A R A B I C A ارابيكا
SIZING UP SYRIA
*Pan-Arab news website Elaph.com reports witnesses in Daraa as saying that members of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard are part of the 5,000-strong troop contingent surrounding the southern Syrian city. There are also reports of "Hezbollah elements' in both Daraa and the northern city of Aleppo. The government, meanwhile, has imposed a media blackout across Syria, and journalists are relying on social-networking sites to pass on information from witnesses on the ground.
*The Facebook group "Revolution against Bashar al-Assad" posted an "urgent" message asking Syrians to contribute carpets and mats for the "large numbers of people at sit-ins."
*Singer Samih Shafiq performs a new song called "O, injustice" about the "martyrs' who were killed in Daraa. "They used live bullets against us," he sings, with pictures from protests in Daraa over the music. "This proves the crimes of the government," wrote one commenter.
*The BBC Arabic reports that former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is under house arrest. His family is also living under house arrest somewhere in Egypt, the ruling military leadership said in a statement, denying reports that the Mubaraks had fled to Saudi Arabia.
*Egypt's military announced that Parliamentary elections will be held in September. Following the announcement, rumors started flying that the presidential elections would be postponed. Notice number 28 by the military leadership, posted on its Facebook page, says that presidential elections will not in fact be postponed.
LATEST ON LIBYA
Libyan rebels are slowing advancing on Muammar Gaddafi's hometown of Sirte, where AFP reports "they seem to face less resistance from Gaddafi's forces."
March 28, 2011
photo credit: illustir