Top news: Iranian authorities acknowledged for the first time that members of the Quds Force, the extraterritorial operations arm of the country's elite Revolutionary Guard Corps, are active inside Syria and Lebanon. Maj. Gen. Mohammad Ali Jafari, the commander of the Revolutionary Guard, said that his forces were playing only an "intellectual and advisory" role, but that they will offer military assistance in the event of external intervention. "We are proud to defend Syria, which constitutes a resistance to the Zionist entity," Jafari told reporters in Tehran.
The statements from Jafari, which called attention to the "Arab countries" supporting the rebels, provide further evidence that the Syrian crisis is morphing into a regional conflict, with Saudi Arabia and other Sunni powers backing the rebels and Iran and Hezbollah standing behind Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Meanwhile, Syrian warplanes struck targets inside Lebanon Monday in an apparent attempt to kill rebel fighters taking refuge across the border. The attack is the most serious violation of Lebanon's airspace since the conflict began.
Afghanistan: A member of the Afghan security forces killed four U.S. troops in southern Afghanistan Sunday. It was the latest in a string of insider attacks that have left 51 international troops dead this year.
- Libyan authorities arrested roughly 50 people in connection with the consular attack in Benghazi last week.
- In an open-air mass in Lebanon, Pope Benedict called for a "cessation of all violence" in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East.
- Islamist militants attacked Egypt's security headquarters in northern Sinai on Sunday, killing one soldier and injuring seven others.
- South Africa says recent mining sector strikes will not necessitate a revision of fiscal performance projections in the country's 2012 budget plan.
- Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir met with Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy in Cairo on Sunday despite warrants issued by the International Criminal Court for his arrest.
- The Nigerian Red Cross discovered more dead bodies in the Benue River after a flood struck the northeast portion of the country.
- Afghan President Hamid Karzai "strongly condemned" NATO strikes in the eastern Laghman Province that killed eight women.
- Burmese democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi departed for the United States, where she will meet with President Obama.
- U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, in Japan Sunday, will head to Beijing this week to look for ways to improve military-to-military ties between the United States and China.
- Tens of thousands of demonstrators rallied in Spain and Portugal over austerity cuts.
- Spanish authorities confiscated two explosive devices and arrested four people on suspicion of belonging to a separatist group.
- The Paris prosecutor's office opened an investigation into last week's protests at the American Embassy.
- Mexican authorities discovered the dismembered bodies of 17 men in Tizapan el Alto, an area disputed by rival drug cartels.
- A state legislator in Mexico was killed on Sunday in the second attack on a member of the Institutional Revolutionary Party in as many days.
- Colombian rebels have ramped up their violent campaign against the country's energy infrastructure as peace talks loom on the horizon.