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Kurdish referendum set to plunge Iraq into existential crisis

Kurdish referendum set to plunge Iraq into existential crisis

(Middle East Monitor)- As the Iraqi Kurdish administration continues to  defy international opinion  by pressing ahead with its plans to hold an advisory independence referendum next Monday, Iraq’s two most powerful neighbouring countries have stepped up rhetorical opposition to the...

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Germany: Syrian refugees obliged to deal with Assad Embassy

Germany: Syrian refugees obliged to deal with Assad Embassy

(Zaman Al Wasl)- Some German provinces require refugees who want to register their children to bring documents and identity papers either from Syria or from regime embassy in Berlin. Hence refugees have two options; either to leave their children without registration which affects their...

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Why Syria hasn't retaliated to the alleged Israeli strike

Why Syria hasn't retaliated to the alleged Israeli strike

Syria didn’t retaliate to the airstrike, which it has attributed to Israel, on a missile-production plant in the west of the country on Thursday. The statement by the Syrian military was carefully crafted and low on detail. The release described the bombed facility, part of the Scientific...

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Why White Nationalists love Bashar al-Assad

Why White Nationalists love Bashar al-Assad

By Mariam Elba (The Intercept)- It shouldn't be surprising that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has become an idol among white nationalists in the United States. During the white nationalist “Unite the Right” rally several weeks ago in Charlottesville, Virginia, Baked...

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Victory Over IS on Lebanon-Syria Border Is Boon for Hezbollah

Victory Over IS on Lebanon-Syria Border Is Boon for Hezbollah

(VOA)- As convoys of the Lebanese army on Wednesday returned from a recent operation against Islamic State militants in the border region with Syria, cheering civilians showered them with rose petals and danced around them with Lebanese flags. It was a moment for Lebanon to celebrate...

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Iran is taking over Syria. Can anyone stop It?

Iran is taking over Syria. Can anyone stop It?

(The New York Times)- From the end of the Cold War until 2010, Syria, led first by President Hafez al-Assad and then by his son Bashar, had a uniquely flexible geopolitical position in the Arab world: Syria was an avowed enemy of Israel but directly negotiated with it. Syria claimed to be the...

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Trapped in the ruins of Raqqa, we’re reduced to stealing from the dead

Trapped in the ruins of Raqqa, we’re reduced to stealing from the dead

By Tim Ramadan ( The Guardian )- Around three months have passed since the Syrian Democratic Forces launched a military operation to wrest back control of Raqqa from Islamic State. These forces are backed directly by the US-led international coalition, and they have so far succeeded in...

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Euphrates Shield revisited

Euphrates Shield revisited

We need to first look at why and how Ankara decided to carry out Operation Euphrates Shield through its own military capabilities. In order to answer this question, we must first refer to Turkey’s threat perception at that time. Prior to Operation Euphrates Shield, the National...

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The Israelis tried to cut their losses in Syria. They failed

The Israelis tried to cut their losses in Syria. They failed

(The Middle East Eye)- As Iran consolidates its presence and influence in Syria, Israel fears that its "Syrian policy" is collapsing. To cut its losses, the Jewish state has embarked on a new and urgent diplomatic-intelligence initiative spearheaded by Mossad chief Yossi Cohen. On...

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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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