Syria continued its violent crackdown on protesters this week and increased its escalation using navy vessels to go after the port city of Latakia on Sunday. At least 25 people are reportedly killed including three children, according to our partner The New York Times. Joining us is Anthony Shadid, Beirut bureau chief for The New York Times, whose been covering this story.
As unrest spreads in Syria the government continues to crack down on demonstrators. But President Bashar al-Assad's government seems to be weakening and losing nearly all of its international support. The United States has imposed sanctions on Syria's largest bank and mobile phone operator while calling on Assad to step down from power. Meanwhile within Syria, even members of the political and social elite are starting to back away from the Assad regime.
There are reports of fresh artillery fire early this morning in the eastern city of Deir al-Zour, Syria, following a bloody weekend that killed dozens and forced thousands to flee as the Syrian regime continues its violent crackdown on protesters. In response to the violence, Saudi Arabia joined the chorus of international condemnations, removing their ambassador from Syria. King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has called for an end to the bloodshed. The crackdown by Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has left more than 2,000 people killed by the count of some human rights groups.
Crowds gathered this morning outside the police academy in Cairo where former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak appeared before a court to face charges of corruption and ordering the killing of protestors during the revolts that took place earlier this year. Mubarak, who had not been seen in public since he was deposed in February, pleaded not guilty. The trial carries a great deal of significance in the Arab world, as Mubarak is the first modern Arab ruler to be tried in public by his own people following a revolution, and could face the death penalty if convicted.
U.S. Ambassador to Syria Robert Ford made an unannounced visit to the city of Hama yesterday. Ford apparently traveled to Hama on his own to show solidarity with the four month uprising against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Anthony Shadid of The New York Times reports on Ford's trip from Beirut, Lebanon.
In a live national address this morning, Syrian president Bashar Assad accused "saboteurs" of trying to smear the world's image of the country, by protesting his rule for the past three months. Assad also made an appeal to the thousands of Syrians who have fled to the border of Syria and Turkey to return to their homes, saying that the biggest danger facing the country is the threat of an economic collapse. Anthony Shadid reports from Beirut for our partner, The New York Times. He speaks with us about President Assad's speech, and whether or not it will change the course of events in Syria.
The crackdown on pro-democracy activists in Syria has worsened. Plain clothes police have been pulling protesters off the streets and throwing them into vans, and threatening imprisonment to those who have video of protests on their cell phones. We get an update on the situation in that country from Anthony Shadid, reporter for The New York Times. Shadid explains that Syria's government is "in survival mode and it has signaled it's intention in brute force." Is it time for international intervention?
The Syrian government says it has control over the seven-week uprising in the country where many protesters have been wounded, arrested or killed. Human rights groups say at least 580 people have been killed since March. A Syrian official told the press that President Bashar al-Assad's crackdown was necessary to squelch, what she called, an armed uprising. Correspondent for The New York Times, Anthony Shadid says that the government is positioning the struggle as necessary to protect the Alawites, the minority ruling group. The alternative, according to the government, is chaos.
Dozens of towns and cities in Syria are seeing protests today, with witnesses saying that at least six people have been killed. In past weeks, thousands have turned out to demand new leadership in Syria despite an increased and violent government crackdown. "There are competing narratives," says Anthony Shadid, reporter for The New York Times, "there's a real struggle of wills on who has the upper hand."
For several weeks we’ve watched as videos have trickled out of Syria onto YouTube and other websites. The Syrian activists who take the video say they are images of protests that turned violent at the hands of the Syrian government.
Correspondent for The New York Times, Anthony Shadid writes that the future of the Arab world "was fought for in the streets of downtown Cairo on Wednesday." The populace is rethinking its role in Egypt as it calls for a new government. However, a new government will also mean a new understanding of U.S.-Egypt relations.
The popular uprising in Egypt is unprecedented as citizens forced an end to President Hosni Mubarak’s 30 year regime. The transition to a democratic government will be fraught with challenges, but such a transition is not unprecedented in the region. What does democracy look like in the Middle East?
Tunisia's army clashed with armed gangs in Tunisia's capital on Sunday, two days after a popular uprising forced long-time dictator, President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, to flee the country. Popular support for Tunisians’ freedom is echoing across the Arab world. Anthony Shadid, a foreign correspondent for The New York Times, has reported from most countries in the Middle East over his fifteen year career. He says that the Arab world is facing its most dangerous and yawning divide between ruler and ruled.
Less than a week after President Obama declared the end of combat operations in Iraq, U.S. forces have exchanged fire with insurgents in Baghdad. American troops helped repel a coordinated attack on an Iraqi base. At least five bombers carrying grenades and wearing suicide jackets attempted to breach checkpoints and killed at least 12 people, wounding at least 20.
The engagement was the first for U.S. forces since last Tuesday, when President Obama delaclared the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom, the 7 1/2 year war, and the start of Operation New Dawn, in which 50,000 troops will remain in Iraq in a non-combat role to support and train the Iraqi military.
The Green Zone was established in Baghdad when U.S. troops invaded in 2003, and since then it has come to symbolize much of the American presence, both in Iraq and abroad. It is a fortress, a city within a city, and the headquarters of both American power and the Iraqi government.
Today we take a look at the Green Zone’s future and legacy as American troops continue their withdrawal from Iraq, and whether the Green Zone needs to be dismantled in order for the country to have true sovereignty.