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Hezbollah's secret war on Syrian rebels

Hezbollah's secret war on Syrian rebels

The other night I spoke to Alaa al-Sheikh, the Free Syrian Army’s Khaled Bin Waleed Brigade in Rastan, a city that’s home about 25,000 people and lies on the main Damascus-Aleppo highway in the province of Homs. Over the last several months, Rastan has become the frontline in the war...

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Study: Hezbollah is it a Lebanese nationalist organization, or a group more interested in protecting Shiite interests

Study: Hezbollah is it a Lebanese nationalist organization, or a group more interested in protecting Shiite interests

Hezbollah is a Shiite Muslim political group in Lebanon with a militant wing the United States defines as a terrorist organization. With significant support from Iran and Syria, Hezbollah maintains an extensive security apparatus, political organization, and social services network in Lebanon,...

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 New book reveals how KGB operation seeded Muslim countries with anti-American, anti-Jewish propaganda during the 1970s, laying the groundwork for Islamist terrorism against U.S. and Israel

New book reveals how KGB operation seeded Muslim countries with anti-American, anti-Jewish propaganda during the 1970s, laying the groundwork for Islamist terrorism against U.S. and Israel

The highest-ranking Soviet-bloc intelligence officer ever to defect to the West claims in a new book that anti-American Islamic terrorism had its roots in a secret 1970s-era KGB plot to harm but the United States and Israel by seeding Muslim countries with carefully targeted propaganda. Yuri...

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Stumbling Into Syria

Stumbling Into Syria

When historians look back on the American path to war in Syria, two comments by President Obama will stand out. The first was his statement—repeated as a sort of sideline cheer for the Arab Spring—that “Assad must go.” This was a diplomatic error that could not be walked back: it...

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The crowning of the Syrian Islamic Front

The crowning of the Syrian Islamic Front

Hezbollah's victory in Syria in the Battle of Qusair was a wake up call for many pro-Islamist actors in the Arab world. In response, Qatar -- through  Yusef al-Qaradawi  and Al Jazeera as well as key Egyptian Islamic  leaders  -- has gone on the offensive. These players have...

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What Is Obama REALLY Doing in Syria?

What Is Obama REALLY Doing in Syria?

I'm in Oslo to give a seminar and a public lecture at the Norwegian Institute for Defense Studies, and I'm looking forward to hearing how world politics looks from a Nordic perspective. I haven't been to Norway since 2009, when my visit coincided with the Norwegian Nobel Committee's surprising...

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Democratic Senator: Obama Has ‘No Articulated Strategy' on Syria

Democratic Senator: Obama Has ‘No Articulated Strategy' on Syria

Frustrated by the  muddle that is  U.S. policy in Syria, a growing cadre of hawkish Democrats are putting pressure on the White House to finally outline to the public and to Congress its objectives in the protracted 2 ½ year civil war. The latest and perhaps most outspoken Democrat...

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You were wrong to support Hezbollah

You were wrong to support Hezbollah

Sheikh Hamad bin Jassem, Qatar’s prime minister and foreign affairs minister, is not the only one who said: We supported Hezbollah when it fought Israel but we are now against it because it’s fighting the Syrian people. Many are today justifying their past stances using this same excuse....

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America’s isolated stance on Syria

America’s isolated stance on Syria

American President Barack Obama’s  decision to provide the Syrian opposition with light arms and ammunition  is not considered a significant shift. It’s certainly not a strategic move either, but a limited tactical one that does not live up to the level of military escalation...

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Arab public is particularly supportive of the Syrian Revolution: 77% supported the departure of Assad

Arab public is particularly supportive of the Syrian Revolution: 77% supported the departure of Assad

On Monday, June 10, 2013, the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies announced the 2012/2013 Arab Opinion Index main findings. Conducted annually by the ACRPS, the Arab Opinion Index aims to offer information on Arab public opinion with respect to economic, social and...

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Global peace index 2013: the full list

Global peace index 2013: the full list

  The Global Peace Index for 2013 shows how world peace has changed over time - unsurprisingly, the violent conflict in Syria has had a big impact on the findings The world has become a less peaceful place according to the Institute for Economics and Peace. In their annual report, the...

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We Never Learn: Syrian Lessons from Bosnia

We Never Learn: Syrian Lessons from Bosnia

Srebrenica, 26 May 2013. I am staring at almost eight thousand tombstones. Males between twelve and eighty years old have been massacred because they believed in the wrong God. It all happened in a few days. We all know the story of Srebrenica, but when you stand in the middle of the graveyard,...

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US finds Sunni-Shia rift difficult to navigate

US finds Sunni-Shia rift difficult to navigate

A decade after the   United States ’ invasion of Iraq ignited a season of deadly bloodletting between Sunni and Shia Muslims, this ancient divide in Islam is deepening throughout the   Middle East , aggravating political and ethnic tensions, inflaming emotions and...

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Obama thinks he can solve the world’s most intractable conflicts. What if he’s wrong?

Obama thinks he can solve the world’s most intractable conflicts. What if he’s wrong?

Now that President Barack Obama has decided that the war on terror has entered a new phase, he plans to devote a greater effort -- in the immortal words of John Lennon -- to giving peace a chance. That shift is already underway. The indefatigable John Kerry seems to be engaged...

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What if al-Assad prevails?

What if al-Assad prevails?

Let’s imagine a world in which Bashar al-Assad wins a military victory, remains in power, and defies the world to deal with him. Because, unfortunately, it appears to be an all too plausible scenario. An  influx of Hezbollah fighters  from Lebanon, and support from Iran’s...

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The empire of Hezbollah

The empire of Hezbollah

Wednesday, 29 May 2013 Octavia Nasr When Israel invaded Lebanon in 1982, I was a teenager, growing up in a peaceful household that was neither political nor sectarian. Although Hezbollah  was born then as a resistance movement to Israel’s presence in Lebanon,...

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Maliki wastes Iraq’s money in Syria and Iran

Maliki wastes Iraq’s money in Syria and Iran

When I stated a few months ago that the Iraqi government’s involvement in Syria was serving the Iranian regime, I did not have enough evidence. I made these comments based on Iraqi-Iranian stories and happenings in Egypt, Lebanon, Gaza and Syria. Today the picture is much clearer and there is...

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Analysis: The road to Syria peace talks

Analysis: The road to Syria peace talks

A proposed conference in Geneva is gaining traction with the US and Russia throwing diplomatic muscle behind the plan. United Nations    New chances that international peace talks will take place in Geneva in the next month hang in the balance of ongoing diplomatic...

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Iranian site severely damaged by Israeli airstrikes: satellite images      Deal reached to evacuate pro-regime Syria towns: activist group      Israel prepared for ‘any scenario’ in Gaza: Netanyahu      Nearly 270 undocumented migrants held across Turkey      Iran resumes air flights to Iraq’s Najaf      Assad forces take strategic hilltop in southwestern Syria      After reprieve, Britain's May faces Brexit battle in parliament on trade      Russian establishment chalks up Trump summit as a win for Putin