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Exclusive

Is the Middle East becoming less Arab?

THE LEVANT – By Hisham Melhem – President Obama’s letter to Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, in which he laid out the foundation of a new relationship emanating from a nuclear compromise, and stressed shared U.S.-Iranian interests in combatting the extremist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), is …

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Syrian Army recaptures Shaer Gas Field

The Levant Exclusive  – By Zainab B. Mashi – Damascus – The ISIS recent attempts to infiltrate the biggest Syrian gas field, “Shaer”, East of Homs – Syria, have failed. The ISIS is seeking to control the airport (T4) from the field’s area. After a week of the ISIS control of …

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The war on Daash – part 5 –

THE LEVANT EXCLUSIVE – By Geoffrey Cook – Your author comes back to his larger project of his first chapter of a  monograph on the present War in the Middle East.  This book will be based on several symposia.   The specific one here was put together by the Center for …

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Saudi blames Al-Qaeda for deadly anti-Shiite attack

THE LEVANT – Saudi authorities have blamed militants linked to Al-Qaeda for an unprecedented attack that killed Shiite worshippers and stoked sectarian tensions in the Sunni-dominated kingdom. Saudi authorities have blamed militants linked to Al-Qaeda for an unprecedented attack that killed Shiite worshippers and highlighted sectarian tensions in the Sunni-dominated …

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US-led air strikes hit Al Qaeda branch in Syria

THE LEVANT – US-led coalition air strikes hit Al-Qaeda’s Syrian branch overnight, expanding the raids to jihadists outside the Islamic State group for only the second time, a monitoring group said on Thursday. The strikes against Al-Nusra Front in northwestern Syria killed several jihadists as well as two children, the …

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The chaos that is Libya

THE LEVANT – Libya’s supreme court on Thursday invalidated the internationally recognised parliament, setting the stage for deepening political chaos in the violence-wracked North African nation. The ruling, which cannot be appealed, prompted celebratory gunfire in the capital Tripoli where Islamist-led militias have been in control since August, an AFP …

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Palestinians call on UN – Do something!

THE LEVANT – Jordan told the UN Security Council on Wednesday that it was ready to take measures to stop Israeli attacks on the Al-Aqsa mosque in east Jerusalem after Israeli forces stormed the compound. “Jordan considers such serious and outrageous actions by Israel an unprecedented escalation,” said Ambassador Dina …

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How did Islamists receive American weapons?

THE LEVANT  -By Robert Fisk for the Independent – Syria’s special forces troops are strung out across a pinnacle of hills here just north east of Lattakia on one of the country’s most dangerous front lines, under daily missile attack from reinforced rebel forces now supported by Isis. The officers, all …

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Thousands of Gaza civil servants strike

THE LEVANT – About 20,000 civil servants in the Gaza Strip went on strike Tuesday to protest the Palestinian unity government’s refusal to pay military and security employees of the Islamist movement Hamas. All ministries and other institutions run by Hamas in Gaza were shut and gated, except for schools, …

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Some Kurds would have joined Daash

THE LEVANT – Ethnic Kurds are helping members of the Islamic State group in the battle for the key Syrian Kurdish town of Kobani, sharing their knowledge of the local terrain and language with the extremists, according to Iraqi and Kurdish officials. It is not clear how many Kurds are …

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Daash systematically abuses Kurdish children

THE LEVANT – Islamic State militants tortured and abused Kurdish children captured earlier this year near the northern Syrian town of Kobani, beating them with hoses and electric cables, an international rights group said Tuesday. Human Rights Watch based its conclusions on interviews with several children who were among more …

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Al Qaida fighters push forth in north Syria

THE LEVANT – Al-Qaida-linked militants pressed an offensive Monday against Western-backed rebels in northern Syria, closing in on a vital border crossing with Turkey and exposing the weakness of mainstream opposition groups that the U.S. hopes to forge into a fighting force to take on Islamic extremists. The Nusra Front’s …

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Daash’ killing rampage in Iraq

THE LEVANT – Islamic State group militants shot and killed 36 Sunni tribesmen, women and children in public Monday, an Iraqi official and a tribal leader said, pushing the total number of members slain by the extremists in recent days to more than 200. Sheik Naim al-Gaoud, a senior figure …

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Isis seeks manager for ailing oil plant

THE LEVANT – For one daring and zealous oilman, the jihadists of Islamic State are offering the job opportunity of a lifetime. After a string of fatal accidents at Iraqi oilfields seized by Isis in June, the Islamists are seeking a manager to run their refineries and arrest the slump …

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Jerusalem on edge in row over contested shrine

THE LEVANT – This combustible city at the center of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been edging toward a new conflagration, with politicians on both sides stoking religious fervor over an ancient Jerusalem shrine sacred to Muslims and Jews. After months of escalating violence, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday …

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Assad’ Syria, truncated, battered but defiant

THE LEVANT – Syrian businessmen start from scratch after their shops and factories were destroyed. Families who lost their homes struggle to rent new dwellings and make ends meet. Along highways stretching through government-controlled areas are the bombed ruins of once-rebellious towns, now dotted with checkpoints. Government-controlled Syria is truncated …

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Islamic State kills 50 Iraqis

THE LEVANT  – Islamic State group extremists lined up and shot dead at least 50 Iraqi men, women and children from the same tribe on Sunday, officials said, in the latest targeting of the group by militants. The killings, all committed in public, raise the death toll suffered by the …

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Lebanese Politics: Feast in a Time of War

THE LEVANT – By Alexey Sarabyev  – In Lebanon, fighting continues in Tripoli. Currently all indications are that this is just another instance of restoring order to the chaotic city, a battle with insurgents and terrorists. As always, the Lebanese army and militants are in opposition, and the population itself of …

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A Strange Tale About ISIL/ISIS

THE LEVANT – By Gordon Duff – Never has a group been more secretive, more “capable,” even to the point of violating physical laws. They have money when there is no money; they have fuel when there is no fuel. They get floods of new recruits when all borders are …

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Iraq: New Mass grave with 150 bodies

THE LEVANT – Evidence emerges of another massacre by ISIL forces advancing on the Iraqi city of Ramadi A mass grave containing 150 bodies has been discovered in central Iraq, raising fears of a posssible massacre carried out by Isil on their march towards Baghdad. The grave was found on Thursday …

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Saudis arrested in Yemen were plotting bombings

THE LEVANT – Yemeni security forces have revealed that the five Saudi nationals who were arrested two days ago in Yemen were planning to carry out a bombing operation targeting a busy Yemeni facility where gatherings of military and civilian personnel are common. The detainees, who are all members of Al-Qaeda …

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