Just wanted to provide a Middle East update for all those interested.
- Libya – there are faint signs that the balance of power is starting to shift in the favour of rebel forces, aided by NATO air strikes. The rebels scored an important victory in Misrata along w/other parts of the country. NYT
- Libya – NATO hit more targets in Tripoli on Tues, inc. areas in and around Qadaffi’s compound – Reuters
- Libya – a newspaper report claims that Libyan rebels are leading an uprising in the suburbs of Tripoli. Reuters
- Afghanistan – drawdown plans being considered; military officers in Afghanistan have drawn up plans that would cut 5K US troops as early as this Jul and another 5K by year’s end. The plans were drawn up prior to Bin Laden’s death. WSJ
- Pakistan could allow the US to question bin Laden’s widows, a move that could help calm relations between the two countries – Reuters
- Pakistan – Obama insisted that the troop force sent to kill bin Laden be large enough to fight its way out of Pakistan if confronted by hostile local police officers and troops. NYT
- Pakistan – The Guardian is reporting that the US and Pakistan struck a deal ~10yrs ago that would allow Washington to conduct an operation to capture or kill bin Laden. Under its terms, Pakistan would allow US forces to conduct a unilateral raid inside Pakistan in search of Bin Laden, his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and the al-Qa ida No3 – The Guardian
- Syria – the Syrian government claims to have the upper-hand in the country’s 7-week uprising. Remarks from a senior Syrian official is “the clearest sign yet that the leadership believes its crackdown will crush protests” – NYT
- Syria – the wife of Bas har al-Assad is said to have fled to London w/the couple’s children – London Telegraph
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