America is behind the scenes mounting its pressure on the yemeni president Ali Abdllah Saleh to go.The New York Times on Monday said Washington had 'quietly shifted positions' and 'concluded that he is unlikely to bring about the required reforms and must be eased out of office.'
The Obama administration has not so far made a public statement urging Saleh to stand aside.
Sources close to talks have said Washington had given Saleh an ultimatum last week to agree on a deal negotiated by the U.S. ambassador in Sanaa to ensure a peaceful exit and transition of power, otherwise it would publicly call on him to step down.
In the meantime the toll of the ungoing demonstrations is rising. Police and armed men in civilian clothes opened fire on demonstrators in the cities of Taiz and Hudaida on Monday. In Taiz, in the south west, police shot protesters trying to storm the provincial government building, killing at least 15 people and wounding 30, hospital sources said. In the Red Sea port of Hodeida, police and armed men in civilian clothes fired live rounds and teargas at hundreds of demonstrators marching on a presidential palace and some 250 people were wounded, another medical source said.
LIBYA. Rebels again on their way to Brega
Rebels pushed towards Brega on Monday in an attempt to win back territory lost to forces loyal to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. As their forces advanced on Brega, there were again signs that Gaddafi wants a negotiated end to the figfhting. A senior Libyan envoy, deputy foreign minister, Abdul Ati al-Obeidi, was on Sunday in Greece, where he told the Greek prime minister that Col Gaddafi wants the fighting to end and open a dialogue with the international community. On Monday Obeidi is in Malta en Turkey.
A rebel spokesman said the Transitional national Council (TNC) would not accept any transition in Libya without Gaddafi and his sons leaving power. 'Gaddafi and his sons have to leave before any diplomatic negotiations can take place,' spokesman Shamseddin Abdulmelah said in Benghazi.
Meanwhile, evidence has emerged of the scale of the fighting in Misrata, the only city in the west still controlled by the rebels. A Turkish humanitarian ship carrying more than 250 injured people from Misrata arrived in Benghazi on Sunday. Doctors on board the ship, Ankara, said many people had extremely serious injuries. A BBC-correspondent said everyone had stories of the ever worsening conditions in Misrata. They told him that much of the city had no water or electricity and no-one was safe from shelling or sniper-fire. Doctors on board say medical care conditions Misrata were inadequate, and that more than 200 people have been killed and hundreds more wounded. Misrata has been under siege by forces loyal to Col Gaddafi for several weeks.
SYRIA New prime minister and dozens of arrests