial capital was under the control of militants after fighting that began on Friday and had claimed 16 lives, including civilians.
The fighters "were able to gain control of the city of Zinjibar and took over all government facilities" a security official told AFP. Only the headquarters of the the 25th mechanised brigade was holding out, he added, but it was besieged by the gunmen.
A local resident said: "About 300 Islamic millitants and al-Qaeda men came into Zinjibar and took over everything on Friday."
Zinjibar is the capital of Abyan province in south central Yemen. The impoverished state, which was the ancestral homeland of Osama bin Laden, has been wracked by violence amid protests to end President Ali Abdullah Saleh's near 33-year rule.
Washington considers al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula - the Yemen-based al-Qaeda franchise - to be the world's most active terrorist cell.
obama has defined american national security as interested in maintaining un and nato credibility and protecting civilian lives in libya which evidently requires bombing the smithereens outta tripoli and ongoing attempts to assassinate gadhaffi in a de facto effort to institute regime change
but in what for half a century has been the center of united states interest in the middle east---israel and the gulf---the white house appears completely out of touch
do you all know exactly where yemen is?
are you aware that syria, land of the reformer assad, lies just across the upper jordan from zefat?
do you know the reformer's relations with hamas, hezbolloah, iran?
yet foggy bottom focuses on the mediterranean hiway traversed so transiently by wavell and rommel
Iran reportedly aiding Syrian crackdown - The Washington PostU.S. officials say Iran is dispatching increasing numbers of trainers and advisers — including members of its elite Quds Force — into Syria to help crush anti-government demonstrations that are threatening to topple Iran’s most important ally in the region.
The influx of Iranian manpower is adding to a steady stream of aid from Tehran that includes not only weapons and riot gear but also sophisticated surveillance equipment that is helping Syrian authorities track down opponents through their Facebook and Twitter accounts, the sources said. Iranian-assisted computer surveillance is believed to have led to the arrests of hundreds of Syrians seized from their homes in recent weeks.
The new assertions — provided by two U.S. officials and a diplomat from an allied nation, all of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe sensitive intelligence — are clearly aimed at suggesting deepening involvement of Iranian military personnel in Syria’s brutal crackdown against anti-Assad demonstrators.
In the account provided by the diplomat and the U.S. officials, the Iranian military trainers were being brought to Damascus to instruct Syrians in techniques Iran used against the nation’s “Green Movement’’ in 2009, the diplomat said. The Iranians were brutally effective in crushing those protests.
Hmm, this Bashir Assad seems to be as brutal as Ghaddafi.
today: Hamza the child martyr tortured to death by Syrian soldiers
13 year old boy held by syrian police for a month, tortured, killed and mutilated, according to the boy's family who put images of the corpse on youtube
the father has been arrested and disappeared
march 28: Clinton calls Syrian tyrant a reformer
are you sure this state dept knows what it's doing
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/02/wo...n.html?_r=1&hpYemen appeared to tip closer to all out civil war on Wednesday as government troops and opposition tribesmen battled to control key positions in the capital and foreign diplomats boarded planes to flee.
But a powerful general who defected to the opposition in March has continued to keep his troops on the sidelines, leaving open the question of whether the heavy fighting would be contained to areas of the capital, Sana, and several other cities, or whether it could engulf the country.
Around the heavily fortified headquarters of Yemen’s state-run television station in Sana, government forces fired shells at tribal fighters loyal to the family of Hamid al-Ahmar, the strongest tribal rival of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who clings to power in the face of months of protests and days of mounting chaos.
On Wednesday, Kuwait, a Gulf council member, recalled its diplomats from the country’s embassy in Sana because of the “deteriorated security situation in Yemen,” Kuwait’s state-run KUNA news agency reported. A day earlier, Italy said it had temporarily shut its embassy and withdrawn its staff. The United States Embassy remains open, but last week advised all American civilians to leave the country.
Violence flared again overnight in the Hasaba neighborhood of Sana, the scene of the most intense fighting between Ahmar forces and government troops, who renewed their pitched clashes after a brief cease-fire broke down late Monday. Tribesmen controlled large portions of the neighborhood on Wednesday, including many of the ministries and other government buildings there, though the government disputed claims that the Interior Ministry had been overrun.
Heavy casualties were reported in the capital, with estimates ranging as high as 41 killed from both government forces and Ahmar tribesmen. A spokesman for the Ahmar family put the tribal casualties at 10 dead and 31 wounded.
The government was “randomly” shelling the Hasaba area “from military camps at the mountains around the capital,” the spokesman, Abdul Qawi al-Qaisi, said.
South of the capital, the city of Taiz remained in a state of lockdown Wednesday with security forces and Republican Guards moving swiftly to disperse even the smallest gatherings in the streets, residents said.
The city had been the site of Yemen’s largest antigovernment sit-in until a deadly crackdown early this week by government forces and plainclothes gunmen cleared protesters from the square they had occupied since February. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said it had received reports that as many as 50 people died.
In the southern coastal city of Zinjibar, bodies lay in the streets, witness said, as Yemeni troops fought with Islamic militants who took control over the weekend.
national security, anyone?
protecting civilian lives?
islamic "militants" in yemen, who could they be?
party on, peaceniks
Yemen is a mess and it offers elevated risk of evolving into a failed state. More and more, it appears that the so-called "democratic uprising" there was merely a slow reignition of another civil war driven, in part, by perceptions of eroding central power. At this point in time, it is unclear whether any of the parties currently vying for power would be inclined to create a more democratic and inclusive government. Al Qaeda also adds an extra dimension to the potentially re-emerging civil war.
Unlike Libya, Yemen does pose some real risks e.g., if its turmoil cannot be contained within its borders, risks to shipping in one of the region's vital waterways would increase and risk of unrest could spread into Saudi Arabia. In short, it is a situation that will need to be managed carefully, as the fallout could be much greater than that in Libya. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has been very concerned and has tried to ease a leader who is widely viewed as illegitimate out of power in the hope that such a move would allow stability to return. There is no assurance of such an outcome even if the current government falls (probably more likely than not).
Whether or not the GCC would then consider deploying troops to Yemen under such circumstances not dissimilar from what happened in Bahrain remains to be seen, but the risks involved in Yemen would very likely be much greater than those in tiny Bahrain. Given those notably higher risks, my guess is that there would be no such military deployment. Instead, the GCC could try to bolster the security along the borders of Yemen.
Saleh well after palace shelled: Yemen official | ReutersShells struck Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh's palace in Sanaa on Friday, wounding three senior officials, but a Yemeni official said Saleh was "well."
Fierce fighting engulfed the Yemeni capital, where residents cowered in their homes as explosions rocked the city.
Two Yemeni officials said Saleh escaped unhurt, but the prime minister, his deputy and the parliament speaker had been wounded in the attack, blamed by the government on tribesmen led by the al-Ahmar family. Four guards were reported killed.
Yemen has tipped swiftly toward civil war this week, with forces of the Hashed tribal confederation battling troops still loyal to Saleh in the capital and elsewhere.
More than 370 people have been killed, at least 155 of them in the last 10 days, since a popular uprising against Saleh's nearly 33 years in power began in January.
Heavy fighting also spread for the first time to the southern part of Sanaa, an area held by forces loyal to Saleh and possibly marking a turning point in the conflict.
Explosions were heard in the southern city of Taiz, where the United Nations has said it is investigating reports that 50 people have been killed since Sunday.
Two policemen were killed in a rocket-propelled grenade attack, medical officials said, after security forces fired warning shot earlier at protesters gathering for Friday prayers.
Worries are growing that Yemen, home to a branch of al Qaeda known as AQAP and next to the world's biggest oil exporter Saudi Arabia, could implode and become a failed state that poses a risk to global oil supplies and security.
Dozens Dead as Syrian Forces Open Fire on Anti-Government ProtestersSyrian troops pounded a central town with artillery and heavy machinegun fire Friday, killing at least two people in the latest onslaught as authorities cut off Internet service in several regions in an apparent move to prevent the uploading of videos of anti-regime demonstrations, activists said.
The Local Coordination Committees, which helps organize and document Syria's protests, says troops bombing Rastan also opened fire on residents fleeing the town. Friday's deaths bring the toll in Rastan and nearby Talbiseh to 74 killed since the attack started last Saturday.
The bombing came as many Syrians took to the streets across the country after Friday prayers. The opposition has called for nationwide rallies to commemorate the nearly 30 children killed by President Bashar Assad's regime during the uprising.
In the southern city of Daraa, where the uprising began 10 weeks ago, scores of people rallied in the city's old quarter, chanting "No dialogue with the killers of children," an activist said.
Human rights activist Mustafa Osso said Syrian security forces opened fire Friday at demonstrators in the southern village of Inkhil, but it was not clear if there were any casualties.
Osso also said that at least 5,000 people were demonstrating in the northeastern city of Qamishli, while about 10,000 protested in the village of Amouda. Osso added there were also protests in the Damascus suburbs of Daraya, Zabadani, Harasta and Douma.
Residents and activists also reported protests in the coastal city of Banias, the northeastern city of Deir el-Zour and the central Damascus neighborhood of Midan.
Video surfaced earlier this week on YouTube, Facebook and websites of Hamza al-Khatib, a 13-year-old boy whose tortured and mutilated body was returned to his family weeks after he disappeared during the protests.
The boy has since become a symbol to Syria's uprising and many people carried his posters during anti-regime rallies this week.
Rights group says more than 1,100 people have been killed since the revolt against Assad erupted in mid-March.
both yemen on the gulf, with its powerful aqap presence, and syria across the jordan, with its strong ties to hamas, hezbollah and iran, appear to have passed the tipping point and now look inevitably to be lurching towards civil war
what's going on in libya?
actually, a great deal is going down today concerning OBAMA'S WAR against gadhaffi---in the united states house of representatives