20th – 24th August

Libyan security officials have arrested 32 members of an organised network of Gaddafi loyalists linked to bombing attacks in Tripoli on the eve of the anniversary of the fall of the city to rebel fighters. Three car bombs exploded near the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Security in the Libyan capital, killing two people. They were the first fatal attacks since the revolt led to the overthrow of the Gaddafi regime.

Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, warned the West against any unilateral action on Syria after President Barack Obama said U.S. forces could act if the Syrian leader authorised the deployment of chemical weapons against rebels. Lavrov’s warning underscored Moscow’s intention to restrain international efforts to end Syria’s crisis within the ONU.

General Martin Dempsey, the U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has made his first visit to Baghdad since the late withdrawal of U.S. troops in December, noting that Washington government still had a role to play in Iraq, as a “partner”. He met in Baghdad the Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, and his Iraqi counterpart, General Babaker Zebari.

In the city of Tripoli, the number of deaths in the fighting between armed militants pro- and anti-Damascus has climbed to at least 12. More than 100 people have been wounded in the fighting, this week, along a sectarian fault line between the Sunni district of Bab al-Tabbaneh and the Alawite area of Jebel Mohsen.

The army of Bashar al-Assad continued its bombing on Thursday near Damascus but also in Aleppo, where the battle raged for over a month. The French Minister of Defence, Jean-Yves Le Drian, automatically excludes a “global no-fly zone” but, however, supports the hypothesis that a particular area, around which there could be a kind of interdict, as issued by Hillary Clinton, deserves to be studied.