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Trump said he would ‘take out’ the families of ISIS fighters. Did an airstrike in Syria do just that?

Trump said he would ‘take out’ the families of ISIS fighters. Did an airstrike in Syria do just that?

( The Washington Post )- Back when he was still a candidate and not president of the United States, Donald Trump had a suggestion for winning the battle against the Islamic State: “Take out their families.” “The other thing with the terrorists is you have to take out their families,...

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Are the U.S. and Iran on a Collision Course in Syria?

Are the U.S. and Iran on a Collision Course in Syria?

BY DAN DE LUCE, PAUL MCLEARY ( Foreign Policy )- A U.S. air raid against Iranian-backed fighters in southern Syria last week represents a volatile new phase of the conflict that could trigger a wider confrontation between the United States and Iran — and their allies on the ground....

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How Trump could deal a blow to Iran and help save Syria

How Trump could deal a blow to Iran and help save Syria

( The Washington Post )- Despite President Trump’s reluctance to get deeply involved in the Syrian civil war, the United States now finds itself in the middle of an escalating battle in the country’s south that last week led to a clash between the U.S. military and Iranian-backed...

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Syria Has Effectively Ceased to Exist

Syria Has Effectively Ceased to Exist

By Jonathan Spyer ( Foreign Policy )- On my last night in Damascus, some younger members of the Information Ministry-sponsored delegation in which I was taking part decided to have a drink. It was late April, and the bars and restaurants were doing good business in the cool and breezy...

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What Trump can learn from previous US presidents' Mideast visits

What Trump can learn from previous US presidents' Mideast visits

( The Middle East Eye )- US presidents tend to either sink or swim during forays to the Middle East. So when the current commander-in-chief, Donald Trump, boards Air Force One for his first foreign presidential venture to Saudi Arabia on Thursday, he may benefit from a recap of his...

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Why southern Syria remains Jordan’s biggest security threat

Why southern Syria remains Jordan’s biggest security threat

( Al-Monitor )- Jordan is anxiously watching military and security developments along its northern border with war-torn Syria, according to a number of Jordanian military and strategic analysts with whom Al-Monitor recently spoke amid heightened tensions between Amman and Damascus. Since King...

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Al-Assad’s crematorium: he cannot hide his tracks

Al-Assad’s crematorium: he cannot hide his tracks

( The Guardian )- The Assad regime in Syria is not only responsible for the worst state-orchestrated mass killings so far this century, it now appears to be trying to cover up at least some of its tracks in the belief that this will one day help it evade accountability when the war is over. It...

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Expectations low as Erdogan arrives in DC

Expectations low as Erdogan arrives in DC

( Al-Monitor )- Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrives in Washington today to hold what promises to be a bumpy meeting with his American counterpart Donald Trump. The pair are expected to meet at the White House May 16 and much of the discussion will likely focus on a controversial US...

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If London were Aleppo – 4.3 million dead or displaced

If London were Aleppo – 4.3 million dead or displaced

The bombed-out buildings of Aleppo may bear little resemblance to London’s gleaming skyscrapers but the two cities once had much in common, something German artist Hans Hack has seized on to bring home the reality of war.  Before Syria’s 6-year-old conflict, Aleppo, like London, was...

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Key opposition group on brink of collapse, last chance talk

Key opposition group on brink of collapse, last chance talk

By Abdullah Ghadawi (Zaman Al Wasl)- The atmosphere of tension has returned to the corridors of the Syrian National Coalition after the recent election battle in which Riad Saif and his supporters wan the presidency. These elections have left a situation of political...

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Trump is getting closer to collusion with Russia in Syria

Trump is getting closer to collusion with Russia in Syria

By Josh Rogin ( Washington Post )- President Trump’s Wednesday meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov at the White House was not primarily about sanctions or Crimea or even Russian interference in the 2016 election. According to Trump, the U.S. government now looks favorably...

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France: presidential candidates weight on Syria conflict

France: presidential candidates weight on Syria conflict

 By Ethar Abdulhaq (Zaman Al Wasl)- The French debate between the presidential candidates Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen was almost a debate on the Syrian issue, or so it looked like when it came to discussing the file of security and terrorism as it is the most delicate file to play...

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The new cold war in Syria

The new cold war in Syria

By Hussain Nadim ( The Express Tribune )- If it was truly about Syria or defeating the ISIS, the mess that we see in the region today would have been solved relatively easier. The unfolding of recent events, including the US strategic bombing to ‘save’ human lives, is a classic Cold War...

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The scramble for eastern Syria: A new Great Game

The scramble for eastern Syria: A new Great Game

( Middle East Eye )- After the Syrian regime’s recapture of Aleppo in December 2016 and the consequential pushing and cornering of major rebel forces into Idlib, the tide of the Syrian civil war was decisively turned in favour of the government. Ever since, it has mainly sought to...

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This Yemeni city risks becoming the next Aleppo. Will America be complicit?

This Yemeni city risks becoming the next Aleppo. Will America be complicit?

( The Guardian )- My life in Yemen is dominated by fear. As director of the Sana’a Center for Strategic Studies, and one of the few remaining independent voices in Yemen, I have been detained, seen colleagues assassinated, and buried friends killed by Saudi airstrikes. Now, half of my country...

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Is Turkey trying to disrupt Raqqa operation?

Is Turkey trying to disrupt Raqqa operation?

( Al-Monitor )- Turkey appears to be hoping that its bombing this week of Sinjar in Iraq and Rojava in northern Syria will enable it to intervene in those countries on a larger scale. Since Turkey launched Operation Euphrates Shield in Syria in August 2016, attacks against organizations...

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One Country’s War Changed the World

One Country’s War Changed the World

( New York Times )- The world seems awash in chaos and uncertainty, perhaps more so than at any point since the end of the Cold War. Authoritarian-leaning leaders are on the rise, and liberal democracy itself seems under siege. The post-World War II order is fraying as fighting spills across...

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Chemical Weapons Aren’t the Real Problem in Syria

Chemical Weapons Aren’t the Real Problem in Syria

( Foreign Policy )- In 2012, President Barack Obama warned that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s use of chemical weapons was a “red line” that would “change [the] calculus” of U.S. policy toward the Syrian civil war. A year later, faced with evidence that Assad had used sarin gas...

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House speaker asks Trump to delay State of Union speech      Ankara condemns terrorist attack in Manbij, Syria      French govt seeks new Renault boss, ditches Ghosn      Japan city experiments with robots to help residents      US' Pence claims Daesh defeated hours after attack      Turkish interior minister meets Somali counterpart      Tehran condemns journalist’s arrest by US authorities      Israeli energy minister visits historical Cairo mosque