Atlantic Council

MENASource

Weakened rebels are making their last desperate stand in Homs, as forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad launch their harshest assault yet to expel them from the central city, once known as the capital of the revolution. Some among the hundreds of rebels remaining in the city talk of surrender, according to opposition activists there. Others have lashed back against the siege with suicide car bombings in districts under government control. Some fighters are turning on comrades they suspect want to desert, pushing them into battle. “We expect Homs to fall,” said an activist. “In the next few days, it could be under the regime’s control.”

Read More

Bashar al-Assad recently announced that his regime is holding an “election” in Syria on June 3. The Syrian Opposition Coalition has responded that this latest move by the regime represents a clear decision by Assad to once and for all forgo any illusion that he is willing to pursue a political solution to the conflict. His attempts to portray his rule as inevitable, however, can only succeed if international partners to Syria’s rebels believe this farcical process changes any facts on the ground. The rebels stand strong against the regime’s killing machine. The question remains: will anyone help?

Read More

The Libyan parliament Sunday began hearing seven candidates who are vying to replace prime minister Abdullah al-Thinni who quit last week just days after his appointment. Members of the General National Congress (GNC), were due to hear the candidates present their program of government Sunday, but no date has been fixed for the vote. The winner needs to secure 120 votes out of 200, but some observers doubt that the GNC, which is deeply divided, will be able to reach a consensus on a candidate.

Read More

Follow the latest in economic news and developments about the Arab transition countries. 

Read More

On April 30, Iraq will hold parliamentary elections featuring a total of 9,040 candidates from 142 parties, including forty-one blocs and coalitions, all competing for just 328 parliamentary seats. The result of the 2010 parliamentary elections carried Iyad Allawi’s Iraqiya bloc to a narrow electoral victory, but was eventually defeated by a coalition of majority-Shia parties to ensure a second term for Nuri al-Maliki. As Maliki seeks another four years as Iraq’s prime minister, the political scene has changed dramatically and issues, both new and old, take center stage as voters weigh their options.

Read More

Members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) brokered a consensus Thursday after a rift that saw Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain withdraw their ambassadors from Qatar. According to a statement from the GCC, “[Participants] agreed to adopt measures that ensure working at a group level and that policies of any individual state should not affect the interests, security, or stability of any other member state and without affecting the sovereignty of any of its states.”

Read More

Follow the latest in economic news and developments about the Arab transition countries.

Read More

Overall, however, it is both fair and profoundly unsatisfying to admit that our successes have been partial and the crimes against humanity that persist are devastating.

Read More

The US-based publication Defense News confidently reported on April 14 that the “GCC Seeks to Form Military Bloc with Jordan, Morocco.” The story relied on an unnamed Jordanian who advised that the invitation was tendered in late March.

Read More

Algerian voters are heading to the polls today, April 17, to vote in a presidential election overshadowed by accusations of fraud and calls for the ruling regime to step down. Incumbent President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is seeking an unprecedented fourth term amid widespread worries about his health, and following allegations that the results of the previous presidential election in 2009 were marred by fraud.

Read More