Monday, June 18, 2012

Arab Spring Update, 18 June 2012


The victims of the massacre in Houla are laid to rest in a mass grave (28 May 2012)
Syria.  Russia is currently loading two amphibious ships in Sebastopol to send Marines to reinforce its naval base in Tartus, Syria.  (Source article.)  "The United Nations' human rights chief has accused the Syrian government of committing crimes against humanity by attacking towns with heavy weapons."  (Source article.)  On 25 May, over 100 civilians including women and children were murdered in Houla.  (Source article.)  Some blame the government for the massacre, others claim it was a "false flag" operation to bring more world pressure on the Syrian government.  The United Nations has suspended their peacekeeping mission to monitor a 12 June ceasefire.  (Source article.)  In summary, I am seeing a steadily increasing desire by the West, Turkey and the United Nations to intervene in Syria and oust Assad.  This would place the Sunnis and most likely the Muslim Brotherhood in charge.  Russia and Iran appear to oppose any intervention in Syria by outside forces.  As I have stated before, we need to avoid this conflict altogether.  Nothing good can come out of intervention in Syria.

Libya.  On June 11th, a bomb exploded outside the US Mission in Benghazi.  The British Ambassador's convoy was attacked by RPGs on June 12th in the same city.   (Source article.)

Jordan.  Thousands of Jordanians protested the rise in electricity prices (around 2 June), and rumors have it that the rising prices of public services will trigger an Arab Spring-like uprising.  (Source article.)  This comes after the Jordanian government outlawed political parties that are organized on the basis of religion, potentially putting the current government add odds with the Muslim Brotherhood.  The protests could be the first sign of the Muslim Brotherhood beginning to put pressure on the Jordanian government.  This also comes on the heels of the multi-national "Eager Lion 2012" exercise held in Jordan.  (Arab Spring Updates: 15 May and 17 April)

Egypt.  Last week the ruling military government dissolved the Islamist-dominated parliament.  This week the Muslim Brotherhood claimed victory in the Presidential Election (their candidate is Mohammed Morsy).  Their opponent, former prime minister Ahmed Shafik, claims that he is ahead in the votes.  The military continues to hold onto power.  Frankly, I am surprised that the Muslim Brotherhood has not yet attempted to instigate a full revolution to oust the military government.  They could be working within the political system until such a time when they have determined that they cannot obtain power through legitimate means and must resort to force instead.  (Source article.)

Javier Soriano/Agence France-Presse -- Getty Images
Saudi Arabia.  The successor to King Abdullah's throne, Crown Prince Nayef bin Albdulaziz al-Saud, died on 16 June and Defense Minister Prince Salman bin Abdul-Aziz has been selected as the new heir.  (Source article.)  Related to the ruling Saud family, remember that some in Iran believe that King Abdullah must die before the Mahdi will return.  ("Iran Warns of Coming Great Event")

Disclaimer: These opinions are solely my own, and do not reflect the opinions or official positions of any United States Government agency, organization or department.

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