October 27th – 31st

Monday, 27th October 2014

SYRIA – Damascus has provided military support to Kurdish forces to help them battle Islamic State, Syrian media said, in a move that would mean President Bashar al-Assad and his Western enemies could be backing the same forces against Islamist militants. (Reuters)

TUNISIA – Partial official results issued by Tunisia’s independent superior electoral commission (ISIE) have confirmed a trend that emerged from exit polls: secular party Nidaa Tounes is leading ahead of Islamists from Ennahda. (ANSAmed)

ISRAEL – The Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, will expedite planning for some 1,000 settler homes in East Jerusalem, a government official said on Monday, in a bid to placate a restive coalition ally without further aggravating a dispute with Washington. (Reuters)

Tuesday, 28th October 2014

SPAIN – Spain’s central government took the first step on Monday towards blocking a “consultation of citizens” that the Catalonia region intends to hold next month in the place of a full referendum on independence from Spain that was barred by a court. (Reuters)

ITALY – The President of Italy, Giorgio Napolitano, testified for more than three hours in an unprecedented appearance in a major trial that accuses the state of holding secret talks with the Sicilian Mafia in the 1990s. (The New York Times)


Wednesday, 29th October 2014

EGYPT – Egypt has started work on a controversial buffer zone by destroying homes along its border with the Gaza Strip, following some of the worst attacks on the army since President Mohamed Morsi was ousted last year. (Al Jazeera)

LIBYA – The internationally-recognized Prime Minister of Libya, Abdullah al-Thani, said on Wednesday he was ready for peace talks with rivals controlling the capital Tripoli and questioning his legitimacy if all sides made concessions. (Reuters)


Thursday, 30th October 2014

EUROPEAN UNION – Ukraine, Russia and the European Union signed a deal on Thursday that will see Moscow resume vital supplies of gas to its ex-Soviet neighbor over the winter in return for payments funded in part by Kiev’s Western creditors. (Reuters)

SYRIA – Syria condemned Turkey for allowing foreign fighters to enter Syria in what it said was a “blatant violation” of its sovereignty. Hours after, ten Iraqi Kurdish fighters crossed into the Syrian border town of Kobani, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also described the move as a “disgraceful act”. (The Washington Post)

ISRAEL – Israel barred all access to a contested sacred site in the Old City for the first time in many years on Thursday, a step that a Palestinian spokesman denounced as “a declaration of war” and one that strained Israel’s crucial alliance with neighboring Jordan. (The New York Times)


Friday, 31st October 2014

PALESTINE – Fatah, the organization led by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, called for a “day of rage” in Jerusalem and the West Bank after the killing of Mutaz Hijazi, a suspect in the shooting against hardline rabbi Yehuda Glick. (ANSAmed)

ISIS – Foreign fighters are continuing to pour into Syria and Iraq at the rate of 1,000 a month in a global movement of jihadists that exceeds even that into Afghanistan in the 1980s, new assessments from the United Nations and US intelligence have shown. As the Islamic State continues to make advances in Syria and Iraq despite more than 600 coalition air strikes, the total number of foreign fighters is now thought to have topped 15,000, according to a UN Security Council estimate. (The Daily Telegraph)

TURKEY – The President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, said on Friday a peace process with Kurdish militants would continue after the killing of four soldiers and riots this month over what Kurds saw as Turkey’s refusal to help their kin in Syria. (Reuters)

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