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Showing posts from September 29, 2015

The mysterious assassinations of Syria's Daraa

Twenty-two-year-old Montasser Abu Nabot, a correspondent for Al Jazeera, recovers in hospital after being attacked by unknown assailants in Daraa (MEE)

Abo Bakr al Haj Ali

A wave of assassinations and attempted killings in rebel-held Daraa has raised security concerns in the province, the only opposition-controlled stretch of war-torn Syria that enjoys a degree of day-to-day stability.

In the last three months, some 35 people have been shot and killed by unknown assailants, on streets and in villages far from the frontline, locals told Middle East Eye, some of whom were targeted themselves.

On the afternoon of 2 September, Judge Bashar Khaled al-Naimi, vice president of the opposition’s Court of Dar Al Adil in Houran and a prominent opposition figure, was shot by unidentified gunmen in the eastern countryside of Daraa as he was driving home from work.

Just over a week later, on 11 September, another well known opposition voice, 22-year-old Al Jazeera correspondent Montasser Abu Nabot, was…

The Collapse of Saudi Arabia is Inevitable

By Nafeez Ahmed

On Tuesday 22 September, Middle East Eye broke the story of a senior member of the Saudi royal family calling for a “change” in leadership to fend off the kingdom’s collapse.

In a letter circulated among Saudi princes, its author, a grandson of the late King Abdulaziz Ibn Saud, blamed incumbent King Salman for creating unprecedented problems that endangered the monarchy’s continued survival.

“We will not be able to stop the draining of money, the political adolescence, and the military risks unless we change the methods of decision making, even if that implied changing the king himself,” warned the letter.

Whether or not an internal royal coup is round the corner – and informed observers think such a prospect “fanciful” – the letter’s analysis of Saudi Arabia’s dire predicament is startlingly accurate.

Like many countries in the region before it, Saudi Arabia is on the brink of a perfect storm of interconnected challenges that, if history is anything to judge by, will be th…