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Syria

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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Russia sends fighter jets to Armenia base near Turkey

THE LEVANT NEWS — The Russian Defense Ministry said Saturday that Moscow has deployed several fighter jets and a transport helicopter to Russia’s airbase in Armenia near the border with Turkey. Four fourth-generation Mikoyan MiG-29 aircraft and a number of modernized MiG-29S bombers and a Mil Mi-8MT helicopter have been …

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Syria ceasefire talks delayed: Russia

THE LEVANT NEWS: Russia said U.N.-led talks planned for Saturday between major international players on establishing a ceasefire in Syria had been postponed, as wrangling dragged on between the various sides. Foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told Russian news agencies that the meeting in Geneva had been put back to …

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US, Russia commit to further Syrian aid

THE LEVANT NEWS — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke to his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on Saturday and the two “recommitted” themselves to continued deliveries of aid to those affected by the war in Syria, U.S. State Department spokesman John Kirby said. They also discussed the progress negotiators …

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Russia drops aid on besieged Syrian city

THE LEVANT NEWS — DAMASCUS: Russian cargo planes have delivered humanitarian aid to government-held neighborhoods in Syria’s eastern Deir al-Zor city, activists said Thursday. They carried out the air drops on areas besieged by ISIS on Wednesday, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. State news agency SANA quoted a …

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Syrian government delegation in Geneva for peace talks

THE LEVANT NEWS — GENEVA: The Syrian government delegation to U.N.-brokered peace talks arrived in Geneva Friday afternoon, a source close to the government told AFP, while the attendance of key opposition figures remained unclear. “The government delegation, headed by (Syria’s U.N. ambassador) Bashar al-Jaafari, has arrived to the Geneva …

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