Congress authorizes Trump to arm Syrian rebels with anti-aircraft missiles

Today, the House passed a defense bill that conditionally allows the provision of MANPADs to anti-Syrian regime forces.
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 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on December 2

Turkey's Sirnak now nothing but rubble

The nine-month-long curfew on Sirnak was lifted after security forces cleared the trenches, barricades and booby traps of the PKK urban warfare units. But Sirnak is now one big pile of rubble.
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 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on December 2

Why are the flames of Aleppo burning Turkey?

As they continue to suffer defeats, Syrian opposition forces are being pressed back against the Turkish border, signaling yet another nightmare in the making.
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 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor on December 3

Russian-rebel talks resume as Erdogan backs down on Assad

Talks between Russia and Syrian rebels were reportedly derailed by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's contradictory statements on Syria, but they have apparently resumed after he and the Russian president spoke on the phone and Erdogan publicly declared that Turkey is only targeting terrorist organizations in northern Syria.
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 Amberin Zaman for Al-Monitor on December 1

As risk rises, will Turkey persist in quest for al-Bab?

The Turkish army, which so far has avoided actively fighting in Syria, now faces increasing danger as it advances to al-Bab.
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 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on December 2

Should IRGC be worried by latest Iran army promotion?

The appointment of a new deputy head of the army may represent more than a simple promotion for Ahmad Reza Pourdastan.
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 Arash Azizi for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on December 1

Why did Egypt's ElBaradei decide to reveal new info on Morsi's ouster?

Former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi had already been arrested when the meeting between the armed forces and political forces was held on July 3, 2013, according to what former interim Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei has revealed in a series of statements recently.
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 George Mikhail for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on December 1

Shiite forces advance on Tal Afar in Mosul operation

Predominately Shiite Popular Mobilization Units (PMU) have liberated Tal Afar airport to the west of Mosul and now seek to coordinate with Kurdish peshmerga forces on the front.
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 Shelly Kittleson for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on December 1

What would fall of Aleppo mean for US Syria policy?

If the Syrian regime’s campaign to retake eastern Aleppo succeeds, it could have a profound impact on the incoming US administration’s Syria plans.
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 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on November 30

Kremlin unsure how to take Erdogan's vow to topple Assad

A Russian diplomat has expressed confusion and cautious disapproval over Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan openly saying that Turkey's main objective in Syria is to topple the regime.
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 Amberin Zaman for Al-Monitor on November 30

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