Home / The Levant (page 90)

The Levant

ISIS loses ground to Kurds in Kobane

Source: AFP – ISIS militant group has lost ground in the Syrian border town of Kobane, where Kurdish fighters now control more than 60 percent of territory, a monitoring group said Saturday. The strategically located town on the border with Turkey has become a major symbol of resistance against ISIS, …

Read More »

Does ISIS have a Nuclear Bomb?

By Reissa Su for IBtimes.com – The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria militants have reportedly developed a nuclear weapon from the radioactive material they seized from the Mosul University in Iraq. ISIS bragged about the nuclear device on social media as a British extremist fighter claimed it would wreak …

Read More »

Did ISIS Shoot Down a Fighter Jet?

Source: http://www.thedailybeast.com/ – The Islamic State, or ISIS, claims it has shot down a Jordanian fighter jet and captured its pilot. Will this undermine the kingdom’s bedrock role as an ally in the war? Islamic militants scored a significant propaganda coup today, displaying the captured pilot of a Jordanian warplane …

Read More »

The power of religion

Special Report – On a Sunday in early June Muhammad Qatta, a roadside coffee-seller in the Syrian city of Aleppo, refused to serve a would-be freeloader. Even the prophet himself would have to pay, he said. Some bearded rebel fighters overheard him. Crying blasphemy, they shot him dead. Muhammad was …

Read More »

What is Political Islam

By Charles Hirschkind – published in MER205 – Over the last few decades, Islam has become a central point of reference for a wide range of political activities, arguments and opposition movements. The term “political Islam” has been adopted by many scholars in order to identify this seemingly unprecedented irruption …

Read More »

The United States and Cuba Begin Restoring Relations

First appeared on Stratfor.com – The United States and Cuba on Dec. 17 took their most assertive step in several decades toward normalizing relations. The most important announcements concerned the resumption of high-level political discussions focused on renewing formal diplomatic ties between the countries, which have been nonexistent since 1961. …

Read More »

Syria air strikes by US allies plunge

Reuters – As U.S. fighter jets pound Islamic State targets in Syria, Washington’s coalition allies appear increasingly absent from the air war. Although President Barack Obama’s administration announced the Syrian air strikes three months ago as a joint campaign by Washington and its Arab allies, nearly 97 percent of the …

Read More »

ISIS, Nusra clash near Lebanon border

Source: The Daily Star – Syrian army airstrikes against militant positions across the border from Lebanon’s northeastern town of Arsal killed 11 and wounded 17 Wednesday, a high-ranking Lebanese security source said, as clashes raged between rival jihadi groups in the Qalamoun region. The source said ISIS and Nusra Front …

Read More »

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 …

Read More »

The meaning of being a Sufi

The Levant Exclusive – By Khaled Mohammed Abdou* – The Sufi: The traveller in the way of love To be human first and before anything, to realise the meaning of “within you the big world exists”. To remember that no matter how high or low, awake or heedless, forgetful or …

Read More »

World set to end year in brittle economic state

Reuters – The global economy is ending the year in a fragile state with factory activity shrinking in China, euro zone business growth remaining weak, and emerging market giant Russia in a spiraling currency crisis. “These are uncertain times again and there is a risk of another global downturn,” said …

Read More »

Russia to revive the political solution in Syria

The Levant – By Dr. Amer Al Sabaileh – The Russians have lately been dynamic and innovative in their diplomacy towards a political solution to the Syrian crisis. With the regional priorities shifting from political resolution to combating terrorism, the Russians are alone in continuing with this pursuit. Moscow has …

Read More »

Syrian army recaptures territory north of Aleppo

Reuters – Syria’s army seized an area north of Aleppo on Sunday and killed insurgents as fierce battles raged over the strategic territory, a group monitoring the war and state media reported. Syria’s second city is at the heart of clashes between pro-government forces and a range of insurgents, including …

Read More »

Yemen security forces kill prominent Southern separatist leader

Reuters – Yemeni security forces shot dead a prominent leader in the southern separatist Herak Movement in Aden Monday, residents said, ratcheting up tensions in the city where residents have been observing a weekly protest to push for independence. Rising demands for separation by southern separatists have been one of …

Read More »

Lebanon to launch refugee crisis response plan

The Daily Star – United Nations and Lebanese officials are meeting Monday to launch the 2015-16 Lebanon Crisis Response Plan to deal with the more than 1.2 million Syrian refugees the country is hosting. Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas and Ross Mountain, the U.N. resident coordinator in Lebanon, will discuss …

Read More »

The 15 Most Powerful Militaries In The Middle East

Source: Business Indider – The Middle East has been racked by turmoil for much of the past decade, and its militaries are constantly thrown into the region’s often-violent chaos. A mixture of transnational threats like ISIS and domestic insurgencies from local militant groups, along with larger regional rivalries, all force …

Read More »

Ahmed Ghappour Liberty and Security: Post-9/11 Initiatives

  THE LEVANT EXCLUSIVE – Silicon Valley – Dr. Geoffrey Cook –   The second speaker at the Muslim Legal Fund of America (MLFA) fund-raising dinner here last spring which your scribe is examining in micro-detail (i.e., each individual presentation per article) is Ahmed Ghappour. Ahmed is a clinical (law) …

Read More »

Isis: the inside story

By Martin Chulov for the Guardian – In the summer of 2004, a young jihadist in shackles and chains was walked by his captors slowly into the Camp Bucca prison in southern Iraq. He was nervous as two American soldiers led him through three brightly-lit buildings and then a maze …

Read More »

Where does Isis get its money?

Islamic State (Isis) is now the wealthiest militant group in the world, with a reported net worth of $2bn (£1.2bn). Where is all the cash coming from? The group has built up a fortune through a combination of oil resources and wheat production to hostage taking and extortion. Unless the …

Read More »