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Grounded in Iraq?

Grounded in Iraq? Categories: Iraq, Middle East, Syria     Author: Jonathan Spyer

The United States and its allies have launched a military campaign whose stated goal is, in the words of US President Barack Obama, to "degrade and ultimately destroy" the Islamic State (IS, also known as ISIS or ISIL) established by Sunni jihadis in a contiguous land area stretching from western Ir

Israel's New Northern Exposure

Israel's New Northern Exposure Categories: Islamic Extremism, Israel, Syria, Terrorism     Author: Andrew J. Tabler

While the world focuses on the Islamic State's advances in Iraq and Syria, the Syrian war is spilling over into the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights. On Aug. 28, Syrian rebel groups, led by al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra Front, captured the old border city of Quneitra from the Syrian army and Iranian-b

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Israel and the rise of ISIS Categories: Iraq, Islamic Extremism, Israel, Syria     Author: Amotz Asa-El

It is a landscape with which Jewish history is all too familiar. Here, in the flatlands abutting the Tigris and Euphrates, Jacob fell for Rachel, Jonah warned of approaching calamity, and Ezekiel saw a valley of bones come to life, as 26 centuries of intensive Jewish creation, crowned by the Talmud,

Back to Iraq

Back to Iraq Categories: America, Iraq, Islamic Extremism, Middle East, Syria     Author: Oded Eran

President Obama's Sept. 10 address to the American nation regarding the new US strategy against ISIS leaves many issues unclear, chief among them, what underlies the change in US policy regarding the extremist organisation. Both Obama's speech and public statements by senior American officials offer

Strategies for dealing with ISIS

Strategies for dealing with ISIS Categories: Iraq, Islamic Extremism, Syria, Updates    

With US President Obama scheduled to make a speech overnight detailing his strategy for dealing with the spread of ISIS (the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq) - and having recently signed up some Middle Eastern and Western allies - this Update is devoted to expert advice about what

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Birth of an Islamist State?

Birth of an Islamist State? Categories: Iraq, Islamic Extremism, Syria     Author: Jonathan Spyer

In a stunning and deeply significant development, the fighters of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) organisation captured the Iraqi city of Mosul in the second week of June. They then moved on to take Tikrit unopposed and according to reports, were headed toward the capital, Baghdad. Five

Yaari: Coping Without a Peace Deal

Yaari: Coping Without a Peace Deal Categories: Israel, Palestinians, Syria     Author: Sharyn Mittelman

The Palestinian leadership will never agree to a Palestinian state on the 1967 lines and an end to the conflict with Israel unless all of its demands are met, but that does not mean Israel should not take the initiative towards a two-state outcome. That was a core message of renowned Israeli journal

The Syrian Conundrum

The Syrian Conundrum Categories: International Security, Syria, Updates    

In the wake of the complete failure of the Geneva 2 talks in late February to make any progress toward an agreement that would end the Syrian civil war, journalists, columnists and academic experts have been exploring what foreign policy options now exist to try and change that ugly

Syria chemical weapons deal in difficulties

Syria chemical weapons deal in difficulties Categories: Syria, Updates    

This Update is focussed on growing signs the Russia-brokered deal signed between Syria and the West last September may be faltering - after the Geneva conference on Syria last week failed to achieve any substantive progress. It also includes other material on the Syrian foreign policy pr

Iran and the State of the Union

Iran and the State of the Union Categories: America, Iran, Syria, Updates    

Today’s Update looks at some initial reactions to US President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, which he delivered before Congress earlier today. (The full text of the President’s remarks can be found here.) Of particular interest to our readers would be two

Want peace in Syria? Work on reconciliation from day one

Want peace in Syria? Work on reconciliation from day one Categories: Op-eds, Syria     Author: Or Avi-Guy

When outsiders survey the devastation in Syria, reconciliation is probably the last thing that comes to mind. Millions of refugees and internally displaced people are desperate for humanitarian aid. Millions more are caught in the lines of sectarian fire. Who has time to think about such fluffy &l

The UN effectively gives up on Syria

The UN effectively gives up on Syria Categories: Syria, United Nations, Updates     Author: Or Avi-Guy

Ever get the feeling that, after years of paralysis and stalemate, the international community have given up on resolving the crisis in Syria? The UN General Assembly (UNGA) 68th session has just wrapped up while UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has announced that a Peace Conference for Syria will t

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