Middle East

Washington’s Dilemma in Yemen – When Sticking to the Old Alliance Goes Against US Security Interests

The civil war in Yemen will soon hit its 1,000-day milestone. Since clashes between the warring factions began three years ago, the interests and concerns for the United States in the Gulf nation have been building and changing, creating an increasingly complicated web through which policymakers and war planners now need to traverse. America’s security interests…

Jerusalem and Saying the Unspeakable – It Is Great Expectations, Not Trump, Plaguing the Peace Process

Two weeks after apocalyptic visions of the Middle East engulfed in flames over Washington’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the situation on the ground seems rather lukewarm – and even that might sound like an overstatement. The disparity between widely parroted predicted scenarios and what happened shows how pundits, diplomats and decision makers refuse to get on with the times.

Syrian Army’s Advances Spell Bad News for ISIS and Rebels, But Damascus Should Be Cautious in Its Optimism

Syrian army and its allies entered Islamic State’s last main stronghold in the country, the city of al-Mayadeen in Deir el-Zor province. The latest advances confined jihadists and rebels to less than 10 per cent of Syrian territory, according to Russian media. Damascus repeatedly expressed its optimism over winning the war – but what happens after?…

Post-ISIS Iraq Series, Part III: Could Dream of Independent Kurdistan Turn Out to Be a Nightmare?

“Long live Kurdistan” was heard in squares and stadiums across Iraq and the rest of the world the past weekend, as tens of thousands of Kurds gathered to celebrate their independence vote. It came dangerously close without Baghdad managing to change the current status quo, even after Iraq’s latest Supreme Court attempt to suspend the referendum.

Post-ISIS Iraq Series, Part II: Shi’ite Iraqis — Between Iran and Nationalism

As Iraqi forces are confidently advancing through Islamic Stateheld territories in the country, the future of post-ISIS Iraq is slowly unraveling, and although some details might now be clearer, there is a lot of uncertainty looming over the fate of the country, where more than half of the population has lived their lives knowing nothing but war, chaos and destruction.

Post-ISIS Iraq Series, Part I: Future of Sunni Iraqis – National Reconciliation or Eternal Suspects?

As Iraqi forces are confidently advancing through Islamic State-held territories in the country, the future of post-ISIS Iraq is slowly unraveling, and although some details might now be clearer, there is a lot of uncertainty looming over the fate of the country where more than half of the population has lived their lives knowing nothing but war, chaos and destruction. In Iraq, the future is deeply intertwined with the past — are Iraqis able to learn from it, or is the specific fabric of their society knitted long ago in the Saddam Hussein era going to be a self-fulfilling prophecy?

Iran and United States Are No Friends — But Nuclear Deal Was Never Meant to Change That

The political stand-off between Iran and the United States regarding the future of the nuclear deal Tehran signed with world powers in 2015 is continuing on a rocky path that began with President Donald Trump’s administration. His latest push for additional inspections of “suspicious” Iranian military sites was met with mockery from Tehran, setting the stage for Trump’s suspected attempt to wriggle out of the agreement. Iranian officials described the request as a “ridiculous dream that will never come true,” at the same time raising the question of whether the same could be said about the nuclear deal’s stability and implementation.

Syria Could Be The Last Stand between Israel and Hezbollah

For the past few days, the Syrian conflict saw some spillover into the Israeli territory, as mortar shells fired from Syria fell on the Israeli side of the Golan Heights, with the IDF striking Syrian targets in retaliation. The decisive action came after Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu warned that Israel would not tolerate any rocket fire on its territory, leading some to believe that another war with Hezbollah might be closer than it was expected.