Middle East

Inside Bashar al-Assad’s mind

Syria is a conflict with no breaks and Assad himself is insulated in its cockpit. by James Denselow Just before the latest attempt at a ceasefire began, Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad visited the newly captured Damascus suburb of Daraya. Several photo opportunities showed him looking relaxed and… Source: Inside Bashar al-Assad’s mind – Al Jazeera English Read More »

Juncker calls for EU defense HQ

The European Union should set up a headquarters to coordinate efforts towards creating a common military force, European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker said Sept. 14. “We don’t have a permanent structure and without that, we are not able to work efficiently and so we must have a European HQ and… Source: Juncker calls for EU defense HQ – EUROPE Read More »

Israel rejects appeal against force-feeding prisoners

Supreme court rejects an appeal from Israeli doctors who view the practice as torture and medically risky. Israel’s Supreme Court has ruled that the force-feeding of prisoners on hunger strike is constitutional after rejecting an appeal from the Israel Medical Association. “This law is legal under Israeli law and… Source: Israel rejects appeal against force-feeding prisoners – News from Al Jazeera Read More »

Turkey has detained a prominent novelist. We unite to say this vendetta must end

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Ahmet Altan and his brother, Mehmet Altan, were taken away in a dawn raid on Saturday. We call for his release and for freedom of expression to be respected. Orhan Pamuk, JM Coetzee,Elena Ferrante and others We the undersigned call upon democrats throughout the world, as well as those who care about the future of Turkey and the… Source: Turkey has detained a prominent novelist. We unite to say this vendetta must end | Opinion | The Guardian Read More »

U.S., Russia clinch Syria deal, aim for truce from Monday

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By David Brunnstrom and Tom Miles | GENEVA The United States and Russia hailed a breakthrough deal on Saturday to put Syria’s peace process back on track, including a nationwide truce effective from sundown on Monday, improved humanitarian aid access and joint military targeting of banned Islamist groups. “Today, Sergei Lavrov and I, on behalf of our presidents and our countries, call on every Syrian stakeholder to support the plan that the… Source: U.S., Russia clinch Syria deal, aim for ... Read More »

UN: Israeli occupation stunts Palestinian economy

New UN report finds Palestinian economy would double in size without Israeli occupation. By Zena Tahhan The economy of the occupied Palestinian territories would be at least twice as large if the 49-year-old Israeli occupation was lifted, a new United Nations report has found… Source: UN: Israeli occupation stunts Palestinian economy – News from Al Jazeera Read More »

The Unspoken War on Yemen, Anglo-American Crimes against Humanity, U.N. and Media Silence, Complicity of “The International Community”, Destruction of an Entire Country…

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Is your money that good? Will it buy you forgiveness? Do you think that it could?” (Bob Dylan, b 1941, Masters of War.) By Felicity Arbuthnot On Tuesday 6th of September, twenty-four hour monitoring by Yemen’s Legal Centre for Rights and Development (LCRD)recorded the bombings by the Saudi led “coalition”, armed by the US and UK and advised by their military specialists, thus collusion and co-operation of both countries render them equally culpable for the… Source: The Unspoken War on Yemen, ... Read More »

Uncovering the Truth about a West Bank Palestinian Refugee Camp

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees claims that its mission ishumanitarian, apolitical, and dedicated to non-violence. Yet UNRWA’s critics claim otherwise, citing evidence of resistance to resettling refugees from the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, a conflict which resulted in an unprecedented legal claim to the… Source: Uncovering the Truth about a West Bank Palestinian Refugee Camp :: Middle East Forum Read More »

The Erdoğan-Gülen Rivalry

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Ankara has sent evidence to Washington allegedly proving that Fethullah Gülen, who resides in Pennsylvania, orchestrated the recent failed coup in Turkey. The US is understandably hesitant to agree to his demand for Gülen’s extradition, given Erdoğan’s post-coup purge to consolidate power and unapologetic silencing of his critics, as well as his tyrannical behavior in… Source: The Erdoğan-Gülen Rivalry | Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies Read More »

Tehran-Riyadh war of words heats up as Iranians miss hajj

A bitter war of words between Iran and Saudi Arabia intensified on Sept. 7 ahead of the annual hajj pilgrimage from which Iranians have been excluded for the first time in decades. Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei blasted the “incompetence” of the Saudi royal family as he met with the families of victims of a deadly stampede during last year’s hajj. “This incident proves once again that this cursed, evil family does not deserve to be in charge and… Source: Tehran-Riyadh war of words heats up as Iranians miss hajj – MIDEAST Read More »

Report of the Commission on the Eastern Mediterranean

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Shaul Chorev, Mary Landrieu, Ami Ayalon, Seth Cropsey, Charles D. Davidson, Douglas J. Feith, Arthur Herman, Ron Prosor, Gary Roughead & Eytan Sheshinski Authoritarian politics, energy and computer technology and war are rapidly transforming the Eastern Mediterranean.Political instability — triggered by the Arab Spring — has made the region extraordinarily violent. Syria is disintegrating; millions of refugees from the conflict have spread across the… Source: Report of the Commission on the Eastern Mediterranean – by Shaul Chorev Mary Landrieu Ami ... Read More »

A Fight to the Death: Syria’s Kurds Defend Their Land Against Invading Turks

The Syrian Kurdish leadership vows to defend their de facto state in north east Syria to the end, but is fearful of a growing understanding between the Syrian and Turkish governments in opposition to Kurdish separatism at a time when US support for the Kurds is faltering. by PATRICK COCKBURN In an exclusive interview with The Independent, a senior Syrian Kurdish official says that the Kurds will fight to the death to stopTurkey “invading the region” and… Source: A Fight to ... Read More »

What are Russia’s objectives in the Middle East and in the Caspian?

August was a month of active Russian diplomacy in the Middle East and the Caspian region. By Yekaterina Chulkovskaya, Russia Beyond the Headlines A meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin, Azerbaijani President Ilkham Aliyev and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani took place in Baku on… Source: What are Russia’s objectives in the Middle East and in the Caspian? – UPI.com Read More »

Cyprus-Egypt pipe deal opens door for East Med gas

Cyprus has signed a deal to build a pipeline to supply Egypt with natural gas once production starts from the Aphrodite field located offshore the Mediterranean island. The agreement sets the political framework for additional commercial agreements, Cyprus’ Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis and Egypt’s Petroleum Minister Tarek el-… Source: Cyprus-Egypt pipe deal opens door for East Med gas Read More »

Can Israel become a maritime power?

A commission of former Israeli and American navy admirals and policymakers is calling for the Jewish state to take a far greater role in securing and administering the Eastern Mediterranean, so the US doesn’t have to. BY HAVIV RETTIG GUR Several years ago, before the onset of the Arab Spring, the eminent historian Bernard Lewis suggested that Israel’s future in the Middle East was more secure than many assumed. In measurable ways, the nearer… Source: Can Israel become a maritime ... Read More »

Israel Courts Foreign Money in Effort to Become Gas Exporter

LONDON — Israel’s energy minister laid on the charm as he spoke to a few dozen oil executives, contractors and analysts in a crowded hotel conference room about the country’s natural gas prospects. By STANLEY REED  He crowed that the country could one day be a top supplier to Europe, while explaining how multinationals in other industries were already… Source: Israel Courts Foreign Money in Effort to Become Gas Exporter – The New York Times Read More »