Saturday, March 12, 2016

MENA Watch - March 12 , 2016 - 1. Syria Peace Talks set to resume on March 14th even as fighting continues - additional items of note . 2. Iran missile test apparently don't rise to level of violation on Nuclear Pact. 3. Yemen's bloody war continues unabated. 4. Iraq continues to deal with myriad issues - domestic politics , sunni & shi'a divide manifests itself even with fight against ISIS , ISIS alleged to use chemical weapons in Iraq . 5. Refugee crisis - items of note. 6. Saudi Arabia items of note. 7. Turkey in focus - Plan for Deal on Refugees w/ EU , Turkey's own internal discord and political issues , Turkey involvement in ongoing Iraq & Syrian conflicts . 8. Libya political intrigue and is the UN overstepping its legal mandate ?


Turkey Kills 67 Kurdish Militants in Iraq Airstrikes

Syria Rebel Faction Agrees to Attend Peace Talks

No Violation, But US to Complain About Iran Missile Tests

57 Killed as Fighting Over Yemen's City of Taiz Picks Up

Iraqi Shi'ites Averse to Sending Fighters to Sunni Areas Held by ISIS

With New Deployment, Over 1,000 British Troops in Iraq Region

Chemical Attacks Continue; 218 Killed in Iraq

Iraqi Civilians Forcibly Moved to Refugee Camps, Says UNHCR

Syrian Army Aims for Eastward Advance With Palmyra Attack

49 Killed in Iraq; Dozens More Sickened by Chemical Agents

Military Developing Plans to Move Troops Closer to Front Lines in Iraq

Shi'ite Cleric Sadr Urges Iraq PM to Press on With Forming New Cabinet

Iraq's Abadi Asks Political Blocs to Nominate Technocrats for Cabinet

US Hands Over ISIS Chemical Weapons Chief to Iraqi Government: DoD

Syrian Army Aims for Eastward Advance With Palmyra Attack

Syrians See Few Prospects for Peace From Geneva Talks

Iraqi Civilians Forcibly Moved to Refugee Camps, Says UNHCR

Greece Struggles to Convince Stranded Migrants Balkan Route Is Shut

Children Exposed to Raw Sewage, Noxious Fumes at Greek Border Camp

Five Men Held in France for Attacking Calais Migrants

Turkey's Erdogan Warns Top Court After Ruling on Detained Journalists

Saudis Walk Out of Arab League Meeting After Iraqi Minister's Comments

Saudi Kills Six Wanted for Shooting Soldier Dead


Turkey / Syria / Iraq/

Turkey airstrikes target PKK locations in northern Iraq

Islamic State chemical weapons attack said to injure 600 and kill 3-year-old girl in Iraq:

A pro- demonstration in Maaret Al-Nu'man is apparently what caused the clashes with

besieging Maarat al-Numan from 3 points, starts heavy shelling on division 13 HQs. Long waited war had just begun ..

Report of the Russian Centre for reconciliation of opposing sides (March 12, 2016)

UN envoy Staffan de Mistura: 'No plan B for Syria' -Watch :

Syria regime says Assad ouster 'red line' ahead of peace talks

Never too late: 's General apologizes to Russia for downing

Shocking video given to BBC:refugee boats attacked. coastguard says they were "trying to stop dinghy engine"

Turkey's president threatens court's 'existence' after journalists are freed

Why Turkey cannot become part of Europe

Libya ......

US Libya envoy backs calls for all official bodies to hand control to new UN-backed GNA government.

Unity government is working to original UN-brokered agreement (LPA) including taking command of all police and armed forces.

States supporting unity govt. likely to transfer recognition status to it from Tobruk parliament giving it title to foreign assets.

Unity government has not yet announced when it will move from Tunis to Tripoli, or security arrangements.

No reaction yet to unity govt. decision to take office from recognised parliament (Tobruk) or rival parliament Tripoli.

BREAKING: UN-backed unity govt. chiefs say they can take power now without vote from recognised parliament.

US Libya envoy says UN can impose sanctions against opponents of unity government. Possible EU sanctions Mon.

Arab League seems to indicate both Parliaments must approve of GNA by a vote.

Protests at Algeria square in regarding living conditions & lack of liquidity at banks

- HoR's Emhamed Shaib says threat of including Agilah Saleh on sanctions list by EU are unacceptable

'Arms and ammo are continuing to be transferred to various parties in Libya' - UN report

In pushing Swehli to form the GNA State Council, has negated the legal requirement for a vote.

State Department Spokesperson urges the Presidential Council and PM Faiez Serraj to move to without any delays.

Serraj has been under lots of pressure to move to . Some suggested GNA was supposed to move in last week, but never happened.

UN envoy announces State Council, part of new unity government, can be formed.

Creation unity govt may depend on if UN-chaired Libya Dialogue group bypass recognised parliament (Tobruk) which failed to vote on it

Creation unity govt may depend on if UN-chaired Libya Dialogue group bypass recognised parliament (Tobruk) which failed to vote on it

Commercially, adoption unity govt. deal cancels Tobruk parliament appointees cent bank, national oil corp, Libya investment authority

How Gaddafi’s anti-aircraft missiles are falling into the hands of Isis

Foreign countries helping strengthen own Air Force - foreign pilots/engineers operating in Misrata