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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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ISIS commander urges fight against Hezbollah inside Lebanon

An ISIS commander whose wife was recently arrested by the Lebanese Army has called on jihadi militants to fight Hezbollah inside Lebanon, accusing the Lebanese government of being an accomplice to the powerful movement. Anas Sharkas, better known by his nom de guerre Abu Ali al-Shishani, said in an interview …

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Power struggle rages in Yemen

By Adel Moujahed al-Shurbaji for Assafir – Translated by Cynthia Milan for al-monitor- “Ruling Yemen is like dancing on snake heads,” former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said, according to British researcher Victoria Clark. Poet Ibrahim al-Hadrani wrote, “The saddest and grouchiest people in the world are the ones who …

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Lebanon needs more help to tackle jihadi threat: PM

Source: The Daily Star- Lebanon needs more international help to fight jihadi forces that have launched a series of attacks against the army and kidnapped security forces, the country’s prime minister told AFP. Tammam Salam, speaking ahead of a visit to France this week, welcomed French arms deliveries due “in …

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U.S. likely to continue raids to free hostages

Reuters – Despite three failed raids to free U.S. hostages held by militants, the United States will continue to conduct such operations, officials indicated on Sunday, as President Barack Obama grappled with a spate of kidnappings and killings of American citizens. The latest setback came in a remote area of …

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Lebanese Army arrests at least 900 in November

The Daily Star – The Lebanese Army said Saturday that troops had arrested at least 900 people in the month of November on terror and drug-related charges among other crimes. In a statement, the military said its units across the country detained 947 people of various nationalities for their involvement …

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Crimea: Islamist Movements and Danger of Radicalization

THE LEVANT EXCLUSIVE – By Julia Lugovska – Kiev- Ukraine – The issue of Crimean Tatars, who survived terrible Sürgün – mass deportation from Crimea by Joseph Stalin on 18 May 1944, and who returned back home after Ukraine gained its independence, remains still unresolved and very sensitive, as Ukrainian …

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