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Behind the News - December 2016

Behind the News - December 2016 Categories: Gulf states, Iran, Israel, Palestinians, Syria    

With Ismail Haniyeh set to replace Khaled Mashaal as head of Hamas' political bureau in Qatar, reclusive Hamas official Imad al-Alami has reportedly been temporarily appointed to take over from Haniyeh in leading the terror group in Gaza. Born in Gaza, al-Alami lived for several years in Teheran an

As ISIS falters

As ISIS falters Categories: Iraq, Syria     Author: Jonathan Spyer

The Islamic State, whose main slogan in Arabic is Baqiya watatamadad (remaining and expanding), has in reality been contracting since the high point of its advance in the autumn of 2014. Its eventual demise, at least as a quasi-state entity, is assured. But Syria is host not only to the war against

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Behind the News - October 2016

Behind the News - October 2016 Categories: Iran, Israel, Palestinians, Russia, Syria    

The explosion of a SpaceX rocket in Florida destroyed an advanced communications satellite developed in Israel, throwing the Israeli satellite industry into crisis. Worth between US $200-300 million, the Amos-6 satellite was the most sophisticated built in Israel's history and had been leased by Fa

The Retreat of ISIS

The Retreat of ISIS Categories: Iraq, Islamic Extremism, Syria     Author: Col. Jacques Neriah

Two years ago, the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq's (ISIS) blitz assault across a swath of land as big as the United Kingdom led to the establishment of the self-proclaimed Caliphate and fragmented both Syria and Iraq. The recent defeats inflicted on Islamic radicals, however, have considerably shr

More Iran deal loopholes/ The war on Syria's hospitals Categories: Iran, Syria, Updates    

This Update looks at the implications of the revelation last week of a number of previously not publicly known loopholes or exceptions granted Iran in January as part of the implementation of the nuclear deal - as exposed by the the Institute for Science and International Security, a thinktank run b

App

The Syrian situation and policy alternatives Categories: Syria, Updates    

This Update contains some recent information on the ongoing, bloody Syrian civil war. It also contains some analysis suggesting Western policy, led by the US, is not working - with some proposed alternatives provided by knowledgeable sources.

Behind the News - August 2016

Behind the News - August 2016 Categories: Iran, Israel, Palestinians, Syria    

Meanwhile, on July 17 the Izz a-Din Qassam Brigades, Hamas' military wing, announced that it had opened its annual summer camps which incorporate military training, and that this year's theme is "soldiers of Jerusalem". More than 30,000 Gaza youths are expected to attend the camps, which, the Brigad

Bibi's travels

Bibi's travels Categories: Africa, Israel, Russia, Syria, Updates    

Today's Update looks at Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's historic trip to Africa, which is about to conclude. Whilst there, he visited, and met with the leaders of, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Rwanda. His first stop was Uganda, where he commemorated the famous 1976 Israeli rescue of the h

Russia's Retreat?

Russia's Retreat? Categories: Israel, Russia, Syria     Author: Amotz Asa-El

He did it again. After having caught the world off guard last fall by diving head-on into the Syrian civil war, Russian President Vladimir Putin has now stunned everyone, even his Syrian clients, by announcing a springtime retreat. The Kremlin's statement, made as the five-year-old war's protagonis

Russia pulling out of Syria?

Russia pulling out of Syria? Categories: Russia, Syria, Updates    

Russian President Putin announced on Tuesday that Russia is pulling out the “main part” of Russia'’s expeditionary force in Syria - but are keeping a key airbase and naval base. This Update is about the significance of the announced withdrawal, especially for Syria, and what was li

The Forces within the Syrian Maelstrom

The Forces within the Syrian Maelstrom Categories: Iran, Middle East, Russia, Syria     Author: Jonathan Spyer

Over the ruined landscape of northern Syria, a number of core factors which today define the strategic reality of the Middle East are colliding. Close observation of that blighted area therefore offers clues as to the current state of play more broadly in the region - who is on the way up, who on th

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