Middle East

Israel Planning a “Buffer Zone” Within the Syrian Border For When the Syrian Government is Overthrown

February 4, 2013

“Israel intends to declare a buffer zone inside the Syrian border to prevent radical groups from getting too close to its territory when the embattled Damascus regime topples, security sources said on Sunday.”

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Iran Supreme National Security Council Secretary: Israel Will Regret Its Airstrike Against Syria

February 4, 2013

“The remarks come as Israel is reportedly planning to set up a buffer zone along its border with Syria to guard against Islamist fighters.”

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Kuwaiti Man Sentenced to 5 Years in Prison For Insulting the Emir on Twitter

February 4, 2013

“In recent months, Kuwait has penalized several Twitter users for criticizing the emir, who is described as “immune and inviolable” in the constitution.”

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Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan Condemns Israel’s Air Strike in Syria

February 4, 2013

“Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused Israel of waging “state terrorism” as he condemned the air strike on Syria as an unacceptable violation of international law.”

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Egyptian Riot Police Beat and Dragged a Naked Protester

February 4, 2013

“The beating prompted a rare statement of regret from the Interior Ministry, which promised to investigate the attack. The president’s office said it was pained by the images and called the assault “shocking.””

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Iran President Ahmadinejad Accuses the Parliament Speaker’s Family of Corruption

February 4, 2013

“Speaker Ali Larijani is a likely frontrunner to succeed Ahmadinejad at a June election but a financial corruption scandal could damage his standing among voters struggling with an economy battered by Western economic sanctions.”

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Iranian Parliament Votes to Dismiss the Country’s Labor Minister

February 4, 2013

“Out of 272 present lawmakers in the parliament Sunday, 192 voted against Labor Minister Abdolreza Sheikholeslami. The chamber has 290 seats.”

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Vice President Biden Meets With Syrian Opposition Leader Mouaz al-Khatib

February 4, 2013

“And while Biden implicitly criticized Russia for supporting the Assad government, he gave the Syrian opposition little hope that Washington would change its mind about allowing more sophisticated arms to flow to the rebels.”

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Syrian Opposition Leader Mouaz al-Khatib Meets With Russia and Iran Foreign Ministers

February 4, 2013

“Syrian opposition leader Mouaz al-Khatib has met the foreign ministers of Russia and Iran for the first time, opening a window to a possible breakthrough in efforts to broker an end to Syria’s conflict.”

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Photographs Raise Doubts Over Legitimacy of Iran’s Space Monkey Launch

February 4, 2013

“The two different monkeys shown in the photos released by Iran’s state media caused some international observers to wonder whether the monkey had died in space or that the launch did not go well.”

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Analysis: Terrorist Group al-Qaeda Shifting to Syria, Iraq, Algeria, and Mali

February 4, 2013

“U.S. officials said the terrorist network’s core in Pakistan and its ability to carry out large-scale attacks in the United States have been all but demolished, leading to a shift in focus to emerging threats elsewhere.”

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Report: Israel Air Strike Damaged Purported Chemical and Biological Weapons Research Site in Syria

February 3, 2013

“That complex, the Syrian Scientific Studies and Research Center, has been the target of American and Western sanctions for more than a decade because of intelligence suggesting that it was the training site for engineers who worked on chemical and biological weaponry.”

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Vice President Biden: U.S. Remains Open to Direct Talks With Iran

February 3, 2013

“Any thawing of the chill between Tehran and Washington suffered another setback last month when Iran announced it would accelerate enrichment of uranium that could be used in fuel reactors as well as nuclear warheads.”

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Report: White House Rejected Plan Presented by Secretary of State Clinton and CIA Director Petraeus to Arm and Train Syrian Rebels

February 2, 2013

“Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Petraeus presented the proposal to the White House, according to administration officials. But with the White House worried about the risks, and with President Obama in the midst of a re-election bid, they were rebuffed.”

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49th Munich Conference Focuses on Syria, Iran, North Korea, and Mali

February 2, 2013

“Vice President Joe Biden will meet separately on Saturday with Syrian opposition leader Moaz al-Khatib, UN Special envoy to Syria Lakhdar Brahimi and Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov at the Munich Security Conference as all sides strive for a resolution to the 22-month conflict.”

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