A suicide car bombing at an army base outside of Baghdad killed an estimated 31 people, most believed to be Iraqi soldiers, and injured another 50 in one of the worst attacks this year on the country's security forces. The attacker drove his explosive-filled car into a group of soldiers and recruits at the Taji base, about 12 miles north of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. Casualties were high because a large number of soldiers were outside the base for a shift change around midday. Authorities have said they expect the death toll to rise as many of those wounded sustained critical injuries. This was the second attack in Taji in less than 24 hours, as a car bomb targeted a nearby army patrol, wounding eight people. Another bombing hit a Shiite neighborhood in Baghdad on Monday, killing four people. Violence has decreased in Iraq since its peak in 2006 and 2007. However insurgent attacks are still frequent and there has been at least one major attack a month since the withdrawal of U.S. forces in December 2011.
Syria saw some of the worst violence in months on Monday as U.N. and Arab League envoy Lakhdar Brahimi called the situation a "big catastrophe." According to the activist Local Coordinating Committees, at least 159 people were killed across Syria on Monday. An Islamist car suicide bomber, reportedly from al-Nusra Front, drove into a center used as a base by Syrian security forces and pro-government militia in Hama province, killing at least 50 people. The attack was among the worst on President Bashar al-Assad's forces since the beginning of the conflict in March 2011. However, Syrian state media said that just two civilians had died. Clashes also raged in Damascus between Palestinian factions in the Yarmouk and Tadamon neighborhoods in rare infighting with the Palestinian Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine fighting on behalf of the Assad regime. A car bombing claimed by the opposition Free Syria Army hit Mezze 86, a pro-government Damascus neighborhood near Assad's offices, killed at least 11 people and injured more than 30 others. Government airstrikes continued across the country on Monday, many concentrated in Idlib province. On Tuesday, gunmen killed Mohammed Osama Laham, brother of Syria's Parliament Speaker Jihad Laham while he was on his way to work in the Damascus neighborhood of Midan. In another blow to the regime, seven Syrian generals reportedly defected to Turkey.
- Turkey has begun a trial in absentia of four Israeli senior former military commanders of the 2010 raid of an aid flotilla to Gaza that killed nine Turks, a move dismissed by Israel as a "show trial."
- Saudi Arabia has named long time security chief Prince Mohammed bin Nayef as interior minister in one of the first ascensions of the next generation of Saudi princes.
- Israel has announced plans to begin construction on 1,213 new West Bank settlement homes.
- Rival government aligned militias battled in Libya's western city of al-Khoms a day after clashes in Tripoli.
Arguments and Analysis
Gulf cools towards Muslim Brothers (Alain Gresh, Le Monde diplomatique)
"Dubai's chief of police, General Dahi Khalfan al-Tamim, claims that the Muslim Brotherhood is "a small group that has strayed from the true path." He also says that the revolution in Egypt "would not have been possible without Iran's support and is the prelude to a new Sykes-Picot agreement" (1). And that Mohammed Morsi's election in Egypt was "an unfortunate choice." Like many leading figures in the Arab world, Al-Tamin uses Twitter, where he has said: "If the Muslim Brotherhood threatens the Gulf's security, the blood that flows will drown it."
Throughout this summer, Al-Tamin criticised the Brotherhood, which he calls "a sinful gang whose demise is drawing near", and called for their assets and bank accounts to be frozen (2). The authorities in the UAE, of which Dubai is a part, have brought around 60 of the Brothers to court, charged with plotting against the regime."
The creation of Palestinian citizenship under an international mandate: 1918-1925 (Lauren Banko, OpenDemocracy)
"The British civil administration of Palestine began in 1920 under High Commissioner Herbert Samuel with a very clear policy plan for the facilitation of Jewish immigration and the creation of a national status for Jewish immigrants - but little else was clear in terms of how to carry out the proper legislative processes, especially for the latter, once the League of Nations ratified the Palestine Mandate. The entire process of inventing a legal Palestinian citizenship in the crucial early 1920s raised huge questions over the status, sovereignty and civil rights of subjects as opposed to nationals or citizens in a mandated territory. British notions of citizenship were finally imported into Palestine after approval by His Majesty's Government (HMG) in London, and blended with existing Ottoman-era legislation, Palestinian municipal law and international laws of state succession."
--By Jennifer Parker and Mary Casey