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The Syrian revolution: Between negotiating and being used as a bargaining chip

The Syrian revolution: Between negotiating and being used as a bargaining chip

Saudi Arabia's foreign ministry announced this week it will host a meeting of the  Syrian opposition  later this month. The meeting, which will be held in Riyadh, aims to bring together opposition factions and form a joint negotiating delegation ahead of a new round of UN-brokered...

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The Israeli-Saudi alliance beating the drums of war

The Israeli-Saudi alliance beating the drums of war

Over the past 24 hours, the drumbeat of war in the Middle East has risen to a fever-pitch. Saudi Arabia has  provoked  both an internal domestic, and a foreign crisis to permit Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to realise his grandiose vision of the Saudi state. Internally, Salman...

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Assad and Israel take advantage of clashes between Druze, rebels

Assad and Israel take advantage of clashes between Druze, rebels

(Zaman Al Wasl)- The incitement and exploitation among the Druze community have reached a momentum after clashes with Syrian rebels in Hadar town near near the Israeli-Occupied Golan Heights  following the  Syrian regime's attempts to control Beit Jinn town...

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Islamic State guerrilla attacks point to its future strategy

Islamic State guerrilla attacks point to its future strategy

Syrian and Iraqi forces closing in on the last scraps of Islamic State’s caliphate straddling the remote border area between the two countries have already witnessed the jihadists’ likely response. While their comrades mounted last stands in their Syrian capital of Raqqa and the...

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ISIL and the numbers game: what exactly is the size of its army?

ISIL and the numbers game: what exactly is the size of its army?

(The National)-  ISIL’s loss of Raqqa last week  is an appropriate time to look back on an aspect of the war long taken at face value, namely the true number of those who joined the organisation. Forty months of fighting since the group seized one third of Iraq and half of Syria can...

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Mideast Conflicts Flare Up as ISIS Fades

Mideast Conflicts Flare Up as ISIS Fades

Islamic State may still be around, but the Middle East has moved on. The  extremist group’s ouster from its main remaining stronghold of Raqqa  on Tuesday is a watershed moment. But, as Islamic State’s once vast territory has shrunk to a few dwindling pockets in eastern Syria...

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EU Officials urge Opposition to Accept Assad

EU Officials urge Opposition to Accept Assad

By Abdullah Ghadawi (Zaman Al Wasl)- The major shift in the European political  stance over Bashar al-Assad’s future and it role in the the transitional period is no longer a subject to analysis or speculation.  On more than one occasion, the European Union (EU) has...

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Syrian Pound: Causes of Stability and Forecasts

Syrian Pound: Causes of Stability and Forecasts

By Fuad Abdulaziz (Eqtsad)- Many Syrians are asking about the status of their Syrian Pound after a year of stability against the U.S. Dollar after it has witnessed significant declines compared to 2016. The Syrian Pound exceeded the 600 Pound barrier in 2016 against the Dollar before...

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Palestinian reconciliation: Why is it likely to succeed now?

Palestinian reconciliation: Why is it likely to succeed now?

By Azzam Tamimi (Middle East Eye)- For a change, all parties concerned seem to be eager to see Palestinian reconciliation succeed. Each player has its own reasons, of course. Yet, it would not have been possible to come this far so quickly had it not been for the deepening humanitarian...

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Iraq Kurdish vote may benefit Syrian Kurds, say their leaders

Iraq Kurdish vote may benefit Syrian Kurds, say their leaders

The Iraqi Kurdish vote for independence could bolster Syria’s own Kurds if it pushes the Syrian government to negotiate over autonomy, Syrian Kurdish leaders said on Wednesday. Top Kurdish politician Ilham Ahmed told Reuters that officials from Syria’s Kurdish-led regions had...

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Kurdish referendum set to plunge Iraq into existential crisis

Kurdish referendum set to plunge Iraq into existential crisis

(Middle East Monitor)- As the Iraqi Kurdish administration continues to  defy international opinion  by pressing ahead with its plans to hold an advisory independence referendum next Monday, Iraq’s two most powerful neighbouring countries have stepped up rhetorical opposition to the...

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Why Syria hasn't retaliated to the alleged Israeli strike

Why Syria hasn't retaliated to the alleged Israeli strike

Syria didn’t retaliate to the airstrike, which it has attributed to Israel, on a missile-production plant in the west of the country on Thursday. The statement by the Syrian military was carefully crafted and low on detail. The release described the bombed facility, part of the Scientific...

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Euphrates Shield revisited

Euphrates Shield revisited

We need to first look at why and how Ankara decided to carry out Operation Euphrates Shield through its own military capabilities. In order to answer this question, we must first refer to Turkey’s threat perception at that time. Prior to Operation Euphrates Shield, the National...

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The Israelis tried to cut their losses in Syria. They failed

The Israelis tried to cut their losses in Syria. They failed

(The Middle East Eye)- As Iran consolidates its presence and influence in Syria, Israel fears that its "Syrian policy" is collapsing. To cut its losses, the Jewish state has embarked on a new and urgent diplomatic-intelligence initiative spearheaded by Mossad chief Yossi Cohen. On...

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The Battle for Raqqa: A War of Tactics and Caution

The Battle for Raqqa: A War of Tactics and Caution

By Abdullah Ghadawi ( Atlantic Council )- The base of the Islamic State’s (ISIS, ISIL, Daesh) power is in Raqqa and Mosul and is connected with each side deploying fighters across the border in mass. But while the United States and the Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) took back Mosul, the...

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New U.S. plan for Syria gives Assad the upper hand

New U.S. plan for Syria gives Assad the upper hand

By Abdullah Ghadawi (Zaman Al Wasl)- The Syrian arena is witnessing today more than ever major transformations that has strategic dimensions at the political and military levels following successful truces in several regions and the activation of the plan of de-escalation zones,...

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Can the latest attempt at a ceasefire in Syria succeed?

Can the latest attempt at a ceasefire in Syria succeed?

(The Economist)- The guns have fallen silent over southern Syria. Under a deal brokered by Russia and America, the Syrian regime and its rebel adversaries, which have fought for six bloody years, have agreed to stop killing each other in parts of the country. Since the truce came into force on...

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Newest Russia threat? military challenges U.S. and Europe by winning in Syria

Newest Russia threat? military challenges U.S. and Europe by winning in Syria

(Newsweek)- Russia's support for the Syrian government in its war against jihadists and other insurgents has given Moscow a newfound military foothold in the Mediterranean, one that could present a serious challenge to another foe: NATO. The Institute for the Study of War, a...

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Driver kills nine, injures 16 plowing van onto Toronto sidewalk: police      Salah: Roma rescue, to Liverpool revival      Rebels kill 23 troops in northeast Homs      Senior Houthi official killed in coalition air raid last week: Houthi report      Syria security chief refuses to appear in Lebanon court      Dozens killed in regime assault on Yarmouk camp: monitor      PYD allows 50 displaced families to return back home in Hasaka      Daesh threatens Iraq polling stations ahead of vote