As if Iraq was not enough to worry about, some important political developments in Lebanon, and even in the Yemen have raised the temperature of the Middle East . . .
A roadside bomb targeted Abu Qutaiba, a local leader of an Awakening group a U.S. sponsored militia, in Al Lehaib area north east of Fallujah killing him with two bodyguards and killing two children were passing by the bomb.
A ceasefire was formally signed on Monday between the Al-Maliki government and the Sadr movement,, which allows Iraqi forces to search Sadr City in Baghdad for medium and heavy weapons. Arabic press reports suggest that the government will need a court-ordered warrant for such searches.
The political alliance between the Pakistan People’s Party and the Muslim League-N in Pakistan has fallen apart. Nawaz Sharif is withdrawing his cabinet ministers because PPP regent Asaf Ali Zardari refuses to press ahead quickly with reinstating the court judges dismissed last fall by Pervez Musharraf. Sharif knows that the Pakistani Supreme Court would, if restored, depose Musharraf. So does Zardari but he is more afraid of a military coup than is Sharif.
Pakistan will not return to stability any time soon, since Sharif and his party want to see Musharraf deposed, and the military may or may not allow that to happen.
Then in Lebanon, street fighting subsided on Monday in Beirut and in the Shouf mountains. But it flared up in the northern port city of Tripoli between Sunnis and Alawites (a folk Shiite sect to which the Syrian top leadership belongs).
Aljazeera on Lebanon’s army:
“Dozens of people have been killed or wounded in renewed clashes between the Yemen army and Shiite rebels in the north-west of the country, tribal sources said. “Fighting killed or wounded dozens of people, including many civilians,” on Sunday and Monday in several regions across the Shiite Zaidi rebel stronghold of Saada, one source said.