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The Battle for Raqqa: A War of Tactics and Caution

The Battle for Raqqa: A War of Tactics and Caution

By Abdullah Ghadawi ( Atlantic Council )- The base of the Islamic State’s (ISIS, ISIL, Daesh) power is in Raqqa and Mosul and is connected with each side deploying fighters across the border in mass. But while the United States and the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) took back Mosul, the...

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New U.S. plan for Syria gives Assad the upper hand

New U.S. plan for Syria gives Assad the upper hand

By Abdullah Ghadawi (Zaman Al Wasl)- The Syrian arena is witnessing today more than ever major transformations that has strategic dimensions at the political and military levels following successful truces in several regions and the activation of the plan of de-escalation zones,...

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Can the latest attempt at a ceasefire in Syria succeed?

Can the latest attempt at a ceasefire in Syria succeed?

(The Economist)- The guns have fallen silent over southern Syria. Under a deal brokered by Russia and America, the Syrian regime and its rebel adversaries, which have fought for six bloody years, have agreed to stop killing each other in parts of the country. Since the truce came into force on...

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Jihadist takeover in Syria's Idlib raises attack prospect

Jihadist takeover in Syria's Idlib raises attack prospect

( The Daily Mail )- The jihadist takeover of Syria's key Idlib province raises the prospect that the region could become the next target of the international participants in the country's complex war. The northern province is one of only two that have fallen from regime control since the war...

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What the demise of the CIA’s anti-Assad program means

What the demise of the CIA’s anti-Assad program means

( The Washington Post )- What did the CIA’s covert assistance program for Syrian rebels accomplish? Bizarrely, the biggest consequence may be that it helped trigger the Russian military intervention in 2015 that rescued President Bashar al-Assad — achieving the opposite of what the program...

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Newest Russia threat? military challenges U.S. and Europe by winning in Syria

Newest Russia threat? military challenges U.S. and Europe by winning in Syria

(Newsweek)- Russia's support for the Syrian government in its war against jihadists and other insurgents has given Moscow a newfound military foothold in the Mediterranean, one that could present a serious challenge to another foe: NATO. The Institute for the Study of War, a...

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Intervention in sports, not the proper role for opposition

Intervention in sports, not the proper role for opposition

By Abdul Salam Haj Bakri (Zaman Al Wasl)- The National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces has not been content with all its shortcomings on different fronts over the past years and intervened in sports to create shortcomings there too.  The free...

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ISIS and the possible scenarios after controlling Raqqa and Deir Ezzor

ISIS and the possible scenarios after controlling Raqqa and Deir Ezzor

( Juroor )- Raqqa was the first governorate to be out of the regime control, also the first governorate to be under full control of ISIS and may become the first governorate to be governed by Americans!  Regardless of the needed duration for the absolute control of the...

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With Isis expelled from Mosul, the west cannot afford to ignore Iraq once again

With Isis expelled from Mosul, the west cannot afford to ignore Iraq once again

( The Guardian )- The liberation of Mosul is complete. Islamic State is unlikely to again govern and control large swaths of territory in the near future. While the past three years of war have been brutal, there will be some justice and respite for those who have lost friends and family to...

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Self-Immolation, Catalyst of the Arab Spring, Is Now a Grim Trend

Self-Immolation, Catalyst of the Arab Spring, Is Now a Grim Trend

( New York Times )- When Adel Dridi poured gasoline on his head and set himself on fire in May, his first thought was of his mother, Dalila, whose name is roughly tattooed on his arm. But another person was also on his mind: Mohamed Bouazizi, the Tunisian street vendor whose self-immolation in...

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Do some of the Syrian citizens who lived under Isis count as collaborators?

Do some of the Syrian citizens who lived under Isis count as collaborators?

( Independent )- Almost exactly four years ago, a Syrian called Abu al-Zein, from the village of Katbiya in Aleppo province, appeared before the ‘General Court of the Revolutionary Police’ in the town of Deir Hafer to betray his cousins. Saeed and Ibrahim Abdul al-Ghafour, he testified,...

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As the Islamic State falls in Syria, one city offers a preview of the country’s future

As the Islamic State falls in Syria, one city offers a preview of the country’s future

( Washington Post )- The Islamic State’s headquarters in this city at the western gateway to Raqqa has been crushed like a sandcastle by American bombs. At a dam complex on the Euphrates River where the Islamic State was torturing prisoners and hurling alleged homosexuals from a giant concrete...

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Destruction of Mosul's Great Mosque holds a heritage lesson for Australia

Destruction of Mosul's Great Mosque holds a heritage lesson for Australia

( The Guardian )- The senseless destruction of the Great Mosque of al-Nuri in Mosul last week is not only a monumental loss for the people of Iraq but for all humanity. The 12th century place of worship and its famed leaning minaret were landmarks in the Old City and featured on local currency....

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What do we know about regime's use of chemical weapons in Syria?

What do we know about regime's use of chemical weapons in Syria?

( The Guardian )- What has the White House alleged? The Syrian military is making preparations for a chemical weapons attack that “would result in the mass murder of civilians, including children”. How has the Assad regime used chemical weapons in the past? It has deployed them in...

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Animals also a victim of regime brutality: footage

Animals also a victim of regime brutality: footage

By Ethar Abdulhaq (Zaman Al Wasl)- Since the start of the revolution, Syrians are being killed and suffocated. This violence follows years of regime oppression, repression, and executions. Syrians have not even been able to raise a file against the al-Assad regime in the...

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I spent months being tortured in Assad’s prisons. Sadly, I’m far from unique

I spent months being tortured in Assad’s prisons. Sadly, I’m far from unique

( The Guardian )- For the 10 months I spent as a detainee in the prisons of Bashar al-Assad, I only saw my family in my dreams. At night, the screams would stop for an hour or two, and I could close my eyes and remember what it was like to be human. When I slept, I would return to my life....

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Syrian regime never try to recapture oil fields from ISIS

Syrian regime never try to recapture oil fields from ISIS

(Eqtsad)- Recent years witnessed the Islamic State forces taking over most of Syria’s oil production more than three years ago, and the Kurdish forces seizing the Rumailan oil fields. Throughout all this, the regime did not make any attempts to retrieve these fields, and it did not even bomb...

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The fall of Raqqa: the deadliest phase

The fall of Raqqa: the deadliest phase

( The Guardian )- The rush to Raqqa, Islamic State’s capital on the banks of the Euphrates in Syria, marks the beginning of a new and perilous phase in one of the world’s most dangerous battle zones. The capture of the capital of Isis’s self-declared caliphate would be partly symbolic –...

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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