(Reuters) – Sectarian massacres in Syria may show militias nurtured by the authorities are a “Frankenstein’s monster” which will alienate allies, provoke foreign intervention and tear the country apart, hastening the downfall of President Bashar al-Assad.
As Washington raised an alarm on Monday about a “potential massacre” in Haffeh, analysts said they saw little military rationale for the government in the previous killings of dozens of Sunni Muslim civilians in two attacks on other villages in the northwest that only galvanized outrage against Assad abroad and among those in the Sunni majority who have supported him.
CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt’s revolutionaries did not take to the streets to replace Hosni Mubarak with another military strongman or to put an Islamist ideologue in charge, but that is the choice they woke up to after a first-round vote for the presidency.
The youths who put national pride before religion when they protested against Mubarak’s autocratic rule last year have increasingly despaired, saying the revolution they initiated has been hijacked by generals and the Muslim Brotherhood.
CAIRO (Reuters) – Egypt resumes its first free presidential election on Thursday after voting passed off mostly calmly on the first day apart from a stone-throwing attack on candidate Ahmed Shafiq, who was premier for a few days before Hosni Mubarak fell.
The race broadly pits Islamist candidates against secular ones like Shafiq and Amr Moussa, the former Arab League chief who previously served as Mubarak’s foreign minister.
CAIRO (Reuters) – As election rallies go it was spectacular. No organisation in Egypt is better at mobilising the masses than the Muslim Brotherhood – or at stirring up the frenzy that suggests to all observant Muslims it is almost a duty to vote for its candidate in the country’s first free presidential election this week.
The vote on Wednesday and Thursday will give Egyptians their first real opportunity to decide who and what should replace the dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak, overthrown in February last year.
CAIRO, May 20 (Reuters) – Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood showed
off its ability to rally support with choreographed campaign
events throughout the nation on Sunday in a final push to clinch
victory for its candidate in this week’s presidential election.
Well-known Islamic preachers and soccer celebrities took to
the podium in Cairo to endorse Brotherhood candidate Mohamed
Mursi, a relative latecomer to the race. His main rivals include
Islamists and ex-officials of former President Hosni Mubarak.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Surrounded by aides, including one whose only task seems to be light his cigarettes, Mahmoud Abbas sits in a vast presidential office and speaks of his ambition to create a Palestinian state.
But outside his sprawling compound on the hills of the West Bank town of Ramallah reality on the ground is different – his dream is being built over by ever-expanding Jewish settlements.
GAZA (Reuters) – The Islamist movement Hamas will not let itself be dragged into a war against Israel if it attacks the nuclear facilities of Hamas ally Iran, Gaza leader Ismail Haniyeh said on Thursday.
“Hamas is a Palestinian movement that acts within the Palestinian arena and it carries out its political and field actions in a way that suits the interests of the Palestinian people,” he said at his headquarters in the enclave.
RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Tuesday he was ready to engage with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on a Middle East peace agreement if he proposes “anything promising or positive”.
Abbas, speaking to Reuters after Netanyahu announced a grand coalition that will strengthen the Israeli leader’s hand, said Netanyahu had to realise that Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank were destroying hopes of peace and must cease.
RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) – Prime Minister Salam Fayyad said on Tuesday the Palestinians may have “lost the argument” on the international stage for an independent state but cautioned that continued Israeli occupation was unsustainable.
In an interview with Reuters, Fayyad struck a note of discord with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas by calling for elections that have long been delayed because of deep political divisions between the Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank.
LONDON, March 28 (Reuters) – Far from the bloodied streets
of Syria and the dungeons of Bashar al-Assad, the largely émigré
opposition that aspires to replace him is still squabbling ahead
of what could be a make-or-break meeting of a coalition of
countries intent on regime change, but equally at a loss about
how to achieve it.
While the Assad government appears emboldened after its
offensives against outgunned rebels in Homs, Idlib and the
capital Damascus, the fragmented opposition, meeting in Istanbul
ahead of the “Friends of Syria” meeting on April 1, seems still
unable to cohere behind a unifying national project.