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Assad Re-captures Yabroud and Lebanon Takes a Plunge

Assad Re-captures Yabroud and Lebanon Takes a Plunge

Merely a day after the Syrian civil war entered its fourth year the Assad regime scored a major victory against rebels in the town of Yabroud. Located in the Qalamoun region, a mountainous area near the Lebanese border, Yabroud had served as a crucial gateway for the transit of rebel …

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Egypt’s political climate as seen through the Muslim Brotherhood trials

Egypt’s political climate as seen through the Muslim Brotherhood trials

In his new piece for the New Yorker, “Revolution on Trial: The strange world of the Muslim Brotherhood court cases,” Peter Hessler brings his readers into the courtroom of the ongoing trial against former Egyptian president, Mohamed Morsi, and his co-defendants. Morsi and a number of other Muslim Brotherhood members are …

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Trouble in Geneva highlights the need for more robust U.S. involvement in Syria

Trouble in Geneva highlights the need for more robust U.S. involvement in Syria

After less than half an hour of joint session talks on Saturday, February 15, the second round of the Geneva II conference on Syria has abruptly ended. In a press conference shortly after, joint United Nations-Arab League negotiator, Lakhdar Brahimi apologized to the Syrian people for the almost complete failure …

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Method to the Madness: The Lessons of Iraq and the Rejection of the ISIS

Method to the Madness: The Lessons of Iraq and the Rejection of the ISIS

This past Sunday al-Qaeda Central (AQC) released a statement disowning its Iraqi-Syrian affiliate, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS). The declaration—which spread across jihadi online forums and eventually published by the BCC—proclaimed:
“[Al-Qaeda] has no connection with the group called the ISIS, as it was not informed or consulted …

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Why Now? Assad’s Chemical Attack on Eastern Ghouta

Why Now? Assad’s Chemical Attack on Eastern Ghouta

 
When small rockets landed in the narrow streets and corridors, fired from government positions in Damascus, families in the neighborhoods of Jobar, Zamalka, Ein Tarma and Arbeen–who have become accustomed to the constant drone of warfare–believed that the thuds were merely part of distant fighting. Many went back to their …

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Thinking of Syria as Two States

Thinking of Syria as Two States

 
Recent developments in Syria’s civil war point to the solidification of two distinct geographical areas. With rebels tightening their hold in the east and north and the regime making gains in the center, Syria is beginning to look like two neighboring states, dealing with two different circumstances. 
Syria’s civil war has …

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An Update on the Syrian Conflict

An Update on the Syrian Conflict

A week ago I received a request from a good friend who hails from a Middle Eastern country that is heavily involved in the Syrian conflict. This friend, whom happens to be a diplomat for said country, requested an update on the Syrian crisis covering the war’s most recent events. …

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Hezbollah Enters the Syrian Fray

Hezbollah Enters the Syrian Fray

On Monday Arab governments in the Persian Gulf pledged to put sanctions on the Lebanese Shiite group Hezbollah. The militia-cum-political party’s foray into neighboring Syria, in an attempt to protect the regime of Bashar al-Assad, has elicited widespread condemnation across the Middle East. Its estimated 1,700 fighters inside …

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Sectarianism in the Arab World

Sectarianism in the Arab World

Division, a word so simple yet characterized by many intricacies has led mankind through its political evolution. The development of the modern nation-state, which was birthed by the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 was based on it. The United States and the Soviet Union threatened to lob nuclear weapons at …

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Is Lebanon’s Disassociation Policy Coming to an End?

Is Lebanon’s Disassociation Policy Coming to an End?

Lebanon, a beautiful but tense country — with two civil wars behind it, has many people on edge these days. A myriad of shifting divisions and alliances, 24 years after the Taif Accord keeps the specter of violence alive. Carl von Clausewitz called war the extension of politics by other …

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Arming the (Right) Syrian Rebels

Arming the (Right) Syrian Rebels

Next month, March 2013, will mark the second anniversary of the Syrian uprising. This bloody conflict, as I have repeatedly written, has been characterized by the bombing of bread lines, town-wide massacres and burgeoning sectarian attacks. The enormity of the death toll, 70,000 and counting, should elicit shock to even …

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Review: Morsi, the military and the Egyptian Youth

Review: Morsi, the military and the Egyptian Youth

The Egyptian revolution could best be described as a pivotal moment in the history of the Arab peoples, and the Middle East more broadly. Inspired by events in Tunisia, the liberal minded youth of Egypt took to the streets in a display of mass defiance. Within days a wide strata …

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Israel Strikes Again

Israel Strikes Again

 
Yesterday’s strike on a convoy heading from Syria to Lebanon is but one act in an ever constant drama. Israel, for better or for worse, has had a history of violating both the air space and the territorial integrity of neighboring countries. Given that the Jewish State’s geographical …

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Syrian Predictions 2013, Look North

Syrian Predictions 2013, Look North

In my previous two posts I provided what I have come to believe are the most important events and aspects of the Syrian civil war to date. Bashar al-Assad’s country is no more; it has been replaced by a parcelized system. Free Syrian Army (FSA) and jihadist units in the …

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Yearly Roundup: The Anatomy of the Syrian Conflict (Part 2)

Yearly Roundup: The Anatomy of the Syrian Conflict (Part 2)

 
For the first part of this yearly roundup, check here The Anatomy of the Syrian Conflict (Part 1)
For my in-depth map of developments during the month of November, a crucial point at which the Free Syrian Army switched to attacking regime soft points in Aleppo and Deir ez …

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