- The Washington Times - Friday, February 1, 2013

All eyes are on the Middle East, as Friday opened with a bed of hot-spot activity: The U.S. Embassy is Turkey was targeted by suicide bomb. Israel just wrapped reported sorties to root out chemical weapons shipments to Hezbollah. Syria has threatened retaliation for Israeli fighter jet attacks on its facilities and equipment. And Egypt is still roiling from a week’s worth of violence and unrest that has left, so far, more than 50 dead.

The latest: Fox News reports that the U.S. Embassy suicide bombing attack in Turkey has been likely committed by a far left group, the People’s Liberation Front. Initially, al Qaeda topped the list of those believed to have committed the bombing.

Syria, meanwhile, has responded to Israel’s Wednesday fighter jet attacks on its “scientific research center” near Damascus with threats to retaliate, The Guardian reports. Israel has yet to issue a formal statement about the attack, but Gen. Ali Abdullah Ayoub vowed in a CBS report on Friday to continue to defend the nation, no matter the level of international opposition. His comments came as Israeli warplanes were criticized for Friday flights over the southern tip of Lebanon, CBS reports.

Hezbollah in Lebanon isn’t happy at the Israeli presence. The militant group condemned the Wednesday attacks as “barbaric aggression,” the Guardian says. Russia, too, has jumped into the fray, expressing concern to U.N. authorities about the possibility of Israeli violating international law, if the reports of fighter jet attacks hold true, according to various media reports.

In Egypt, on Friday, unrest continues. The latest, according to Reuters, is that President Mohammed Morsi opponents have called for mass demonstrations, including a march on the presidential palace in Cairo.

“We are going … to Tahrir, and there is a group going to the palace,” said one youth protester, in a Reuters report, about the planned protests.

Protesters say Mr. Morsi has accumulated power in his own hands, Reuters said.

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