A Syrian Army onslaught on the city of Aleppo and on the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp near Damascus is leading Arab news on Sunday.
“Tanks storm Yarmouk refugee camp and the minorities are armed for a ‘sectarian war,'” reads the headline of London-based daily Al-Hayat. The daily reports that infantry and tanks have entered the Palestinian camp in order to eradicate opposition activity there. It also quotes a Reuters report whereby the Assad regime has begun arming religious minorities in the country in preparation for “what may become a sectarian war.”
‘Syrian refugees did not go to Jordan and its miserable refugee camps to marry off their daughters to those looking for fun for the lowest price’
Editor-in-chief Tareq Homayed writes that the new Syrian policy of divide and conquer is reminiscent of the way the Assad regime has dealt with Lebanon during the past 30 years.
“After Assad destroyed most of Syria, he is today tearing apart the social fabric of Damascus. This is what the Assads, both father and son, have done in Lebanon for three decades. In Lebanon, Assad waged the battle through lies, terror, assassinations and pitting one side against the other,” writes Homayed.
“Aleppo is without water,” reads the headline of Saudi-owned daily A-Sharq Al-Awsat. It quotes the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a London-based watchdog, which accuses the regime of destroying a major water pipeline in northern Aleppo.
‘After Assad destroyed most of Syria, he is today tearing apart the social fabric of Damascus. This is what the Assads, both father and son, have done in Lebanon for three decades’
The daily interviews the deputy commander of the Free Syrian Army, Colonel Malik Kurdi, who says that the Syrian regime has unleashed its entire combative force against the opposition in the last few days. Kurdi admits that the Free Syrian Army has not made any serious advances, but rather has managed to maintain “a balance of power” with the Syrian army.
Al-Jazeera reports pessimistic comments on Syria by Hillary Clinton following a meeting in Russia with her counterpart Sergei Lavrov and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. Clinton said the chances of reaching agreement with Russia on Syria are slim, noting that any nonbinding resolution at the UN would be pointless.
Al-Quds Al-Arabi editor-in-chief Abd Al-Bari Atwan writes about Arab men who take advantage of Syrian women’s distress by marrying them.
“Marriage is protection, there is no doubt about that… but taking advantage of these [women’s] living conditions raises doubt and anger. Aged sheikhs are marrying minor girls under the age of 15,” writes Atwan.
“Syrian refugees did not go to Jordan and its miserable refugee camps to marry off their daughters to those looking for fun for the lowest price,” adds Atwan. “They came for an honorable life and reasonable hospitality provided by rich Arab countries, which claim to support the Syrian revolution and safeguard the Syrian people.”
Egypt and Israel quietly agree on Sinai
Al-Hayat reports Sunday that tension between Israel and Egypt has abated following a widespread Egyptian military operation in Sinai. The daily reports that the Egyptian military has been coordinating its operations with Israel and has reiterated its commitment to the Camp David peace accords.
“It has become apparent that the Egyptian-Israeli relations are currently advancing along two tracks: a stiffening from the direction of President Mohammed Morsi who comes from the heart of the ‘Muslim Brotherhood’; and at the same time — communication and coordination on the nonofficial level. This was confirmed yesterday by army spokesman Colonel Ahmad Mohammed Ali.”
Meanwhile, Egyptian establishment daily Al-Ahram quotes spokesman Ali as asserting that the Egyptian army has not withdrawn from Sinai, but merely redeployed as part of the second stage of “Operation Eagle” to eradicate “criminal hot spots” in the peninsula. Ali added that the entire operation was carried out in full coordination with Israel.
A-Sharq Al-Awsat dedicates a front page article to meetings between the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and Iraqi Islamists visiting Cairo to discuss regional issues. The daily also reports that Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi has opened a new Twitter account. His first tweet is dedicated to the martyrs of the Egyptian revolution and “the brave Syrian people.”