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In Depth

Cyber savvy – terrorists turn to social media

THE LEVANT – By Gill Hertz – The ultra-violent al Qaeda offshoot group Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) has targeted Saudi Arabian intelligence officers for a campaign of assassination as part of plans by the group to expand activities inside the oil-rich kingdom. A Twitter campaign …

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Fighting ISIL in Mosul – A resistance movement is born

THE LEVANT – Iraqis living under Isis rule in Iraq, where non-Sunni residents have been forced from their homes and tens of mosques have been deemed idolatrous and marked for destruction, have started to push back against the extreme interpretation of Islam being imposed on them. The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant has …

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The “Islamic state” is an Intelligence Work – The future of the “Islamic state” in Iraq and Syria

THE LEVANT EXCLUSIVE – By Jassim Mohammed, Counter terrorism and intelligence writer – It seems that Iraq is rushing strongly towards radicalism and terrorism. After failing to achieve their demands through demonstrations and sit-ins, some tribal and political Sunni leaders have built alliances with the “Islamic state” to overthrow Baghdad government. From the other side, Iraqi political blocks and Shia militias were rushing towards and hiding …

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Gaza – Overcoming the trauma of war

THE LEVANT- Ask any child in Gaza to do a drawing and the resulting picture is likely to be a house being bombed by a fighter plane. In the strife-torn Palestinian enclave, thousands of children are suffering from the trauma of war but resources to help them are scarce. At a …

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WFP shifts from relief toward resilience in Yemen

THE LEVANT –  By Eva Donelli – Yemen finds itself in the midst of a deteriorating humanitarian crisis, its people having to deal with rising poverty, a breakdown of social services, diminishing resources, internal conflict and political instability. According to Bishow Parajuli, World Food Program’s country director in Yemen, food and fuel prices …

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Yemen IDPs mull return to Amran after ceasefire

THE LEVANT – Thousands of people displaced by recent heavy fighting between Houthi rebels and government forces in the city of Amran in northern Yemen are looking to return to their homes following a recent Houthi withdrawal, but they face significant challenges. The conflict began over three months ago after clashes …

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A few things you should know about Israel

THE LEVANT – By Alastar Sloan – Throughout Israel’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, which began on July 8, it has become increasingly clear that the U.S. media is biased against Palestinians, using selective coverage, skewed opinion, and false balance to offer implicit support to Israel’s stance. The Daily Show host Jon Stewart recently skewered the media …

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Collective Punishment in Gaza

THE LEVANT – By Rashid Khalidi  – Three days after the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu launched the current war in Gaza, he held a press conference in Tel Aviv during which he said, in Hebrew, according to the Times of Israel, “I think the Israeli people understand now what I always …

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Five Israeli Talking Points on Gaza—Debunked

THE LEVANT – By Noura Erakat – Israel claims that it is merely exercising its right to self-defense and that Gaza is no longer occupied. Here’s what you need to know about these talking points and more. Israel has killed almost 800 Palestinians in the past twenty-one days in the Gaza Strip …

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Yemen – The nation of the hungry

THE LEVANT EXCLUSIVE – By Catherine Shakdam – While Yemen has long battled hunger and food insecurity, most and acutely since 2011 when the uprising came to upset an already fragile balance, plunging millions under the poverty threshold, the impoverished nation has reached an unsustainable food crisis level, where famine …

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Middle East Descending into global war

The escalation of the conflict between Israel and Hamas could not have come at a worse time. With relentless rocket strikes by Hamas on Israeli cities resulted in massive bombing sorties by Israeli jets and with Israel planning to do a ground invasion of Gaza, the situation as it stands …

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The State of Revenge

By Rashid Shahin – The aggression launched on the Gaza Strip almost a week ago reveals that the political solutions have failed despite the fact that they reached the highest level. This is because the aggressor, Israel, has no intention of ending the conflict except by the full surrender of …

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The Arab War(s) on Terror

By Patryk Pawlak and Florence Gaub for European Union Institute for Security Studies (EUISS) – With jihadi groups in control of swathes of Iraq, deadly attacks occurring on a weekly basis across the region, and governments adopting harsher measures to counter the spiral of violence, terror- ism is back on the …

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Slaughtering the innocent

By Scott Long – “Civilian casualties” in Gaza and Israel, and before, and beyond The injunction against killing civilians in war is now basic to international human rights and humanitarian law, along with the prohibitions against genocide and torture: so much so, it’s easy to forget it’s not even 70 …

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Israel’s new mouth-piece – the BBC

THE LEVANT EXCLUSIVE  – By Catherine Shakdam – Days into Israel’s unwarranted aggression on Gaza, angry protesters gathered before the offices of the BBC in Britain to denounce what they called BBC’s bias against Palestine. Thousands took to the streets on Saturday, keen to denounce BBC’s propaganda against Palestinians, urging top …

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The Caliphate and Consequences

By Dr. Haytham Mouzahem  – For The Islamist Gate – As I had expected in November 2013[http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2013/11/al-qaeda-zawahri-baghdadi-split.html], The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL) has announced [on June, 30] the establishment of the Islamic Caliphate, and has named its emir, Abu Bakr Ibrahim Al-Baghdadi, as “emir of the believers” and …

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AL Nusra is not done just yet

It has been revealed that the emir of al-Nusra Front Abu Mohammed al-Joulani is leading efforts, with direct support from Saudi cleric Sheikh Abdullah Mohaisany, to reorganize and reinvigorate his group. Leaked audio recordings have unveiled a plan by al-Nusra to establish an Islamic Emirate of the Levant. The recording, …

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Gertrude Bell & The Birth of Modern Iraq

THE LEVANT EXCLUSIVE – By Dr. Geoffrey Cook –Your correspondent is revisiting and expanding upon an article originally published a few years back by the Muslim Observer (U.SA.), and was datelined Berkeley (Calif.) at its publication.  Since, with the raise of the Islamic (pseudo-)”State” of Iraq and the Levant (a.k.a. ISIL), …

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ANALYSIS: Iraq’s minorities under fire

“The sound of the shelling was terrifying. In my street no-one was left. We were the last family to leave,” explained Janda, an Assyrian Christian from Iraq. Her family of six fled the town of Qaragosh (also known as Bakhida and Hamdaniya) 30km east of Mosul, in northern Iraq, leaving …

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US diplomat condemns Bahrain regime

A US diplomat ordered to leave Bahrain on Monday after meeting members of a leading Shia opposition group has spoken out against the move on Twitter. Tom Malinowski, US Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, said the decision was “about undermining dialogue” in the country. The …

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Yemen IDP crisis unravels

More than 35,000 people have been displaced in Yemen’s Omran province, a local government refugee agency said on Wednesday, a day after Shi’ite Muslim tribal fighters overran the provincial capital following fighting that killed more than 200 people. In an urgent appeal sent to relief organisations operating in Yemen, the …

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Lebanese Hezbollah unlikely to intervene in Iraq crisis

By Dr. Haytham Mouzahem – In a private meeting with Imam al-Mahdi Scouts this past June, Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah was reported as saying, “In Syria, I said, ‘The Sayyida Zeinab [daughter of Imam Ali] shrine will not be taken captive twice,’ and in Iraq I say, ‘The time when we allowed anyone in …

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Meet the Muslim-American Leaders the FBI and NSA Have Been Spying On

By Faisal Gill – The National Security Agency and FBI have covertly monitored the emails of prominent Muslim-Americans—including a political candidate and several civil rights activists, academics, and lawyers—under secretive procedures intended to target terrorists and foreign spies. According to documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the list of …

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