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Hundreds of Iranians have been killed in Syria. Why does Tehran fight on?

Hundreds of Iranians have been killed in Syria. Why does Tehran fight on?

(Middle East Eye)- The announcement earlier this week by the head of Iran's Martyrs Foundation that 2,100 combatants had been killed in Syria while "defending the shrine," has placed the extent of Iran’s human sacrifice into sharp relief. The term "defending the shrine" (Modafeaaneh...

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Hope for justice in Syria from an unlikely source

Hope for justice in Syria from an unlikely source

(Al-Jazeera)- Six years into the carnage in Syria, atrocious crimes run rampant, with savage abuses committed against all groups in the devastated country, and the murderous regime, abetted by powerful allies, is still in power. The United Nations Security Council remains in a deadlock and...

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The Winners and Losers in Geneva

The Winners and Losers in Geneva

By Abdullah Ghadawi (Zaman Al Wasl)- Members of the opposition's negotiating committee disagree among themselves about how to evaluate the results of the fourth round of the Geneva Peace Talks. The disparity in their positions appeared clearly as some consider the talks resembled those that...

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Will Hezbollah join Palestinian factions in confrontation with Israel?

Will Hezbollah join Palestinian factions in confrontation with Israel?

(Al-Monitor)- On Feb. 21, Ramadan Abdullah Shalah, secretary-general of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement, gave a speech at the Sixth International Conference in Support of the Palestinian Intifada in Tehran, during which he called for the need to unify fronts between Palestinian factions...

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In leaked document, the case for Trump’s ‘Muslim ban’ takes another huge hit

In leaked document, the case for Trump’s ‘Muslim ban’ takes another huge hit

THE MORNING PLUM: We keep hearing that President Trump will roll out the new version of his travel ban any day now. The White House delayed it earlier this week, because Trump advisers reportedly thought it could step on the good press he’d earned from his speech, thus inadvertently...

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What is Russia’s role in Syria and the 'post-West' world order?

What is Russia’s role in Syria and the 'post-West' world order?

(Al-Monitor)- It’s become customary not to expect much from the Syria peace conferences. The warring parties argue around same mutual claims, often stick to maximalist positions and frequently seem more interested in trying to project a sympathetic image to outside observers than in discussing...

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How the Oscars put Syria in the spotlight

How the Oscars put Syria in the spotlight

(Washington Post)- Sitting 7,000 miles from the fuss and frills of Sunday's Academy Awards, it was Raed Saleh, dressed in a simple T-shirt, who delivered one of the most powerful messages of the night. In a short acceptance speech — posted online after a documentary about his Syrian...

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Why Moscow now sees value in Syrian local councils

Why Moscow now sees value in Syrian local councils

(Al-Monitor)- The major political slogan of the Bolshevik Party leading up to the 1917 Great October Socialist Revolution and the uprising itself, “All Power to the Soviets!” is now relevant to Syria. The long-lasting civil war in Syria killed centralized government stone dead and caused...

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Has the military wing tightened its grip over Hamas?

Has the military wing tightened its grip over Hamas?

(Al-Monitor)- All Palestinians have been focused on Hamas’ internal elections, which started Feb. 3 in Gaza and ended with Yahya Sanwar at the head of Hamas’ political bureau in Gaza. Sanwar succeeds Ismail Haniyeh, who is competing to replace Khaled Meshaal as the political bureau head...

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Why is Jordan shifting its Syria strategy?

Why is Jordan shifting its Syria strategy?

(Al-Monitor)- There are strong signals coming from Amman that Jordan is calibrating its strategy on Syria in light of recent political and military developments. At the heart of this shift lies Jordan’s readiness to chart a more independent course in dealing with the regime of Syrian President...

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Newly-freed detainee Rasha Sharbaji to negotiate in Geneva

Newly-freed detainee Rasha Sharbaji to negotiate in Geneva

By Ali Eid (Zaman al-Wasl)- During a prisoner swap on the outskirts of Hama, Rasha Sharbaji from Daraya was released few days ago. Rasha spent around three years in Assad prisons. She was a mother of three children before she was detained and became mother of five. She had a twin in the...

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Syria's plight must not be allowed to slip from the world's conscience

Syria's plight must not be allowed to slip from the world's conscience

(The Guardian)- The focus of the plight of the Syrian people has shifted away from the apex of horror that was the suffering caused by the siege of eastern Aleppo. Now we must not let the lives of millions of people in desperate need across Syria slip from the world’s conscience. In 2016...

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Canada must act now to get international justice in Syria

Canada must act now to get international justice in Syria

(The Globe And Mail)- It has been nearly two months since Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces captured the besieged city of Aleppo, with support from Russia and Iran, wreaking carnage upon the civilian population and thrusting the Syrian crisis back onto the front pages of newspapers....

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How the Kremlin Manipulates Europe’s Refugee Crisis

How the Kremlin Manipulates Europe’s Refugee Crisis

By John R Schindler ( Observer )- None can now deny that the refugee crisis that descended on Europe over the last year has changed the continent’s political landscape. The arrival of millions of migrants, mainly from the Middle East and Africa, with the encouragement of some European...

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Inside the White House-Cabinet battle over Trump’s immigration order

Inside the White House-Cabinet battle over Trump’s immigration order

(Washington Post)- On the evening of Saturday, Jan. 28, as airport protests raged over President Trump’s executive order on immigration, the man charged with implementing the order, Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly, had a plan. He would issue a waiver for lawful permanent residents,...

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How the US fuelled the rise of Isis in Syria and Iraq

How the US fuelled the rise of Isis in Syria and Iraq

(The Guardian)- The war on terror, that campaign without end launched 14 years ago by George Bush, is tying itself up in ever more grotesque contortions. On Monday the trial in London of a Swedish man, Bherlin Gildo, accused of terrorism in Syria, collapsed after it became clear British...

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Why are Islamist armed groups clashing in Syria?

Why are Islamist armed groups clashing in Syria?

(Al-Jazeera)- The fresh clashes in Syria's Idlib region between a dozen important Islamist and extremist rebel movements are battles for turf and authority on the ground - but they also mirror northern Syria's ever-changing complexities, as local, regional and international actors change...

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Trump's big mistake on Syria refugees

Trump's big mistake on Syria refugees

(CNN)- On Friday, President Donald Trump signed an executive order that effectively suspends the entry of Syrian refugees into the United States indefinitely. As he signed the order, President Trump said that this was "to keep radical Islamic terrorists out of the United States." Full text...

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Daraa Offensive: Herak town is 'stricken', local council says      Turkish air strikes kill 15 Kurdish militants in northern Iraq      US-led airstrikes kill 17 people in Deir Ezzor      Trump threatens more tariffs on European Union      Airbus warns it could leave UK if no Brexit deal      Turkish army completes third round of patrols in Manbij      Musa double gives Nigeria win against Iceland      6 Palestinians injured in ongoing rallies in Gaza Strip