Home / News (page 177)

News

Iraqi Forces Start Anbar Operation

Agence France Presse– The operation by Iraqi government and allied forces to liberate Anbar and its capital Ramadi from ISIS was launched too soon, Parliament Speaker Salim al-Juburi said Wednesday. “Zero hour was announced but this important battle should have been better prepared, especially because Anbar is a bastion,” he …

Read More »

ISIS shoots dead 20 at Palmyra amphitheater

Reuters — ISIS militants shot dead around 20 men inside an ancient amphitheater in the Syrian city of Palmyra Wednesday, accusing them of being government supporters, an activist group monitoring the conflict said. Reuters was unable to independently confirm the report from the Britain-based activist group, the Syrian Observatory for …

Read More »

Hezbollah strike Qalamoun jihadis with help of drone

The Daily Star– A Hezbollah missile annihilated a group of at least three Islamist militants in Syria’s Qalamoun region along the border with Lebanon Wednesday after being spotted by a drone, Al-Manar reported. “All members of a group of Nusra takfiri [militants] were killed in an ambush by the resistance” …

Read More »

Senior Hezbollah official speaks out

Al-Monitor interviewed Mohammad Raad, one of the founders of Hezbollah and the leader of the group’s parliamentary bloc in Lebanon. Raad, who has a degree in philosophy from the Lebanese University, played a role in developing Hezbollah’s internal constitution as well as its 1985 “Open Letter to the World,” a …

Read More »

Iran and al Qaeda: More Enemies Than Allies

BY Barbara Slavin FOR AL-MONITOR — Newly released correspondence from Osama bin Laden’s hideout in Pakistan contradicts U.S. assertions that al-Qaeda has a close relationship with Iran. According to a U.S. analysis of letters found in the Abbottabad compound when U.S. Special Forces killed bin Laden a year ago, “the …

Read More »

Syrian rebels ‘seize hospital holding 150 soldiers’

Source: AFP– Islamist rebels on Friday overran a hospital in northwest Syria where at least 150 regime forces and dozens of civilians were trapped for nearly a month, a monitor said. The monitoring group’s head said “dozens” of people had managed to flee but others were killed, wounded or taken …

Read More »

Iran’s new strategy in Syria

By Ali Hashem for Al-MONITOR — For the past four years, the Islamic Republic of Iran has been involved thoroughly in the developments taking place in Syria. The Iranian role reached its peak with the decision to defend the Syrian regime with all possible means, defining the war taking place …

Read More »

Saudi Arabia—This is Leadership?

By Graham E. Fuller Source: grahamefuller.com — President Obama has good reason to try to reassure GCC leaders this week at Camp David that America has not abandoned them; they represent an important economic force. But they cannot, as constituted, represent a positive force for leadership in the region. The …

Read More »

The Shiite Religious Authority of Najaf

By Dr. Haytham Mouzahem — The hawza (seminary) in Najaf, which consists of religious schools where Shiite clerics are trained, was founded by the most prominent Shiite religious scholar, Sheikh Muhammad al-Tusi, in 1028 — even though some tend to believe that the hawza was established in Najaf decades before …

Read More »

The Shias in Lebanon: A Short History

THE LEVANT NEWS EXCLUSIVE – By Dr. Haytham Mouzahem* — The Shias of Lebanon gained global reputation in the early 1980s of the 20th century with the emergence of Hezbollah and its military operations against the Israeli occupation in Lebanon. Hence; their destiny came to be synonymous with that of …

Read More »

EDGE OF EVIL

 Story by Justin Salhani Published on Jan 16, 2015 Source: latterlymagazine.com — RAS BAALBEK, Lebanon –Tucked away in the rocky hills that divide Lebanon and Syria, a gunman ordered Makhoul Mrad out of his truck.Despite his age — getting up toward 70 — and his infirm heart, Mrad was a quarry worker and regularly made …

Read More »

Syrian army captures area on Lebanon border: Hezbollah

Reuters- – The Syrian army and Hezbollah fighters captured a mountainous area on Syria’s border with Lebanon on Thursday and killed dozens of insurgents including from al Qaeda’s Nusra Front wing, a Hezbollah official told Reuters. The area, Assal al-Ward, is a strategic position that overlooks Lebanese border towns where …

Read More »

The Islamic State Hostages The World Mostly Ignored

BY JUSTIN SALHANI FOR THINKPROGRESS.ORG — Ten months ago, the Islamic State and the al-Qaeda affiliated Nusra Front kidnapped around 30 Lebanese police and military men. Since then eight men have been released and four have been executed – either beheaded or with a gunshot to the back of the head. …

Read More »

Catastrophe in Yemen

By THE NEW YORK TIMES EDITORIAL BOARD– Saudi Arabia’s military intervention in Yemen’s civil war was always a risky gamble. Now there’s evidence showing just how damaging four weeks of airstrikes have been: more than 1,000 civilians killed, more than 4,000 wounded, and 150,000 displaced. Meanwhile, the fighting and a …

Read More »

US admits it has no Idea who it is Assassinating by Drone

By Juan Cole — The tragic deaths last January, just now being revealed, of two Western hostages in drone strikes on a relatively empty housing complex in northern Pakistan near the Afghanistan border underlines that the Obama administration is killing people from the air without knowing who they are and …

Read More »

Yemen: Operation Cross-Purposes

Saudi Arabia just stopped bombing Iranian-backed forces in Yemen. That’s making Obama’s life easier as the administration’s nuclear talks with Tehran reach their most critical phase. BY YOCHI DREAZEN for FOREIGN POLICY — Saudi Arabia’s decision to abruptly end its air war against Iranian-backed Houthi militants in Yemen will reverberate …

Read More »

Has Yemen reshaped the Middle East geopolitical map?

by Graham E. Fuller Source: grahamefuller.com — Does anybody remember the old Cold War geopolitical concept of the “Northern Tier states?” They consisted of three countries—Turkey, Iran and Pakistan (sometimes Afghanistan) that lay along the southern border of the Soviet Union; they were perceived in the West as a potential …

Read More »

Mohammad Javad Zarif: A Message From Iran

  By MOHAMMAD JAVAD ZARIFAPRIL for THE NEW YORK TIMES — TEHRAN — WE made important progress in Switzerland earlier this month. With the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany, we agreed on parameters to remove any doubt about the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s …

Read More »

The Red Lines of U.S. Strategy Towards ISIS

  THE LEVANT EXCLUSIVE – By Dr. Saif Nusrat Al-hermezi* – Translator: Hadi Nehme —     This article evokes an important problematic dilemma regarding the link between ISIS’ protraction in the region and the boundaries the United States has set before the organization. The term “red lines”, frequently mentioned in …

Read More »

The New Saudi Foreign Policy

Author: Ray Takeyh, Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies – Source: Council on Foreign Relations — Saudi Arabia’s incursion into Yemen reflects a new foreign policy that assertively presses Saudi claims in the Middle East and even uses its own armed forces to ensure its interests. After centuries of relying …

Read More »

Russia Lifts Ban on Advanced Anti-Aircraft Missiles to Iran

BY REID STANDISH, ELIAS GROLLAPRIL for FOREIGN POLICY — Russia announced Monday that it will allow the sale of advanced S-300 anti-aircraft missiles to Iran, which would significantly improve the Islamic Republic’s air defense systems. In recent years, the United States and Israel have lobbied Moscow not to supply Tehran …

Read More »

Hidden Agendas in Yemen

By Graham E. Fuller Source: grahamefuller.com — The domestic crisis in Yemen, once quite containable, now bids to veer out of control as external players threaten to exacerbate an explosive situation. Apart from their rhetorical statements, what are the chief factors driving these players in this complex situation? Saudi Arabia: …

Read More »

Joint Arab force can’t agree on ‘terrorism

By Mustafa Bassiouni – Translator: Pascale Menassa – Source: AL-MONITOR – The national anthem “Al-Watan al-Akbar” [“The Greatest Homeland”] was playing in the background when the Arab [League] Summit announced its approval of forming a joint Arab military force. History shall definitely remember this as one of the most important …

Read More »

Chronicling Yemen: A Day-By-Day Look At A Crisis Unfolding

From Houthi leaders to Yemenis living through the Saudi-led bombings, MintPress is compiling a timeline of events starting from March 25, the day the bombings started. By Catherine Shakdam for Mintpress.com —  Yemenis search for survivors in the rubble of houses destroyed by Saudi-led airstrikes in a village near Sanaa, Yemen, …

Read More »

In Lebanon, destitute camp becomes jihadist refuge

By Layal Abou Rahal  for AFP —  Ain al-Helweh (Lebanon) (AFP) – Lebanon’s Ain al-Helweh camp has long provided a stable, if destitute, bolthole for Palestinian refugees, some of whom have lived within its walls since fleeing their homes more than six decades ago. But the war in neighbouring Syria …

Read More »

Qalamoun …The Boundaries of Worry

THE LEVANT EXCLUSIVE — By Safwan Dawood*- Translated by Hadi Nehme — Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah announced that his party will be in Syria “wherever it ought to be”, and a number of the party’s officials have repeatedly reiterated that Hezbollah militants have taken part in battles in Qalamoun. …

Read More »

A nuclear deal with Iran is the best option

By Fareed Zakaria for THE WASHINGTON POST — When making up their minds about the nuclear deal with Iran, people are properly focused on its details. But to figure out whether an agreement that limits and inspects Iran’s nuclear program is acceptable, one has to consider seriously the alternatives to …

Read More »

The Fruits of Diplomacy With Iran

By William J. Burns for The NEW YORK TIMES SUMMARY The prospect of a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran in the next few months, if executed rigorously and embedded in wider strategies for regional order and global nuclear order, can be a significant turning point. In a perfect world, there …

Read More »

Saudis Warm to Muslim Brotherhood, Seeking Sunni Unity on Yemen

Shiite nemesis Iran seen as greater threat to kingdom By YAROSLAV TROFIMOV for THE WALL STREET JOURNAL — Ever since the Arab Spring began four years ago, Saudi Arabia waged a two-front campaign against its Shiite nemesis Iran, and against the Sunni Islamists—led by the Muslim Brotherhood—whose rise across the …

Read More »

Al Shabaab storms Kenyan university, 14 reported killed

NAIROBI | BY DRAZEN JORGIC Source: Reuters — At least 14 people were reported killed on Thursday when Islamist militant group al Shabaab stormed a Kenyan university campus, taking Christians hostage and exchanging gunfire with security forces over several hours. With scores of students wounded and hundreds unaccounted for, police …

Read More »

Iran talks stretch into another day; deal seen close but elusive

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND | BY JOHN IRISH, PARISA HAFEZI AND LOUIS CHARBONNEAU for REUTERS – Major powers and Iran negotiated into the early hours of Thursday on Tehran’s nuclear program two days past their deadline, with diplomats saying prospects for a preliminary agreement were finely balanced between success and collapse. The …

Read More »

Will Yemen kick-off the ‘War of the two Blocs?’

By Sharmine Narwani* for RT– There is media confusion about what is going on in Yemen and the broader Middle East. Pundits are pointing out that the US is looking schizophrenic with policies that back opposite sides of the fight against al-Qaeda-style extremism in Iraq and in Yemen. But it …

Read More »

Bibi’s Victory—All Bad?

By Graham E. Fuller Source: grahamefuller.com — I would have been more depressed about Prime Minister Netanyahu’s unexpected victory in Tuesday’s elections in Israel if I had not already long since grown cynical about the so-called “Peace Process.” Grown disillusioned by the fact that even the Israeli left never really …

Read More »