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Southern Syria: A New Front for Israel?

Monday 2 March 2015
While strikes against ISIS are capturing the headlines, the United States and its international partners risk overlooking the potential strategic significance of developments in Syria’s south.
In early February, an alliance of Iran, the Syrian regime, and Hezbollah launched a major military offensive against rebel groups in Syria’s (...)

Male sexual quirks among the Ottomans

Sunday 1 March 2015
Until the modern era, there was no word for sodomy in Arabic or Persian. Nor is there any prohibition of it in the Quran.
In the days of the Ottoman Empire, pederasty-like relationships were common between pre-pubescent boys and bearded older men. Though today it (...)

How to Retake Mosul from the Islamic State

Saturday 28 February 2015
Does the Iraqi army have the right stuff to win the battle everyone knows is coming — and handle the messy aftermath?
On Feb. 19, a senior official with U.S. Central Command leaked details about the most widely anticipated military offensive in the Arab world — (...)

Uneven Diplomacy: The U.S.-Qatar Relationship

Tuesday 24 February 2015
The president should use tomorrow’s visit to channel Qatar’s diplomatic energies in directions more in line with U.S. regional policy.
When Emir Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani visits the White House on February 24, President Obama will have to contend with a Qatari diplomatic scorecard (...)

Terror wave in Pakistan sparks rare criticism of Saudi Arabia

Sunday 22 February 2015
— AFP/File ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have long enjoyed close relations, but Islamabad’s new-found resolve for fighting the root causes (...)

Putin’s Desire to Play the Iran Card with the West

Saturday 21 February 2015
Iran’s Fars News Agency – affiliated with the country’s security circles – quoted a Russian media outlet and wrote that if the West begins arming (...)

2014 was difficult, 2015 will be even more

Saturday 21 February 2015
Report on Freedom of Press and Expression in Turkey
Read the full report here: Press for Freedom Özgürlük için Basın * Violations of Freedom of Press and Expression March - December 2014 (...)

Who Is the Pope?

Wednesday 18 February 2015
Pope Francis; drawing by James Ferguson The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope by Austen Ivereigh Henry Holt, 445 pp., (...)

The Last of the Arab Jews

Monday 16 February 2015
Tunisian Jewish Enclave Weathers Revolt, Terror; Can It Survive Girls’ Education?
Shaffaf reproduces the following article of The Wall Street Journal as a tribute to the Arab Jews- still present in their Arab lands, or still (...)

Why the CIA Killed Imad Mughniyeh

Tuesday 10 February 2015
From the Beirut embassy bombing to the torture and murder of station chief William Buckley, the agency had ample motivation to plan a hit on the Hezbollah arch-terrorist years later.
The CIA doesn’t assassinate often anymore, so when it does the agency picks its targets carefully. The story uncovered last weekend by the (...)

Moukhtara and the Cold War

Friday 6 February 2015
Somebody one day will write my biography. I might be present to give him information or I might be reincarnated in China according to Druze (...)

Nuclear Nuances of Saudi-Pakistan Meeting

Wednesday 4 February 2015
Today’s meeting in Riyadh between King Salman and Pakistan’s top military commander will revive speculation of a secret nuclear agreement to counter any Iranian nuclear threat.
The visit by the chairman of Pakistan’s Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee will likely prompt concern in Washington and other major capitals that (...)

Yemen’s Zaidis: A Window for Iranian Influence

Tuesday 3 February 2015
The receptiveness that many Zaidi leaders have shown toward Iran’s foreign policy and religious practice give Tehran a ready means to expand its reach in Yemen.
The Houthi coup and other recent developments in Yemen have raised many questions about the country’s religious fabric, especially the (...)

CIA and Mossad killed senior Hezbollah figure in car bombing

Saturday 31 January 2015
During the operation, the CIA and Mossad had a chance to kill Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s Quds Force, as he and Mughniyah walked together. “At one point, the two men were standing there, same place, same street. All they had to do was push the button,” said one former official.
By Adam Goldman and Ellen Nakashima On Feb. 12, 2008, Imad Mughniyah, Hezbollah’s international operations chief, walked on a quiet nighttime (...)

Princely Personalities Sidelined in Saudi Arabia

Friday 30 January 2015
The latest shakeup among Saudi decisionmakers will require Washington to work on new relationships in Riyadh and perhaps reconfirm understandings reached at Tuesday’s summit.
Just two days after President Obama’s visit to Riyadh, King Salman has sacked several of the princes who met with the U.S. delegation. According (...)

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