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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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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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The Error of Arming the Syrian Kurds

The Error of Arming the Syrian Kurds

( The New York Times )- The United States recently committed itself to arming the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, known as the Y.P.G., to help evict the Islamic State from its Syrian stronghold, Raqqa. This decision is likely to prove deeply troublesome, risking the regional stability...

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Omran  trapped between Zain and regime propaganda

Omran trapped between Zain and regime propaganda

By Naser Ali (Zaman Al Wasl)- Is Zain the Kuwaiti telecommunication company’s recent advertisement connecting Omran Dokneish, a Syrian child, with the scene of a suicide attack aimed at presenting the regime as innocent and blaming al-Qaeda and the Jihadist factions for all the violations...

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Could Syria's 'prosecutor without a tribunal' work?

Could Syria's 'prosecutor without a tribunal' work?

( Al-Jazeera )- When Mahmoud Nowar was released from detention, doctors told his father that he was so withered and malnourished that he would only have survived a few more days of starvation and torture at the hands of Syrian government forces. The pro-democracy activist and former resident...

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