Headlines in the Arab world Sunday bemoan the collapse of an internationally brokered ceasefire in Syria, as government airplanes resume bombing of civilian targets near Damascus during a Muslim holiday.
“Syria: The aerial bombing resumes and 200 victims during the ceasefire,” reads the headline of Saudi-owned daily A-Sharq Al-Awsat ironically. The daily claims that international envoy Lakhdar Brahimi’s proposed ceasefire collapsed on its second day, Day 2 of the Eid Al-Adha festival.
The daily reports that Russia is blaming the opposition for violating the ceasefire.
“Clearly, the international community needs the ceasefire more than the Assad regime and more than the Syrian rebels,” writes editor-in-chief Tareq Homayed. “The reason is quite simple. Everybody, the Arabs and the West, knows that no practical moves are expected in Syria before the upcoming presidential election in the US.”
According to the London-based daily Al-Hayat, the ceasefire did not last a day but only 3 hours, broken by aerial strikes on the town of Arbin near Damascus.
Meanwhile, the daily’s columnists seem to be growing increasingly impatient with international envoy Brahimi and his diplomatic tactics.
‘The history of Brahimi’s birth… and his first political assignment indicate that he belongs to the Arab generation which knew nothing but failure, in almost everything. Failure in politics and in war, failure internally and externally, failure in state building and in building a nation which recognizes the humanity of the citizen’
“I assume that the experience of the ceasefire that never happened is replete with lessons for Brahimi, as he seeks opinions from here and there. He may not need the opinions of Moscow, and Tehran, and other capitals. The most striking lesson is that the regime considers any form of opposition in the country ‘armed aggression’ against it, unleashing on it all types of heavy weaponry,” writes columnist Abdullah Iskandar.
His Saudi colleague Khaled Dakhil goes even further, blaming Brahimi’s entire generation for failure. He accuses Brahimi of “providing cover” to Assad, allowing him to continue massacring his people.
“It seems as though Brahimi does not think of the Syrian people much. His photo, jokingly chatting with the Syrian president a day after the Beirut bombing, proves that the president has used him to convey a media message without him even noticing,” writes Dakhil in Al-Hayat Sunday.
“The history of Brahimi’s birth… and his first political assignment indicate that he belongs to the Arab generation which knew nothing but failure, in almost everything. Failure in politics and in war, failure internally and externally, failure in state building and in building a nation which recognizes the humanity of the citizen, his honor and rights. This generation succeeded in one thing alone: creating a political regime to replace the state. Everything begins there.”
Iraq burns as well, minorities targeted
A car bomb and a series of explosions across Iraq Saturday, the second day of Eid al-Adha, have killed and injured dozens of people, including Iranian visitors, A-Sharq Al-Awsat reports Sunday.
Al-Jazeera, a news channel based in Qatar, reports that the number of fatalities in the Iraq has risen to 16. One attack in the city of Mosul targeted a family of the Shabak people, a tiny ethnic minority in northern Iraq.
Maliki is taking advantage of the weakness of his political rivals in the pro-Western Iraqiyah bloc, and stripping them of their ministerial positions
Meanwhile, Iraqi prime minister Nouri Al-Maliki prepares to form a new government and dispose of his former coalition partners, in a move Al-Hayat describes as dictatorial and corrupt.
Maliki is taking advantage of the weakness of his political rivals in the pro-Western Iraqiyah bloc, and stripping them of their ministerial positions.
Following the American withdrawal from Iraq, Maliki has become “an absolute ruler” and is insisting on the death penalty for deputy president Tareq Hashimi, a Sunni political and ex-general accused of plotting terrorist activity in Iraq. Hashimi has fled the country.
Gaza tunnel collapses, killing at least two
Dubai-based news channel Al-Arabiya reports the collapse of a smuggling tunnel between Rafah and Sinai that killed at least two men and left a third missing.
The tunnel owner told the news station that he had attempted to re-open his tunnel after it had been destroyed by Egypt, but the tunnel collapsed while men were inside it.
According to the station, some 20,000 Palestinians work in the smuggling business through 2,000 tunnels, despite the dangers of Israeli bombardment and tunnel collapse.
According to local legal organizations, some 200 Palestinians have been killed in tunnel collapses and 800 injured.