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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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Trump's Syria strategy slowly emerges out of the smoke

Trump's Syria strategy slowly emerges out of the smoke

( The New Arab )- Though still evolving, President Donald Trump's plans for Syria have come into clearer view since he ordered cruise missiles fired on a Syrian air base to punish Assad for a chemical weapons attack. The strategy breaks down into three basic phases: defeating the Islamic State...

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Could Asma al-Assad be stripped of her British citizenship?

Could Asma al-Assad be stripped of her British citizenship?

( The Guardian )- Is Asma al-Assad a war criminal? Is she a threat to British national security? These are the questions the home secretary will consider if she gives any attention to the call by the Liberal Democrat’s foreign affairs spokesman Tom Brake that she withdraw the Syrian...

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Inside the Arab mind: Questions on Syria and beyond

Inside the Arab mind: Questions on Syria and beyond

( The New Arab )- Over the past two centuries, Arabs have asked themselves an endless stream of questions. The appropriate role of Islam in politics; the dialectic relationship between tradition and modernity; the pros and cons of liberalism and socialism; the meaning and purpose of a true...

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Assad’s departure still non-starter for Putin

Assad’s departure still non-starter for Putin

( Al-Monitor )- Maxim Suchkov writes that following the visit of US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Moscow this week, “the departure of President Bashar al-Assad was and remains a non-starter for Russia. What neither Lavrov nor Putin would probably say to Tillerson, but do expect him to...

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Iran Is Still Using Pseudo-Civilian Airlines to Resupply Assad

Iran Is Still Using Pseudo-Civilian Airlines to Resupply Assad

( Washington Institute fro Near East Policy )- As the aviation community and international media fixate on recent Boeing and Airbus orders by Iranian airlines, Tehran continues to quietly purchase secondhand aircraft and parts through smaller companies, actively circumventing...

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The organisation ridding the world of chemical weapons

The organisation ridding the world of chemical weapons

( The New Arab )- Russia criticised the world's chemical weapons watchdog for not sending experts to the site of an alleged chemical attack in Syria, saying it was "unacceptable to analyse events from a distance". But the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) is in a...

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The Islamic State has tunnels everywhere. It’s making ISIS much harder to defeat

The Islamic State has tunnels everywhere. It’s making ISIS much harder to defeat

( Washington Post )- Yesterday, the United States dropped the “mother of all bombs” on a network of Islamic State caves and tunnels in Afghanistan. The military said its spectacular use of force was necessary to destroy the underground terror hideout (though it's not clear that the MOAB was...

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Regime change in Syria? That would be a mistake

Regime change in Syria? That would be a mistake

( The Guardian )- The US military strike against the Shayrat military base, in response to a brutal chemical weapons attack on civilians in the rebel-held area of Khan Sheikhoun, has the Twitterverse and media fulminating over the idea of US-led regime change in Syria. Now to be fair, no one...

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Trump’s unpredictability demands European steadiness

Trump’s unpredictability demands European steadiness

( The Guardian )- Rex Tillerson’s plane touched down in Moscow on Tuesday amid a smoky haze caused by a fire at a nearby rubbish dump. More than one observer found the metaphor irresistible. The US approach to Syria – the term “policy” would dignify it with a coherence it does not...

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Why Trump’s missiles are shaking Putin’s home front

Why Trump’s missiles are shaking Putin’s home front

( The Guardian )- Many reasons were advanced for Donald Trump’s decision to order last week’s strike on a Syrian airfield. In addition to the justifications he gave – the US national interest, the need to demonstrate that the use of chemical weapons had a cost, the emotional response to...

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Susan Rice’s claim that Obama got Syria to ‘verifiably give up its chemical weapons stockpile’

Susan Rice’s claim that Obama got Syria to ‘verifiably give up its chemical weapons stockpile’

( The Washington Post )- “We were able to find a solution that didn’t necessitate the use of force that actually removed the chemical weapons that were known from Syria, in a way that the use of force would never have accomplished. Our aim in contemplating the use of force following the use...

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Is Iraq poised for large-scale military involvement in Syria?

Is Iraq poised for large-scale military involvement in Syria?

( Al-Monitor )- With the Islamic State (IS) nearly defeated in Iraq, Baghdad and Damascus have remarkably stepped up security and military cooperation. On March 29, the Iraqi Federal Intelligence and Investigation Agency announced that, through coordination between the two countries, the Syrian...

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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