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In Depth

ISIS: The full story

By Jim Muir for BBC News — Image copyrightAlamy Abu Anis only realised something unusual was happening when he heard the sound of explosions coming from the old city on the western bank of the Tigris as it runs through Mosul. “I phoned some friends over there, and they said armed …

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Is the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization or a firewall against violent extremism?

THE LEVANT NEWS — By​ ​ Marc Lynch* — The House Judiciary Committee recently passed a resolution calling on the State Department to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization. This resolution resonates with the feverish anti-Islamic politics of the Republican primary, fueled across the spectrum by candidates from Donald …

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How Venezuela Would Remove Its President

Stratfor Analysis — With each passing day, it is becoming increasingly clear that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro’s term could come to an abrupt end. Both the opposition-controlled legislature and Maduro’s own party are calling for him to resign to deflect public anger from the government. According to Stratfor sources, the …

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Partisans of Allah: Jihad in South Asia

THE LEVANT NEWS —  by Ayesha Jalal, Partisans of Allah: Jihad in South Asia, Harvard University Press, Cambridge (Mass.), $29.95. — Reviewed by Geoffrey Cook —   Madison (Wisc.)–With many contemporary books, I find myself merely skimming over the text.  (I think this comes from reading so much information over the …

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Saudi Troops into Syria: The “Gates of Hell” Will Be Open in the Coming Months.. Three Possible Scenarios

By Elijah J. Magnier for Global Research — There are three possible scenarios in Syria Participation of [Saudi] Arab troops  in Syria is not excluded. A high-ranking officer within the joint operations room in Damascus, which includes Russia, Iran and Syria and Hezbollah said, “ there are three possible scenarios in Syria: …

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Morocco hails Sweden’s U-turn on recognising Western Sahara

Morocco has praised Sweden’s decision not to recognise Western Sahara as an independent state, following months of diplomatic tensions over the Swedish stance on the disputed territory. “Sweden’s decision not to recognise the so-called Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic [SADR] complies with international law and is consistent with the UN-brokered political …

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Who Wants Change Any More?

The Levant News — By Graham E. Fuller — A renowned Arab religious scholar in the 14th century, ibn Taymiyya, is sometimes quoted as saying, Al-zulm afdal min al-fawda— “oppression is to be favored over anarchy.” Although ibn Taiymiyya was no establishment figure in his time, this perspective was welcomed …

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Keynote address by Shri M. Hamid Ansari, Vice President of India at the 2nd West Asia Conference on “Ideology, Politics and New Security Challenges in West Asia”

THE LEVANT NEWS — Here is the Keynote address by Shri M. Hamid Ansari, Vice President of India at the 2nd West Asia Conference on “Ideology, Politics and New Security Challenges in West Asia”, in New Delhi on Jan.19, 2016: “I thank the IDSA and Ambassador Jayant Prasad for inviting me …

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Will Saudi King Abdicate to Son?

Mohamed Bin Salman

The Levant News – By Ali AlAhmed for The Institute for Gulf Affairs – Washington DC  — Saudi King Salman Al-Saud plans to abdicate his throne and install his son Mohammed as king, multiple highly-placed sources told the Institute for Gulf Affairs. Mohamed bin Salman is the current deputy crown prince, …

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Royal Pain

The setback in relations with Iran is just one of Saudi Arabia’s many problems. By Matthew Philips for BLOOMBERG — THE LEVANT NEWS — The collapse in Saudi relations with Iran after the execution of a prominent Shiite cleric marks a grim start to the new year for Saudi Arabia’s …

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The Western Sahara conflict resurges after failure of the peace process

THE LEVANT NEWS EXCLUSIVE –By Dr. Haytham Mouzahem* — LAAYOUNE, Western Sahara — The Western Sahara issue has resurged to the forefront after the European Court of Justice decided on Dec. 11, 2015 [http://www.wsj.com/articles/court-annuls-eu-trade-accord-with-morocco-cites-western-sahara-issue-1449768327] to cancel a trade deal between the European Union (EU) and Morocco. The Polisario Front [Popular …

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Why Isis fights

Jihadi fighters in Iraq and Syria reveal the apocalyptic motivations of the militant movement that has hijacked the Syrian uprising – and transformed the Middle East THE LEVANT NEWS – By Martin Chulov for THE GUARDIAN — For more than a century, Dabiq was one of northern Syria’s forsaken villages, …

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No sign of peace for Turkey’s Kurds after Erdogan victory

THE LEVANT NEWS — SILVAN, TURKEY:  BY AYLA JEAN YACKLEY for Reuters — The shepherd’s widow no longer asks God for peace. Like many Kurds in Turkey’s southeast, Sevgi Gezici, 22, believed President Tayyip Erdogan might relent in a clampdown against Kurdish militants after his party won back its majority in …

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