Tag Archives: Syria

Challenges in the Middle East create space for cooperation between Russia and Europe

While the disagreement over Ukraine remains a long-term irritant in Russian relations with Europe, it is still too early to speak about the beginning of the new Cold War. In other regions of the world, both sides face challenges that may demand joint cooperation. Currently, there are three main issues that require collaboration in the […]

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Radicalisation in the Sunni community: a problem within

Tripoli, the capital of the Lebanese Sunnis and Lebanon’s second largest city after Beirut, became a battleground for sectarian strife between different groups (Alewites and Sunnis); a conflict exacerbated by the spillover of the Syrian civil war in Lebanon. The “Capital of the North” (Tripoli) has not fully recovered from the on-going battle between its […]

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Opinion: What role should the West play in the Middle East?

The ‘jihadist turn’ of the Syrian Civil War has brought into focus a familiar set of Western neuroses.  Terror, security, militant Islam, the unparalleled (or so we are told) horrors of ISIS; all are invoked as justifications for a renewed campaign of military intervention in the Middle East.  These claims are of course closely related […]

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Opinion: The Moral Necessity of Supporting the Kurds

Kurdish protestors rallied across the world, from Britain to Iran, demanding more support for the militias fighting against the Islamic State (ISIS). Particularly in the besieged city of Kobane, on the Turkey-Syria border, where ISIS has attacked for over three weeks. At least 500 people have died in the conflict, which has brought Jihadism right […]

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The United States and Iran should cooperate on tackling Islamic State

The United States should take this opportunity to reset relations with the Middle East’s main political player. Politics is a fickle game, especially when the United States is involved. Twelve years on from President Bush’s famous Axis of Evil speech, which condemned Iran as a supporter of terrorism, and the chief architect of their crippling […]

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The rationale of kidnapping and hostage execution: What drives ISIS kidnappers?

The morning of 14th September 2014 brought the anticipated yet chilling news that ISIS had executed their third Western prisoner since sweeping so abruptly from the splintered rebel-held territories of Syria into Northern Iraq and onto the global political stage. The death of David Haines – following that of James Foley and Steven Sotloff – […]

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Fighting for a Sovereign Kurdistan

Kurdistan is a roughly defined geo-cultural region, encompassing areas of Northern Iraq, South Turkey, West Iran, and East Syria. The Kurdish people are an ethnic group in the Middle East who inhabit the area Kurdistan. Kurdish settlements have been present in the area documenting back to the medieval period existing during the 16th to 19th […]

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The Salience of Ethnicity in Civil War: Beyond a Singular Explanation

Ethnicity is defined as “The fact or state of belonging to a social group that has a common national or cultural tradition” (Oxford Dictionary Online). Ethnicity and its relationship to conflict are highly relevant in the modern strategic environment; in the post-Cold war international system cleavages along ethnically defined lines have been utilised as an […]

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The West’s new strategy towards Syria’s Assad

The West’s increasing involvement in Iraq to combat the Islamic State (IS) insurgency has placed significant dilemma on its stance towards  Bashar al-Assad. The virtual none existence of the border between Iraq and Syria, and the apparent lack of Iraqi government authority in the Sunni dominated lands, has allowed the formation of the Islamic State and the […]

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Taliban express concern over factional divides as ISIS make significant gains

Leading Taliban officials have released a statement expressing their concerns over disputes between rival jihadist factions in Syria, after the recent declaration made by ISIS (who now wish to be known as the Islamic State) on June 29th that the territory under their control in Iraq and Syria is now an Islamic caliphate, under the […]

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Number of refugees passes 50 million

For the first time since the end of World War II, the total number of refugees in the world has risen above 50 million, according to figures released by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The sharp increase in the total number of refugees was in large part the result of the ongoing Syrian […]

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Swedish Weapons Inspectors: A History

The United Nations head chemical weapons inspector in Syria, Sweden’s Ake Sellström, responded to concerns over Syria’s alleged use of chemical weapons with a dazzling display of patient examination and prudent analysis in the tradition of fellow Swedish disarm-o-crats Rolf Ekéus and Hans Blix. As Sellström’s heroics have rekindled popular interest in Swedish weapons inspectors, […]

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The Syrian Conflict – Who Will You Go To Battle With?

Barack Obama took office in 2008 as a moderate, an accomplished lawyer with enough grammatical tricks and a robust lexicon to weave his way through Congress and the rest of the political establishment. For many, if not all of us, Barack Obama became synonymous with fresh air. A much needed break from his conservative, trigger […]

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UK Parliament’s rejection of military intervention in Syria is a major turning point

Following the unverified claims that chemical weapons were used in Syria, British Prime Minister David Cameron was ready to take military action against the Syrian state within days of the incident. The media and the public were certain that Britain was about to embark on another military campaign, to add to the recent tallies of […]

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The Syrian conflict- time to start thinking outside the box

An end to the violence and conflict in Syria is not in sight, far from it. The UN estimates that around 100,000 have died in the conflict so far and the number is set to rise as both the Assad regime and the rebel movement refuse to end the bloodshed. Many suggestions have been put […]

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