Middle East

What is Russia’s role in Syria and the ‘post-West’ world order?

A man inspects a damaged house after an airstrike on al-Yadouda village, in Deraa Governorate, Syria February 15, 2017. REUTERS/Alaa Al-Faqir - RTSYUBP

It’s become customary not to expect much from the Syria peace conferences. Maxim A. Suchkov Al Monitor The warring parties argue around same mutual claims, often stick to maximalist positions and frequently seem more interested in trying to project a sympathetic image to outside observers than in discussing the issues on the agenda. External sponsors, in… What is Russia’s… Read More »

Is there a US diplomacy vacuum at the UN in Geneva?

UN - BBC

“Where is the US in all this? I can’t tell you because I don’t know.” Imogen Foulkes BBC News These were the words of the United Nations special envoy for Syria, Staffan de Mistura, days before a fresh round of peace talks began. Only a few months… Is there a… Read More »

Democracy, the military and mainstream media in Turkey

TUR - DS

Hürriyet’s manipulative article, which was ironically released at a time when Turkey is still trying to overcome the trauma of the July 15 coup attempt and going to a referendum soon, is a poor copy of the daily’s anti-democratic past Meryem Ilayda Atlas Daily Sabah Daily Hürriyet published an article written by Hande Fırat over the weekend, at a time when Turkey has been trying its best to overcome the trauma caused by the July 15 military coup attempt just ... Read More »

‘I spent the night at my Muslim friends”: Christians flee Islamic State in Sinai

Caup 2b

Ismailia, Egypt: Some fled with little more than the clothes they were wearing, terrified that the militants of Islamic State would come for them… Omar Medhat and Laura King WAtoday Los Angeles Times For a fourth day on Sunday, Coptic Christians – one of Egypt’s most vulnerable minorities – sought safe haven after a series of sectarian killings in and… ‘I spent the… Read More »

The latest UN Syria talks will fail, just like the last ones

Syria - Asia Times

Turkey, Iran, and Russia could set the delicate path to peace in Syria but the colossal differences that have appeared between them mean the latest round of UN talks will be as unsuccessful as the last ones. Sami Moubayed Asia Times The upcoming round of UN-mandated Syria talks, known as Geneva IV, will start in Switzerland this weekend. High hopes were… The latest UN… Read More »

Russia Expected to Veto UN Resolution Blaming Syria for Chemical Attacks

Edux 1a

UNITED NATIONS — Russia says it will veto a draft U.N. resolution blaming the Syrian government for some chemical weapons attacks in Syria if it is brought to a… Margaret Besheer VoA “The resolution prejudges the results of the investigation, it is one-sided [and] based on insufficient evidence,” Russian Deputy U.N. Envoy Vladimir Safronkov told reporters after a… Russia Expected to… Read More »

Why Iran wants Palestine back on regional agenda

Taul 1a

Fatima Navab Safavi is the daughter of Mojtaba Navab Safavi (1924-1955), an Iranian cleric and one of the first to mobilize Iranian masses against Israel back in the early… Ali Hashem Al-Monitor Donning the traditional black chador, Safavi told Al-Monitor in an interview, “Years before the… Why Iran wants… Read More »

Iran confirms: US paid ransom

Runs 1a

Back in September, I testified before the House Financial Services Committee on the allegation that the Obama administration had paid Iran a ransom—at the time it was believed to be $400 million but it was later revealed that the… Michael Rubin AEIdeas At the hearing, it is now clear that State Department officials lied outright to the… Iran confirms: US… Read More »

If You Want Israeli-Palestinian Peace, Stop Talking About A ‘Two-State Solution’

Two state - The Federalist

Before you get a state, you have to learn how to live in peace. David Harsanyi The Federalist Not the reverse. This week, an… If You Want… Read More »

Julie Bishop and Theresa May divided on Syria and Bashar al-Assad

Borris & Julie 1a Jack Taylor Pool

London: A split has opened up between Britain and Australia on the future of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, with Foreign Minister Julie Bishop rejecting British Prime Minister Theresa May’s demands for Assad to go, saying the… Latika Bourke The Canberra Times Mrs May on Thursday local time spoke with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull by… The pair discussed a… Julie Bishop and… Read More »

Slower May Be Better in Going at ISIS

The National Interest

A couple of tendencies that are all too common in policymaking and policy debate tend to make for unwise foreign commitments or overextended foreign expeditions. Paul R. Pillar The National Interest One is to treat a goal that is at most an intermediate objective as if it were an end in itself. Doing so obfuscates… Slower May Be… Read More »

Will this woman become Iran’s first female president?

EDITORS' NOTE: Reuters and other foreign media are subject to Iranian restrictions on their ability to film or take pictures in Tehran.

Nominee for Health Minister Marzieh Vahid-Dastjerdi speaks to lawmakers in parliament in Tehran September 1, 2009. REUTERS/Morteza Nikoubazl (IRAN POLITICS) - RTR27BK4

Iran may see its first female presidential candidate in the May 19 elections. Saeid Jafari Al Monitor After a period of silence, Marzieh Vahid Dastjerdi, the Islamic Republic’s first and only female minister, has in recent days and weeks made headlines once again. Dastjerdi headed the… Will this woman… Read More »

Can NATO survive Turkey?

Tr & other NARO flags 1a Reuters Francois Lenoir

It has become a staple of diplomatic rhetoric that, whatever problems the United States has with the current government in Turkey, diplomats must ameliorate President Recep Tayyip Erdogan because Turkey is too important to NATO and also a… Michael Rubin AEI Certainly, that is the position of the… Can NATO survive… Read More »

Turkey lifts ban on Islamic headscarf in military

epa01245427 A Turkish Muslim woman with a headscarf rests after a pro Islamist demonstration in Istanbul, Turkey, 02 February 2008. Turkey's ruling party AKP (Justice and Development Party) agreed with Ultra Nationalist party MHP (Nationalist Movement Party) to lift a decades-old ban on Islamic headscarves in universities, where the headscarves are still forbidden (also in highschools and primary schools).  EPA/KERIM OKTEN

Turkey on Wednesday said it was lifting a historic ban on female officers wearing the Islamic headscarf in the officially secular country’s armed forces. SBS The military was the final Turkish institution where women were prohibited from wearing the headscarf, after reforms by the Islamic-rooted government under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that has allowed it to be worn in… Turkey lifts ban… Read More »

Misrepresentation and mispresentation of Islam

Islam - Daily Sabah

Both the Muslim and non-Muslim world have much to learn from the true source of Islam, whose teachings have been largely left unattended, unexamined and unpracticed on by both sides Ergin Yaman Daily Sabah As racial discrimination, vilification and intolerance continue to remain a global issue, it is only recently that countries have come up with legislation and policies to tackle this problem, while over 14 centuries ago, one man… Misrepresentation and mispresentation… Read More »

Erdoğan to Me: Stay Out of Turkey

Auk 3c

I participated yesterday in a conference about the eastern Mediterranean at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies (BESA) just outside Tel Aviv; and because Tel Aviv is the diplomatic center of Israel, its events attract a good number of… Daniel Pipes Cross-posted from National Review Online Yesterday was no exception, with a… Erdoğan to Me… Read More »