As violence persists unabated in Syria, international envoy Lakhdar Brahimi continues his international tour to convince decision makers of the need for diplomacy, Arab media reports Monday.
“Saudi Arabia disperses a protest against Assad in Mecca; Brahimi will continue his assignment despite the failure of the ceasefire,” reads the headline of London-based daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi.
The paper’s lead editorial blames both the Bashar Assad regime and Syrian rebels for the failure of the internationally-backed ceasefire.
“The collapse of Mr. Brahimi’s ceasefire … was to be expected, especially since the intentions of both sides were not pure. The regime wants to continue its military solutions; and the armed opposition, with all of its factions, believes that continuing to fight until the regime is toppled is the only solution to realize its goals,” reads the daily.
“Syria: the ceasefire is ‘buried’ and Brahimi is preparing new ideas,” reads the headline of London-based Al-Hayat, reporting large-scale explosions in Damascus. Al-Hayat also reports that the opposition is now in control of checkpoints that used to belong to the army.
Diplomatic sources said that Brahimi will bring new ideas to the UN in November, following his meetings in France, China and Russia this week, Qatar’s Al-Jazeera reports.
Meanwhile, Dubai-based news channel Al-Arabiya reports that Iraq forced an Iranian aircraft headed for Syria to land and undergo inspection Saturday. Iraqi Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari told AFP that any plane flying from Iran to Syria is to be inspected, based on instructions from the US.
Diplomatic sources said that Brahimi will bring new ideas to the UN in November, following his meetings in France, China and Russia this week
No banned materials were found on board the cargo jet, and it was allowed to continue to Syria, Saudi-owned news channel Elaph reports.
Al-Jazeera reports that an American citizen is fighting alongside the Syrian rebels, as he films a documentary about them. Matthew Van-Dyke fought with the rebels in Libya who toppled the Gaddafi regime last year, and was now shown by the Qatari news channel in army fatigues and brandishing an AK-47.
Van-Dyke said he is making the film in order to improve the reputation of the Free Syrian Army and to help fundraise for it internationally, according to Al-Jazeera.
Egypt busts terror cell tied to attack on American consulate in Benghazi
Egyptian authorities busted a terror cell last week that was linked to the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi on September 11, Al-Hayat reports Monday.
According to the daily, one member of the five-man cell, known as the “Nasser City Cell,” is a former army officer. Al-Hayat reported that the discovery of the cell’s activities has caused a postponement in the release of jihadists from Egyptian prisons, planned to take place before the festival of Eid Al-Adha. The delay occurred despite the fact that the jihadist leaders had no connection to the cell.
Meanwhile, independent Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm reports that al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has dubbed the government of Mohammed Morsi “corrupt,” and called on Egyptians to revolt against the president.
“The battle in Egypt wages between a secular minority and Muslims who want to impose Sharia,” Zawahiri said in a video released this week on jihadist websites. He also called on Muslims to abduct Westerners and hold them hostage in return for the release of Shiekh Omar Abdul Rahman, a terror suspect arrested in the United States.
‘The battle in Egypt wages between a secular minority and Muslims who want to impose Sharia,’ Zawahiri said in a video released this week on jihadist websites
According to Al-Hayat, Abdul Rahman recently called his family and told them that the conditions of his incarceration have deteriorated; an indication that he will not be extradited to Egypt in the near future.
Abdul Rahman’s son Abdullah told Al-Hayat that Zawahiri is free to express his views, but that Rahman’s family rejects violence as a means to release his father.
“Sheikh Omar’s issue concerns the entire Islamic world and not his family alone,” said Abdullah, warning that Abdul Rahman’s protracted incarceration will inevitably lead to rage and violence on the Muslim street.