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In Depth

What’s a US President to do?

THE LEVANT – At the heart of President Barack Obama’s quandary over the Islamic State militants is their haven in Syria. The president may continue helping Iraqi forces try to reverse the group’s land grabs in northern Iraq by providing more arms and American military advisers and by using U.S. …

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ISIL is a ‘disgrace to Islam’: Top Muslim clerics

THE LEVANT – By Waleed Abu al-Khair – Egypt’s Grand Mufti recently described the “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL) as a “terrorist entity” that has “violated all Islamic values and the great purposes of sharia”. “Such a bloody extremist group poses a threat to Islam and Muslims, and tarnishes …

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What’s cooking in Yemen

THE LEVANT – Is A showdown brewing in Yemen? On August 17th the Houthis, a Shia rebel group based in northern Yemen, issued an ultimatum to the government in Sana’a. Yemen’s president, they said, had five days to cut fuel prices and dissolve the government—or face a rerun of the 2011 revolution that …

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Iraq’ second Sunni insurgency

THE LEVANT –  By Kirk H. Sowell – The state of Iraq in 2014 represents a dramatic reversal when compared with four years earlier. National elections in March 2010 took place during a period when the Sunni insurgency, having reached its peak in 2006, was at a low ebb, and …

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Trauma Kits and Body Bags Now Fill Aleppo School

THE LEVANT – By Shelly Kittleson – Volunteer civil defense units operating here in Syria’s largest city careen through crater-pocked routes of precariously hanging, pancaked concrete where barrel bombs have struck. Greyish dust blankets the dead, the alive and the twisted steel jutting out.  The panicked confusion immortalised in innumerable …

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Hassan Nasrallah – Hezbollah will claim victory over chaos

THE LEVANT – [embedplusvideo height=”450″ width=”450″ editlink=”http://bit.ly/1v4OEsG” standard=”http://www.youtube.com/v/o1MLnCRiKoo?fs=1″ vars=”ytid=o1MLnCRiKoo&width=450&height=450&start=&stop=&rs=w&hd=0&autoplay=0&react=1&chapters=&notes=” id=”ep5369″ /]   Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah stated on Friday that Lebanon is facing an existential threat by ISIL and the countries backing it, yet stressed that this threat can be confronted and defeated with deed. In a televised …

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President Gül bows out under pressure

THE LEVANT – Faced with a smear campaign aimed at discrediting him, outgoing President Abdullah Gül has bowed to the pressure from circles close to President-elect Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and has withdrawn invitations to an upcoming reception that were extended to independent journalists who are critical of the government. Gül’s …

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War of the Shia – Iran gags Shia scholars in Iran –

THE LEVANT – By Catherine Shakdam – While western media, or rather corporate media have faced harsh criticism over the past weeks on their bias coverage of Gaza in keeping with their network’s political discourse and affiliations, it so happens that Iran has conducted a comprehensive media repression campaign against …

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Fresh 72-hour truce begins in Gaza

THE LEVANT – A fresh 72-hour ceasefire between Israel and Hamas came into effect in Gaza Monday, paving the way for talks in Egypt aimed at a durable end to a month-long conflict that has wreaked devastating bloodshed. The agreement, which began at 00:01 am (2101 GMT on Sunday), clinched days …

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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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