Libya in stalemate; Yemen opposition joins demonstrators
As demonstrations continue around the Middle East, we keep you updated on the developing situation. Use this chart to keep up with all of the demonstrations, day by day.
We'll be marking time in Eastern Standard Time. Tunisia is six hours ahead, Egypt and Libya are seven hours ahead, Yemen and Iraq are eight hours ahead, and Oman is nine hours ahead. (See World Clock here.)
As we sign off for the night, the battle for control of Libya is still in an apparent stalemate as rebels armed with tanks and automatic weapons stand firm, but troops' strikes show the regime is still able to fight back. Opposition leaders are debating whether to request foreign airstrikes against the Gaddafi's military installations and other facilities.
In cities across Yemen, tens of thousands of people continued to turn out as opposition parties joined demonstrators in rejecting embattled President Ali Abdullah Saleh's offer to form a unity government.
Come visit us tomorrow for the latest developments. Thanks for being with us today.
Washington-based Libyans seeking to replace their embassy's flag today failed to gain access to the building, but were placated when members of Congress entered to find a pro-opposition ambassador still apparently at his job. Read more on the two dozen protesters outside the Libyan embassy at our local Buzz blog.
Watch a scene from outside the Libyan embassy as protestors engage with security forces and voice their ideas about Libya's future:
In Benghazi, the center of the resistance against Moammar Gaddafi, the city is growing more demoralized as the country falls into an uncomfortable standoff between Gaddafi's forces and the opposition.
Unable to match the force of the rich and powerful dictator in Tripoli, the Feb. 17 committee members governing this eastern city in the absence of a state said they were preparing to ask for foreign air strikes against Gaddafi's military installations, air bases and other key infrastructure or the standoff may never end.
"We want logistical foreign intervention, air embargos, bombardments of air bases, communication centers and supervision of the coasts," said Muftah Queidir, a lawyer close to the coalition who's 26-year-old son was shot on Feb. 19 by Gaddafi's forces.
WASHINGTON: 3:04 p.m. (EST), Tuesday
You Tube videos purporting to show Moammar Gaddafi's preparations for using chemical weapons on protesters are either crude propaganda or the product of Libyans who simply don't know what they are looking at--or both, Jeff Stein reports on Spy Talk.
Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen conduct a briefing at the Pentagon, LIVE NOW. Watch:
Anti-government fighters in the eastern city of Benghazi said Tuesday they would keep up their fight to oust embattled leader Moammar Gaddafi, even as life appeared to be slowly returning to normal in other parts of the city.
Aid workers warned that the situation at the Libya-Tunisia border has reached a crisis point, Al Jazeera reported. Border guards struggled to control crowds pressing to get through the Ras Jdir crossing, firing shots into the air, using sticks to hit some who tried to climb over the wall, and letting people through an opening in a metal gate only at intervals.
The U.N. says 140,000 people have now fled from Libya.
If you haven't yet seen the Gaddafi interview with Christiane Amanpour and two British journalists, in which Gaddafi denies there is an uprising against him, watch it here:
Moammar Gaddafi has dispatched forces to several far-flung regions in Libya to reassert control as rebels continue to hold off the leader's loyalists, Al Jazeera reported.
Gaddafi's forces decorated the border post at the Dehiba border crossing in the country's west with green Libyan flags. Reporters on the Tunisian side saw Libyan army vehicles and soldiers armed with Kalashnikov rifles, which had not been present the previous day. Residents of Nalut, about 60 kilometers from the Tunisian border, also reported seeing paramilitary forces gathering outside the city.
The United States had said it was moving warships and air forces closer to Libya only 12 hours ago.
Portia Walker has filed this report of voices from Sanaa:
"The people are fed up with dialogue", says Najrabi, 24, a teacher who had stopped at the opposition camp on his way into the university and didn't want to give his full name. "It's been offered before. We just don't trust him any more."
At the opposition camp on Tuesday, the demonstrators were jubilant. "I feel like everybody has finally woken up after sleeping for 33 years," said student Ibrahim Haider, 19.
Yemen expert at Princeton University, Gregory Johnsen, says that while Saleh has seen and survived numerous crises in his 32-years of rule, "at the moment he is continuing to act as if he can negotiate from a position of strength. He doesn't appear to realize that the ground has shifted significantly beneath his feet."
As massive crowds rallied in cities across Yemen, observations came in from those on the ground about the lack of food, level of demonstrations, and even the chewing of khat (also referred to as qat) via Twitter.
#Yemen - Arhab and Nahm tribes have a tent 2day, FULL - restaurants run out of food in 30mins around Univ area :s , was hungry :(
#Zindani soldiers were from Republican Guard - red caps - 2 in khaki w radios, no guns
Tunisia's most prominent opposition figure quit the unity government Tuesday, further destabilizing the interim leadership amid renewed uncertainty about the country's direction.
Nejib Chebbi, who founded the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, said he resigned because he is not happy with the newly named prime minister. Chebbi also said government measures are unjust and aimed at keeping him from seeking the presidency.
Two other ministers also left Tunisia's interim government.
Secretary of State Clinton appears before the house foreign affairs committee. LIVE NOW:
Thousands who are fleeing Libya, many of them foreign workers, remain stuck on the Tunisian side of the border and unable to get back to their home countries. Watch:
Refugee officials say more than 140,000 people have fled Libya to Egypt and Tunisia in a growing exodus from Gaddfi's forces as they kill hundreds and block humanitarian aid to western Libya.
U.N. refugee agency spokeswoman Melissa Fleming said Tuesday "the situation is reaching crisis point" at the Libya-Tunisia border. Authorities say up to 75,000 people have fled Libya to Tunisia since Feb. 20, including 14,000 on Monday, the most to date. Another 15,000 more are expected to cross Tuesday.
Other aid officials say humanitarian aid workers are being blocked from reaching western Libya and patients reportedly are being executed in hospitals and struck by hidden gunmen in ambulances.
Yemen's separatists want a Sudan-style referendum on southern secession if protests seeking to end the three-decade rule of President Saleh succeed, a senior separatist leader said on Tuesday, Reuters reported. "The south will push for a referendum after Saleh falls. It is a mass demand," Yassin Ahmad Saleh Qadish, a former diplomat and senior member in the Southern Movement, said.
Saleh has failed to stop two weeks of protests that have left 24 people dead, most of them in Aden, the former capital of an independent southern state. Saleh is a key U.S. ally against al Qaeda's Yemen-based wing.
As protests continue across the Middle East and Africa, here is a round up of demonstrations in several nations you may have missed:
In Lebanon, hundreds marched in Beirut Sunday against the sectarian political system, the Los Angeles Times reported. There is no authoritarian figure to overthrow in Lebanon, but many citizens have blamed the country's complicated government system as responsible for corruption and war.
In Tunisia, the interim government will allow the main Islamist Group, Ennhada, to form a political party, the official TAP news agency said.
In Bahrain, tanks are reportedly on the way from Saudi Arabia, according to Russian news agency Ria Novosti. Those reports caused the Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE-100) to slip, the Guardian reported Tuesday.
In Zimbabwe, arrests and alleged torture of members of the opposition party have dissuaded activists from staging anti-Mugabe protests, according to Al Jazeera.
In Oman, the army has attempted to disperse protests in a northern port Tuesday, wounding one citizen in the process, according to Reuters. It is the fourth day of protests by Omanis demanding jobs and political reforms.
Libya's oil output is down by half as a consequence of political unrest in the country, the International Energy Agency says. Libya, a member of OPEC, is one of the world's leading oil powers, usually producing around 1.6 million barrels a day. Oil industry analysts and investors worry that further unrest in the country could send crude prices higher. Oil prices reached $120 a barrel last week but fell after Saudi Arabia said it would increase production to meet any shortages.
Anti-government demonstrations grew larger and more boisterous Tuesday. Tens of thousands called for an immediate end to President Ali Abdullah Saleh's authoritarian rule. Organizers called it the "Day of Rage," a name chosen to echo the protests in Egypt that led to President Mubarak's ouster. Since the protests in Yemen began Feb. 16, human rights activists say at least 27 people have been killed. Watch:
Yemen's embattled president accused the United States and Israel of trying to destabilize his country and the Arab world. Saleh's comments marked his harshest public criticism yet of the U.S. He said "there is an operations room in Tel Aviv with the aim of destabilizing the Arab world" and that it is "run by the White House."
An hour after Saleh's speech, tens of thousands of protesters marched to the university, joined for the first time by opposition parties. Sheik Abdul-Majid al-Zindani, considered by the U.S. to be linked to the al-Qaeda terror network, was present at the gathering.
Facebook and Twitter are still inaccessible (directly) in Libya, and Al Jazeera's live blog has also been blocked, according to Al Jazeera.
Libyan soldiers and paramilitaries loyal to Moammar Gaddafi attempted Tuesday to retake territory that has been seized by rebels. Neither side appeared to gain ground.
Rebels armed with tanks, anti-aircraft guns and automatic weapons repelled an overnight attack by government troops using the same weapons. The six-hour battle happened in the town of Zawiya, 30 miles west of Tripoli, the Associated Press reported.
| March 1, 2011; 4:00 PM ET
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