Latest developments in Arab world's unrest
Thursday, March 24, 2011; 2:31 PM
-- Here is a look at the latest developments in Mideast political unrest on Wednesday:
Fighter jets from a U.N.-backed alliance destroy one of ruler Moammar Gadhafi's planes and hit sites across Libya including an air base, artillery installations, arms depots and parked helicopters. NATO ships patrol the coast to block the flow of arms and mercenaries. Confusion remains about the international operation's future leadership, while the rebels who control much of the country's eastern coast remain outgunned and disorganized.
The youth groups who kicked off a monthlong uprising calling for the president's ouster say they also want a new constitution and the dissolution of parliament, local councils and Yemen's notorious security agencies. The new demands appear to reflect the perception that President Ali Abdullah Saleh's regime is staggering after unrelenting protests and the defection of powerful political, military and tribal leaders.
Following a week of demonstrations in which security forces killed dozens of protesters, the Syrian government says it will consider lifting draconian restrictions on political liberties while raising government salaries and fighting corruption. The pledges likely won't placate the southern city of Daraa, where thousands have faced deadly police gunfire during anti-government rallies and protester funerals.
About a thousand Shiite protesters defied a ban on public gatherings to hold an anti-government march in a village outside the capital Manama. At least 20 people have been killed in recent weeks as Bahrain's Sunni rulers, backed by a Saudi-led military force, attempt to crush a monthlong uprising by the tiny island kingdom's Shiite majority.
Hundreds of Jordanians - mostly university students and unemployed graduates responding to calls on Facebook - set up a protest camp in the capital Amman's main square to press for the ouster of the prime minister and wider public freedoms. Jordan's protests, and the government's responses, have been tamer than elsewhere in the region. King Abdullah II has proposed political reforms and criticized the prime minister for not pushing them through quickly enough.