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August 24, 2016
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Tag: Syria

The President Tries to Relax









Posted on Aug 23, 2016 ENLARGE


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Is Turkey’s Pivot to Russia Aimed at President Erdogan’s Survival? (Video)

Turkish Prime Minister Yildirim Binali has announced a significant about-face in the country’s Syria policy.

Posted on Aug 23, 2016 READ MORE



U.S.-Allied Kurds Advance in Northeast Syria (Video)

Clashes continued Sunday as Kurdish fighters drove the Syrian army from districts of the city of Hasaka.

Posted on Aug 23, 2016 READ MORE



U.S. Jets Almost Tangle With Syrian MiGs, Which Bombed an Area With Embedded U.S. Troops

A new round of fighting between Kurdish YPG fighters and the Syrian army could drag the United States into war.

Posted on Aug 22, 2016 READ MORE



Angela Merkel: New Islamic Migrants Did Not Bring Radical Terrorism to Germany (Video)

The chancellor pointed out that despite the influx of about 1 million migrants and refugees in the past year, radicalism predated the rise of Islamic State and the current refugee crisis. 

Posted on Aug 21, 2016 READ MORE


Photo of the Week: Omran Daqneesh, Pulled From the Rubble in Aleppo

Covered in blood and filth, his hair tousled, Omran looks shocked but serene, a picture of resignation that suggests a long familiarity with the horror that has struck him.

Posted on Aug 20, 2016 WATCH & LISTEN


Syrian Child









Posted on Aug 19, 2016 ENLARGE



Climate Change Helps Drive Ethnically Divided Societies Into Armed Conflict

New scientific research confirms that climate-related extremes of heat or drought lead people divided by race or culture to fight over life’s necessities.

Posted on Aug 18, 2016 READ MORE



Do Russia’s First Strikes on Syria From Iranian Air Bases Change Everything? (Video)

Russian bombers for the first time took off from bases in Iran to carry out airstrikes on rebel targets in Syria—a move that is unprecedented in recent decades and raises many questions.

Posted on Aug 17, 2016 READ MORE



Seven Reasons the U.S. Could Not Have Forestalled the Syrian Civil War

Americans are practical people, and they incorrectly believe that all problems have relatively simple solutions. 

Posted on Aug 16, 2016 READ MORE



Residents in Syrian Town Celebrate Freedom From Islamic State (Video)

Men shaved their beards, which had been imposed on them by the fundamentalists, and women threw off their burqas and burned them in the northern town of Manbij on Saturday.

Posted on Aug 15, 2016 READ MORE



Obama Did Not Found Islamic State, Mr. Trump—the GOP Did (Video)

In his daily free-association exercise, the Republican presidential nominee accused the president of creating the terrorist organization by withdrawing troops from Iraq in 2011. But the timetable for withdrawal was set by the Bush administration.

Posted on Aug 14, 2016 READ MORE



Number of Islamic State Fighters Falls to 15,000

Islamic State as a territorial power is slowly coming to an end, but as a source of terrorism it will have a long run.

Posted on Aug 14, 2016 READ MORE



Truthdiggers of the Week: The Refugee Olympic Team

The 10 athletes competing without a flag or anthem at the Rio Olympics are challenging conceptions of nationalism, as well as reminding the world that the growing refugee crisis must be addressed.

Posted on Aug 13, 2016 READ MORE


Who’s on Whose Side? (Video)









With nearly all attention focused on the latest headline-grabbing statement by Donald Trump or a suction-cupped Trump Tower climber (fun stuff, I admit), it’s important to remember that there are real issues, real suffering and extreme complexity in the world.
Posted on Aug 11, 2016 ENLARGE



American Civil Liberties Union Forces U.S. to Release Secret Drone Playbook

The long-awaited release of the guidelines provide “a timely reminder of the breadth of the powers that will soon be in the hands of another president,” an ACLU spokesman said.

Posted on Aug 7, 2016 READ MORE



Islamic State’s Important Smuggling City of Manbij, Syria, Has Fallen to the Kurd-Arab Force

The war in Syria is nowhere near to being over, but the Islamic State period may be coming to an end.

Posted on Aug 7, 2016 READ MORE



Hillary Clinton and Her Hawks

Clinton’s speech accepting her party’s nomination sidestepped the deep concerns anti-war Democrats have about her hawkish foreign policy, which is already taking shape in the shadows.

Posted on Aug 4, 2016 READ MORE



Syrian Woman Tells Harrowing Story of Being Forced Into Sexual Slavery Ring in Lebanon

A 24-year-old woman left her war-torn country after being promised a restaurant job in Lebanon. Once there, she was tortured and forced to become a prostitute before eventually escaping and helping break up the sex-trafficking network.

Posted on Aug 2, 2016 READ MORE



Is Russia Deepening Cooperation With U.S. in Syria, or Is It Hitting Bases Used by U.S.? (Video)

Russian warplanes recently bombed a Syrian base used by the U.S. and the U.K. At the same time, the Arabic press commented on a Washington Post report that the U.S. and Russia are jointly striking al-Qaida in Syria.

Posted on Jul 25, 2016 READ MORE



A Story of Two Syrian Sieges: Manbij and East Aleppo

On Wednesday, the Syrian Democratic Forces (a mixed Kurdish and Arab group) advanced further into the city of Manbij, a major outpost for Islamic State in northern Syria.

Posted on Jul 14, 2016 READ MORE



Is John Kerry Right? Are the Freemen of Syria and Army of Islam Radical Terrorists?

Josh Rogin of The Washington Post has caused a stir by noticing something that Secretary of State John Kerry said at Aspen last month.

Posted on Jul 13, 2016 READ MORE



Syrian Troops Foil al-Qaida Riposte in Aleppo as France Warns al-Qaida Could Replace Islamic State

Even as the Syrian army defeated a counteroffensive by al-Qaida in Syria and its battlefield allies in Aleppo, French President Francois Hollande warned that al-Qaida should not be allowed to replace the declining Islamic State in Syria.

Posted on Jul 13, 2016 READ MORE



If East Aleppo Falls to Regime, Is the Syrian War Over?

It seems to me that if the Syrian regime can retake and keep East Aleppo, the war will have been decided in its favor.

Posted on Jul 11, 2016 READ MORE



How Brexit Will Affect U.S. Foreign Policy

The decision of British voters to leave the European Union signaled the end of politics as usual in the U.K. Americans will have to wait until 2020 or later for a chance at real change.

Posted on Jul 5, 2016 READ MORE



Putin Has the Winning Hand in Syria, as Turkey Apologizes and Obama Deals (Video)

The Russian intervention in Syria substantially changed the conversation surrounding Vladimir Putin in the aftermath of the Crimea annexation.

Posted on Jul 3, 2016 READ MORE



We Live in an Age of Disintegration

Nowhere is the process of destabilization more evident than in the Greater Middle East and Africa, in places where it is possible to doubt that civilization will ever return.

Posted on Jun 30, 2016 READ MORE



Neoconservatives Endorse Hillary Clinton for President Because They Know She’s One of Them

Iraq warmonger Robert Kagan and his ilk aren’t supporting Clinton merely because they want rid of Donald Trump, writes Trevor Timm at The Guardian.

Posted on Jun 29, 2016 READ MORE



Syrian War Spills Over: Radical Salafis Attack Christian Village in Lebanon

A wave of suicide bombings launched by four radical attackers struck al-Qaa, a largely Christian Lebanese village on the border with Syria on Monday, killing five locals and wounding 15.

Posted on Jun 29, 2016 READ MORE



Fallujah Falls: The Slow Death of Islamic State and the Future of Iraq

As Shakir Jawdat, Chief of the Iraqi Federal Police, announced the complete liberation of the last, northern neighborhoods of Fallujah from Islamic State, Prime Minister Haydar al-Abadi came to the city on Sunday to plant the Iraqi flag right downtown.

Posted on Jun 27, 2016 READ MORE



2008 All Over Again

Great Britain’s decision to leave the European Union presages perhaps another global financial meltdown. Banks will again demand massive bailouts. We will be forced to again swallow austerity measures, and there will be a continued decline in living standards.

Posted on Jun 24, 2016 READ MORE



Despite Terrorism Fears, 59 Percent of Americans Welcome Syrian and Iraqi Refugees (Videos)

Despite the raft of Republican mayors who have pledged to keep Syrian refugees out of their states (that isn’t actually a thing) and the sewage that has spilled from the mouth of Donald Trump, a majority of Americans supports helping Syrian and Iraqi immigrants and letting them into the U.S.

Posted on Jun 22, 2016 READ MORE



British Trumpism? The Slaying of MP Jo Cox by an Anti-Immigrant ‘Britain First’ White Man

The assassination of Jo Cox, a progressive Labour Party member of the United Kingdom’s Parliament, should make all of us wary of ultranationalism and where it can take our countries.

Posted on Jun 19, 2016 READ MORE



World More Violent in Past Year, but Middle East Drives Deterioration (Video)

The 2016 Global Peace Index has been released, with the bad news that the world is slightly more violent this year than last. But if you subtracted the Middle East, in most of the world there was more peace, not less.

Posted on Jun 12, 2016 READ MORE



Syrian Army on Collision Course With Kurds in Race to Raqqa (Video)

With Islamic State ‘capital’ as the prize, Russian-backed Syrian forces have vowed to put down the U.S.-backed YPG (People’s Protection Units).

Posted on Jun 9, 2016 READ MORE



Syrian Government Troops Enter Islamic State-Held Raqqa Province, Racing Against U.S. Allies

Syrian troops, aided by a Homs-based pro-government militia, the ‘Falcons of the Desert,’ and with Russian air support, entered Raqqa province from Hama for the first time in two years on Saturday.

Posted on Jun 7, 2016 READ MORE



Powerful Exhibits on Both Coasts Explore Borders and the Plight of Refugees

Artists at galleries in Los Angeles and New York zoom in on some of the world’s 60,000 displaced people—and one “solution” for dealing with them.

Posted on Jun 2, 2016 READ MORE



U.S.-Kurdish Force Moves on Islamic State at Manbij, and Turkey Goes Ballistic (Video)

Less than two weeks after the Syrian Democratic Forces announced their campaign against al-Raqqa, the capital of the phony caliphate of Islamic State, the SDF instead has veered off to the west in a bid to capture Manbij.

Posted on Jun 2, 2016 READ MORE


Repeat Deployments









Posted on Jun 1, 2016 ENLARGE



U.S. Special Ops on Front Line With Syrian Kurds in Offensive Against Islamic State

Agence France Presse got the scoop last week, reporting that special operations troops were embedded with Kurdish People’s Protection Units and wearing their insignia, participating in combat against the I.S. stronghold in northern Syria.

Posted on May 29, 2016 READ MORE


What Would Happen if You Looked These Refugees in the Eye?

After polls showed that a majority of Germans fear a rise in crime if people fleeing violence are allowed into the country, Amnesty International brought some Germans face to face with refugees in an experiment psychologists say helps people bond.

Posted on May 28, 2016 WATCH & LISTEN



U.S.-Backed Kurds Begin Campaign Against Islamic State in Northern Syria (Video)

The left-leaning Beirut daily al-Safir newspaper discusses the beginning of a new campaign by the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces against Islamic State in the northern half of al-Raqqa Province.

Posted on May 25, 2016 READ MORE



U.S. Centcom Commander in Syria to Coordinate Kurds and Arabs Against Islamic State

The head of the U.S. Middle East Command, Army Gen. Joseph Votel, was there to assess American progress in training the Syrian Democratic Forces division.

Posted on May 24, 2016 READ MORE



Top Hezbollah Commander in Syria Killed in Explosion; Radical Salafis Blamed

Mustafa Badreddine, the Hezbollah commander responsible for Syria, was killed last Friday in an explosion near Damascus.

Posted on May 17, 2016 READ MORE



Poof! It’s Forgotten: The Snapchat Version of American Victory

I hope you’ll forgive me if I suggest that the Iraq-Syria War against Islamic State is being conveyed to us via Snapchat. Important things happen, they appear in front of us, and then ... POOF! They’re gone.

Posted on May 16, 2016 READ MORE



Surprise! Despite Syria-Iraq Turmoil, Major Mideast Economies Are Growing at 3 to 4 percent (Video)

When you hear only bad news from a place, you form a negative opinion of it.

Posted on May 15, 2016 READ MORE



‘Chaos & Caliphate’: Sanctions, Revolutions and Sectarian War

Excerpts from a new book chronicling a quarter-century of struggle in the Greater Middle East introduce us to a man who risks life and limb defusing land mines for a pittance, and to an idea about the best hope to stop the civil war in Syria.

Posted on May 12, 2016 READ MORE



To the Next U.S. President, the Unlimited Power to Spy, Imprison and Kill

By mutual consent of those in power in Washington, all resistance to illegal surveillance, detainment and murder is now firmly in the past, and the power to use them will pass to the nation’s next leader—whoever it is.

Posted on May 11, 2016 READ MORE



9/11 Mastermind Backs Syrian al-Qaida and Calls for More Global Terror Volunteers

Al-Qaida central leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, a mastermind of the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., has issued a new audiotape.

Posted on May 11, 2016 READ MORE


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