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By William Tucker

Guinea has agreed to release a shipment of military arms bound for Mali following an inspection by Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The arms shipment was held up because ECOWAS was still mediating in the crisis between the Malian military and the civilian government. The transfer of power to a new unity government back in August helped clear the way for international assistance.

By William Tucker

Media outlets are reporting that some 120 inmates of the al-Judaida prison in Tripoli escaped yesterday. Details of how the escape happened have not been publically released, but suspicion has fallen on a mix of causes including insufficient security and rampant militancy. Libyan officials did say that half of those who escaped have been recaptured, though. The nationality and ethnicity of the al-Judaida prison inmates is quite diverse.

By William Tucker

Over the past weekend various Syrian opposition groups assaulted, and eventually seized, an air defense missile base on the outskirts of Aleppo. Initial reports of the battle were sketchy, but video released by the Free Syrian Army show that the base is indeed in opposition hands. Activists with connections to the opposition fighters in Syria claimed that aircraft belonging to the regime had bombed the advanced weapons that were lost.

By William Tucker

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta announced that Washington had sent additional troops to the Jordan-Syria border to assist in the management of refugees and to monitor the status of Syria’s chemical weapons. The U.S. has had a troop presence in Jordan for some time and this additional deployment shouldn’t be construed as a build up towards military intervention in Syria.