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In Depth

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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Hezbollah vows to avenge Kuntar

THE LEVANT NEWS — BY Hussein Dakroub for The Daily Star –The killing of Hezbollah commander Samir Kuntar in an Israeli airstrike near Damascus will likely trigger a Hezbollah retaliation against the Jewish state, security sources said Sunday, in a tit-for-tat development that could ignite hostilities in the volatile border …

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Xenophobia and Paranoia in Our Land

THE LEVANT NEWS — BY Graham E. Fuller — It is depressing to witness the ongoing vitriolic voices of vituperation spewing out over the airwaves these days in what passes as “political debate,” especially in Republican circles. Depressing also to know that we still have nearly a year more to …

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Hizbullah and Al-Qaeda: Friends or foes?

NOTE: THIS IS ARTICLE HAS BEEN WRITTEN IN AUG 20, 2014 AND PUBLISHED IN THE DAILY STAR BUT THE SYRIAN WAR HAS PROVEN ITS APPROACH. http://www.dailystar.com.lb/Opinion/Commentary/2004/Aug-20/93887-hizbullah-and-al-qaeda-friends-or-foes.ashx THE LEVANT NEWS — By Dr. Haytham Mouzahem – The final report of the Sept. 11 Commission in the US argued that Al-Qaeda had …

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Religious pluralism in Islam should be embraced

THE LEVANT NEWS — By Dr. Haytham Mouzahem –-A love of God links many religions and sects. As Imam Mohamed Al-Baqir asked, “Is religion anything but love?” Except that the de facto Arab and Muslim reality today is missing the “love” that is the core of the relationship between God …

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Al-Ahbash: Their Ideology and Evolution

THE LEVANT NEWS EXCLUSIVE — By Dr. Haytham Mouzahem – Al-Ahbash or the Association of Islamic Charitable Projects (jam’iyyat al-mashari’ al-khayriyya al-islamiyya) is a Sufi religious movement which was founded in Lebanon in the mid-1980s. Al-Ahbash is a name attributed to the founder of the group, Sheikh Abdullah al-Harari, known …

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Al-Qaeda, ISIS, And The Shia

By Dr. Haytham Mouzahem* “Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula”(AQAP), based in Yemen, has significantly denied its involvement in Sanaa’s suicide bombs in the Shia Zaidi mosques, which are frequented by followers of the Houthi “Ansarullah” group, saying it is against its principles to target mosques. The organization announced in a …

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What defines a terror organization?

THE LEVANT NEWS — By ROBERT SWIFT FOR THE MEDIA LINE — In the halls of power of both the United States and the United Kingdom, renewed discussions have been taking place over the status of the organization known as the Muslim Brotherhood. In Washington, Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas), a …

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The History of An-Najaf

THE LEVANT NEWS– BY Dr. Haytham Mouzahem — An-Najaf city is located southern of Iraq about 160 km south of Baghdad. Including the shrine of Imam Ali Bin Abi Talib (599-661 CE), the Shia’ called it the city of ”An-Najaf al-Ashraf” which means the holy city of An-Najaf. Imam Ali …

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Water, Wars and an Uncertain Future

THE LEVANT NEWS – By Sundeep Waslekar* — In December 2009, I met Walid Muallem, Foreign Minister of Syria, in his office in Damascus, along with an eminent British politician. He rolled out before us his vision of peace process with Israel in phases. He had two essential conditions. First, …

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The Water Wars Waged by ISIS

HADITHA DAM, IRAQ

THE LEVANT NEWS — By Ambika Vishwanath for STRATFOR– The Islamic State’s use of natural resources to achieve its strategic goals is nothing new. Oil, one of the group’s biggest sources of funding, plays an especially important role in its calculations — something the countries fighting the Islamic State are …

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The End of a Russian-Turkish “Golden Age”

THE LEVANT NEWS — By Pavel Shlykov for Carnegie Centre–  The downing of a Russian plane by Turkey is jeopardizing the strong business and political relationship built by Ankara and Moscow. The two countries’ clash over Syria suggests that relations will get worse before they get better. The shooting down …

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China finds itself pulled deeper into Syria crisis

THE LEVANT NEWS — As its global business interests grow, China is cautiously revising the noninterventionist policy espoused in 1955 by then-Premier Zhou Enlai. The killing of a Chinese hostage by the Islamic State group and Chinese businessmen in Friday’s attack in Mali could change that. The violence swirling out …

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How ISIS has plundered oil fields, antiquities and stolen a fortune of $2BILLION to spread its war from the Middle East into Europe

THE LEVANT NEWS — By COREY CHARLTON  for Mailonline — The vast wealth generated by oil fields, power plants, extortion, taxes, and the pillaging of antiquities has rendered ISIS the most well-funded terrorist group in history, experts have warned. With an estimated £1.3billion fortune, the group can afford not only …

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