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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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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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Here’s how German courts are planning to prosecute Syrian war crimes

Here’s how German courts are planning to prosecute Syrian war crimes

( The Washington Post )- Today’s news from Syria, where an apparent chemical weapons attack has taken the lives of dozens of civilians (including children), reminds us once again of the desperate need for justice for those who have suffered atrocities in that country’s civil war. Yet there...

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Russia, US and military intervention in Syria: what next after missile strikes?

Russia, US and military intervention in Syria: what next after missile strikes?

( The Guardian )- Is regime change in Syria back on the US agenda? For most of Syria’s six-year civil war the US has been pushing for the departure of Bashar al-Assad, even if former president Barack Obama was unwilling to use military options to remove him. Donald Trump had conspicuously...

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Was Trump’s Syria strike a moral impulse or a policy change?

Was Trump’s Syria strike a moral impulse or a policy change?

( Washington Post )- It is either a turning point or a welcome aberration that President Trump found the cruelly extinguished lives of Syrian children to be compelling (or at least contributory) in his decision to use force in Syria. The nerve gas attack by the Bashar al-Assad regime, he said,...

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What We Know and Don’t Know About the Missile Attack on Syria

What We Know and Don’t Know About the Missile Attack on Syria

( New York Times )- President Trump ordered a barrage of missiles to strike an airfield in Syria on Thursday evening in response to the use of chemical weapons by Bashar al-Assad, the president of Syria. Here are some things we know — and don’t know — about the president’s actions....

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Will Assad's renewed atrocities galvanise Trump, where Obama failed?

Will Assad's renewed atrocities galvanise Trump, where Obama failed?

( The New Arab )- President Donald Trump is not known for his ideological and political constancy, but he came into office having actually been relatively consistent in his rhetoric on Syria.  For Trump, the major focus was on eliminating the Islamic State (IS); the Kurdish PKK was...

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Should I Run for My Life or Stay With My Patients?

Should I Run for My Life or Stay With My Patients?

( New York Times )- On March 25, an orthopedic surgeon named Ali Darwish was operating on a patient in a suburb of Hama, Syria, when two barrel bombs were dropped at the entrance of the underground hospital where he was working. Soon, a strong smell of chlorine spread throughout the hospital....

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Did the US, Turkey reach understanding on Assad?

Did the US, Turkey reach understanding on Assad?

(Al-Monitor)- Is it a coincidence that the Trump administration’s flurry of statements that it no longer actively seeks the departure of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad came during US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s visit to Turkey last week? In a press availability with Turkish...

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 How the Syrian Civil War Has Transformed Hezbollah

 How the Syrian Civil War Has Transformed Hezbollah

By Jesse Rosenfeld (The Nation)-  The rattle of tracer fire jolts a cellphone camera resting in the gun hole of an upper-level apartment on a shelled-out east Aleppo street. Moments after the Hezbollah fighter has fired incendiary ammunition into the neighborhood below, it’s enveloped...

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Trump said he'd stop dragging us into war. That's yet another fat lie

Trump said he'd stop dragging us into war. That's yet another fat lie

(The Guardian)- President Trump told a group of senators this week that the US military was “doing very well” in Iraq. “The results are very, very good,” Trump said. The families of the hundreds of innocents who have been killed in US airstrikes since Trump became president might...

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In Syria, grass-roots activists hold the key to the future

In Syria, grass-roots activists hold the key to the future

Six long years ago, on March 15, 2011, Syrian people flooded the streets to demand their right to live free and dignified lives. They demanded freedom of expression and assembly. And they wanted to be able to advance economically without having to prove their allegiance to the oligarchy of...

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In Raqqa, Signs of Faltering Islamic State Rule

In Raqqa, Signs of Faltering Islamic State Rule

(Wall Street Journal)- Hundreds of Islamic State loyalists in recent days have fled the group’s de facto Syrian capital of Raqqa, where emptying streets and a lack of water and electricity point to the extremists’ crumbling control. Raqqa residents said Islamic State’s feared religious...

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Is Manbij the latest Kurdish poke in Erdogan's eye?

Is Manbij the latest Kurdish poke in Erdogan's eye?

(Al-Monitor)- As Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was declaring in February that after taking over al-Bab, Turkey would proceed to Manbij and then to Raqqa, Al-Monitor was meeting in Manbij with Adnan Abu Amjad, general commander of the Manbij Military Council. The day of the meeting,...

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Tabqa airbase to be U.S. substitute for Turkish Incirlik base: opinion

Tabqa airbase to be U.S. substitute for Turkish Incirlik base: opinion

By Ismail Ayoub (Zaman Al Wasl)- American Special Forces executed a tactical airdrop in Tabaqa airbase using Osprey v22 helicopters, the most sophisticated in the world. As a result of the attack, American and Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) took control of the airport from Islamic State...

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Will Hezbollah remain in Syria forever?

Will Hezbollah remain in Syria forever?

(News Week)- In a recent interview with Al-Mayadeen television, Hezbollah’s number two, Sheikh Naim Qassem, insisted that “Hezbollah would be the one deciding when to leave Syria, “which will take place when the party is guaranteed that ‘Syria as a resistance’ will remain.”...

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Revolution's anniversary has no taste in eastern Syria

Revolution's anniversary has no taste in eastern Syria

  (Zaman Al Wasl)- No celebrations reported by the sixth anniversary of the Syrian revolution in eastern Syria since the oil-and-ethnic rich region has been turned into a battering battleground between regime forces, Kurdish militias and ISIS and turned into The Revolution's flag...

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