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Tag Archives: Iraq

Is Saudi Arabia on a hazardous adventure?

The Levant News — by Ghassan Michel Rubeiz, Washington — At great risk, Saudi Arabia confronts Iran in rhetoric and on the battlefield in Syria and Yemen. The National Council on US-Arab Relations, NCUSAR, is an established Washington intercultural agency focused on Arab Gulf interests. This year’s Iran meeting (October 14-15) was the 24th …

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Iraqis Ditch Fight Against Islamic State For Life In Europe

The Levant- – Some Iraqi soldiers are abandoning their posts and joining a wave of civilian migrants headed to Europe, raising new doubts about the cohesion of the country’s Western-backed security forces in the fight against ISIS militants.   Interviews with migrants and an analysis of social media activity show scores …

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Rays of Light in the Middle East?

THE LEVANT NEWS – by Graham E. Fuller —  It is risky to try to discern longer range trends in the Middle East based on a few short term developments. Nonetheless, I can’t resist finding some small shards for cautious optimism in the events of the past few weeks. -Syria: …

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ISIS arrests 54 people for espionage

THE LEVANT EXCLUSIVE – Translated by Imen Khemiri–The Islamic State (ISIS) arrested 54 people, including women, in Mosul, in Nineveh Province in northern Iraq on charges of spying, according to a security source. Ahmed Jabouri, a police officer in Nineveh, said that ISIS group arrested 54 inhabitants of Mosul and …

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Does Iran Control Iraq?

By Graham E. Fuller – Source: grahamefuller.com– Saudi, Israeli and US neoconservative voices warn us tirelessly that Iran’s imperial sway has now come to dominate the governments of Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and now Yemen, and still threatens Bahrain. Analytically speaking such views are not just exaggerated, but misleading and dangerous, …

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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 …

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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 …

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The Middle Eastern Balance of Power Matures

Stratfor Geopolitical Weekly – By George Friedman — Last week, a coalition of predominantly Sunni Arab countries, primarily from the Arabian Peninsula and organized by Saudi Arabia, launched airstrikes in Yemen that have continued into this week. The airstrikes target Yemeni al-Houthis, a Shiite sect supported by Iran, and their …

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Will Boko Haram benefit from Isil allegiance?

By Colin Freeman for THE TELEGRAPH — It may seem unlikely, given their self-publicised appetite for slaughter and mayhem. But like any other high-profile cause, international jihadism is not immune to the charge that standards have slipped over the years. A decade ago, when Osama bin Laden was in charge, he …

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Second Yazidi mass grave unearthed in Iraq this week

Reuters – IRBIL: A mass grave containing the remains of at least 16 Yazidis was unearthed in northern Iraq Friday as the atrocities committed by ISIS against the religious minority gradually come to light. The grave in the northwestern district of Zumar is the second to be discovered this week. …

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Iraqi sleeper cells fight ISIS in Mosul

Source: Associated Press – BAGHDAD: “Sleeper cells” made up of former Iraqi police officers and soldiers are tipping off authorities to ISIS positions in the northern city of Mosul, a prominent lawmaker has told the Associated Press. The comments by Hakim al-Zamili, the head of parliament’s security and defense committee, …

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In Japan, some blame the victims for Islamic State hostage crisis

Reuters – The images always share terrifying similarities: hostages kneeling in orange jumpsuits, a black-clad terrorist threatening a beheading. This time, however, the victims are Japanese, and the response of their government and the attitudes of their fellow citizens expose key differences from the standard Western response. Those differences may …

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Iraq forces ‘not ready’ to fight Isis

By Rowena Mason – Source: The Guardian – Islamic State (Isis) will not be pushed out of Iraq for another year or two because the country’s armed forces are not ready or equipped to fight back on the ground yet, the foreign secretary has said. In the runup to a …

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Yazidis freed by Islamic State enjoy bittersweet homecoming

Reuters – The Yazidi family mourned her death, assuming she had been killed by Islamic State militants or exposure to the blistering summer sun in northwest Iraq, but 15-year-old Suad Shaker Qassem was still alive. Over the weekend, she was released along with around 200 elderly, disabled and infirm Yazidis …

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Why does ISIS hate Shi’a?

By Graham E. Fuller Published first on Graham Fullet’s Blog – ISIS has particularly targeted Shi’a as a key part of their brutal onslaught against any practice of Islam that does not conform to their narrow ahistorical interpretation view of their religion. We hear a lot from western commentators about …

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Jihadists launch major attack on Iraq’s Ramadi

THE LEVANT – The Islamic State group launched a major attack on the Iraqi city of Ramadi Friday, attempting to seize one of the last urban pockets under government control in troubled Anbar province. Parts of Ramadi, the provincial capital, and all of Fallujah to its east, fell to anti-government forces …

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Iraqi forces push Daash out of Baiji

THE LEVANT EXCLUSIVE  – By Hussain Choukri – Iraqi forces broke a months-long siege by jihadist fighters of the country’s largest oil refinery Saturday as the top US officer flew in to discuss the expanded war against the Islamic State group. Iraqi forces broke the Islamic State group’s months-long siege …

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The new era of combatting terrorism

The Levant Exclusive – By Dr.Amer Al Sabaileh –   The launch of the airstrikes against IS marks a turning point and a long road ahead for the region, full of new and complex challenges. The focus of the fight against regional terrorism on IS has increased global coverage highlighting …

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Daash’ killing rampage in Iraq

THE LEVANT – Islamic State group militants shot and killed 36 Sunni tribesmen, women and children in public Monday, an Iraqi official and a tribal leader said, pushing the total number of members slain by the extremists in recent days to more than 200. Sheik Naim al-Gaoud, a senior figure …

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Islamic State kills 50 Iraqis

THE LEVANT  – Islamic State group extremists lined up and shot dead at least 50 Iraqi men, women and children from the same tribe on Sunday, officials said, in the latest targeting of the group by militants. The killings, all committed in public, raise the death toll suffered by the …

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