November 30, 2011

# Notes to Self regarding "Arab Spring" Developments.

Developments to follow up on :

- Yemen : on the edge of a civil war (Foreign Policy)

- Bahrain : opposition asking for the government's resignation

- Egypt : 80 wounded in clashes in post election, also seems that US had sent anti riot material to transitional govt and last but not least heavy arguments regarding some breach of trust and hurling of stones between some members of Muslim Brotherhood and Salafists

- Syria : the massacres continue and ditto as in Yemen.

- Lebanon : rocket "skirmishes" on the Southern border with Israeli retaliation. Lebanese government implicating "Al-Qaeda"- Abdullah Azzam Brigades, an ant- Assad, anti-Hezbollah group (yeah sure - old stale tactic)

- Iraq : violence on the rise again, several bombs in different locations of Baghdad including the Green Zone, Mosul and Anbar. Several dead and wounded. Biden on visit there, also Iraq now rated as worst country to live in with worst standard and quality of life. Also more crackdown on Baathists in Najaf and 9 arrests of so-called terrorists in Mosul. Plus about 700 US trainers to train Iraqi army while US trained Iraqi army has signed several defense pacts with Iran Revolutionary Guards this month. Business as usual.

- Saudi Arabia : 4 killed in Eastern province, demonstration calling for the fall of Al-Saud

- Libya : still no security throughout, conflict over power grabs, in fighting, lots of arms on the black market.

- Iran : not part of the Arab Spring, unfortunately, but note: take over of UK embassy by pro-government hardliners students, diversion tactic and message regarding Syria. UK to partially withdraw its embassy staff.

- Turkey : not part of Arab spring but related - anteing up pressure on Syria, said will divert trade route through Iraq to Jordan and elsewhere. How will it manage it with Iraqi government /Kurdish regional government ?

- Israel ex Mossad chief dismisses any strike on Iran arguing that rockets will fall from Hamas and Hezbollah - to the dismay and anger of Ehud Barak who accused him of sidestepping the political chain of command (Hareetz)

- Russia : angry for being cheated out of some NATO agreement on joint Defense strategy, will send fleet to Syria in December 2011 and will send its NATO envoy to visit China and Iran over missile defense

To be continued...naturally.