Middle East

Report of the Commission on the Eastern Mediterranean

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 »

Is Turkey turning its back on the US?

On a cool day in Istanbul the Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge was opened to much fanfare. Rose Asani Hundreds, if not thousands, came to watch Turkey’s President Erdogan unveil a masterpiece in design and engineering. Named after the conquering Ottoman Sultan who expanded the Empire into the Middle East, it has been billed as a ‘bridge to the future’ for the… Source: Is Turkey turning its back on the US? | Coffee House Read More »

Syria: Evacuation of Daraya begins in deal to end siege

First buses of evacuees leave besieged Damascus suburb, as rebels prepare to cede control of area to government forces. Residents and rebels began leaving the besieged Damascus suburb of Daraya on Friday, part of an evacuation deal to end one of the longest stand-offs in Syria’s five-year-long war… Source: Syria: Evacuation of Daraya begins in deal to end siege – News from Al Jazeera Read More »

Can Saudi Arabia Escape the Trap of Endless War in Yemen?

Riyadh can’t bomb its way out of this one. Thomas W. Lippman It took only two days after the collapse of Yemen peace talks in early August for the Saudi-led coalition to resume its intense bombing of the rebel-held capital, Sanaa. With it… Source: Can Saudi Arabia Escape the Trap of Endless War in Yemen? | The National Interest Read More »

EU to Turkey: Do you really want to join?

The EU has urged Turkey to clarify if it still wants to join the bloc, as relations between Ankara and Western allies deteriorate. By ANDREW RETTMAN The EU’s enlargement commissioner, Johannes Hahn, spoke out in Austrian newspaper Die Presse on Wednesday (24 August), saying EU concern was “justified” that Turkey had violated rule of law in its… Source: EU to Turkey: Do you really want to join? Read More »

Invite Turkey To Leave NATO: Ankara Shares Few Values Or Interests With The West

Turkey’s brief democratic moment is ending. Doug Bandow, Policy analyst, writer The rise of Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Development and Justice Party (AKP) in 2002 signaled the collapse of the militarized secular republic created by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. The recent failed coup killed the semi-liberal democracy that briefly replaced Kemalism… Source: Invite Turkey To Leave NATO: Ankara Shares Few Values Or Interests With The West Read More »

Exactly 500 Years Ago, This Battle Changed the Middle East Forever

Forget Sykes-Picot: the Battle of Marj Dabiq is what drew the modern map. Akhilesh Pillalamarri Five centuries ago, the contours of the modern Middle East were shaped through a series of Ottoman battles. The outcomes of these battles—which shaped the region’s politics, demographics and religious movements—were much more important in the long run than modern phenomena such as the… Source: Exactly 500 Years Ago, This Battle Changed the Middle East Forever | The National Interest Read More »

Civilians evacuated as Syrian Kurds bombed in Hasakah

Dozens killed, thousands evacuated after second day of Syrian government air raids on Kurdish-controlled areas of city.. Syrian government jets have continued to pound Kurdish-controlled parts of the northeastern city of Hasakah for a second day, killing at least 22 residents and forcing thousands to flee… Source: Civilians evacuated as Syrian Kurds bombed in Hasakah – News from Al Jazeera Read More »

Ten things you can’t do in Dubai

Laws in the United Arab Emirates have again been thrust into the spotlight after a British citizen in Dubai was arrested for sharing a charity post on his Facebook page. Most people know Dubai is tough on drugs; that tourists can get in trouble for drinking alcohol outside designated areas; and people who have sex in public can find themselves facing the… Source: Ten things you can’t do in Dubai – BBC News Read More »