Sep 02 2014
These days it seems as though every sunrise brings grim news in the Middle East and North Africa, from Gaza to the West Bank, from Syria to Iraq, from Libya to Egypt.
Over the past three days, in Syria, Bashar Al Assad’s forces battled rebels in the Golan Heights. The Al Nusra Front in Syria announced it had abducted a number of Fijian peacekeeping troops and trapped 2 Filipino contingents, while the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights claimed that 42 Syrian children were killed in government air strikes in 36 hours.
The United Nations is sending a team of diplomats into Iraq to investigate “atrocities” by ISIS rebels while the US continues an air war in Northern Iraq, targeting the ISIS held city of Amirli.
While the latest Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire on Gaza is holding, a group co-chaired by the Red Cross and UN refugee Agency has said it will take 20 years to rebuild the destruction wrought by Israeli bombs. And the UN has found that 70% of all Palestinians killed during the 50 operation were civilians. Unfazed by the international condemnation, Israel has just announced the annexation of the largest chunk of the West Bank in 30 years, taking over 400 hectares of land inhabited by Palestinians, to develop into settlements.
In Africa, a militant Libyan group called Dawn of Libya says it has taken over a US compound in Tripoli. And the US apparently carried out what it called a “counter-terrorism” strike against Al Shabab rebels in Somalia over the weekend.
GUEST: Ajamu Baraka, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, and a foreign policy expert