Saturday, August 17, 1996

In 2d day of bread riots in Jordan, demonstrations spread fr. Karak to Amman, Ma'an, Tafila, where 1,000s of protesters clash violently with police, burn buildings. King Hussein visits Karak, blames Iraq for instigating the protests. Iraq denies the accusation. (JTV, RJ 8/17, MBC 8/18 in WNC 8/21; RMC 8/17, 8/18 in WNC 8/22; NYT, WP, WT 8/18; JT 8/18 in WNC 8/22; CSM, MM 8/19; MEI 9/6)

In Hebron, IDF arrests 19 mbrs. of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) for having knowledge of armed attacks in Israel. (PR 8/23)

In Alexandria, Pres. Mubarak, Kuwaiti heir apparent Shaykh Sa`d Abdullah al-Sabah discuss peace process, implementing decisions taken at Arab Summit 6/22-23. (RE 8/19 in WNC 8/22)

Syrian PM Mahmud al-Zu'bi arrives in Tehran with delegation for 3-days of talks on political, economic, cultural, technical relations with Iranian officials. Syrian, Iranian Trade Ms discuss expanding economic ties. (VIRI 8/17, IRIB Television [Tehran] 8/18 in WNC 8/21; IRNA 8/18 in WNC 8/22; Tehran Times 8/18 in WNC 8/29; MM 8/19; CSM 8/23)

Israel fortifies IDF, SLA positions in s. Lebanon. (RL 8/17 in WNC 8/21)

Worst fighting since 1995 erupts btwn. rival Kurdish factions, the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK), in n. Iraq. At issue are border trade with Turkey (currently worth $250,000/day in tariffs) and informal taxes, which are expected to increase dramatically when the 5/20 UN oil-for-food deal goes into effect in 9/96; control of the provincial administrative center of Irbil, considered the capital of Kurdish Iraq. The PUK accuses the KDP of collaborating with the Saddam Hussein government, initiating clashes. KDP accuses Iran of backing the PUK, starting the fighting. (MM 8/19, 8/20, 8/27)