Just a few short links to some of the interesting stories from today:
Syrian opposition gathers in İstanbul for transitional council http://bit.ly/n9w0Sd
As President Assad made another speech broadcast live on Syrian national television attempting to prolong the legitimacy of his government many of the main voices expected to emerge in the post-Assad Syria were just concluding a meeting in Istanbul. The goal was to start to put together a plan for the country should the Assad regime fall. The international pressure is mounting on him, the violence continues to be horrific, yet he retains a surprising amount of popularity with some of the population. This will be a story to continue to watch.
BBC News – Libya conflict: Tripoli fighting as rebels reach city http://bbc.in/nTCh0z
The continuing conflict in Libya took a significant turn today. The rebel forces that have been moving towards the capital of Tripoli are making progress and have captured some key towns. There has been a significant increase in the conflict in the city as more of the citizens are taking up arms against the Gaddafi security forces. The rebels are calling this “Zero Hour” and hope this will be the final push needed to oust the 40+ year regime.
BBC News – US ‘disappointed’ by Iran hiker jail terms for spying http://bbc.in/qOySHU In a story that has been pushed out of the news recently the American hikers who ended up in Iran after beginning their hike in Iraq have now been sentenced. The verdict was three years for illegally entering the country and another five years for spying. The hiker’s plan to appeal the sentence so the story is not over.
Other stories of interest today include: #Flagman, Turkey’s continued bombing of Kurdish rebels in Northern Iraq