With attention in the Middle East focussed on the Gulf crisis, the United Arab Emirates is elsewhere seeking to reshape the region in ways that could alter its power dynamics. The UAE’s latest effort concentrates on clipping the wings of Hamas and installing its own man in the Gaza Strip in a move that would likely strengthen cooperation with Israel, potentially facilitate an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement, and take the Jewish state’s increasingly close ties to the Gulf state out of the shadows.
Levant & Mesopotamia
“Various Iraqi governments employed brutal methods against the Kurds: Denial of Kurdish identity, de-Kurdification, oppression, the creation of security belts, transfer of population, and, in some cases, even ethnic cleansing.” Introduction For the greater part of the twentieth century, the Kurdish society of Iraq had been systematically oppressed by the Sunni Arab political leaders, who attempted to embed a homogenous Sunni Iraqi identity. This process of marginalization of the Kurdish identity started with the creation of the Iraqi state in 1921 and persisted until the overthrow of Saddam’s regime by US-led coalition forces in 2003. The main question here is: Why did…
The phenomenon of the Islamic State (ISIS) has deepened and worsened the instability and tensions among states in the Middle East. According to some political observers, the spread of ISIS in Syria and Iraq will transform the current political landscape of the Middle East. Today, the Kurds in both countries play a significant role all through this process. They have established strong relations with global powers so as to counter terrorism, while defending their position from ISIS attacks ever since their beginning in June 2015.
On Saturday, 06 May 2017 starts yet another effort to stop some of the carnage in Syria – the establishment of four what the Russians are calling “de-escalation” zones, a variation of no-fly zones.
Most of the states in the regions of West Asia and North Africa have failed in nation building processes. Failure of state systems and lack of national identity have led to catastrophic dilemmas in the region, one of which is the emergence of ISIS (Islamic State in Syria and Iraq). While similar dilemmas could re-emerge in the region, especially Iraq, it becomes vital to ask if there is a detectable pattern, in which terrorist groups like ISIS thrive.
Desperate Syrian refugees in Lebanon are having to sell their body organs to support themselves and their families, an investigation into organ trafficking revealed earlier this week.
Lebanon’s president, Michel Aoun, is a fervent Hezbollah supporter; Lebanon’s prime minister, Saad Hariri, most certainly is not. Hariri’s position is scarcely surprising, since he has every reason to believe that back in 2005 his father, Rafik, was brutally assassinated by Hezbollah operatives, acting on the orders of Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad.
That the United States launched 59 missiles targeting an Assad military base in Syria after the chemical attack on Khan Sheikhoun remains a chance for eradicating militants’ sphere of influence across Syria. In other words, decreasing Assad’s power on the ground increases an onset for a serious political solution for the Syrian conflict.
“Kill or be killed.” This is Bashar Assad’s bitter dichotomy. While the Assad regime has lost tens of thousands of soldiers, tens of thousands more have been forced to fight in the army alongside Assad’s foreign fighters and militias. Many others, however, choose to flee.