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Tag Archives: United States

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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How did Islamists receive American weapons?

THE LEVANT  -By Robert Fisk for the Independent – Syria’s special forces troops are strung out across a pinnacle of hills here just north east of Lattakia on one of the country’s most dangerous front lines, under daily missile attack from reinforced rebel forces now supported by Isis. The officers, all …

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Vicious, unjust rulings in case of Rasmea Odeh

THE LEVANT – Fight Back News Service is circulating the following Oct 28 statement of Rasmea Defense Committee: Judge Gershwin Drain handed down a series of outrageous and unjust decisions, Oct 27 – 28, in the case of revered Palestinian American leader Rasmea Odeh. The government is going all out to …

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US pressing Turkey to join anti-IS coalition

THE LEVANT – The United States is pushing Turkey to join the fight against Islamic militants, amid frustration and wariness in both governments heightened by Ankara’s unease at helping besieged Kurdish communities. Retired US general John Allen, and the US pointman on Iraq, Brett McGurk, will Thursday begin two days …

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Obama team wanted US out of Iraq, says Panetta

THE LEVANT – Former Pentagon chief Leon Panetta has denounced the White House in a new memoir, accusing President Barack Obama’s top aides of undercutting efforts to secure a deal in 2011 that could have kept US troops in Iraq. Retaining a small US force would have helped contain sectarian …

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Thank you for bombing

THE LEVANT – By Daveed Gartenstein-Ross – Washington says its air war on the Islamic State (IS) militant group in Syria is part of a strategy to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the organization. It may have another effect: swelling al Qaeda’s ranks and giving the jihadist group that Osama bin …

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IS militants can’t be defeated by air strikes, says Iran FM

THE LEVANT – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif hit out against the Islamic State group Wednesday as a “dangerous phenomenon,” but warned it could not be defeated by air strikes. Accusing other nations of having created “a Frankenstein that has come to haunt its creators,” Zarif said at a …

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Iran slams US as “obsessed” with sanctions as talks resume

THE LEVANT – Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Wednesday accused Washington of being “obsessed” with sanctions as a new round of high-stakes bilateral nuclear negotiations opened in New York. “We are committed to resolving this issue,” Zarif told a US think-tank, as a State Department official confirmed to …

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US boots on the ground in Iraq

THE LEVANT – The White House and the US military scrambled to play down a suggestion by the nation’s top officer that deploying ground forces in Iraq to fight Islamic State jihadists was an option. General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff and President Barack Obama’s …

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Iraq parliament rejects PM’s security nominees

THE LEVANT – The Iraqi parliament voted down Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi’s nominees for defence and interior minister Tuesday, leaving the key positions unfilled as the country battles to regain ground from militants. Parliament approved Abadi’s partial cabinet on August 8, ushering in his term as premier, but he asked …

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Russia blasts Obama over intervention in Syria

THE LEVANT – Russia became the third nation to criticize the Obama administration on Thursday, following President Barack Obama’s announcement that he plans to expand a campaign of bombing against the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) to include targets inside Syria. Iranian and Syrian officials slammed the …

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US Professor fired over Gaza support

THE LEVANT – A professor of Indigenous studies who has been at the center of controversy over academic freedom at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaigne spoke publicly on Tuesday for the first time since a job offer at the school was rescinded following remarks he made on Twitter regarding Israel’s …

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Obama says ready to strike ISIL in Syria

THE LEVANT – US President Barack Obama on Wednesday ordered a “relentless” war against the Islamic State, including air strikes in Syria and expanded operations in Iraq to “destroy” the marauding jihadist army. Obama — who hoped to go down in history for ending wars, not starting an open-ended escalation …

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ISIL is not invincible says US expert

THE LEVANT – “ISIL is not invincible,” said National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC) Director Matthew Olsen, referring to the extremist organization (known also as ISIS and Islamic State) currently in control of large areas of both Syria and Iraq, during an event sponsored by the Intelligence Project at Brookings. Yet, said Olsen, the group …

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Obama says will not be bullied by ISIL

THE LEVANT –  President Barack Obama said Wednesday that the United States will not be intimidated by Islamic State militants after the beheading of a second American journalist and will build a coalition to “degrade and destroy” the group. Obama still did not give a timeline for deciding on a …

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US delivers military aid to Lebanon

THE LEVANT –  The United States has delivered its first emergency shipment of weapons to Lebanon, officials said Friday, to help bolster military forces as part of a broader regional response to combat the growing threat posed by Islamic extremists. The delivery is in response to a request by the …

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