Archive | Syria

An Iraqi-Kurdish Conflict Casts Doubt on the “Shia Crescent” Theory

An alliance between Kurdish leftists and Iraqi militias shows why it’s dangerous to overestimate Iran’s role in the so-called “Shia crescent.” In light of the breakdown of state structures in Iraq and Syria, it’s tempting to try to build narratives that portray entire ethnic groups or sects as pawns of great powers like Iran, as […]

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Posted in Conflict, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Religion, Security Issues, Syria, Terrorism, Turkey, World0 Comments

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The Strength of the Bear: Russia in a Post-Cold War Context

  On the cusp of a war in which millions lost their lives, borders shifted and modern warfare was revolutionized, Winston Churchill made an observation of Russia: “It is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, but perhaps there is a key. That key is Russian national interest.” For decades, Russia has fascinated […]

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Posted in Russia, Syria, World

Image by US Government Work

Interview: A Diplomatic View – From the Middle East to Obama’s U.K. Trip

I sat down with the U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission for the U.K., Minister Elizabeth Dibble, to discuss the Obama visit, the Middle East and the complex Iran-Saudi relationship. The Obama Visit to the U.K. D.M.: You touched on President Obama’s visit in your talk and what he said about the EU referendum. What for […]

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Posted in Conflict, Interviews, Iran, Israel, Israeli Palestinian Conflict, Middle East, Political Security, Saudi Arabia, Security Issues, Syria, US, World, Yemen

Secure fencing surrounds the Detention Center on Christmas Island, Australia. In 2015 some 150 male asylum seekers to Australia were being held here.

Out of Sight, Out of Mind: On the History and Legality of Detention Centres

It’s official: Australia’s “Stop the Boats” campaign is a success. Or so the government claims. Back in 2013, former Prime Minister Tony Abbott ascended to his post in part because of his pledge to “stop the boats,” or, in less catchy rhetoric, to prevent asylum seekers – mostly arriving by sea from the Middle East […]

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Posted in Africa, Asia, Australia, Conflict, Europe, Iran, Political Security, Refugees, Syria, UN, World

Video: Obama’s “Red Line” That Wasn’t

Video: Obama’s “Red Line” That Wasn’t

The Atlantic explores President Obama’s decision not to bomb Syria after Bashar al-Assad’s army killed more than 1,400 people with sarin gas. It offers a new and insightful evaluation of Obama and his legacy.

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Posted in Global Politics Videos, Russia, Syria, US, World

By U.S. Department of State

Shaping Safety: How Architects Can Build a Stronger Peace

  I take my home for granted. There, I said it. Chances are you do, too, if your conception of home – like mine – does not include worrying about the daily dangers of a civil war playing out on your doorstep; the mortar shelling that has left your family homeless; or the stability of […]

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Posted in Conflict, Humanitarian Intervention, Iraq, Middle East, Refugees, Security Issues, Syria, World

Image by Abode of Chaos

Should We Empathize With Extremists?

When U.N Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon suggested in a recent Security Council speech that an Israeli drive to build settlements beyond its territory partly fueled Palestinian extremism, it drew ire from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “There is no justification for terror,” responded Netanyahu. “The comments of the U.N. Secretary-General encourage terror.” In the epochal ‘war […]

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Posted in Islam, Israel, Israeli Palestinian Conflict, Middle East, Religion, Security Issues, Syria, Terrorism, World

Image by Iqbal Osman1

Understanding the Saudi-Iranian Cold War: A Road Map

The execution of a renowned Arab Shi’a cleric, Sheikh Nimr, just after the New Year has set long-standing rivals Iran and Saudi-Arabia on a new collision course. Radical elements in Iran attacked the Saudi diplomatic compound in the country prompting Riyadh to sever its relations with Tehran. While the Iranian government condemned the attacks, immediately dismissing some officials […]

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Posted in Conflict, Iran, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Political Security, Religion, Security Issues, Syria, World

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Kurdistan: the Next Epicentre of Regional Instability

Kurdistan is a nation that encompasses parts of Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey, but it is not a state. In post-Saddam Iraq the Kurds have had success in forming a new autonomous Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) with their own military. In July last year, KRG President Masoud Barzani asked his parliament to prepare for an independence referendum. The Kurds have a […]

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Posted in Conflict, Iraq, Middle East, Security Issues, Syria, US, World

Image by Bernabeu

The overlooked story of Syria’s Yarmouk death camp

A brave 12-year-old girl named Zeynab Daghastani recently attempted to escape the grim living conditions of a besieged Palestinian refugee camp in Syria. Starving and bone-tired, she did not make it very far before being shot and killed by an ISIS sniper. Welcome to Yarmouk. On April 1st, a group of ISIS’s mask-wearing jihadists swept through the […]

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Posted in Conflict, Humanitarian Intervention, Israeli Palestinian Conflict, Middle East, Political Security, Refugees, Security Issues, Syria, Terrorism, UN, US, World

Image by Jacques Delarue

After Authoritarianism: State Development and National Identity in the Middle East

The Arab Uprisings have resulted in an increase in the expression of both sectarian and trans-state identities, making the process of reunification and the prospects for a peaceful coexistence somewhat dependent on the new leaderships’ ability to unite, make amends and, possibly for the first time in the region, craft a territorial nationalism that complements rather […]

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Posted in Conflict, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Syria, Terrorism, World

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Was ISIS Inevitable?

ISIS’ exploits dominate headlines, horrifying witnesses around the world. As a history graduate who specialised in researching the rise of Islam, its culture, and its creation of a complex and inspiring civilisation, the recent destruction of millennia old artefacts have almost reduced me to tears. As we now watch and condemn the destruction of priceless […]

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Posted in Conflict, Humanitarian Intervention, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Political Security, Refugees, Religion, Security Issues, Syria, Terrorism, World

Image by Martin Schultz - EP President

ISIS, Islam and Credulity: More Irreverence Needed in the Fight Against Extremism

This week, King Abdullah of Jordan appealed to European parliamentarians to help root out both terrorism and ‘Islamophobia’. Setting aside this interesting conflation, the wholesale failure of Arab and majority Muslim countries to embody either mutual respect or inclusivity towards many of their ethno-religious minorities bespeaks of an imbalance in critical attention to how those […]

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Posted in Europe, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Political Security, Religion, Security Issues, Syria, Terrorism, World

Image by Abode of Chaos

ISIS and The Illusion of Power

It can be difficult to stay optimistic about peace while an atmosphere of gloom permeates the contemporary Middle East, particularly in Iraq and Syria. It is nearly impossible to watch the news without being inundated by provocative visuals of ISIS’s atavistic executions of U.S. journalists and perplexed by ISIS’s seemingly uncanny ability to recruit Westerners. […]

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Posted in Conflict, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, Religion, Syria, Terrorism, US, World

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Some fine research by Thomas Obel Hansen | In Pursuit of Accountability for War Crimes in #Iraq global-politics.co.uk/wp/2017…

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