Special Correspondent, Middle East
Alistair's Feed
May 6, 2011

Syria to pursue crackdown undeterred by sanctions

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Seven weeks of protests in Syria. Seven weeks of bloody repression.

International criticism has mounted. The United States has tightened sanctions. The European Union may impose its own.

May 6, 2011

Analysis: Syria to pursue crackdown undeterred by sanctions

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Seven weeks of protests in Syria. Seven weeks of bloody repression.

International criticism has mounted. The United States has tightened sanctions. The European Union may impose its own.

May 4, 2011

Arabs question bin Laden’s killing, sea burial

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Some Arabs have misgivings about how U.S. forces summarily killed Osama bin Laden and disposed of his body in the ocean, even if many are far more preoccupied by the popular uprisings convulsing the Middle East.

Questions have multiplied since the White House said the al Qaeda leader was unarmed when U.S. helicopter-borne commandos shot and killed him on Monday at the fortified villa where he had been hiding in the Pakistani city of Abbottabad.

May 3, 2011

Key political risks to watch in Lebanon

BEIRUT, May 3 (Reuters) – Deeply divided Lebanon, with no
government since January, now faces extra risks from instability
in its powerful neighbour Syria, where President Bashar al-Assad
is staging a violent crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

The domestic political crisis and the spillover effects of
the turmoil in Syria are damaging the Lebanese economy, expected
to grow only 2.5 percent this year, down from 7.5 percent in
2010, according to the International Monetary Fund.

May 2, 2011

Arab revolts turned Osama bin Laden into bloody footnote

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Osama bin Laden, slain by U.S. forces in Pakistan on Sunday, seems curiously irrelevant in an Arab world fired by popular revolt against oppressive leaders.

“Bin Laden is just a bad memory,” said Nadim Houry, of Human Rights Watch, in Beirut. “The region has moved way beyond that, with massive broad-based upheavals that are game-changers.”

May 2, 2011

Analysis: Arab revolts turned bin Laden into bloody footnote

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Osama bin Laden, slain by U.S. forces in Pakistan on Sunday, seems curiously irrelevant in an Arab world fired by popular revolt against oppressive leaders.

“Bin Laden is just a bad memory,” said Nadim Houry, of Human Rights Watch, in Beirut. “The region has moved way beyond that, with massive broad-based upheavals that are game-changers.”

May 2, 2011

Arab revolts turned bin Laden into bloody footnote

BEIRUT, May 2 (Reuters) – Osama bin Laden, slain by U.S.
forces in Pakistan on Sunday, seems curiously irrelevant in an
Arab world fired by popular revolt against oppressive leaders.

“Bin Laden is just a bad memory,” said Nadim Houry, of Human
Rights Watch, in Beirut. “The region has moved way beyond that,
with massive broad-based upheavals that are game-changers.”

Apr 27, 2011

Factbox: Political risks to watch in Syria

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who had boasted his country was immune to the unrest lashing the Arab world’s autocrats, is now fighting for political survival.

The 45-year-old leader has tried economic carrots, political concessions and brute force to try to quell a popular upheaval that rights groups say has cost over 450 lives in six weeks.

Apr 19, 2011

Scenarios: Stakes high for region as Syria protests unfold

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, facing the gravest challenge of his 11 years in power, has tried repression, economic handouts and promises of reform to quell an unprecedented month-long wave of popular protests.

Yet the unrest, which rights groups say has cost more than 200 lives, including 17 on Monday, shows no sign of abating.

Apr 14, 2011

Yemen’s Saleh hangs on, still hopes to outwit foes

BEIRUT (Reuters) – Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh is clinging to power despite daily protests demanding his departure. Implausibly, he may still believe he can survive.

Handing out funds and favours, the 69-year-old leader of the poorest Arab country has skillfully juggled complex military, tribal and political networks to stay in office for 32 years.

    • About Alistair

      "I cover the Middle East, with an emphasis on political analysis, region-wide stories and in-depth features. I live in Beirut and have been in my current post since June 2006. Outside my main Middle Eastern beat, I have covered Turkey, Pakistan and Afghanistan."
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