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What ISIS might do next

What ISIS might do next Categories: Egypt, Iraq, Islamic Extremism, Middle East, Syria     Author: Yaakov Amidror

Over the past several months, ISIS, the militant jihadist Islamic State, has made significant gains. It controls a huge expanse stretching in Iraq from Ramadi west of Baghdad across the Syrian border to the archeologically rich Tadmur (Palmyra). And, at the same time, it has been consolidating its h

Shatter Zones

Shatter Zones Categories: Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Yemen     Author: Michael J. Totten

The chattering class has spent months bickering about whether or not the United States should sign on to a nuclear deal with Iran. Hardly anyone aside from the Saudis, however, seems to recognise that the Iranian government's ultimate goal is regional hegemony and that its nuclear weapons program is

Essay: End Times?

Essay: End Times? Categories: Egypt, Iraq, Middle East, Syria     Author: Walter Russell Mead

The Christian communities of Syria and Iraq have survived 2,000 years of tumult and war. In some of them, prayers are still said in Aramaic, the language that Jesus used in daily life. These communities now tremble on the brink of destruction.

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Ramadi and US Policy in Iraq

Ramadi and US Policy in Iraq Categories: Iraq, Islamic Extremism     Author: Jonathan Spyer

The fall of Ramadi to the fighters of the Islamic State (IS) on May 15 was a disaster for the Iraqi government of Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi. The taking of the city brings IS to just over 100 kilometres from Baghdad. In addition to showcasing the low calibre of the Iraqi security forces, the ev

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Grounded in Iraq?

Grounded in Iraq? Categories: Iraq, Middle East, Syria     Author: Jonathan Spyer

The United States and its allies have launched a military campaign whose stated goal is, in the words of US President Barack Obama, to "degrade and ultimately destroy" the Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS or ISIL) established by Sunni jihadis in a contiguous land area stretching from western Ir

Israel and the rise of ISIS Categories: Iraq, Islamic Extremism, Israel, Syria     Author: Amotz Asa-El

It is a landscape with which Jewish history is all too familiar. Here, in the flatlands abutting the Tigris and Euphrates, Jacob fell for Rachel, Jonah warned of approaching calamity, and Ezekiel saw a valley of bones come to life, as 26 centuries of intensive Jewish creation, crowned by the Talmud,

Back to Iraq

Back to Iraq Categories: Iraq, Islamic Extremism, Middle East, Syria, United States     Author: Oded Eran

President Obama's Sept. 10 address to the American nation regarding the new US strategy against ISIS leaves many issues unclear, chief among them, what underlies the change in US policy regarding the extremist organisation. Both Obama's speech and public statements by senior American officials offer

Strategies for dealing with ISIS

Strategies for dealing with ISIS Categories: Iraq, Islamic Extremism, Syria, Updates    

With US President Obama scheduled to make a speech overnight detailing his strategy for dealing with the spread of ISIS (the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq) - and having recently signed up some Middle Eastern and Western allies - this Update is devoted to expert advice about what

ISIS and the Crisis Across Iraq

ISIS and the Crisis Across Iraq Categories: Iraq, Islamic Extremism    

With a new Gaza ceasefire in place until Monday, and apparently holding, this Update offers some analysis on the other major, but often under-reported, crisis, gripping the Middle East over recent weeks - the recent gains by the terrorist movement ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syri

Scribblings: Proportionality Again

Scribblings: Proportionality Again Categories: Africa, Iraq, Israel, Palestinians     Author: Tzvi Fleischer

In Nigeria, on July 19, the Boko Haram terror group reportedly took the town of Damboa, gunned down everyone they saw and burned most of the town to the ground. At least 100 people were killed - but the death toll may actually be considerably higher. Know about that one? Further, more than 15,000 p

The Kurdish Moment

The Kurdish Moment Categories: Iraq, Turkey     Author: Ofra Bengio

In an interview, Rudaw Huseyin Celik, a spokesman for Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), stated that "the Kurds of Iraq can decide for themselves the name and type of the entity they are living in." Such a far-reaching statement should not come as a great surprise to those followi

Iran is not the solution in Iraq

Iran is not the solution in Iraq Categories: Iran, Iraq     Author: Michael Singh

During the second Iraq war, Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) was one of the United States' fiercest foes. The IRGC was responsible not only for organising, training and equipping Shiite militants who fought US troops, but also for manufacturing and importing into Iraq so-called explos

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Birth of an Islamist State?

Birth of an Islamist State? Categories: Iraq, Islamic Extremism, Syria     Author: Jonathan Spyer

In a stunning and deeply significant development, the fighters of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) organisation captured the Iraqi city of Mosul in the second week of June. They then moved on to take Tikrit unopposed and according to reports, were headed toward the capital, Baghdad. Five

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