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Mahmoud Abbas Plans to Visit Saudi Arabia and Qatar

By Jasmin Rasheed — The Levant News — Palestinian sources revealed that President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas and a high-ranking delegation will visit Saudi Arabia and Qatar in the coming days. The Palestinian delegation is to include figures such as Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah, PA spokesman Nabil Abu …

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Here’s the full text of the Iran nuclear deal

THE LEVANT NEWS — The United States, Iran, and other world powers have finally concluded negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program, reaching a final agreement on Tuesday that was over two years in the making. Here is the full text of the Iran nuclear deal: iran-deal-text (1)

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Does ISIS have a Nuclear Bomb?

By Reissa Su for IBtimes.com – The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria militants have reportedly developed a nuclear weapon from the radioactive material they seized from the Mosul University in Iraq. ISIS bragged about the nuclear device on social media as a British extremist fighter claimed it would wreak …

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Did ISIS Shoot Down a Fighter Jet?

Source: http://www.thedailybeast.com/ – The Islamic State, or ISIS, claims it has shot down a Jordanian fighter jet and captured its pilot. Will this undermine the kingdom’s bedrock role as an ally in the war? Islamic militants scored a significant propaganda coup today, displaying the captured pilot of a Jordanian warplane …

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The power of religion

Special Report – On a Sunday in early June Muhammad Qatta, a roadside coffee-seller in the Syrian city of Aleppo, refused to serve a would-be freeloader. Even the prophet himself would have to pay, he said. Some bearded rebel fighters overheard him. Crying blasphemy, they shot him dead. Muhammad was …

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What is Political Islam

By Charles Hirschkind – published in MER205 – Over the last few decades, Islam has become a central point of reference for a wide range of political activities, arguments and opposition movements. The term “political Islam” has been adopted by many scholars in order to identify this seemingly unprecedented irruption …

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The United States and Cuba Begin Restoring Relations

First appeared on Stratfor.com – The United States and Cuba on Dec. 17 took their most assertive step in several decades toward normalizing relations. The most important announcements concerned the resumption of high-level political discussions focused on renewing formal diplomatic ties between the countries, which have been nonexistent since 1961. …

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Syria air strikes by US allies plunge

Reuters – As U.S. fighter jets pound Islamic State targets in Syria, Washington’s coalition allies appear increasingly absent from the air war. Although President Barack Obama’s administration announced the Syrian air strikes three months ago as a joint campaign by Washington and its Arab allies, nearly 97 percent of the …

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ISIS, Nusra clash near Lebanon border

Source: The Daily Star – Syrian army airstrikes against militant positions across the border from Lebanon’s northeastern town of Arsal killed 11 and wounded 17 Wednesday, a high-ranking Lebanese security source said, as clashes raged between rival jihadi groups in the Qalamoun region. The source said ISIS and Nusra Front …

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Why does ISIS hate Shi’a?

By Graham E. Fuller Published first on Graham Fullet’s Blog – ISIS has particularly targeted Shi’a as a key part of their brutal onslaught against any practice of Islam that does not conform to their narrow ahistorical interpretation view of their religion. We hear a lot from western commentators about …

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The meaning of being a Sufi

The Levant Exclusive – By Khaled Mohammed Abdou* – The Sufi: The traveller in the way of love To be human first and before anything, to realise the meaning of “within you the big world exists”. To remember that no matter how high or low, awake or heedless, forgetful or …

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Russia to revive the political solution in Syria

The Levant – By Dr. Amer Al Sabaileh – The Russians have lately been dynamic and innovative in their diplomacy towards a political solution to the Syrian crisis. With the regional priorities shifting from political resolution to combating terrorism, the Russians are alone in continuing with this pursuit. Moscow has …

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Syrian army recaptures territory north of Aleppo

Reuters – Syria’s army seized an area north of Aleppo on Sunday and killed insurgents as fierce battles raged over the strategic territory, a group monitoring the war and state media reported. Syria’s second city is at the heart of clashes between pro-government forces and a range of insurgents, including …

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Lebanon to launch refugee crisis response plan

The Daily Star – United Nations and Lebanese officials are meeting Monday to launch the 2015-16 Lebanon Crisis Response Plan to deal with the more than 1.2 million Syrian refugees the country is hosting. Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas and Ross Mountain, the U.N. resident coordinator in Lebanon, will discuss …

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The 15 Most Powerful Militaries In The Middle East

Source: Business Indider – The Middle East has been racked by turmoil for much of the past decade, and its militaries are constantly thrown into the region’s often-violent chaos. A mixture of transnational threats like ISIS and domestic insurgencies from local militant groups, along with larger regional rivalries, all force …

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Isis: the inside story

By Martin Chulov for the Guardian – In the summer of 2004, a young jihadist in shackles and chains was walked by his captors slowly into the Camp Bucca prison in southern Iraq. He was nervous as two American soldiers led him through three brightly-lit buildings and then a maze …

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Where does Isis get its money?

Islamic State (Isis) is now the wealthiest militant group in the world, with a reported net worth of $2bn (£1.2bn). Where is all the cash coming from? The group has built up a fortune through a combination of oil resources and wheat production to hostage taking and extortion. Unless the …

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The Arrest of Baghdadi’s Wife and the Terrorists Revenge

By Dr. Haytham Mouzahem with Collaboration with L’indro.it – Last week was exceptional in Lebanon following the announcement of the arrest of Saja Dulaimy, that some believe she is the former wife of ISIS leader, Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi. Saja Dulaimy, has been arrested in North Lebanon with her Palestinian driver …

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What Is Genuine Leadership in the Middle East?

By Graham E. Fuller – A supreme challenge to US policies in the Middle East—especially in the Arab world—has been dealing with the no-win dilemma of leadership in the Arab world. As we look out across the wreckage of the present scene in the Middle East, many observers, including myself, …

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