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Syria's Five Conflicts

Syria's Five Conflicts Categories: Syria     Author: Jonathan Spyer

As the civil war over the ruins of Syria grinds on into its fifth year, the fighting seems nowhere near an end. Indeed, there is no longer a single war taking place in the country. Rather, as Syria physically divides into separate entities, so the conflict, too, further subdivides, spawning new conf

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

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Druze Dilemmas

Druze Dilemmas Categories: Israel, Syria     Author: Amotz Asa-El

Had it not been too busy fighting itself, Syria would this month have been celebrating the 15th anniversary of Bashar Assad's rule. Tragically, Assad and his citizenry have no cause to celebrate, as the country haemorrhages and its president's future looks increasingly grim. As diplomats seek clari

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.

Lessons from the Syria CW Finds

Lessons from the Syria CW Finds Categories: International Security, Iran, Syria     Author: Yossi Kuperwasser

In early May, inspectors from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) reported that they had located traces of sarin-type chemical weapons and ricin-type biological weapons in at least three sites in Syria which the Assad regime had not reported.

Behind The News - June 2015 Categories: Iran, Israel, Palestinians, Syria    

The annual report of the Palestinian Independent Commission for Human Rights says human rights for people living in the Palestinian-controlled areas in the West Bank and Gaza are the worst they have been for years. It said that several people died in Hamas detention, that Hamas killed 16 prisoners d

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Deconstruction Zone: Return or Die?

Deconstruction Zone: Return or Die? Categories: Israel, Palestinians, Syria, United Nations     Author: Alexander Joffe and Asaf Romirowsky

Faced with the suffering of their own people, the Palestinians recently decided not to help. Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas rejected a deal with Israel brokered by the United Nations that would allow Palestinian refugees living in Syria to resettle in the West Bank and Gaza. Abba

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's New Northern Exposure

Israel's New Northern Exposure Categories: Islamic Extremism, Israel, Syria, Terrorism     Author: Andrew J. Tabler

While the world focuses on the Islamic State's advances in Iraq and Syria, the Syrian war is spilling over into the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. On Aug. 28, Syrian rebel groups, led by al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra Front, captured the old border city of Quneitra from the Syrian army and Iranian-b

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

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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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