Middle East

What you need to know about the Israeli settlements

Israel - CNN

(CNN) – Four issues have dominated the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the most difficult to solve and the most complex to handle: the status of Jerusalem, Palestinian refugees (and their right of return), borders, and settlements. Oren Liebermann CNN Recent announcements by the Israeli government of the expansion of West Bank settlements, made in the period since Donald Trump became US President, have put settlements back in the spotlight. The announcements come… What you need to… Read More »

Turkey is finding itself a place in the new world

Daily Sabah

In 1967, when the United States and Turkey were at odds over Cyprus, President Lyndon Johnson wrote a letter to Prime Minister İsmet İnönü threatening to block Turkish warships from sailing to the island. Ilnur Cevik Daily Sabah İnönü in reply told the U.S. president that if the world falls apart “Turkey will find itself a place in the new world.” Today, after five… Turkey is finding… Read More »

Role of women central to necessary reforms within Islam

Women - Irish Examiner

ARE we too complacent in Ireland about the threat of radical Islam? TP O’Mahony Irish Examiner An illegal immigrant scam at Dublin airport suggests so. On this, World Hijab… Role of women… Read More »

Taking west Mosul: A bridge too far?

Mosul - Al Jazeera

Squeezing ISIL out of west Mosul will perhaps be the most defining battle in Iraq following the US-led invasion in 2003. Tallha Abdulrazaq Al Jazeera News The battle for Mosul has now entered its 15th week. The Iraqi Security… Taking west Mosul… Read More »

James Packer caught in middle of corruption inquiry into Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

Packer - ABC

James Packer’s lawyer asked about arranging citizenship or residency in Israel for the Australian billionaire, the country’s Interior Minister says, in a move that could bring Mr Packer significant tax benefits. Sophie McNeill ABC Mr Packer has found himself caught in the middle of a major corruption inquiry that has rocked the Middle Eastern country. His name has been… James Packer caught in… Read More »

Is political solution in Syria any closer after Astana talks?

People walk past a billboard depicting Syria's President Bashar al-Assad at Saadallah al-Jabri Square, in the government controlled area of Aleppo, Syria December 17, 2016. REUTERS/Omar Sanadiki - RTX2VGTH

International peace talks have been taking place for several years now in an effort to come to a political solution for the ongoing war in Syria. Nour Samaha Al Monitor Yet the recent Astana talks, much like the previous Geneva talks, have demonstrated that they have little impact on the ground, as both the Syrian government and regional actors continue to push their own agendas. From the get-go, the… Is political solution in… Read More »

The real reason Erdoganists still love Trump despite ‘Muslim ban’

A woman and her daughter wait for two of her other children and her sister to arrive on a flight from Qatar after U.S. President Donald Trump's executive order travel ban at Logan Airport in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. January 30, 2017.   REUTERS/Brian Snyder - RTX2YWWV

The executive order by US President Donald Trump, banning the citizens of seven predominantly Muslim nations from entering the United States, has sparked major protests all across America. Mustafa Akyol Al Monitor Most Muslims, naturally, were happy to see this solidarity offered to them by Jews, Christians, atheists and many others who do not share their faith. However, the same… The real reason… Read More »

Trump bans, Iran profits

An Iranian woman looks at a mural drawing of spearmen bearing the faces of (From L to R): Iraq's late president Saddam Hussein, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, a masked man, US President Barack Obama, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and German Chancellor Angela Merkel on a street in the Iranian capital Tehran on July 30, 2014. Iran's supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei urged the Islamic world on July 29, 2014 to arm Palestinians to allow them to counter what he called Israel's "genocide" in the Gaza Strip. AFP PHOTO/BEHROUZ MEHRI        (Photo credit should read BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images)

The US president wants to keep his country safe, but he’s strengthening Tehran and ISIL. David Patrikarakos Politico President Donald Trump’s executive order banning people from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. was intended to safeguard Americans from terrorism. Instead, it is likely to… Trump bans, Iran… Read More »

Does Syria really want to reconcile with Kurds?

A Kurdish fighter from the People's Protection Units (YPG) carries his weapon as he walks at the faculty of economics where a defaced picture of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is seen in the background, in the Ghwairan neighborhood of Hasaka, Syria, August 22, 2016. REUTERS/Rodi Said - RTX2MKNT

QAMISHLI, Syria — Syrian Kurds are working quietly but feverishly to build a state entity with its own security, economy and sociocultural bodies. Fehim Taştekin Al Monitor But what if Damascus rejects this system and opts for war? I recently traveled through… Does Syria really want… Read More »

Iraq retaliates against US travel ban imposed by Trump

Iraq - Daily Sabah

Two lawmakers say that the Iraqi parliament has approved a “reciprocity measure” after U.S. President Donald Trump’s executive order temporarily banning citizens from Iraq and six other Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. Compiled from Wire Services Daily Sabah The measure, adopted by lawmakers at a Monday session of parliament, is to apply to Americans entering Iraq. Lawmakers Kamil al-Ghrairi… Iraq retaliates against US… Read More »

Why are Islamist armed groups clashing in Syria?

Syria - Al Jazeera

Rebel alliances in Syria fluctuate frequently, mirroring the ever-changing complexities of the region. Rami G Khouri Al Jazeera News The fresh clashes in Syria’s Idlib region between a dozen important Islamist and extremist rebel movements are battles for turf and authority on the ground – but they also mirror northern Syria’s ever-changing complexities, as…. Why are Islamist armed… Read More »

Failed Islamic State?

Islamic state - Asia Times

The once-sleepy town of Idlib is fast becoming a hotbed for militants who are being funnelled there by outside powers, possibly as part of grand plan Sami Moubayed Asia Times Until a few years ago, Idlib was nothing but a sleepy and forgotten city in the Syrian northwest, famed for its agricultural fields and for a celebrated resistance leader it produced at the end of World War I, who staged a… Failed Islamic… Read More »

4 reasons Turkey is destined for an imperial presidency

Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan attends a Republic Day ceremony at Anitkabir, the mausoleum of modern Turkey's founder Ataturk, to mark the republic's anniversary as he is flanked by Prime Minister Binali Yildirim (R) in Ankara, Turkey, October 29, 2016. REUTERS/Umit Bektas - RTX2QXOL

Turkey’s president has his political propaganda machine all oiled up and ready to roll to victory in April, when voters will very likely grant him exceptional powers. Pinar Tremblay Al Monitor On Jan. 21, Turkey’s parliament approved 18 amendments to its tainted constitution, which dates back to 1982. The controversial reforms now… 4 reasons Turkey is… Read More »

An uncertain future for peace

Green Line 2b LLLL

It looks like the tide is high in the UN-brokered Cyprus reunification talks, now that the focus is on the thorny issue of security and guarantees in a… Annie Charalambous incyprus The two leaders met in Nicosia yesterday for the first time since the Geneva-hosted security-focused Conference on Cyprus and agreed to meet again on… An uncertain future… Read More »

Cyprus hopes dashed by Turkes four freedoms demand

Tugrul Turkes 1a LLLL

Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister, Tugrul Turkes, has torpedoed hopes for a settlement on the Cyprus problem after publically stating that his country will not budge on its request for four freedoms for the… in-cyprus Turkes – who had travelled to Geneva earlier this month to meet with Turkish Cypriot negotiator Ozdil Nami – said that the… Cyprus hopes dashed… Read More »

Theresa May’s visit to Turkey betrays our liberal values

Koino 3c

The prime minister is so desperate for trade deals that she is embracing a regime of full-frontal authoritarianism. This tawdry tour shames Britain Sarah Olney The Guardian And so the Brexit cavalcade gathers pace. After paying court to Donald Trump in Washington on Friday, Theresa May will fly to… Theresa May’s visit… Read More »