Rebels launched a new offensive out of their stronghold in Libya's western mountains Saturday, battling regime forces in a drive toward the heartland of Moammar Gadhafi's rule on the Mediterranean coast. Opening a new front, the rebels are aiming to break a monthslong deadlock and eventually fight their way to the capital, Tripoli.
The rebels are hoping for a breakthrough in the far west of Libya, frustrated with the stalemate in the center of the country, where their under-equipped forces have been unable to budge the battle lines despite five months of NATO airstrikes on Gadhafi's military.
Syria: The Syrian military tightened its suffocating siege on the city of Hama on Saturday in its drive to crush the main center of the antiregime uprising in the country, even as the foreign minister promised free parliamentary elections by the end of the year in a gesture of reform.
YEMEN: Government forces clashed with supporters of Yemen's most powerful tribe for a second consecutive day in the capital, despite efforts to mediate an end to the fighting. Witnesses say heavy gunfire erupted just before sundown in Sana's Hassaba district between forces loyal to President Ali Abdullah Saleh and the tribal confederation led by the al-Ahmar clan.
EGYPT: Egypt's largest political group, the Muslim Brotherhood, held its first open internal election since the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, in an attempt to burnish its democratic credentials ahead of parliamentary elections in November. It looks poised to win big at the polls, largely because of its well-organized political machine and social outreach programs.