Greater Middle East

Bush accuses Syria on Lebanon

President Bush says today he has receieved reports of covert Syrian interference in Lebanon, and the White House charged that it had information that Damascus had drawn up an assassination hit list targeting Lebanese political leaders. "Obviously we're going to follow up on these troubling reports, and we expect the Syrian government to follow up on these troubling reports," Bush told reporters. White House spokesman Scott McClellan said afterward that Washington had received information about a "Syrian hit list targeting key Lebanese public figures of various political and religious persuasions, for assassination."

Egypt next for "regime change"?

In recent weeks, we've been following Washington's current regime change offensive, in which the White House is seeking to encourage--and, presumably, co-opt--opposition activists in countries which really are unhappily authoritarian, but (more to the point) insufficiently compliant with US interests. Now there are signs that even Egypt, a top global recipient of US aid, could be next.

PKK insurgency flares in Turkey

During the Turkish National Day celebration in the eastern city of Siirt this week, helicopter gunships circled over the stadium and sharpshooters stood watch on rooftops--signs of the rising tension in southeast Turkey as Kurdish separatists rekindle an insurgency after a five-year lull.

"Jewish lobby" denies Armenian genocide

Here's a textbook case in how the reigning anti-Semitic propaganda system works, with the paradoxical complicity of certain powerful (and deluded) Jews. This propaganda system is all the more effective for being nearly universally unrecognized.

PKK resurgence in Turkish Kurdistan

At least 20 Kurdish guerilla fighters are dead in an assualt by Turkish army troops backed up by US-made Cobra attack helicopters near the Iraq border, AP reported April 15. Three Turkish soldiers and a village guardsman were also killed in the fighting in Siirt and Sirnak provinces. Turkish authorities said the guerillas infiltrated Turkish territory from Iraq, where they had taken refuge across the border.

Lebanon back from brink?

Lebanon's Omar Karami has resigned a second time, after Parliament refused to accept his February 28 resignation. This time Najib Mikati, a Sunni perceived as a moderate, has been chosen to succeed him. Mikati hailed the opposition--especially Druze leader Walid Jumblatt--for breaking a boycott of the political process to approve his nomination, and said he wanted to "personify national unity." The opposition is said to have supported his nomination because he is less pro-Syrian than his chief rival for the post, Abdel-Rahim Mrad.

Yazidis in the news

Synchronicity? Just days after WW4 REPORT cited a rare news report on persecution of the Yazidis (also rendered Yezidis or Ezidis), an obscure and ancient religious sect in eastern Turkey and northern Iraq, the Washington Post actually runs a story on them.

Counter-insurgency in Yemen

Scores are dead in Yemen, where security forces are battling Islamist forces led by Badruddin Al-Houthi in and around the northwestern town of Saada. A group of opposition parties is calling for the nation's pariliament to immediately launch an investigation into "extra-judicial killings" by government forces in the operation. (Arab News, April 9) The fighting has left at least 70 this week, and 170 over the past month.

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