21st-28th March

Syria: rebels go on the offensive thanks to new weapons – 25/03/2014 – Le Figaro

A rebel attack was expected from the southern part, via Jordan, thanks to the logistical support of Saudi Arabia. However, after losing in Yabrud and in the Krak des Chevaliers last week, the response of the anti-Assad finally came from the northern part of Syria through Turkey and with new weapons sent by Qatar.

Free Syrian Army fighters carry their weapons as they move in the old city of Aleppo

© Stringer/Reuters. Rebels are attacking the regime in the northern part of Syria, thanks to new weapons sent by Qatar.

Kuwait’s mediation in the « cold war » between Qatar and Saudi Arabia – 25/03/2014 – Le Monde

Will the emir of Kuwait, Sabah el-Ahmad el-Sabah, honor his nickname “sheikh of diplomats”? It is on the shoulders of the 84 years old-monarch, who was foreign minister of his country for four decades, that rests the hope of a crisis resolution between Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates against Qatar for three weeks.

Abdel Fatah al-Sisi resigns from Egypt military to run for presidency – 26/03/2014 – The Guardian

Egypt’s army chief Abdel Fatah al-Sisi resigned from the military on Wednesday night, paving the way for a long-awaited presidential campaign and a return to strongman leadership for Egypt. “I am here before you humbly stating my intention to run for the presidency of the Arab Republic of Egypt” Sisi said in a televised statement, still dressed in military fatigues. “Only your support will grant me this great honour”.

Turkey bans Youtube after sensitive leak – 27/03/2014 – Al Monitor

On Thursday, March 27, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan took to the stage at an election rally, and with a choked, screeching voice claimed he is surrounded by an “evil alliance” trying to bring him down. He further asked for people’s support to bring about a record-breaking victory in this Sunday’s local elections. Then, a new audio surveillance recording was leaked on Youtube, revealing Turkey’s top State bureaucrats discussing preparations for plotting a war against Syria.

Revealing Tunisia’s corruption under Ben Ali – 27/03/2014 – Al Jazeera

New World Bank report shows how Tunisia’s ousted Ben Ali regime tailored laws to enrich cronies at the public’s expense. Looking at 220 companies owned by family members that were seized by Tunisian authorities after the regime fell, the World Bank determined that while the firms accounted for only three percent of economic output, they controlled 21 percent of net private sector profits.

Yemeni judges go on strike – 27/03/2014 – Yemen Post

Judges announced on Wednesday they had begun a national strike movement as to express their strong concerns over the deteriorating security situation. […] The strike was organized in reaction to Tuesday’s kidnapping in the north-western province of Hajjah of judge Mohammed al-Sarwi, the head of the criminal court.