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“Assad’s Fateful Choice”

by David W. Lesch — This spring marks the fifth year anniversary of the events that launched a civil war in Syria. Typically, there were some huge miscalculations early on that set the conflict in motion, such as the Syrian opposition’s expectation that the West would militarily intervene to facilitate …

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Queen’s birthday: Nine surprising facts about Elizabeth II

By Olivia Blair for The Independent — From the countless television programmes, newspapers and photographers which have chronicled the Queen’s life over the past 90 years the public would be forgiven for thinking they know pretty much all there is to know about the longest-reigning monarch in British history. However, …

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Uighur “Jihadis” Role In Syria War

THE LEVANT NEWS EXCLUSIVE – By Dr. Haytham Mouzahem* — On 21 April 2016, China’s Special Envoy on Syrian crisis Chai Cho Yan visited Damascus and met with the Syrian Minister of Foreign Affairs Walid al-Moallem, and the head of the Syrian government’s delegation to the Geneva talks, Bashar al-Jaafari. …

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Hezbollah’s Shot at Permanency in Syria

The Levant News — Strafor Exclusive Analysis– Like other foreign and domestic actors, Hezbollah has seized on the Syrian civil war to improve its position in the country and the surrounding region. Stratfor has collected information from diplomatic sources and from sources close to Hezbollah to monitor and track the …

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Sanders: Positive U.S.-Israel Ties Contingent on Improving Relations With Palestinians

By Jacob Kornbluh, for Jewish Insider — In recently released transcript, Sanders says he would demand Israel halt settlement construction, adding that if Israel ‘want us to have a positive relationship, they’re going to have to improve their relationship with the Palestinians.’ Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks at …

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“Al Arabiya” Chops Beirut Bureau

By Magda Abu-Fadil* — Director of Media Unlimited in Lebanon — It wasn’t an April Fool’s joke. The ax fell hard today on the Beirut bureau of Saudi-owned Al Arabiya and Al Hadath satellite news channels: total closure. “My wife is pregnant and will deliver in a month,” said one …

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Saudi newspaper says Lebanon an April Fools’ joke

BEIRUT: Saudi-owned daily Asharq al-Awsat published a caricature in its Friday edition depicting the Lebanese state as an April Fools’ joke, provoking angry reactions by Lebanese citizens. The cartoon shows a Lebanese flag with the text “April Fools… the Lebanese state” written over it. Ali Hashem, a Lebanese journalist said …

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Obama to pick first female four-star commander

By AUSTIN WRIGHT and CONNOR O’BRIEN for POLITICO — President Barack Obama plans to nominate Air Force Gen. Lori Robinson to be the head of U.S. Northern Command — which would make her the first woman to be named combatant commander, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced Friday. Robinson is now …

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Trump wants to leave U.S. allies in the lurch

By Bill Schneider for Reuters — Thanks to Donald Trump, Americans now know what a populist foreign policy looks like: “Not isolationist, but America First.” That’s how the Republican presidential front-runner defined his views to an interviewer last week. “I like the expression,” Trump said, implying that he had never …

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Children in Yemen bear brunt of brutal war: UNICEF

THE LEVANT NEWS — Hundreds of thousands of children in Yemen face life-threatening malnutrition and millions lack access to health care or clean water due to the year-old war there, the U.N. Children’s Fund said on Tuesday. A UNICEF report also said all sides in the war had “exponentially increased” …

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Protesters clash with Sukleen employees over trash plan

BEIRUT: Garbage will start to be dumped in the landfills of Burj Hammoud and Costa Brava Tuesday, said Agriculture Minister Akram Chehayeb, as activists and Sukleen workers clashed near the firm’s headquarters in Beirut. “Work will be finalized today in the Burj Hammoud and Costa Brava landfills and they will …

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Sukleen says undeterred by activists after Monday clash

The Daily Star BEIRUT: The waste contractor for Greater Beirut vowed Tuesday to carry on implementing the government’s latest trash plan despite protests by activists. “Does is mean if anyone is against the Lebanese government’s trash plan they have to attack Sukleen and its employees, break the equipment and raid …

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WOMEN, WATER AND PEACE: SFG Conference

The Levant News — Istanbul – Turkey: More than 50 opinion makers and policy makers from the Middle East came together to discuss linkages between women, water and peace in a conference hosted by Strategic Foresight Group (SFG) and MEF University in co-operation with Sida on 18th and 19th March …

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The Compulsion of Water Cooperation

The Levant News — By Danilo Turk and Sundeep Waslekar — Since last September when the United Nations declared water as a sustainable development goal, a number of countries have intensified efforts to promote water cooperation with their neighbouring countries. The Middle East is missing in this action. For decades, …

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THERE IS NO RUSSIAN WITHDRAWAL FROM SYRIA

By DMITRY GORENBURG AND MICHAEL KOFMANMARCH — With characteristic deadpan delivery, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the sudden withdrawal of Russian forces from Syria earlier this week, declaring their campaign a success. Before the day was through, Russian aircraft and crews were already departing from Hmeymim air base in Latakia. …

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Why Putin Went into Syria

By George Friedman for Stratfor — Russian President Vladimir Putin announced on March 14 that he would begin withdrawing his main forces from Syria. Russia appears to have deployed about 70 aircraft of a variety of types and more than 4,000 support personnel to protect and maintain the aircraft. It …

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Syria and Unwarranted Optimism

By Kamran Bokhari for Stratfor — Since Putin announced Russia’s withdrawal, diplomats and media have been unreasonably hopeful about the future of the Syrian civil war. Russia’s military drawdown from Syria soon after the ceasefire has created a strange sense of optimism in the media regarding peace talks. Any substantive …

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Kurds declare federal region, muddying Syria peace efforts

THE LEVANT NEWS — GENEVA: Syria’s Kurds declared a federal region in the country’s north Thursday, in a move that risks complicating already fragile talks underway in Geneva to end the country’s brutal five-year conflict. More than 150 delegates from Kurdish, Arab, Assyrian and other parties meeting in the Syrian …

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Le houmous du chef Soliman

Par Leila Barakat — L’auteur de cet article est réticente à raconter le drame humain qui suit, ayant toujours fermement plaidé contre l’émigration. L’histoire ne fournissant pas d’exemple d’un peuple qui accomplit à la place d’un autre son devoir de citoyenneté, l’émancipation du Liban ne pourra s’accomplir si ses natifs …

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