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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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Anne Frank Today Is a Syrian Girl

Anne Frank Today Is a Syrian Girl

(New York Times)- On April 30, 1941, a Jewish man here in Amsterdam wrote a desperate letter to an American friend, pleading for help emigrating to the United States. “U.S.A. is the only country we could go to,” he wrote. “It is for the sake of the children mainly.” A...

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Why Ahrar Al Sham will soon rip itself into pieces

Why Ahrar Al Sham will soon rip itself into pieces

By Hassan Hassan (The National)- Peace talks between representatives of the Syrian regime and the rebels are scheduled to take place today in Astana, the Kazakh capital. These Russian-sponsored talks were made possible by the expulsion of the rebels from eastern Aleppo on December 23....

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Millions displaced and 500,000 dead – will new peace talks end Syria’s agony?

Millions displaced and 500,000 dead – will new peace talks end Syria’s agony?

(The Guardian)- Key parties in Syria’s brutal civil war, now stretching towards the end of its sixth year, will meet in the Kazakh capital of Astana this week for a new round of peace talks. Organised by Russia and Turkey, and backed by Iran, these are the latest in many attempts to...

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Revolution helped unleash jihadism in Tunisia. Democracy can resolve it

Revolution helped unleash jihadism in Tunisia. Democracy can resolve it

(Middle East Eye)- Tunisia is not simply a “jihadist beacon”, but that may be the only thing you associate it with given the way some European commentators have discussed the country recently. Against all the odds - deep ideological rifts, a fragile state in a chaotic regional context,...

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What prompted Russia’s shift in stance on Syria opposition?

What prompted Russia’s shift in stance on Syria opposition?

(Al-Monitor)- When 2016 was drawing to a close, Moscow surprisingly agreed to divide Syrian warring factions into “good” and “bad” guys and to recognize the idea of the “moderate opposition.” On Jan. 10, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov announced the preparation of talks between...

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Friction deepens among Al Qaeda factions in Syria

Friction deepens among Al Qaeda factions in Syria

By Hassan Hassan (The  National)- Al Qaeda in Syria has faced – and survived – two upheavals since 2011. Today, the organisation might be facing its third major test, and the new development brings with it a fresh challenge for Syria. The first challenge was the dispute...

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Syria's tribal figures seek cantons and power only- Opinion

Syria's tribal figures seek cantons and power only- Opinion

By Mohaled al-Hussein (Zaman Al Wasl)- The Syrian regime backed by Iran and Russia, seeks to recruit the largest number of young men from the region of eastern Syria into the “Al-Jazira and Euphrates Mobilization” militias, the Fifth Legion- Storm Troopers, and the National Defense among...

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Two sides of Syria: Damascus and Aleppo

Two sides of Syria: Damascus and Aleppo

(Al- Monitor)- Lebanon is a country of unsettled scores. Each time I visit the country, I keep seeing and feeling the burdensome legacy of its 15-year civil war, no matter how many years had gone by since it ended in 1990. What would I find in neighboring Syria, as its nearly 6-year-old civil...

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Assad Has Won in Syria. But Syria Hardly Exists.

Assad Has Won in Syria. But Syria Hardly Exists.

(New York Times)- Now that forces supporting the Syrian government have completed the takeover of Aleppo, and Russia, Turkey and Iran have negotiated a tenuous cease-fire, it is more than likely that President Bashar al-Assad and the regime he oversees will continue to govern Syria, in one form...

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Putin and Assad could face justice for war crimes in Syria

Putin and Assad could face justice for war crimes in Syria

There seems to be no way for the international community to stop the ongoing war crimes being committed by the Syrian regime and its Russian allies, especially in Aleppo. But by brazenly flouting international law, leaders and rank-and-file officials in both countries are opening themselves up...

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Patrick Seale wrote the book on Syria but misread its latest chapter

Patrick Seale wrote the book on Syria but misread its latest chapter

Anyone who has spent time living in or studying the Middle East will be familiar with the work of Patrick Seale, who died last weekend in London after a battle with brain cancer. Seale was a journalist and long-term observer of the region and wrote what is still, two decades after it was...

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Obama’s foreign policy was error after error

Obama’s foreign policy was error after error

When Barack Obama moves two miles from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to 2446 Belmont Road in Washington’s Kalorama neighborhood, he will live half a mile from 2340 S Street, where Woodrow Wilson spent his three post-presidential years. Wilson’s embittering foreign policy failure was the...

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Battle for Mosul is emerging as a lost opportunity

Battle for Mosul is emerging as a lost opportunity

By Hassan Hassan (The National)- The battle for Mosul resumed on Thursday after a two-week operational pause. During the pause, according to Arabic reports, Baghdad came under increased pressure to allow at least two militia organisations to join the operations inside Mosul. Banning such...

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The Assad conundrum

The Assad conundrum

(Al Jazeera)- It is safe to say that, until recently, the debate over Syria's political future came down to one thing: the fate of President Bashar al-Assad. With his victory in Aleppo, and the firm support of Iran and Russia, it is also fairly safe to say that the Syrian president's future is...

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How Tunisia Became a Top Source of ISIS Recruits

How Tunisia Became a Top Source of ISIS Recruits

(Wall Street Journal)- The cradle of the Arab Spring, Tunisia remains the freest Arab democracy. It has one of the region’s most developed economies and highest literacy rates. And it is also by far the largest source of foreign fighters heading to join Islamic State in Syria and Iraq....

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How Obama's Iranian nuclear deal enabled tragedy in Aleppo

How Obama's Iranian nuclear deal enabled tragedy in Aleppo

(Washington Examiner)- In his year-end press conference, President Obama reflected on the tragedy that has befallen Aleppo, Syria, where Iranian-backed militias and Russian warplanes helped Syrian dictator Bashar Assad reclaim the city and conduct a crime against humanity rivaling Rwanda and...

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