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'Stop being so pessimistic about Saudi Arabia’s reforms'

'Stop being so pessimistic about Saudi Arabia’s reforms'

Saudi Arabia is debunking age-old stereotypes one theatrical move at a time. The significance of this remark will not be lost on those following the reforms taking place at large, primarily in Saudi but also in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region as a whole. In...

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Opposition failed 'Sochi Conspiracy' - Opinion

Opposition failed 'Sochi Conspiracy' - Opinion

By  Yasser Ashkar The Assad regime had a dialogue with itself in Sochi. The event had more of a carnival atmosphere than that of a serious peace talks while the lives of civilians in Syria and the future of millions of Syrian refugees still hung in the balance.    There was...

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Syrian army widows suffer blackmail, harassment and neglect

Syrian army widows suffer blackmail, harassment and neglect

By Naser Ali (Zaman Al Wasl)- Under the title "Unarmed Combatants, Houses with Concerns and Expectations", an investigation tells the stories of the lives of a group of women of officers and militia mercenaries who have been neglected and blackmailed by state officials and institutions...

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Russia has fooled the U.S. again in Syria

Russia has fooled the U.S. again in Syria

Last year Russia brokered a series of cease-fires, or “de-escalation zones,” in Syria, including one with the United States covering the southwest corner of the country. The Kremlin claimed its aim was to wind down the country’s civil war and lay the groundwork for a peace deal between...

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How the Security Council Failed the Syria Chemical Weapons Investigators and Victims

How the Security Council Failed the Syria Chemical Weapons Investigators and Victims

On Aug. 21, 2013, a Damascus suburb called Ghouta was attacked with sarin gas, resulting in the deaths of hundreds of civilians. President Barack Obama had warned that the United States would take military action if President Bashar al-Assad of Syria used chemical weapons. The attack on...

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Bashar al-Assad is taking a sickening victory lap through Russia

Bashar al-Assad is taking a sickening victory lap through Russia

Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad has spent the past six years fighting a brutal civil war that has killed at least 465,000 of his own people, leveled major Syrian cities like Aleppo, displaced millions of desperate civilians, and helped trigger the worst refugee crisis since World War II....

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Syria's war has produced no victory, only victims

Syria's war has produced no victory, only victims

It's very easy to look at the current military situation in Syria and conclude that Assad has won, but such a denouement of the war is simplistic. Assad has not won, but rather, if "victory" can be claimed at all, Iran and Russia are winning on Assad's behalf.   This...

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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 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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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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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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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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Iraq receives 36 out of 73 Russian T-90 battle tanks      Libyan coast guards rescue 324 migrants in open water      At least 88 people killed in regime offensive on besieged Ghouta      FSA seeks solution to detained ISIS militants      YPG denies deal for army to enter Afrin      Saudi foreign minister rejects Qatari proposal of EU-style security pact      Abbas to seek wider peace process in UN speech: officials      Iraq hands 6-year jail term to German militant teen: judiciary