Middle East

Lofty ambitions confront reality in Turkish Stream pipeline

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Russia and Turkey signed an agreement to build a gas pipeline early this month, provoking worry that the Turkish Stream pipeline could render Ukraine obsolete as a gas conduit to Europe. By Josh Kovensky Ankara appears to have ambitions to become a gas transit hub connecting Central Asia, the Black Sea region and the… Lofty ambitions confront… Read More »

Unwanted: $10B gas deal with Israel that Jordan needs

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For one hour every Sunday, Alaa Wishah and his family sit at home in the dark. The pharmacist in Jordan’s capital of Amman isn’t trying to save money. Wishah, his wife and their three children are joining the protest against a $10 billion energy import agreement with Israel that has revived old animosities in this part of the… Unwanted: $10B gas… Read More »

Parliament awards Sakharov Prize to Yazidi women

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Murad Basee and Aji Bashar are advocates for the Yazidi community, the Parliament said. By CYNTHIA KROET Two Yazidi women, who have advocated the plight of survivors of horrific abuse by ISIL in Iraq, have been awarded the European Parliament’s 2016 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, the… Parliament awards Sakharov… Read More »

3 Factors for the U.S. to Consider in Assessing Iran’s Role in Yemen Attacks

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Publicly blaming Tehran for the recent missile strikes would be a serious matter, so U.S. officials need to go through several preparatory steps before deciding whether that is the best course of action. Michael Singh After missiles fired from the coast of Yemen (unsuccessfully) targeted a U.S. Navy destroyer in the Red Sea on Oct. 9 and Oct. 12, U.S. officials unequivocally blamed the Shiite Houthi rebels that control Yemen’s capital. U.S. forces responded to the… 3 Factors for… Read More »

U.N. envoy to Yemen hands peace plan outline to rival parties

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SANAA: The United Nations envoy to Yemen has handed an outline for a peace plan to Houthi rebels in control of the capital which includes depriving their rival, President Abed Rabbou Mansour Hadi, of his authorities and the withdrawal of rebels from major cities, a Houthi-affiliated politician said Tuesday. Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed left Sanaa after a three-day visit aimed at pushing for an end the… U.N. envoy to… Read More »

Turkey: Erdogan’s Stealth Jihad Against the West

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Erdogan fights anyone and anything outside the sphere of his understanding of Sunni Islamism. by Burak Bekdil His arguments typically reflect an Islamist’s angry inner thoughts, feelings of “defeat against the non-Muslim West” and a “powerful urge to reverse the world order in favor of political Islam.” Erdogan is not honest even when he insists on a… Turkey: Erdogan’s… Read More »

Is Turkey Pivoting to China?

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As Turkey looks for alternative partners, it is not Russia or Iran but China that offers the most promise, so the United States should shore up its own ties with Ankara in response. Michael Singh  U.S.-Turkish relations were strained before the July coup attempt against President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and… Is Turkey Pivoting… Read More »

How Erdogan’s Family Uses Non-Profits In D.C. For Lobbying

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“We created ‘Everything For Turkey Platform’ as if it was apolitical… a structure that was supposed to voice democratic demands of Turks in the U.S. … But because [Turkey’s ruling party] AK Party is not officially here, all our activities so far have been outright political. I am not disturbed by that. Of course, we… How Erdogan’s Family… Read More »

13 Years of War: Mosul’s Frightening and Uncertain Future

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Mosul has been a dangerous place since the US-led invasion of 2003. by Patrick Cockburn It is the greatest Sunni Arab city of Iraq during an era in which the Sunni had lost their old predominance and have struggled against Shia-dominated governments in Baghdad and… 13 Years of… Read More »

Italy PM brands UNESCO Jerusalem vote ‘unacceptable’

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“It is incomprehensible and unacceptable, it was a mistake,” Renzi told Italian radio. World Bulletin / News Desk Italy’s Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, on Friday described a UNESCO resolution condemning Israel’s actions in east Jerusalem as “incomprehensible and unacceptable” and said his officials should have voted… Italy PM brands… Read More »

Aleppo Siege, Strikes Are ‘Crimes of Historic Proportions’: UN Rights Chief

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The top United Nations human rights official said Friday that the siege and bombing of the Syrian city of Aleppo constituted “crimes of historic proportions.” Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, a Jordanian prince and the current U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, referred to Aleppo as “a… Aleppo Siege, Strikes… Read More »

Russian warships pass through English Channel

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A flotilla of Russian warships is passing through the English Channel en route to Syria. Two British naval ships are shadowing the vessels. The Ministry of Defence said they would be “man-marked every step of the… Russian warships pass… Read More »

EU Dancing to Washington’s Tune in Syria

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The EU’s threat to refer the situation in Syria to the International Criminal Court (ICC) in order to accuse Moscow and Damascus of war crimes is yet another attempt by the US and its European allies to throw a wrench in the Russo-Syrian counter-terrorism operation, experts suggest. On Monday EU foreign ministers strongly criticized Russia for the country’s air operation over Aleppo and hinted at the… EU Dancing to… Read More »

Palestinian builds dream car despite Gaza challenges

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Car enthusiast in blockaded Gaza Strip puts ingenuity to test, builds replica of classic 1920s-era Mercedes World Bulletin / News Desk At first glance, Muneer Shindi’s automotive workshop looks just like most others in Gaza City’s industrial district. But upon closer inspection, his badly-kept secret can be seen stowed in the… Palestinian builds dream… Read More »

Qatar retrospective exhibits Iraqi artist Dia Azzawi

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Iraqi artist’s major retrospective in Doha is a “manifesto” against events following the US invasion of Iraq in 2003. Andrew Chappelle Doha, Qatar – Dia Azzawi, the 77-year old Iraqi pioneer of modern Arab art, has described his latest major exhibition as a… Qatar retrospective exhibits Iraqi… Read More »

Shoring Up the Status Quo at Jerusalem’s Holy Esplanade

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Defusing conflict over Jerusalem’s holiest site Even the name of Jerusalem’s holiest site causes fundamental disagreement. For Jews, it is the Temple Mount, for Muslims, the Noble Sanctuary or the Al-Aqsa Mosque. So when the Holy Esplanade looked set to become an… Shoring Up the… Read More »