Iran and Saudi Arabia fight over Bahrain
Syria is back in the headlines of Arab newspapers Wednesday, following an explosion hitting a UN convoy in the province of Idlib. "Syria: A massacre in the presence of monitors, and the Free Syrian Army says Hezbollah has entered the battlefield,” reads the headline of Saudi-owned daily A-Sharq Al-Awsat. The article features a blurred video grab image of the damaged UN car with its hood open. Three UN cars carrying seven UN monitors were damaged near the town of Khan Shaikhoun, but no one was injured, A-Sharq Al-Awsat reports, based on opposition sources.
The daily reports the claim of a senior opposition officer, Colonel Qassem Saad A-Din, stating that the Iranian Shi’ite organization Hezbollah has sent 200 operatives to fight alongside Assad’s forces. Saad A-Din says the Hezbollah men have entered villages in the region of Qasir together with Syrian soldiers.
"The presence of monitors does not prevent the bombing of funeral-goers in Khan Shaikhoun,” reads the lead headline in the liberal daily Al-Hayat, based in London. The daily claims that an attack on protesters in the presence of the UN is a "first of its kind” in Syria.
Al-Quds Al-Arabi, an Arab-nationalist daily published in London, features an unusual editorial by Jordan’s Prince Hassan, who — as head of the Arab Thought Forum — calls for the convening of an urgent apolitical Arab conference to discuss alternative solutions for the Syrian crisis.
"Can we consider what is happening in Syria an exception to what took place in the countries that preceded it such as Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen, despite the different conditions and methods?” asks Hassan. "This question should lead us to reevaluate what happened in previous movements and their far-reaching influence on our societies and the interests of our nation.”
"The need for an Arab role in Syria has become more urgent than ever before,” adds Hassan, noting that the Syrian issue concerns all Arabs despite the fact that the Syrians themselves are the main victims of the situation. (...)