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17-Feb-12 World View: Al-Qaeda in Iraq Infiltrating Syrian Opposition

17-Feb-12 World View: Al-Qaeda in Iraq Infiltrating Syrian Opposition

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com.

  • Al-Qaeda in Iraq infiltrating Syrian opposition
  • U.N. General Assembly passes meaningless Syria resolution
  • Al-Qaeda infighting in Yemen sparks deadly clashes
  • Hamas – Fatah unity proceeds slowly with no apparent objective
  • U.S. drone strikes kill at least 21 suspected militants in Pakistan

 

Al-Qaeda in Iraq infiltrating Syrian opposition

Members of al-Qaeda in Iraq have infiltrated Syrian opposition groups, and likely executed recent bombings in Damascus and Aleppo, the two largest cities, according to Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper. These bombings “had all the earmarks of an al-Qaeda-like attack,” according to Clapper. He said that al-Qaeda extremists “have infiltrated” opposition groups that “in many cases may not be aware they are there.” The “Arab Spring” uprisings have relegated al-Qaeda to the sidelines throughout the Arab world, so this is an opportunity, led by al-Qaeda in Iraq, to regroup. Washington Post

 

U.N. General Assembly passes meaningless Syria resolution

The United Nations General Assembly has passed a resolution condemning the violence in Syria by a vote of 137 to 12. Russia and China vetoed a Security Council resolution two weeks ago, but unlike a Security Council resolution, a General Assembly resolution is purely symbolic, with no binding effect. Nobody can veto a General Assembly resolution, but even so, twelve nations voted against it, including some of Syria’s traditional allies: Russia, Iran, China, Venezuela, North Korea, Nicaragua, Bolivia, Ecuador, Belarus, Zimbabwe, Cuba and Syria itself. In addition, there were 17 abstentions.


 

Al-Qaeda infighting in Yemen sparks deadly clashes

The violence in Yemen took a new turn upward on Thursday when a local al-Qaeda leader was killed by his half-brother, sparking armed clashes that lasted most of the day, killing 17. Yemen is the headquarters of Al-Qaeda on the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). AQAP and its local affiliates, the Partisans of Sharia (Islamic law), have taken advantage of almost a full year of deadly protests against outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh to bolster their presence in the south and southeast. AFP

 

Hamas – Fatah unity proceeds slowly with no apparent objective

L-to-R: Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas, Qatar's Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal on February 6 in Doha (Reuters)

L-to-R: Fatah chief Mahmoud Abbas, Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal on February 6 in Doha (Reuters)

Readers may recall that much of the news last year had to do with topics like the issue of Jewish settlements in the West Bank, President Obama’s confrontation with Israel’s PM Benjamin Netanyahu, and application to the U.N. to recognize a Palestinian state. However, ever since February 6, when a unity agreement was signed between Hamas and Fatah (Palestinian Authority), the Palestinians appear to have no apparent objective. Hamas and Fatah plan to announce the composition of the unity government on Saturday, but the basic differences between the two organizations will not be overcome by the hybrid government that leaves no one in charge. This comes as other news reports indicate that Hamas’s leadership is split over whether to ahead with the reconciliation at all. On the other hand, since Hamas is recognized by the West as a terrorist organization, Israel’s government is free to continue as before with new settlements. VOA and Jerusalem Post

 

U.S. drone strikes kill at least 21 suspected militants in Pakistan

Two separate attacks by an unmanned US drone aircraft in north-west Pakistan have killed at least 21 suspected militants, Pakistani security officials say. The missiles struck targets in the North Waziristan tribal region near the Afghan border. Although Pakistan officials have publicly complained about the drone strikes, because they violate Pakistan’s terroritory and because they sometimes kill civilians, it’s believed that Pakistan’s military is secretly cooperating with the drone strikes, with the objective of attacking terrorist militants in Pakistan’s tribal area. BBC

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