Syrian military seizes key swath of land in country’s center

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Syria’s military said Wednesday it has restored government control over a large area in central Syria, securing a power station, a refinery and a cement factory after uprooting the armed opposition. With the latest military victory, Syrian government forces secure roads between the country’s three main cities - Damascus, Aleppo and Homs - for the first time since the civil war began in 2011. The surrender in northern Homs and southern Hama adds to what has been described as one of ...

Syrian rebels pull out of their last besieged area

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

The remaining fighters started to withdraw from the last rebel-held enclave in central Syria on Wednesday, state television reported, sealing the government’s control over the area and opening a major stretch of the country’s most important highway.It further cements President Bashar al-Assad’s dominant position over the most populated parts of Syria after years of fighting, but means any new military campaign might risk direct conflict with foreign powers.The withdrawal may ...

Watchdog confirms chlorine used as chemical weapon in Syria attack

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

A global arms watchdog on Wednesday confirmed that chlorine was "likely used as a chemical weapon" in a February attack on the Syrian town of Saraqeb. A fact-finding mission by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons determined that "chlorine was released from cylinders by mechanical impact in the Al Talil neighbourhood of Saraqeb" on February 4, an OPCW statement said.  

Iraqis’ chance to regain their country

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

It is not about the name of the Iraqi prime minister, despite its importance. It is about the Iraqi State itself, and its ability to reassemble its components, treat its cracks and heal its wounds… its ability to revive its decision-making within its borders and to consolidate the march towards making Iraq a normal state at home and abroad.It is not about the prime minister’s name in Lebanon. It is firstly about the Lebanese State itself, and its capacity to recover relations ...

Ghassan Charbel

Explaining Israel’s growing role in the region

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

The US’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal with Iran is an important development that will have possible political consequences and transformations in the region and on the players, the arena and the crisis. The new developments are dependent on the continuity of the American stance against Tehran and which may change if the Iranian government makes concessions to the US. President Donald Trump had promised Iran to go back to the agreement if it backs down and accepts his conditions to ...

Abdulrahman al-Rashed

Ex-Nusra hostage Theo Padnos: Qatar’s ransom payouts were tactic to fund terror

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

An American journalist who was abducted in Syria by al-Qaeda-linked militants in 2012 has spoken of how Qatar’s efforts to secure his release in 2014 left him with concerns over the Gulf state’s funding of terrorism. Theo Padnos entered Syria hoping to write freelance news stories but was kidnapped by the Nusra Front militant group over allegations he was a spy. In an interview with Al Arabiya News Channel's current affairs program “Death Making”, Padnos said that Qatar ...

Eleven Iranians among dead in Israeli strikes on Syria this week

Saturday, 12 May 2018

At least 11 Iranians were among those killed in Israeli strikes on Syria this week, a monitor said Saturday. "At least 27 pro-regime fighters were killed" in Thursday's strikes, said Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. He said "six Syrian soldiers and 21 foreign fighters, including 11 Iranians" were among the dead. That updates the monitor's initial toll of 23, which did not specify the number of Iranians. "The new report ...

Prospects for an Arab military coalition east of Euphrates

Saturday, 12 May 2018

The Syrian crisis lit the fuse of a new Cold War, which being regional in scope soon took on an international dimension. The signs of this scenario were clearly visible to begin with and soon became manifest for the whole world. The Syrian regime, supported by Russia and Iran’s militias, has used all its ground, air and naval forces and internationally prohibited weapons, like chemical weapons, to restore territories. In 2017, the Trump administration reacted to Assad’s use of ...

Abdullah bin Bijad Al-Otaibi

White House slams Iran for ‘reckless actions’ against Israel, Saudi Arabia

Saturday, 12 May 2018

The White House on Friday slammed Iran for its “reckless actions” that it warned pose a “severe threat” to stability in Middle East. The statement came after Iranian forces in Syria were accused by Israel of launching some 20 missiles into the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, prompting Israeli strikes against positions held by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) inside Syria. The White House said that Iran “pours resources into exporting ...

‘Throw Iranians out’: Israel minister Lieberman to Syria’s Assad

Friday, 11 May 2018

Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Friday urged Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to expel Iranian forces from his country, after Israeli air strikes hit alleged Iranian targets in Syria. “I shall take advantage of this opportunity to send a message to Assad: throw the Iranians out,” a defense ministry statement quoted Lieberman as saying during a visit to the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. “They are not helping you,” he said. “They only do harm and their ...

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