Middle East

‘Over Half’ of British Donations to Minor Syrian Relief Charities Go to Fund ISIS

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Over half the UK’s humanitarian donations to Syria via smaller charities end up in the hands of ISIS and other Islamist groups, according to London-based anti-radicalisation think-tank the Quilliam Foundation. “When you take out the major charities like the British Red Cross and the Red Crescent, more than half of the ‘aid’ that goes out to Syria ends up with ... Read More »

Islamic State and the killing of a culture

Devil blowing etc 1a Illustration Andrew Dyson

The great writer Harold Pinter became a clear-spoken, passionate opponent of bigotry, prejudice, censorship and the abuse of power by the powerful. But it was always language that Pinter scrutinised most closely. He spoke, memorably, of discerning “a disease at the very centre of language, so that language becomes a permanent masquerade, a tapestry of lies. The ruthless and cynical ... Read More »

US military says air-drops weapons for Kurdish fighters near Kobane

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The U.S. military said it had air-dropped arms to Syrian rebels fighting Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants near Kobane on Oct. 19, in what appeared to be the Pentagon’s first public acknowledgment it has delivered lethal aid to the rebels. The U.S. Central Command said it had delivered weapons, ammunition and medical supplies to the Syrian ... Read More »

US confirms sharing intel with Syrian Kurds against ISIL

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Washington has confirmed that it has been sharing intelligence and information with the Syrian Kurdish fighters against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants. “We do get intelligence from, get information from a wide range of people – obviously, look for it anywhere we can get it. So yes, there is some intelligence and information sharing going ... Read More »

With friends like Turkey, who needs enemies?

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After its reluctance to confront Isil, Ankara is proving to be a very unreliable Nato ally For a country that is supposed to be a pivotal Nato ally, Turkey sure has a strange way of showing loyalty to its friends in their hour of need. Ankara’s support in the battle to defeat the fanatics of the Islamic State (Isil), who ... Read More »

Afghanistan’s Political Transition

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Afghanistan’s new president, Ashraf Ghani, inherits a government that is running out of money and losing ground to the insurgency. As foreign troops withdraw, the new government must stay united and move quickly on reforms. In its latest report, Afghanistan’s Political Transition, the International Crisis Group examines the politics surrounding the deeply contested 2014 presidential election, analysing threats and opportunities. ... Read More »

CPS tells George Galloway he faces no charges over ‘Israel-free zone’ speech

Respect MP George Galloway outside Parliament last month. Photograph: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

George Galloway will not face charges over a speech he made in August declaring Bradford an “Israel-free zone”. The Respect MP for Bradford West was interviewed by police under caution over claims that his statements in Leeds had incited racial hatred. The Crown Prosecution Service said on Wednesday night it had decided not to charge Galloway, who labelled the allegations ... Read More »

America’s ISIS War Now Called ‘Operation Inherent Resolve’

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U.S. military operations against the Islamic State terrorist group in Iraq and Syria, now in their third month, will officially go by the name Operation Inherent Resolve, the Pentagon says. Commander Elissa Smith, a representative for the Pentagon, confirmed the name choice to Newsweek Wednesday. Targeted strikes against the Islamic State (more commonly known as ISIS) began on August 8. ... Read More »

Alevis rally in Turkish capital against jihadist attacks

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Members of a group of Alevi associations gathered in the Turkish capital Ankara on Oct. 12 to hold a rally to protest jihadist violence launched by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants, as well as compulsory religions classes in Turkey. Some deputies from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) also joined the rally in ... Read More »