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Tag Archives: Syria

Another opportunity missed in Syria

The eighth round of peace talks in Geneva between the Syrian government and the opposition ended on December 14 in utter failure to the dismay of the international community which had hoped that the end of the Syrian conflict could be in sight at last.  Obviously the two sides are …

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Russia Moves Forward with Syrian Naval Base

On Monday, the Russian parliament began its review of an agreement to expand Russia’s naval logistics base in Syria into a fully developed naval station, with two extra piers and the capacity for up to 11 vessels at a time. The newly remodeled base at Tartus would also be equipped …

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Syria war: Putin’s Russian mission accomplished

When Russia launched its military operation in Syria in 2015, the then US President Barack Obama predicted Moscow would get “stuck in a quagmire”. His defence secretary, Ashton Carter, warned that Russia’s approach was “doomed to fail”. Two years on, Russia appears to have proved the doomsayers wrong. On a …

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Putin is outplaying Trump in the Middle East

Russian President Vladimir Putin made a surprise visit to Syria on Monday as part of a whirlwind Middle Eastern tour. Putin, who also stopped in Egypt and Turkey, met leaders, posed for photo-ops, inked a huge energy deal and, all in all, played the part of an influential international statesman. While President Trump has sparked outrage across the region, …

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Russia Says IS Has Been Defeated in Syria

Russia’s military said Thursday that its mission to oust the Islamic State group in Syria had been accomplished and that the country was “completely liberated” from the group. “The Russian armed forces’ goal to defeat armed groups of the ISIL terrorist organization in Syria has been accomplished,” Sergei Rudskoi, in …

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CIA chief Pompeo says he warned Iran’s Soleimani over Iraq aggression

U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo said on Saturday he sent a letter to Iranian Major General Qassem Soleimani and Iranian leaders expressing concern regarding Iran’s increasingly threatening behavior in Iraq. Speaking during a panel at the annual Reagan National Defense Forum in Southern California, Pompeo said he sent …

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Why China Wants Syria in its New Belt and Road

China has been actively expanding its influence to the Middle East, and engaging war-torn Syria as part of its signature Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has been a case in point. On November 24, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Political and Media Advisor to the Syrian President Bouthaina …

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British volunteer fighter Oliver Hall dies in Syria

A 24-year-old British man has been killed in Syria, the BBC understands. Oliver Hall, from the Portsmouth area, joined Kurdish armed groups to fight against so-called Islamic State. Another British fighter described him as a “lovely lad” who was “excited to be there”. Kurdish sources say Mr Hall was killed …

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North Korea and Syria are growing closer: That’s bad news for the US

Closer ties between two of the world’s most acute political powder kegs — North Korea and Syria — are fanning fears of deeper cooperation on missile technology and chemical weapons. The longstanding bilateral relationship, which stretches back to the late 1960s, has prospered this year even as both countries face international sanctions. Syrian minister …

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Vladimir Putin’s diplomatic push in Middle East seals both Syria’s fate and diminishing role of the US in the region

Exactly one year ago, Syrian President Bashar al Assad, with Russia’s help, was laying waste to the last rebel-held neighbourhoods of Aleppo. Cluster bombs and bunker-busters fell out of the sky “like rain”, one resident said at the time. Children mistook the bright lights of phosphorous munitions for fireworks. The …

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Iran leader: Talks to help stabilize Syria

The Latest on Syria talks (all times local): 6:25 p.m. Turkey’s president says trilateral talks with the leaders of Russia and Iran have critical importance for bringing peace to Syria. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, speaking after Wednesday’s talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in the Russian Black Sea resort of …

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The U.S. must prepare for Iran’s next move in Syria

While the Trump administration celebrates a new deal meant to freeze the battlefield in southern Syria, the Assad regime and Iran are preparing for the next phase of the long-running war, in which they will attempt to conquer the rest of the country. Whether Iran succeeds depends largely on whether the United …

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Turkish President Slams US Policy in Syria

Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan used an address to party officials Friday in Ankara as an opportunity to launch a blistering attack on the U.S. policy in Syria. Erdogan openly asked why the U.S. is involving itself in a country 12,000 kilometers away. He then accused Washington of breaking commitments …

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Israel in no hurry to enter Saudi-Lebanese fray

Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s resignation Nov. 4 caught even Israeli intelligence by surprise. His disappearance in Saudi Arabia made the incident all the more mysterious. Embarrassingly, no one in Israel’s intelligence community had a precise explanation in real time for this series of remarkable events, which caught the entire Middle East …

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Israeli Military Chief Gives Unprecedented Interview to Saudi Media: ‘Ready to Share Intel on Iran’

A Saudi newspaper published an unprecedented interview on Thursday with the Israeli military chief, Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot. It marks the first time any senior Israel Defense Forces officer, let alone the chief of staff, has been interviewed by a media organization in Saudi Arabia, which does not have diplomatic ties with …

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Syria civil war: Troops enter last IS urban stronghold

Syrian pro-government forces have entered the eastern border town of Albu Kamal, so-called Islamic State’s (IS) last urban stronghold in the country. The state-run al-Ikhbariya channel said troops and militiamen had “fully liberated” the town on Wednesday night. But the official Sana news agency and state TV said they had …

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