Security


Welcome to the most vulnerable country to terrorism

As long as the Turkish government does not attach priority to the fight against IS, Turkey will remain the most vulnerable country in the world.
Read more»

 Cengiz Çandar for Al-Monitor on July 1

IS turns its attention to Jordan

Some analysts say the Islamic State attack in Jordan’s Rukban border area was designed to increase IS’ popularity within certain segments of Jordanian society.
Read more»

 Aaron Magid for Al-Monitor on July 1

Did Turkey abandon Hamas in Israel deal?

As Hamas absorbs the aftermath of the Turkish-Israeli agreement, some wonder whether Turkey should be blamed for failing to lift the siege on Gaza.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on July 1

Why Iranian Kurdish party is stepping up fight against Tehran

The Democratic Party of Iranian Kurdistan broke the two-decade cease-fire by launching attacks on IRGC forces, which triggered Iranian attacks against Iraqi Kurdistan.
Read more»

 Mohammed A. Salih for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on July 1

Battle for Syria's Manbij may redraw local alliances

The Syrian Democratic Forces are leading the battle to liberate Manbij, close to the Turkish border, which pushed Turkey to warn the Kurds about expanding their influence in their areas of control.
Read more»

 Kamal Sheikho for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on July 1

What Israel's payoff for Turkish civilians means for Palestinians

Now that Israel has agreed to compensate the families of the Mavi Marmara casualties it calls terrorists, Palestinians are hoping to advance their own claims for compensation.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on July 1

After 20-year break, these Iranian Kurds are taking up arms again

In a surprise development, the Kurdistan Democratic Party of Iran, which has not used guns against the Iranian regime for 20 years, has resumed fighting, reportedly instigated by regional powers.
Read more»

 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on July 1

Why Sahrawi refugees don't count on census to provide relief

Some international parties are pushing for an independent census regarding the number of Sahrawi refugees in Algeria, but some in the camps say they have reasons to be opposed.
Read more»

 Habibulah Mohamed Lamin for Al-Monitor on June 30

Has Turkey finally made nice with Russia?

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s apology appears to have broken the ice with Russia, but the relationship still needs time to thaw.
Read more»

 Maxim A. Suchkov for Al-Monitor on June 30

Iran forges ahead with Atlantic ambitions

Iran moves forward with its plans to establish a naval presence in the Atlantic Ocean, announcing progress in the construction of new frigates.
Read more»

 Abbas Qaidaari for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on June 30

Why Brexit makes life harder for Turkey

By voting to leave the European Union, Britons not only deepened Europe’s crisis, but dealt a blow to Turkey as well.
Read more»

 Kadri Gursel for Al-Monitor on June 30

What airport attack means for Turkey's Syria policy

Until now, Ankara had sought to refocus the anger against IS on Kurdish groups, but does Tuesday’s attack mean this strategy will change?
Read more»

 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor on June 30

What's really driving Turkish-Israeli reconciliation?

Turkey has started what looks like a sharp turn in its relations with Israel in consideration of shared security and military priorities, though it will take some time to rebuild ties to their former levels.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on July 1

Will Syrian Kurdish forces advance on Raqqa?

The head of Rojava’s interior committee Kanaan Barakat speaks to Al-Monitor about the achievements of the autonomous administration, the potential for an advance on Raqqa and relations with the Syrian regime.
Read more»

 Massoud Hamed for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on June 30

Why Hamas resumed ties with Iran

In light of its worsening financial crisis and need for military support, Hamas has resumed relations with Tehran, which have been strained since the start of the Syrian revolution.
Read more»

 Hazem Balousha for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on June 29

Will airport attack push Ankara to revive peace process with PKK?

If Turks had any delusion of seeing IS somehow less dangerous than the PKK, then they must have been woken by the ferocious attack on the Ataturk airport.
Read more»

 Mustafa Akyol for Al-Monitor on June 29

Will Popular Mobilization Units participate in battle for Mosul?

Popular Mobilization Units leaders insist on participating in the fight to liberate Mosul, despite renewed demands by some Sunni politicians to exclude the units because of their history of human rights violations.
Read more»

 Mustafa Saadoun for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on June 29

Why Israel canceled controversial military directive

IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot has canceled the Hannibal Directive, designed to prevent at any cost the abduction of Israeli soldiers.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on June 29

Who’s behind Istanbul airport attack?

The attack at Istanbul Ataturk Airport on June 28 has triggered debate over whether Ankara is having problems deciding the priorities in its struggle against the Kurdistan Workers Party and the Islamic State.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on June 29

Why Jordan is unlikely to reconsider decision to close borders

The international community has been pressuring Jordan to reconsider its decision to close its border following an IS attack on one of its border posts, but economic and security concerns indicate the kingdom is unlikely to change its position.
Read more»

 Osama Al Sharif for Al-Monitor on June 29

Iraqi army radio takes aim at IS

The Iraqi army in Ninevah province has been operating a radio station in the area, with the aim of demonizing the Islamic State among the residents.
Read more»

 Mohammed A. Salih for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on June 29

Khamenei appoints new head of Iran's armed forces

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has appointed Mohammad Bagheri as the new chief of staff of the Armed Forces.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on June 28

How Erdogan will spin his deal with Israel

Although Israel did not meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's top condition of lifting the Gaza blockade, Erdogan is still hailing the reconciliation between the countries as a major win.
Read more»

 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor on June 28

Turks worked up over wanting more wives

Angry about the attention LGBT pride month has received during Ramadan, some conservative Muslim men complain about discrimination against Muslims in Turkey and say that, according to their religion, they should have the right to marry more than one woman.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on June 28

Lebanese Christian village hit with eight suicide attacks in one day

The eight suicide attacks that targeted al-Qaa, a Christian village bordering Syria, might revive sectarian tension, especially between the residents of the village and the Syrian refugees.
Read more»

 Mona Alami for Al-Monitor on June 28

Bloody power struggles continue in Iraq’s disputed territories

A rash of kidnappings, ambushes and bombs in Tuz Khormato are aggravating tensions between the ethnic components of the city despite efforts to balance security forces along sectarian lines.
Read more»

 Shelly Kittleson for Al-Monitor on June 28

What Bahrain’s opposition crackdown means for country’s Brotherhood

Manama’s exclusion of popular political groups from Bahrain’s political scene, accompanied by a wide crackdown on opposition figures, could lead to militancy gaining broader power and appeal in the Shiite opposition.
Read more»

 Giorgio Cafiero for Al-Monitor on June 27

Erdogan displays survival instinct in Israel reconciliation

Turkey has taken major steps to end its global isolation by reconciling with Israel and apologizing to Russia.
Read more»

 Cengiz Çandar for Al-Monitor on June 27

3 Iranian rangers killed by poachers in 48 hours

After three Iranian rangers were killed by poachers in 48 hours, some Iranians are asking if the law is doing enough to protect them.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on June 27

One year after Sousse attack, Tunisia’s tourism industry remembers victims while remaining hopeful

Tunisia’s tourism sector, bolstered by increased security, continues to push on following the sharp decline it experienced in the wake of last year’s Sousse attack.
Read more»

 Conor McCormick-Cavanagh for Al-Monitor on June 27

Why so many of Israel's security hawks have become doves

In Israel, many top intelligence and security leaders have grown much more moderate during their service, but the prime minister and his cohorts would rather brand them as leftists than analyze why.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on June 27

The war over Fatah leadership has begun

Former Fatah senior member Mohammed Dahlan has been channeling humanitarian aid funds to the Gaza Strip, thus creating an alliance with the local Hamas leadership.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on June 27

Who is killing Syrian opposition figures in Aleppo, Idlib?

The armed opposition in Aleppo and Idlib has been facing a series of assassinations and assassination attempts, as some leaders accuse the regime and IS of being behind them.
Read more»

 Tamer Osman for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on June 27

Israel and Turkey have reconciled, now what?

The renewed Israeli-Turkish relations will not be based, as in the past, on closed security cooperation, but on the convergence of interests and common enemies.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on June 27

Digital map seeks to document 'trail of destruction' of Mideast antiquities

Government and nonprofit organizations are working together to mitigate the threats that the Islamic State, looters and others pose to Middle East antiquities.
Read more»

 Shahira Amin for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on June 26

Iran rejects speculation on shift, divisions over Syria

Iranian officials claim no differences among officials on Syria; Russia may be rethinking its Syria strategy; UN envoy stresses need for US, Russia “critical mass” in Syria.
Read more»

 Al-Monitor Week in Review on June 26

Is the Abbas-Hamas conflict hindering Gaza reconstruction?

In his speech to the European Parliament, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin called to reconstruct Gaza, warning that Gaza residents are being held hostage by Hamas.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on June 24

Anti-terror, security expenses boost Turkey’s economic growth

Turkey’s growth will continue with massive funds for reconstruction of destroyed towns.
Read more»

 Zülfikar Doğan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on June 27

How Erdogan’s personal ambitions impact war in Turkey’s southeast

Analysts say the time is ripe for the Turkish government and the PKK to talk peace, but such a move could get in the way of President Erdogan's political ambitions.
Read more»

Jasper Mortimer for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on June 24

Could an alternative Kurdish party succeed in Turkey?

Two Kurdish parties are merging and others are striving for a joint front, but there are doubts as to whether any effort to form an alternative Kurdish party is feasible.
Read more»

 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor on June 27

UN Syria envoy looks for talks to resume in July

UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said a “critical mass” of agreement between Russia and the United States was still needed before holding a new round of intra-Syrian talks on a political transition.
Read more»

 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on June 23

Are major players shifting strategies in Syria?

Russia and the US find themselves in a complex situation in Syria, with plenty of doubt to go around.
Read more»

 Maxim A. Suchkov for Al-Monitor on June 23

Military trials are making a comeback in Egypt

A new decree aimed at protecting public land allows civilians to be brought before military courts.
Read more»

 Sayed Elhadidi for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on June 23

Should Palestinians recognize Israel as Jewish state?

Regarding Israel being known as a "Jewish state," a Palestinian official said Palestine would recognize whatever the international community recognizes at the United Nations, saying, "It's not for us to define Israel’s identity. It’s up to Israel."
Read more»

 Uri Savir for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on June 27

Is Tunisia prepared for return of thousands of Islamic State fighters?

Thousands of Islamic State fighters are expected to return to Tunisia, where the authorities are uncertain how to deal with the risk they may pose.
Read more»

 Ahmed Nadhif for Al-Monitor on June 23

Classic cars withstood coups, but can they survive war in Aleppo?

Abu Omar's family has sought refuge elsewhere, but he remains in Aleppo with his collection of classic cars and antiques.
Read more»

 Mohammed al-Khatieb for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on June 23

The racial profiling Trump so admires doesn't even work in Israel

State-sanctioned racial profiling in Israel means that Arab citizens are subject to detention, body and property searches at any time, despite research showing such methods cause more harm than good.
Read more»

 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on June 23

The myth of a tripartite Iraq

Although it is often claimed that a federal state with an autonomous region for Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds would stabilize Iraq, this proposition has little bearing to the realities on the ground.
Read more»

 Denise Natali for Al-Monitor on June 23

Why beefing up private security could leave Turks feeling less secure

A surge in the private security sector raises questions about the surge's cause, and about its potential to deteriorate quality of service and basic rights.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on June 23

Islamic State attacks Syrian journalists, even in Turkey

In a series of attacks, four Syrian journalists living in Turkey's border towns were killed. Why are they such easy prey?
Read more»

 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on June 22

Poker-faced Netanyahu gambles with US aid money

Top Israeli politicians and security officials are urging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to accept the aid package offered by the United States and not take the needless risk of holding out for more.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on June 22

Turkish-EU ties in throes of a slow death

The EU’s demand for a revision of Turkey’s anti-terrorism law as a precondition for allowing Turks visa-free travel in Europe has turned into the Achilles’ heel of ties between Ankara and Brussels.
Read more»

 Semih Idiz for Al-Monitor on June 21

Soleimani issues rare political statement on Bahrain

The head of Iran’s Quds Force, Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, condemned the decision by Bahrain to strip the citizenship of Shiite leader Ayatollah Sheikh Isa Qassim.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on June 21

Who’s really benefiting from Sinai’s state of emergency?

Terrorists are turning the tables and making the most of curfews and restrictions in North Sinai.
Read more»

 Rania Rabeaa Elabd for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on June 21

Is Mohammed bin Salman gaining upper hand in Saudi Arabia?

Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed's visit to Washington this month has some observers believing he might be the man behind all the major decisions in Saudi Arabia.
Read more»

 Ibrahim al-Hatlani for Al-Monitor on June 21

Why Syria's Kurds are cooperating with Russia

While the Syrian opposition accuses the Kurds of cooperating with the regime and Russia, the Kurds say they're doing so to fight the Islamic State.
Read more»

 Sardar Mlla Drwish for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on June 22

Will retaliatory measures on Tel Aviv attackers' hometown curb violence?

Following the Tel Aviv attack, Israel has completely isolated Yatta, the hometown of the perpetrators, under its policy of collective punishment.
Read more»

 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on June 21

Shocking murders expose Libyan government's weakness

Twelve men were killed in Tripoli upon their release from prison, raising questions about relations between the Government of National Accord and militias.
Read more»

 Mustafa Fetouri for Al-Monitor on June 22

Can Saudis ease Egypt-Qatar tension after Al Jazeera death sentences?

Saudis want to bridge the divide between Qatar and Egypt so that its Sunni coalition can focus on Iran.
Read more»

 Giorgio Cafiero for Al-Monitor on June 20

Why was this influential Iranian deputy minister replaced?

Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs since 2011, has been replaced.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on June 20

Why Turkey is striking out on the diplomatic field

Despite some diplomatic gestures by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his new prime minister, it appears Turkey's isolation and desperation in foreign policy will continue.
Read more»

 Cengiz Çandar for Al-Monitor on June 20

Initiative to divide Jerusalem faces own internal split

Former security establishment officials who supported the plan of former Minister Haim Ramon to divide Jerusalem now claim that he uses racist means to gain political popularity.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on June 20

Will East Jerusalem airport become another Jewish settlement?

Israeli plans to build yet another Jewish settlement have many Palestinians worried that they will block the contiguity between East Jerusalem and Ramallah.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on June 20

Former defense ministers turn their backs on Netanyahu

Former Defense Ministers Moshe Ya'alon and Ehud Barak joined a long line of defense ministers who turned their backs on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, stating that they no longer trust him.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on June 20

Salman's Saudi Arabia more ambitious than ever

The new Saudi Arabian king's first year and a half has been a time of aggressive expansion of power and territory — at tremendous cost and risk.
Read more»

 Bruce Riedel for Al-Monitor on June 20

Tehran drags Moscow deeper into Syria

The war in Syria is hitting Iran ever closer to home, prompting Tehran to push for closer coordination with Russia, even as leaders on both sides complain of a lack of confidence and tactical misalignments.
Read more»

 Ali Hashem for Al-Monitor on June 20

Obama should ignore misguided 'dissent' on Syria

A Syrian official suggests "federalization" could be the outcome of the political reform discussions, as the Obama administration holds the line on calls for airstrikes against the Syrian government.
Read more»

 Al-Monitor Week in Review on June 19

US election 2016: Orlando shooting sparks furious attacks on campaign trail

Here's what happened on the campaign trail the week of June 13.
Read more»

 Reeves Barbour for Al-Monitor on June 19

Iran shifts on Syria

While the Obama administration is facing internal pressure to toughen its stance against Syria's Assad regime, Iran's Supreme National Security Council and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif are playing a larger role in setting Syria policy.
Read more»

 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on June 17

Fallujah residents fear abuse from Popular Mobilization Units liberators

As Iraqi forces retake Fallujah, reports and videos have surfaced of Iraq's mostly Shiite Popular Mobilization Units committing human rights violations and abusing citizens.
Read more»

 Mustafa Saadoun for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on June 17

Israeli defense minister moves to muzzle Palestinian voices for peace

Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman has revoked the entry permit of Mohammed Madani, who was appointed by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to organize dialogues with Israelis to promote peace.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on June 17

Is one of Iran's top diplomats a member of Quds Force?

A commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) claimed that the country's deputy foreign minister and chief nuclear negotiator Abbas Araghchi is a member of the IRGC's elite Quds Force.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on June 16

Will Abbas intervene to save Nablus from mayhem?

The situation in the streets of Nablus has become very dangerous in light of the chaos and security unrest, while Palestinian officials exploit the situation to settle political scores.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on June 16

Near Damascus, watch out for missiles, shelling and speeding tickets

In a visit to Damascus, Al-Monitor spoke with Syrian officials about the latest developments happening in Syria.
Read more»

 Jean Aziz for Al-Monitor on June 16

Obama administration lays out $56 million plan for Libya

The United States is boosting its commitment to the new coalition government in Libya.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on June 15

Why Iran still doesn’t trust Russia on Syria

Despite its close collaboration with Russia in Syria, Iranian political and military officials are growing increasingly suspicious about Moscow's intentions and long-term strategy.
Read more»

 Abbas Qaidaari for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on June 15

Is Tel Aviv attack revival of the Jerusalem intifada?

The latest Tel Aviv attack has raised questions about the Palestinian party standing behind it, as some claim it was an individual operation.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on June 15

As external threats recede, Jordan left to face inner demons

Though attacks from across the border with Syria and Iraq are becoming less of a concern, experts say that the political, economic and cultural conditions in Jordan are perfect for home-grown extremism, a risk the government seems reluctant to address.
Read more»

 Osama Al Sharif for Al-Monitor on June 16

Why Israel fears Orlando-style attack

Israeli security experts point out that despite severe restrictions on arms sales, Palestinian terrorists can manufacture their own submachine guns and could launch massive attacks — like in Orlando.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on June 15

Can US-backed offensive bring back residents to Syria's Manbij?

The citizens of Manbij, which is northeast of Aleppo, have high hopes of returning to their hometown in light of the US-backed offensive against the Islamic State in their city.
Read more»

 Kamal Sheikho for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on June 14

Palestine hopes to join Interpol this fall

Palestinian officials are working with EU officials to apply for Interpol membership, a major step toward full international recognition.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on June 14

Israel's six options for peace

If Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were interested in peace, he would have a Knesset majority to back him and at least six options to pursue.
Read more»

 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on June 14

Iran denounces Orlando terror attack, ignores gay venue

While its Foreign Ministry condemned the deadly attack in Orlando, Iran's media seemed split on whether to mention that it took place at a gay nightclub.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on June 13

Will Turkey sacrifice even more civil rights to battle terrorism?

Turkey is planning measures that could suspend freedoms to achieve operational effectiveness with a controversial "legal shield" for soldiers.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on June 13

Turkey's southeast beginning to resemble Syria

As clashes in Turkey's southeast between government forces and the PKK worsen, some cities mirror the destruction across the border in Syria.
Read more»

 Kadri Gursel for Al-Monitor on June 13

Tensions escalate between Iraqi protesters, security forces

As an inseparable part of the Iraqi community suffers from unemployment, poverty and lack of services, the Iraqi young people taking part in the current anti-government protests are growing more and more frustrated with their government’s inaction, which may eventually leave them with violence as a last resort.
Read more»

 Omar al-Jaffal for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on June 13

Erdogan links Crusades with present-day terror

Turkey’s president looks to the past, rather than to his own failed policies; Aleppo offensive imminent; is Israel employing a double standard in its dealings with Turkey?
Read more»

 Al-Monitor Week in Review on June 12

How UN summit disappointed its Turkish hosts

Turkey refused to sign a joint statement at the end of the first World Humanitarian Summit it hosted in late May, wary of an international investigation into gross human rights abuses in its conflict-torn southeast.
Read more»

 Sibel Hurtas for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on June 10

How to end cycle of violence between Palestinians, Israelis

The latest attack in a Tel Aviv market raises questions about the factors pushing Palestinians to commit such acts of violence against Israelis and illustrates the need for talks about applying the two-state solution to end the cycle of violence between both parties.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on June 10

Will Iraqi-Kurdish conflict break out in Ninevah?

Now that the Kurdish peshmerga forces have succeeded in ousting the Islamic State from crucial parts of Ninevah province, they're more determined than ever not to see the area slide back into the hands of the Iraqi forces.
Read more»

 Mohammed A. Salih for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on June 10

Gazans lament loss of permits to visit Al-Aqsa during Ramadan

Al-Monitor spoke to the members of a group from the Gaza Strip who visited Jerusalem and prayed at Al-Aqsa Mosque on the eve of Ramadan, before the travel permits of hundreds of Gaza residents were suspended following the Tel Aviv attack on June 8.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on June 10

Erdogan's take on terror attacks nicely fits AKP agenda

Despite the wide Western condemnation of the two latest terror attacks in Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is pointing the finger of blame westward in accordance with his party's narrative of persecution and defiance.
Read more»

 Cengiz Çandar for Al-Monitor on June 10

Russian, Syrian defense ministers arrive in Tehran for 'strategic meeting'

The defense ministers of Russia, Syria and Iran met in Tehran to discuss the latest regional developments and methods to "fight terrorism."
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on June 9

Father of Tel Aviv attacker: If I had the chance, I'd ask Khaled why he did it

The father of Tel Aviv attacker Khaled Mahmara told Al-Monitor he did not know ahead about the intentions of his son, who was expected to return to Jordan this summer and obtain his engineering diploma.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on June 9

How this Yazidi man is saving IS captives

Yazidi families in Iraq are paying thousands of dollars to smugglers who rescue their members from the Islamic State’s grip.
Read more»

 Wilson Fache for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on June 9

Will Afrin be the next Kobani?

Afrin, one of the three cantons of Rojava, strives to provide refuge to its population despite the blockade by Turkey and its allies.
Read more»

 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor on June 9

The education of Israel's new defense minister

In the past, Avigdor Liberman was called to use an iron fist against Palestinians in order to curb terror, but as Israel's new defense minister he might change his tone.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on June 9

Could Netanyahu-Liberman surprise us?

Recent statements by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Yisrael Beitenu head Avigdor Liberman could indicate readiness for a diplomatic move, but could also be misleading and a play for time.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on June 9

Iraqi authorities work to identify bodies in mass graves

As Iraq works to identify bodies found in the many mass graves spread across the country, its people are reminded of the successive bloody battles Iraq has gone through and continues to fight.
Read more»

 Wassim Bassem for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on June 9

Netanyahu's two-state bluff

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicated his willingness to adopt parts of the Arab Peace Initiative, conveniently ignoring the essential parts of Palestinian statehood along the 1967 borderlines.
Read more»

 Uri Savir for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on June 12

What happened to kidnapped Lebanese soldiers in Arsal?

A Lebanese official told Al-Monitor that the number of Islamic militants in Arsal is steadily declining, and there is talk of the remainder leaving after negotiations.
Read more»

 Jean Aziz for Al-Monitor on June 9

The lost children of Israel's foreign workers

Most of the children born to foreign workers in Israel are never granted permanent residency or Israeli nationality and feel rejected by Israeli society.
Read more»

 Yuval Avivi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on June 8

Is the West about to repeat its mistakes in Libya?

During a recent meeting in Vienna, world powers supported the newly created Presidential Guard of Libya, not taking into account who this force is made up of — mainly militias that have committed crimes after the Libyan revolution.
Read more»

 Mustafa Fetouri for Al-Monitor on June 8

Why Turkish military isn't welcome in Syria, Iraq

Military and political observers say the Turkish government's failure to recalibrate its policies to better cooperate with the United States, Russia and Iran is undermining Turkey's security interests in Syria and Iraq.
Read more»

 Semih Idiz for Al-Monitor on June 7

What Israel calls progress, Palestinians see as oppression

Israel says it will streamline checkpoint procedures to facilitate Palestinians' movements, but some see the promise as merely a public relations move and a reminder of the occupation.
Read more»

 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on June 7

Turks question loyalties after picture emerges of US soldiers with YPG patches

Recently published photos of US forces wearing YPG insignia have further strained US-Turkish relations and may even offer a recruitment tool for the Islamic State.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on June 7

Will Turkey's military might be overshadowed by political failures?

Although the Turkish military is preoccupied with developments in Syria, border security and combating terrorism, its Efes exercise on May 30-31 was a major show of force.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on June 7

Syrians fight Jabhat al-Nusra with cameras, social media

A group of young Syrians has been documenting and exposing violations and other activities by Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria.
Read more»

 Asaad Hanna for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on June 13

Are the Taliban and Iran teaming up to stop IS?

An article on the Jahan news website reported that the former Taliban leader who was killed in a US drone strike in Pakistan had met with Iranian officials one week before he was killed.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on June 6

Did Erdogan look the other way during YPG operation in Syria?

The range of Turkey’s howitzers determines the limits of its game in Syria.
Read more»

 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor on June 6

Why can't Gazans drink their tea in peace?

Security services in Gaza are implementing heavy and exaggerated measures in cafes and public spaces, dealing with clients as suspicious persons, so have they crossed the line?
Read more»

 Mohammed Othman for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on June 6

Will Egypt's cybercrime law overstep boundaries?

As the Egyptian government nears adoption of a new cybercrime law, human rights organizations and observers decried the move, considering it the latest government tool to crack down on dissent.
Read more»

 Khalid Hassan for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on June 7

How Libyans are reviving their heritage, one building at a time

In the absence of a strong central government, Libya’s historical religious and cultural sites are being destroyed and looted by militias and Salafists alike.
Read more»

 Mustafa Fetouri for Al-Monitor on June 6

Is Russia readying for the kill in Syria?

Russia is likely preparing for a major assault on Jabhat al-Nusra and affiliated groups in Aleppo and elsewhere in Syria.
Read more»

 Al-Monitor Week in Review on June 5

Is Sisi selling Egypt to Saudis?

Egyptian lawyers and activists voice concerns over President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s decision broadening the rights of Saudi nationals to own real estate in Egypt.
Read more»

 Ahmed Hidji for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on June 6

Clinton dumps on Trump

Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton, in a foreign policy speech in San Diego on June 2, honed the case for her candidacy down to the narrow and compelling argument that Donald Trump is unfit to be commander in chief.
Read more»

 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on June 3

How the Islamic State is winning the media war

Is covering the Islamic State’s activities a legitimate public service or just propaganda that serves the extremist group?
Read more»

 Mohammed A. Salih for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on June 3

Major regime offensive looms over Aleppo

Aleppo and its countryside are under heavy shelling by the regime as observers fear this a prelude to a major siege of the city's opposition-controlled areas.
Read more»

 Mohammed al-Khatieb for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on June 6

Why Moscow is preparing to return to Syria

There have been indications recently that the Russians are preparing to resume operations against armed factions in Syria.
Read more»

Translated from As-Safir (Lebanon) on June 3

Will Hamas abandon political Islam?

The decision by Tunisia's Ennahda to separate religion from politics has raised controversy within Hamas circles.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on June 3

Will Israel's new defense minister agree to meet with Abbas?

Israeli mayors who met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas say that he is willing to meet with new Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on June 2

Are Hamas, Egypt nearing reconciliation?

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri spoke about the improvements in Hamas-Egyptian ties and other Palestinian issues.
Read more»

 Iyad Qatrawi for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on June 2

Syria’s Qamishli a window onto Turkish-Kurdish conflict across border

For months, residents of a northern Syrian city have watched helplessly as their neighbors and fellow Kurds battle Turkish forces across the border.
Read more»

 Justin Higginbottom for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on June 1

Peshmerga gaining ground en route to Mosul

In a massive two-day assault on Islamic State militants southeast of Mosul, peshmerga forces regained nine villages and killed 140 IS fighters.
Read more»

 Shelly Kittleson for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on June 1

How Turkey's spies found new ways to escape oversight

Even as rumors continue as to who will replace Hakan Fidan, Turkey's national intelligence chief, the Turkish spy has found ways to expand his political power.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on June 1

IDF warns of escalating pressure in Gaza

IDF officers are concerned that poverty, unemployment and an internal power struggle within Hamas might push the movement into a new military conflict with Israel.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on June 1

How will Baghdad plan for liberated Fallujah?

The Iraqi government needs to plan for the post-liberation phase in Fallujah in order to prevent the city's seizure by terrorist organizations.
Read more»

 Ali Mamouri for Al-Monitor on June 1

Why was hajj for Iranian pilgrims canceled this year?

After failing to resolve differences with Saudi Arabia, Iranians will be unable to attend the hajj pilgrimage this year.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on May 31

Will Russian arms soon start flowing to Libya?

Moscow reports that it's ready with military aid for Libya's unity government as soon as the arms embargo is lifted, but Tripoli must include Gen. Khalifa Hifter and the Libyan National Army in the political process for that to happen.
Read more»

 Yury Barmin for Al-Monitor on June 1

Turkey faces multiple dilemmas in Syria

Ankara’s Kurdish phobia underlies its inability to come up with realistic strategies that will also serve its own long-term security interests.
Read more»

 Semih Idiz for Al-Monitor on May 31

Is new Gaza war more probable with Liberman?

With Avigdor Liberman joining the Netanyahu government, Palestinians feel desperate about a breakthrough in the political stalemate between the PA and Israel and anticipate a military escalation in the Gaza Strip.
Read more»

 Rasha Abou Jalal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on May 31

Opposition infighting gives Assad regime opening in eastern Ghouta

After clashes broke out in eastern Ghouta, the Syrian regime exploited the situation to regain control of the Damascus suburbs.
Read more»

 Asaad Hanna for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on June 1

Iran's 'marriage of convenience' with Taliban

Experts say reports of an Iran-backed Taliban buffer zone in Afghanistan against the Islamic State are overstated but that Iran has had links with Taliban commanders for over a decade.
Read more»

 Barbara Slavin for Al-Monitor on May 31

Palestinians get ready for hard-line Liberman as defense minister

The appointment of ultranationalist Avigdor Liberman as Israel's defense minister sparked outrage among Palestinians, who already regard President Benjamin Netanyahu's government as one of the most extreme in Israel’s history.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on May 31

Hamas to execute 13 Gazan criminals as warning to others

A crime wave in Gaza is putting pressure on Hamas, which has promised to execute 13 Palestinians sentenced to death as a deterrent.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on May 31

Libya's Hifter bets on Tripoli-based government to fight IS first

The Government of National Accord's newly created Presidential Guard and Khalifa Hifter’s forces are playing a waiting game when it comes to fighting the Islamic State, which further broadens the divide between the two.
Read more»

 Mustafa Fetouri for Al-Monitor on May 31

Why this Israeli rights organization will stop submitting complaints to army

Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem has decided it will no longer submit complaints to the Israeli army regarding human rights violations by its soldiers.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on May 30

Can US, Turkey keep up appearances in Syria?

Russia weighs escalation in Syria; CENTCOM commander seeks to balance Turkey, Syrian Kurds in campaign against Islamic State; return to Sur.
Read more»

 Al-Monitor Week in Review on May 29

Can a Cairo conference launch regional peace talks?

While Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi are discussing a Cairo regional conference, experts are presenting a security plan, based on the one elaborated by Gen. John Allen.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on May 30

Switzerland gets active on Palestinian reconciliation

After the Swiss Paper in 2014, Switzerland gets active on the Palestinian reconciliation in an attempt to solve some of the outstanding issues between Fatah and Hamas, most notably the issue of Gaza’s employees.
Read more»

 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on May 27

Saudi Arabia's post-oil plan enters slippery slope

Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 plan, which foresees a post-oil economy for the kingdom, contains many contradictions.
Read more»

 Philip Calabro for Al-Monitor on May 27

Hamas leader: We made Gaza security oasis

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Ziad al-Zaza, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, addressed several internal and foreign issues, including Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, Israel and Palestinian legislative elections.
Read more»

 Mohammed Othman for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on June 2

Will Russia adopt 'first to strike' policy in Syria?

Bombings in Tartus and Jableh have led Russia to reassess the risks it faces in Syria.
Read more»

 Maxim A. Suchkov for Al-Monitor on May 27

Back home after clashes, Kurds in Turkey's Sur find only debris

Some look for their homes, others for the bodies of relatives as Kurdish civilians are finally allowed to return to devastated neighborhoods in Diyarbakir after months of clashes between Kurdish militants and the security forces.
Read more»

 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on May 27

Baghdad on high alert following recent bombings

Observers anticipate that additional explosions will take place in Baghdad, given the presence of sleeper cells within the capital’s borders.
Read more»

 Mustafa Saadoun for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on May 29

Is the Islamic State fueling Shiite infighting in Iraq?

The Islamic State has adopted a new strategy that consists of provoking Shiite infighting, in a bid to distract attention of the Shiite majority government and Shiite opposition from liberating the remaining areas controlled by IS.
Read more»

 Ali Mamouri for Al-Monitor on May 27

'Utter failure' prompts political retirement of Palestinian official

In an interview with Al-Monitor, member of the PFLP Central Committee Zulfikar Suergo says that the Palestinian leadership has failed to put an end to the people's dire situation.
Read more»

 Ahmad Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on May 27

How Israeli soldiers became 'children of the nation'

More Israelis are determined to protect IDF soldiers' lives at any cost, an attitude that has had major repercussions for Israeli military operations despite the better judgment of its commanders.
Read more»

 Nurit Canetti for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on May 27

Has Iran-Saudi cyberwar already started?

After an Iranian website was hacked, some Iranian websites are speculating as to whether or not an Iranian-Saudi cyberwar has begun.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on May 26

Will Israel move from occupation to annexation?

Palestinian officials fear that the appointment of hawkish Yisrael Beitenu head Avigdor Liberman as defense minister signals an Israeli policy leap from occupation of Palestinian territories toward annexation policies.
Read more»

 Uri Savir for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on May 29

Why Hamas and Israel both oppose French peace initiative

Few seem hopeful that France's upcoming peace talks will actually result in peace between Israelis and Palestinians.
Read more»

 Rasha Abou Jalal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on May 26

New defense minister's death penalty demand would put Israelis at risk

The demand by incoming Minister of Defense Avigdor Liberman to impose the death penalty for terrorism convictions could destroy Israeli-Palestinian security cooperation and ignite a new intifada.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on May 26

US, Kurds to clear path toward Raqqa, with or without Turkey

Because of Turkey's objections to Kurdish involvement, operational plans against the Islamic State keep changing.
Read more»

 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor on May 26

Expect repercussions from deadly Latakia attacks

All players in the Syrian war are scrutinizing the recent bloody assaults on Syrian civilians and the range of results that are likely.
Read more»

 Vitaly Naumkin for Al-Monitor on May 28

US allies mobilize on two fronts against IS, but Sunnis wary

US-backed Iraqi forces have encircled Fallujah, and mostly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces have advanced on villages north of Raqqa, but Sunni residents are terrified of retribution by Kurdish and Shiite local forces preparing to liberate those cities from the Islamic State.
Read more»

 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on May 25

Uproar over police brutality against Israeli Arab

Israeli passers-by documented border police officers beating an Israeli-Arab youth working in a Tel Aviv grocery store.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on May 25

Turkey's Islamists, nationalists both silent on Israeli weapons flow to Azerbaijan

Turkey’s Islamist and ultra-nationalists are curbing their opposition — at least outwardly — to Israel, which is supplying Azerbaijan with weapons to fight Armenia.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on May 25

Head of pro-Sisi coalition denies attempts to take control of Egypt's parliament

Saad al-Gamal, the head of the pro-government Support Egypt coalition, speaks to Al-Monitor about the most pressing issues facing parliament and responds to accusations of trying to take control of the legislature.
Read more»

 Khalid Hassan for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on May 24

Erdogan irked as major players snub humanitarian summit

Turkey was expecting representatives from "all" countries to attend the first World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul.
Read more»

 Mehmet Cetingulec for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on May 25

Gaza calls for death penalty

Citizens in the Gaza Strip are pressuring Hamas to implement the death penalties in cases of murders, robberies and physical attacks, without awaiting the endorsement of President Mahmoud Abbas.
Read more»

 Iyad Qatrawi for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on May 24

Syrians describe 'most dangerous journey ever' fleeing IS territories

Civilians in areas under IS control are barred from leaving, but many are nonetheless risking their lives to flee the group's grip.
Read more»

 Mohammed al-Khatieb for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on May 25

Islamic Jihad takes drug enforcement into own hands in Gaza

The Islamic Jihad's military wing seized large quantities of Tramadol pills in Rafah, in a move Gaza officials considered as overstepping the security services' job.
Read more»

 Asmaa al-Ghoul for Al-Monitor on May 30

As climate changes, has Mideast refugee crisis just begun?

New reports are drawing attention to the possibility that global warming could worsen the refugee crisis in the Middle East and North Africa.
Read more»

 Barın Kayaoğlu for Al-Monitor on May 24

Why hasn't Egypt taken a clear stance on Syria?

Since Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi came to power two years ago, Egypt has repeatedly stated that it wants to preserve the Syrian state and army, but it has been vague when it comes to voicing an opinion on the regime itself.
Read more»

 Ahmed Fouad for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on May 23

Are Palestinians concerned over Minister Liberman?

Palestinian leaders in the West Bank and Gaza say they do not fear incoming new Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on May 23

Iraq kicks off historic Fallujah operation against Islamic State

Iraqi security forces launched a military operation in Fallujah, the Islamic State's last major stronghold in Anbar province; if the operation succeeds, it will deal a serious blow to the extremist organization.
Read more»

 Mohammed A. Salih for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on May 23

Why Ya'alon's departure from defense ministry should worry Bibi

The resignation of Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon from his post following the appointment of Avigdor Liberman to his job leaves the Likud party without any moderate senior figures.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on May 23

Is new defense minister dangerous for Israel?

Some in the Israeli military are panicked over Avigdor Liberman heading the Defense Ministry, but despite his tempestuous reputation, Liberman is neither stupid nor crazy.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on May 23

How Ankara and the PKK misread civilians’ reactions to ongoing violence

As Kurdistan Workers Party violence intensifies in Turkey's cities, civilian Kurds are paying the price.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on May 23

Ouster of Kurdish MPs threatens to fuel separatism in Turkey

Turkish parliament members have stripped themselves of immunity in a move designed to expel Kurdish lawmakers, but pushing the Kurdish struggle out of the political arena may end up fueling violent opposition instead.
Read more»

 Kadri Gursel for Al-Monitor on May 23

US should accept Russian offer to coordinate strikes on Jabhat al-Nusra

US-Russian joint action would be a step forward to defeat al-Qaeda affiliate; US rejects Russian bid to designate Ahrar al-Sham and Jaish al-Islam as terrorist groups; Nasrallah vows deeper commitment to Syria following death of top commander.
Read more»

 Al-Monitor Week in Review on May 22

Egyptian Brotherhood leader reflects on group's mistakes, future

In an extensive interview with Al-Monitor, Egyptian Brotherhood leader and former minister of planning and international cooperation Amr Darrag speaks about the challenges the group has faced in the past, the reassessments it has undergone and its vision for the future.
Read more»

 Abdelrahman Youssef for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on May 22

Erdogan vs. the world

With Recep Tayyip Erdogan closer than ever to total authority, the world is going to have to deal with an increasingly confrontational Turkish president.
Read more»

 Semih Idiz for Al-Monitor on May 20

How Turkey intends to secure return of Syrian refugees

Turkey is seeking to establish a safe zone on its border with Syria to provide a safe haven for the Syrian refugees that currently number around 3 million in Turkey alone.
Read more»

 Kamal Sheikho for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on May 23

Will Germany play role in Israeli-Palestinian talks?

Germany is deeply engaged in efforts to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and its diplomats say that the Paris conference should be based on the Quartet report.
Read more»

 Uri Savir for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on May 22

Iraqis divided over Soleimani's role in their country

Iran's Quds Force Commander Qasem Soleimani is stirring controversy in the Iraqi street, where citizens are waving both Iranian and Iraqi flags during demonstrations for or against his presence.
Read more»

 Mustafa Saadoun for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on May 20

Yemen peace talks stuck in stalemate

The Yemen peace talks have been hindered by the parties' unwillingness to compromise on several major issues.
Read more»

 Haytham Mouzahem for Al-Monitor on May 20

Sisi's statements on peace efforts welcomed abroad, ridiculed at home

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has announced his country's willingness to negotiate between the Palestinians and Israelis, a statement that proved controversial in Egypt.
Read more»

 Albaraa Abdullah for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on May 19

From Germany to IS front: a former PKK fighter's return to battle

Some of those fighting the Islamic State in Iraqi Kurdistan are volunteers. One of them is Sait Curukkaya.
Read more»

 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on May 20

Libyans lose possessions post-Gadhafi

Following the revolution in Libya and death of former President Moammar Gadhafi, rebels spread chaos in the country, confiscating the properties of those considered supporters of the former regime.
Read more»

 Mustafa Fetouri for Al-Monitor on May 19

Israeli legal plan for settlements raises red flag in West Bank

Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked's intention to apply Israeli laws to Jews living West Bank settlements raised the ire of the Palestinian Authority.
Read more»

 Rasha Abou Jalal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on May 19

Why some Palestinians are siding with the IDF

Palestinian officials do not think the rift between the IDF and Israel's political leadership will improve the Palestinians' situation or advance diplomacy toward peace.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on May 19

Why Iran should focus on Turkey, not Russia, for Syria cooperation

Despite all talk of a nascent Russian-Iranian alliance, it appears that Iranian interests — and the objective of peace in Syria — are perhaps best served through Iranian-Turkish cooperation.
Read more»

 Hamidreza Azizi for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on May 18

Turkish ambassador calls joining EU Ankara’s 'strategic objective'

In a wide-ranging interview with Al-Monitor, Turkish Ambassador to France Hakki Akil discussed Turkey’s perspectives on a safe zone in Syria, the migration crisis, Turkey’s progress toward EU membership, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Russian intervention in Syria and the possibility of international intervention in Libya.
Read more»

 Denis Simonneau for Al-Monitor on May 18

Satire leads Egypt youth troupe to prison

The Egyptian authorities seem to be taking a break from fighting terrorism to zealously track down young entertainers.
Read more»

 George Mikhail for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on May 18

Foreign terrorist fighters, reverse migration are global crises

There is a pressing need for international cooperation to deal with foreign terrorist fighters and overcome the "not in my backyard" mindset.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on May 18

Iraq's parliament helpless to halt political crisis

Iraq's political crisis has worsened, and the parliament cannot even meet to discuss proposals for resolving it.
Read more»

 Ali Mamouri for Al-Monitor on May 19

Will unity deal deepen rivalries in Iraqi Kurdistan?

Long-time Kurdish rivals Gorran and the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan recently reached an agreement that might further entrench Kurdish division in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Read more»

 Mohammed A. Salih for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on May 18

The real reason Israel’s economy is slipping toward recession

While recent figures indicate that the Israeli economy is heading toward a recession, are politicians suppressing the connection between the economy and the diplomatic stalemate?
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on May 18

Arms sales to Libya draw congressional skepticism

The United Nations is ready to lift the arms embargo on Libya. Congress, not so much.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on May 17

Syria contact group urges air drops, expanded cease-fire

The International Syria Support Group, meeting in Vienna May 17, appeared to lower emphasis on Syria political talks as it urged shoring up a partial cease-fire and using air drops if needed to get aid to towns subjected to a type of "medieval" siege.
Read more»

 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on May 17

Will Turkey let UN officials snoop in the southeast?

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights is demanding that Turkey allow UN officials to investigate alleged human rights abuses in the war-ravaged southeast of the country.
Read more»

 Amberin Zaman for Al-Monitor on May 17

Is Egypt's state of emergency in Sinai unconstitutional?

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is drawing the wrath of advocates of the constitution once again, this time for extending the state of emergency in north Sinai for another three months.
Read more»

 Khalid Hassan for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on May 17

Magnetic card system restricts Palestinian visits to Jerusalem

Israel is issuing magnetic travel permits to Palestinians that only permit a certain number of visits to Jerusalem and Israel each year.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on May 17

Can agriculture save Tunisia's economy amid tourism crisis?

While terrorist attacks in Tunisia have led to a massive decline in tourism, some believe that agriculture can save the tiny North African country.
Read more»

 Habibulah Mohamed Lamin for Al-Monitor on May 16

Will IS trigger reconciliation in Libya?

As long as Libyan assets abroad are not released, Libya's many economic and social problems will remain unsolved, and the country will be doomed to failure.
Read more»

Translated from Al-Hayat (Pan Arab) on May 19

Iran parliament seeks damages for US support of Saddam

Iranian parliament passes bill to seek American assets for US actions taken against Iran in the past 63 years.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on May 16

Egypt's next national security threat: all the single ladies?

Egypt's parliamentary National Security Council has identified unmarried women as the country's next big threat.
Read more»

 Rami Galal for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on May 16

Have Turkey-PKK clashes crossed fatal threshold?

The PKK’s alleged shooting down of a Turkish assault helicopter marks a major development in the ongoing fighting between the two sides.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on May 16

Are Iraq's politicians to blame for Baghdad terror attacks?

The Islamic State attacks in three different parts of Baghdad on May 11 are an indication that the political crisis has affected security.
Read more»

 Omar al-Jaffal for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on May 16

How Turkey’s recent political shakeup will have wide-ranging impact

The resignation of Turkish Prime Minister Ahmed Davutoglu could affect both the country’s economy and anti-IS efforts; new report scrutinizes US military aid to Egypt as human rights abuses persist; Al-Monitor’s reporter in the news.
Read more»

 Al-Monitor Week in Review on May 15

UNESCO steps in to protect what's left of Syria's Palmyra

Countless antiquities have been obliterated in the fierce fighting and rampant destruction in Syria, where the famous Palmyra archaeological site has lost a devastating portion of its treasures.
Read more»

 Tamer Osman for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on May 16

Has IS reached the heart of Cairo?

A May 8 attack that killed eight policemen in southern Cairo has sparked fears that the terror group has reached the city's capital, but questions remain about the culprits.
Read more»

 Ahmed Hidji for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on May 13

What's next for Hezbollah in Syria?

Hezbollah will have a difficult time finding a replacement for slain commander Mustafa Badreddine.
Read more»

 Ali Hashem for Al-Monitor on May 16

Despite Arab, US attacks, AQAP still holding out in Yemen

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula recently withdrew from its prosperous base in Mukalla, but with 20 years of investment in the country, the group is unlikely to be defeated while other battles continue to mire the country in chaos and violence.
Read more»

 Ahmed Alwly for Al-Monitor on May 13

Muqtada al-Sadr, the most powerful man in Iraqi politics?

Many believe the storming of the Iraqi parliament by pro-Sadr protesters will only destroy the space for political work in a country where armed conflict has long been a way of settling differences.
Read more»

 Mohammed A. Salih for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on May 13

Is third intifada on its way to becoming history?

What has been described as a third intifada now seems to be declining as Palestinian attacks decrease, though Hamas insists otherwise.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on May 13

What happened to billions in US military aid to Egypt?

The Obama administration has provided Cairo with $6.5 billion in military aid since 2011 but can't account for all of it, according to a new government report.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on May 12

Beware of the failure of Yemen’s central bank

The Central Bank of Yemen continues to set new policies to tackle the rising inflation and devaluation of the Yemeni rial, knowing its policies will not be effective as long as there is no political will to stabilize the situation.
Read more»

 Amal Nasser for Al-Monitor on May 15

Gaza farmers dodge bullets to harvest crops

Although the truce that ended the 2014 Gaza war is still in force, the Israeli army has recently escalated its actions against farmers in the buffer zone between the Strip and Israel.
Read more»

 Rasha Abou Jalal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on May 15

Why Shiites are divided over Iranian role in Iraq

Shiites have started to act based on political orientations instead of their sectarian affiliations, which is viewed as an edge in the Shiite public awareness.
Read more»

 Ali Mamouri for Al-Monitor on May 12

Why is Congress keeping its powder dry on Iran sanctions?

Republican leaders are determined to craft the most comprehensive legislative package they can get through Congress.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on May 11

Iranian official says prominent Saudi jihadist 'man in control' in Syria

In Syria, a Saudi jihadi is becoming a paramount figure for militants opposed to President Bashar al-Assad — but will he become the "new bin Laden"?
Read more»

 Ali Hashem for Al-Monitor on May 11

How will Egypt police its police force?

Police assaults on civilians have put the Interior Ministry in the hot seat as the public demands action to curb police violence.
Read more»

 Sayed Elhadidi for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on May 11

How will Turkey gain power abroad when it can't protect its borders?

Turkey's ineffectiveness in protecting the city of Kilis on the Syrian border points to how unlikely it is that the government will fulfill its ambition to become a regional power.
Read more»

 Cengiz Çandar for Al-Monitor on May 11

Who are Syria's Alawites?

Alawite doctrine differs in many ways from Sunni and Shiite Islam, but Alawites believe they should be respected and accepted as an independent Muslim sect.
Read more»

 Haytham Mouzahem for Al-Monitor on May 12

The one thing Israel could do to avoid another Gaza war

For the first time, an official Israeli report links the suffering in the Gaza Strip caused by the blockade and the firing of rockets into Israel.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on May 11

How one journalist is going after false news on Syria

A Syrian journalist recently launched Verify, an online platform correcting and validating news on Syria.
Read more»

 Mohammed al-Khatieb for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on May 11

Saudi king’s Cabinet reshuffle may 'rattle many royal spines'

Saudi Arabia's deputy crown prince is quickly accumulating power, responsibility — and risks — perhaps at the expense of his cousin, who is currently next in line for the throne.
Read more»

 Madawi Al-Rasheed for Al-Monitor on May 10

Iranian officials blame Aleppo cease-fire violations for military casualties

Iranian officials blame Syrian opposition groups for violating the cease-fire to attack Iranian forces in Syria.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on May 10

Kurdish conflict reaches Turkish kitchens

The Kurdish conflict in southeast Turkey has badly hurt farming in the region, worsening the country’s already acute meat production shortage.
Read more»

 Zülfikar Doğan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on May 10

Why Gaza's militant groups are cozying up to one another

Hamas is getting closer with the militias of Islamic Jihad and the Popular Resistance Committees in an attempt to unify forces and benefit from Iranian support.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on May 10

Leaked Gaza war report sparks 'war of generals' in Israel

The partially leaked state comptroller report of the 2014 Protective Edge operation triggered political clashes and also a war of mutual accusations amid IDF generals.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on May 9

More than 100 Iran MPs ask Rouhani to stop nuclear deal implementation

Members of the current conservative-led parliament have signed a written warning to President Hassan Rouhani asking that he return Iran’s nuclear program to previous levels before the nuclear deal if US "obstruction" continues.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on May 9

Will Hamas respond to Israel's destruction of its tunnels?

Israel and Hamas are threatening each other with open warfare over Palestinian factions' tunnels that lead from Gaza into Israel, though military experts are divided on whether either side would take such action.
Read more»

 Ahmad Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on May 9

Palestine to raise concerns about settlement-based teams at FIFA conference

The Palestinian Football Federation is planning to raise the issue of five Israeli soccer teams located in the occupied territories on the grounds that these teams are violating FIFA statutes.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on May 10

The story behind the general who will likely shape Libya's future

Gen. Khalifa Hifter's speculative role in Libya's future is as captivating as his intriguing past.
Read more»

 Mustafa Fetouri for Al-Monitor on May 9

How Cairo was able to stop April 25 protests

Although mass protests had been planned following Egyptian popular anger at an agreement to cede the Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia, efforts by the security forces seem to have thwarted major demonstrations.
Read more»

 Ahmed Hidji for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on May 8

What’s left of Turkish democracy?

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan continues his assault on the media while accusing political opponents of abetting terrorists.
Read more»

 Al-Monitor Week in Review on May 8

How Russia sees Kurdish quest for autonomy

Russia is carefully crafting its policies regarding Kurds, seeking to take a leadership role in the Syrian situation without actually offending anyone.
Read more»

 Maxim A. Suchkov for Al-Monitor on May 6

Why Egypt's ministries are on the move

Egypt is moving several state institutions out of downtown Cairo in what some say is a way to avoid the protests that have long centered in the area.
Read more»

 Amr Eltohamy for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on May 6

Is Washington enabling despotism in Turkey?

Washington's muted response to growing authoritarianism in Turkey under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is spurring accusations that it is empowering him.
Read more»

 Amberin Zaman for Al-Monitor on May 6

Syria’s women prisoners face suffering even after release

After their brutal experience in regime detention, freed female detainees are rejected by their society.
Read more»

 Tamer Osman for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on May 8

Why the PA is distancing itself from BDS movement

Israel must understand that the marginal BDS movement is not its main strategic threat — the occupation is.
Read more»

 Uri Savir for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on May 8

How Israel avoided another escalation with Hamas

Israel and Hamas agreed, yet again, to hold fire; yet the misery of Gaza residents will continue as long as the blockade continues.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on May 5

Why Turkey is finally getting serious about the Islamic State

The Islamic State seems determined to open a front in Turkey, militarizing its operations there and forcing Ankara to respond in kind.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on May 5

Rouhani moves to slash IRGC budget, empower army

The Rouhani administration has moved to cut spending for the IRGC while increasing funding for the army, but not without a backlash.
Read more»

 Abbas Qaidaari for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on May 5

After Madaya, Deir ez-Zor now faces humanitarian catastrophe

The starving citizens of Deir ez-Zor in eastern Syria are trapped in the battle between the Islamic State and government forces, squeezed by blockades imposed by both sides.
Read more»

 Kamal Sheikho for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on May 6

Fleeing Tuz Khormato residents add more strain on Iraq's Kirkuk

The renewed fighting in Tuz Khormato has prompted many more families to leave for Kirkuk, which is already struggling to host a large number of displaced people.
Read more»

 Adam Lucente for Al-Monitor on May 5

Hamas watches its words in response to Jerusalem bus bombing

Hamas is celebrating — but not claiming responsibility for — the April 18 bus bombing in Jerusalem, indicating it is walking a fine political line between maintaining its popularity among frustrated Palestinians and avoiding a punitive retaliation by Israel.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on May 4

Why Tuz Khormato clashes were more than just local skirmishes

In Tuz Khormato, Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Units and Kurdish peshmerga forces recently fought what appears to be a battle in the Shiite-Sunni power struggle, and not just a localized skirmish.
Read more»

 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor on May 5

Erdogan’s secret economic weapon

Turkey’s defense industry sector has emerged as a shining star in a turbulent period of economic jitters and falling exports.
Read more»

 Ufuk Sanli for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on May 4

Syrian rebels weigh in on cease-fire

Opposition fighters in Syria consider the cessation of hostilities 'negative,' although it has reduced civilian casualties.
Read more»

 Shelly Kittleson for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on May 4

US, Russia to jointly monitor Syria cease-fire

US Secretary of State John Kerry and UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said they hoped that a partial Syria cease-fire would be extended to Aleppo after the United States and Russia agreed to create a joint Syria cease-fire monitoring operation in Geneva, but fighting raged on in the city.
Read more»

 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on May 3

Are Israeli police covering up shooting of Palestinian siblings?

A Palestinian pregnant woman and her brother were shot to death at the Qalandia checkpoint, but Israeli police won't release to the press the footage of the shooting.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on May 3

Did Rouhani call for North Korea to give up nuclear weapons?

South Korean officials have welcomed Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s comments about a Korean Peninsula free of nuclear weapons.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on May 3

Four reasons Sisi won’t turn against Iran

The Saudi efforts to forge an alliance with Egypt come in the context of Riyadh’s efforts to expand its anti-Iran coalition. But will Saudi Arabia succeed in bringing Egypt onboard?
Read more»

 Hassan Ahmadian for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on May 3

Russia, US and the Kurds: The friend of my enemy is — wait, what?

While the world squabbles over who is helping or should help Syrian Kurds, the Kurds aren't turning down aid from any quarter.
Read more»

 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor on May 3

Have Israel, PA figured out how to stop attacks?

The Palestinian Authority is using a two-phase approach against potential attackers, first approaching school students and then talking to their parents.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on May 2

Khamenei to US Navy: Keep your drills in the Bay of Pigs

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said that Iran would not refrain from holding military drills in the Persian Gulf.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on May 2

US, Russia compete to woo Syrian Kurds

The recent rapprochement between the Kurds and Russia is a new phase in the two sides' relations that date back to the 19th century, but Kurds do not want to alienate the United States either.
Read more»

 Cengiz Çandar for Al-Monitor on May 2

Islamic State isn’t the only one calling for a caliphate in Turkey

The Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir is hosting a series of conferences in Ankara and Istanbul calling for a caliphate to be reinstated and demanding the closure of the US and British embassies to end terror in Turkey.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on May 2

Saudi IS members killing their own relatives

The control demonstrated by the Islamic State over some young Saudi minds apparently exceeds even that of prominent Muslim leaders.
Read more»

 Ibrahim al-Hatlani for Al-Monitor on May 2

Five years after bin Laden’s death, mystery surrounding Saudi Arabia and 9/11 remains

A congressionally mandated FBI report into possible foreign support for the Sept. 11 attacks deserves more attention.
Read more»

 Bruce Riedel for Al-Monitor on May 2

Aleppo on verge of decisive battle

UN Syria envoy calls for “urgent initiative” as Syrian offensive in Aleppo appears imminent; the question at the heart of the Aramco IPO offer.
Read more»

 Al-Monitor Week in Review on May 1

Why is Jordan restricting Palestinians' travel?

Palestinians have been fighting repressive Israeli travel restrictions for years, now they face Jordanian ones too.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on April 29

How the nuclear deal's failings ignited anti-Western sentiment in Iran

In the absence of what Iranian officials see as the lack of full implementation of the nuclear deal, the factors that could reignite anti-US sentiment in Iran appear to be back in place.
Read more»

 Ali Hashem for Al-Monitor on April 29

Easter in Egypt resurrects debate over travel to Israel

In the lead-up to Orthodox Easter May 1, disputes have resurfaced over visits by Egyptian Copts to Jerusalem.
Read more»

 George Mikhail for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on April 29

US and Syria's Kurds: Love on the rocks?

PKK violence is complicating US relations with Syria’s Kurds just as Turkey steps up its cooperation against the Islamic State.
Read more»

 Amberin Zaman for Al-Monitor on April 29

Congress inches closer to handing Pentagon $350 million for Syrian rebels

Sen. John McCain signs off on aid request blocked after last year's effort ended in a debacle.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on April 28

UN warns of 'catastrophic' breakdown of Syria cease-fire

The United Nations warned of a catastrophic breakdown of the Syria cease-fire as the United States said it was outraged by what it initially assessed to be a deliberate Syrian regime airstrike on a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Aleppo.
Read more»

 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on April 28

Egypt's writers fear increasing restrictions

Egyptian authors are fighting for freedom of expression as the state cracks down on what it calls offending public decency and contempt of religion.
Read more»

 Albaraa Abdullah for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on April 28

Why young Sahrawis are joining military movement against Morocco

Sahrawi youth have grown tired of waiting for the United Nations to break the stalemate between Western Sahara and Morocco.
Read more»

 Habibulah Mohamed Lamin for Al-Monitor on April 28

Who sent Iranian Green Berets to Syria?

For the first time since Iran’s 1980-88 war with Iraq, the Iranian army is conducting foreign military operations. But who sent its Green Berets to Syria?
Read more»

 Abbas Qaidaari for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on April 28

Is the PA coordinating arrests with Israel?

In light of the climaxing uprising, some claim the Palestinian Authority's security services are coordinating arrests, so that after a Palestinian suspect is released by the PA he is shortly thereafter detained by Israel.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on April 28

Landmines hinder return of displaced to Iraq's Ramadi

Although efforts are underway to clear Ramadi from landmines, the displaced cannot return to their cities given the risks they could be facing.
Read more»

 Mustafa Saadoun for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on April 29

Libyan government, parliament enter into standoff

Libya's Government of National Accord is yet to get a vote of confidence by the House of Representatives.
Read more»

 Mustafa Fetouri for Al-Monitor on April 29

Why some Palestinians aren't optimistic about Israel's decision to ease residency restrictions

Israel issued a decision allowing some Palestinians living in Jerusalem and the West Bank to reunite with their families in Israeli cities, but security concerns may undermine it.
Read more»

 Iyad Qatrawi for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on April 29

Why France isn’t inviting Israel, Palestine to peace process conference

As a first step to relaunch a two-state solution process, France will convene at the end of May a conference of stakeholders, without the Israelis or the Palestinians.
Read more»

 Uri Savir for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on May 1

How one Gaza crossing went from death trap to gate of hope

A decade ago, crossing from Gaza at the Erez checkpoint was a nightmare, but now under Defense Ministry management the once-dangerous crossing offers a model of order and security for West Bank facilities.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on April 28

Trump meets the DC foreign policy establishment

Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump rolls out his "America First" foreign policy speech, leaving many unanswered questions about his plans to secure the United States and stabilize the world's trouble spots.
Read more»

 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on April 27

Obama, Congress hurtle toward showdown over Israel missile defense

Lawmakers are feeling a lot more generous than the Obama administration when it comes to Israel's safety.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on April 27

Egyptian MP says forcing Sinai residents to move will only worsen terrorism

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Egyptian parliamentarian Salama Al-Roqie expressed concern that the displacement of Sinai citizens suggested by some lawmakers will worsen the spread of terrorism and that the Sinai tribes are vital in supporting the armed forces in the war against extremists.
Read more»

 George Mikhail for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on April 27

Khamenei says US pushing 'Iranphobia' to block foreign investment

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei criticized the United States for removing the sanctions on paper but in effect scaring large banks from doing business with Iran.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on April 27

Bashar basking in Baath Party victory

The Syrian parliamentary elections organized by President Bashar al-Assad's regime consecrated the Baath Party's domination and led some critics to say Assad isn't interested in a political solution to the war there.
Read more»

 Mohammed al-Khatieb for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on April 27

Israel's fix for dangerous Gaza route will only worsen matters

Instead of widening the dangerous old road leading to the vital Kerem Shalom Crossing, Israeli Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz has decided to limit the operating hours of trucks bringing provisions into Gaza.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on April 27

Why Golan settlers paid no mind to Bibi’s latest comments

With the war in Syria ongoing, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's recent statements about Israel keeping the Golan Heights forever attracted little interest.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on April 27

US aid caught up in Middle East crackdown on civil society

An analysis of the State Department budget request shows a drop in support for democracy and human rights.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on April 26

Khamenei adviser calls US court ruling 'international stealing'

Iran has filed an official complaint against the US Supreme Court ruling that would allow families of terrorist attack victims to collect nearly $2 billion in frozen Iranian funds.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on April 26

Will Turkey ask NATO for help defending against IS rockets?

Turkish citizens are calling on their government to boost its feeble response to IS shelling from Syria.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on April 26

Has the countdown to next Hamas-Israel war begun?

Both Israel and Hamas claim not to want another battle, but both are loudly preparing for one.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on April 26

Leading rights activist warns of unknown future for NGOs in Egypt

The executive director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information tells Al-Monitor that the government wants to “turn civil society into a government division.”
Read more»

 Amr Eltohamy for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on April 25

What's next for Aleppo?

Clashes resumed in Aleppo after the cessation of hostilities there, which raises questions anew on the future of the city and the overall peace process.
Read more»

 Mona Alami for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on April 25

Erdogan, Davutoglu shed tears for Gaza, but do little else

Turkey as well as the oil-rich Gulf states have still not fulfilled their pledges to help with the reconstruction and development of Gaza.
Read more»

 Zülfikar Doğan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on April 25

Did Netanyahu miss out on a 'Golan-Iran' deal?

Israeli sources claim that after the Iran deal was negotiated, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu missed out on a historic opportunity to strike a deal on the Golan.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on April 25

'There is no intifada,' say Ramallah residents

In a visit to Ramallah, Israel Pulse contributor Shlomi Eldar heard from residents who expressed a deep weariness with Hamas and other "inciters" to violence.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on April 25

Salafi armed groups increase attacks in Syria

UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura warns that the cessation of hostilities is in “great trouble.”
Read more»

 Al-Monitor Week in Review on April 24

Jerusalem churches: Don't veto Palestine resolution

Middle East and US religious leaders chart path forward for two-state solution.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on April 22

Syrian Kurds expand diplomatic network in Europe

Despite Turkey’s blocking efforts, key Rojava actors PYD and YPG are opening office after office in Europe.
Read more»

 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor on April 22

Is Syria's 'fragile cease-fire' really a cease-fire at all?

The Syrian regime resumed its airstrikes on residential neighborhoods of Aleppo, which could mean President Bashar al-Assad isn't concerned about finding a political solution to the war.
Read more»

 Tamer Osman for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on April 25

Why ex-minister’s return to prison may ease Lebanon's political deadlock

A court's decision to put Michel Samaha back behind bars might help ease Sunni-Shiite stress, but solving sectarian differences will require everyone's cooperation.
Read more»

 Sami Nader for Al-Monitor on April 25

The 'out-of-the-box' proposal on the Golan Heights

France is advancing an idea that in exchange for Israeli readiness to take security risks in the framework of a two-state solution, the Golan Heights issue will be taken off the regional negotiation table.
Read more»

 Uri Savir for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on April 24

Could economic ties be key to calming Egypt-Italy tensions?

Although tensions are high between Cairo and Rome following the murder of Italian graduate student Giulio Regeni, the strong economic ties between the two will likely persist.
Read more»

 Safiaa Mounir for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on April 21

Can US, Iran maintain ties after Obama?

After three years of frequent and intense US-Iranian diplomatic contacts during the successful Iran nuclear deal negotiations, can the United States and Iran maintain their diplomatic opening after President Barack Obama leaves office and John Kerry is no longer secretary of state?
Read more»

 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on April 21

Tehran police chief defends new undercover morality police force

Tehran’s police chief, Hossein Sajedinia, has defended the decision to introduce 7,000 undercover morality officers in the capital, explaining the force will monitor security issues as well as appropriate women’s veiling.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on April 21

Why Turkey frets over US-Russian relations

Will Turkey’s leaders have to wait for the next US president to challenge Russia in the manner they would like?
Read more»

 Cengiz Çandar for Al-Monitor on April 21

Shelling of Aleppo neighborhood threatens to stir up Arab-Kurdish strife

The armed Syrian opposition's ongoing shelling on the Kurdish-majority Sheikh Maksoud neighborhood of Aleppo risks potential strife between Sunni Arabs and Kurds.
Read more»

 Sardar Mlla Drwish for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on April 22

Why Egyptians' anger at island handover is misplaced

Angry Egyptians decried the return of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia while ignoring possible economic benefits and returns for Egypt as part of the agreement.
Read more»

 Ibrahim al-Hatlani for Al-Monitor on April 21

Regional conflicts spill into Lebanon's Palestinian refugee camps

In light of an inability to control mounting tensions at Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, the situation warns of an impending explosion.
Read more»

 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on April 21

Are Syria's Alawites turning their backs on Assad?

Some Alawite leaders are challenging the intent and legitimacy of a document leaked to Western media, presumably issued by Alawite notables, that proclaims an independent Alawite identity and breaking all ties with the Assad regime.
Read more»

 Haytham Mouzahem for Al-Monitor on April 25

Jordan pivots to Saudi Arabia

After years of a cool relationship between Jordan and Saudi Arabia, the two Arab kingdoms seem to be united to fight Iran’s regional interference.
Read more»

 Osama Al Sharif for Al-Monitor on April 21

Were Bibi's Golan comments a 'death blow' to peace?

The declaration by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that Israel will hold on to the Golan Heights forever threatens any possibility of an agreement with the Palestinians and Arab states.
Read more»

 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on April 21

For some fleeing conflict, even Yemen is a haven

Thousands of Africans fleeing the misery in their countries continue to seek refuge in Yemen, which itself is suffering the ravages of civil war.
Read more»

 Ahmed Alwly for Al-Monitor on April 20

Khamenei warns of 'soft war' between Iran, US

After the Organization of Islamic Cooperation condemned Hezbollah and Iran, Iran's supreme leader has indirectly criticized Saudi Arabia and called the condemnation meaningless.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on April 20

How Turkish intelligence scored much-needed success

Turkey's National Intelligence Organization says it recently made an arrest in a counterespionage case, saving the design secrets of government-owned Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corp.’s first nationally produced rifle.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on April 20

Gaza still clearing rubble from 2014 war

Some 97% of the rubble from homes destroyed during the 2014 Israeli war has been removed.
Read more»

 Ahmad Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on April 20

Is Jerusalem bus blast just a sign of things to come?

As the Passover holiday approaches, many Israelis fear the current violence may evolve into larger scale attacks like the bus bombing that shook Jerusalem Monday night.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on April 20

How the IDF created a media frenzy

The IDF's rush to condemn the soldier who shot a Palestinian assailant on the ground before his indictment only contributed to the public dispute in the Israeli media over the issue.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on April 20

Congress unblocks $108 million in Palestinian aid

The release follows months of pressure from the State Department.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on April 19

Red Sea bridge project resurfaces

Backers hope to calm old concerns with new plans for a bridge between Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Read more»

 Rami Galal for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on April 19

Rouhani says reversing ruin from sanctions will take time

During a speech in the city of Semnan, President Hassan Rouhani said that the nuclear deal has already brought some benefits to Iran, advising caution that the effects of sanctions could linger a little longer.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on April 19

Amid fragile truce with Damascus, Syria opposition battles IS

Islamist factions and opposition forces are taking advantage of "downtime" during the regime/opposition cease-fire to take on other enemies in Syria, but all the fighting could undermine the fragile truce.
Read more»

 Asaad Hanna for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on April 20

Everything you've ever wanted to know about Fethullah Gulen, Turkey's most controversial cleric

Questions remain concerning the future of Fethullah Gulen, a minor preacher who quickly rose to become one of Erdogan's closest allies, only to fall out of favor and remain in self-imposed exile in the US.
Read more»

 Murat Bilgincan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on April 19

Why the Mosul offensive has yet to succeed

Frustrations between the Iraqi army, peshmerga forces and local villagers have presented a major obstacle in the operation that was launched in late March to recapture Mosul from IS.
Read more»

 Mohammed A. Salih for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on April 19

Clashes between IS, Jabhat al-Nusra spell despair for Yarmouk residents

Clashes between Jabhat al-Nusra and Islamic State militants in the Yarmouk refugee camp portend more despair for Palestinian residents, whose situation is already desperate.
Read more»

 Tom Rollins for Al-Monitor on April 21

Who is really inciting violence in Israel-Palestine conflict?

Deputy Palestinian Information Minister Mohammed Khalifa tells Al-Monitor that, while Israel blames them for incitement, right-wing Israelis are responsible for the violence.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on April 21

Why a seaport won't solve Gaza's problems

Israel cannot simply offer some gestures to improve the situation in Gaza without negotiating a comprehensive solution to end the occupation.
Read more»

 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on April 19

Congress puts stranglehold on Palestinian aid

Key lawmakers are incensed with terrorism support and statehood bid.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on April 18

Syria talks pulled back from brink

UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura looked to the United States and Russia for help after the Syrian opposition said it will pause its participation in formal negotiations but stay in Geneva until it sees progress on strengthening the cease-fire and aid access.
Read more»

 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on April 18

Will drought fuel water conflict between Cairo, Addis Ababa?

As drought continues to plague Ethiopia, the longstanding dispute over precious water resources in the Nile Basin is intensifying.
Read more»

 Ayah Aman for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on April 18

How Turkish police could have prevented IS massacre in Ankara

Recent reports in the Turkish press have fueled claims that police were more than just negligent in their failure to act on intelligence reports before the Islamic State attacked Ankara on Oct. 10.
Read more»

 Kadri Gursel for Al-Monitor on April 18

Underground war between Israel, Hamas heats up

The IDF exposed an attack tunnel dug by Hamas, which reached Israeli territory.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on April 18

Is Hamas on the offensive or defensive?

Hamas believes that Israel will attack the Gaza Strip again at some point, which is why it keeps arming itself and developing its rocket project.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on April 18

Will Popular Mobilization Units join operations to liberate Mosul?

Although the Sunni forces oppose the participation of the Popular Mobilization Units in the battle for Mosul, the Iraqi government has opted for their participation in the absence of a US veto.
Read more»

 Ali Mamouri for Al-Monitor on April 18

Why Jordan's king is criticizing his country's closest allies

King Abdullah has made harsh statements against Obama’s war on IS, Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy and Russia’s policy in Syria, yet due to Amman's precarious geostrategic position he doesn't always fully stand by his own comments.
Read more»

 Aaron Magid for Al-Monitor on April 18

US should ditch 'plan B' for Syria

UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura says the fragile cessation of hostilities “continues to give hope” as Syrians anticipate the battle for Aleppo.
Read more»

 Al-Monitor Week in Review on April 17

Controversy over Italian student's murder threatens Egypt's tourism sector

Ambiguity concerning the investigations into the murder of Italian researcher Giulio Regeni in Egypt will further harm the country's already declining tourism sector.
Read more»

 Ahmed Hidji for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on April 17

Former Lebanese PM brings two important messages to Moscow

Despite differing views between former Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri and Russia on the makeup of the Lebanese government, Hariri's recent visit to Moscow shows the bond between the two countries.
Read more»

 Maxim A. Suchkov for Al-Monitor on April 17

Can Obama wake Saudis from their dream of continued dominance?

US President Barack Obama is expected to attempt some delicate diplomacy when he visits Riyadh this month: mending fences with Arab allies while still urging them to pick up the pace in fighting terrorism.
Read more»

 Madawi Al-Rasheed for Al-Monitor on April 17

Congress cool on Kurdistan bailout

KRG leaders’ Capitol Hill trek yields lots of praise but no promises.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on April 15

Israeli envoy reflects on time at UN

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Israel's envoy to the United Nations, Danny Danon, shares insights into the issue he deals with daily, including cyber warfare, terrorism and raising alarms about Hezbollah.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on April 15

Iranian official says Nusra, not IS, main threat to West

The tug of war in Syria will grind on as political talks appear to be going nowhere.
Read more»

 Ali Hashem for Al-Monitor on April 15

Will the true culprits surface in Lebanon's infamous Internet racket?

Officials are investigating claims of corruption and espionage in Lebanon's Internet management.
Read more»

 Esperance Ghanem for Al-Monitor Lebanon Pulse on April 18

Syria's Kurds take control of oil fields, now what?

After Kurdish forces took control of parts of northeastern Syria, they have found themselves facing many challenges, including the management of their oil wells.
Read more»

 Massoud Hamed for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on April 15

Why Israel is staying silent on Azerbaijan-Armenia conflict

Despite its strong ties with Azerbaijan, Israel has kept silent on the conflict with Armenia out of wariness of raising the issue of occupation.
Read more»

 Ephraim Sneh for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on April 15

Will Sisi, Muslim Brotherhood make peace?

The return of an Islamic TV broadcaster who fled after the 2013 coup has raised the question whether reconciliation is possible between the Egyptian government and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Read more»

 Rania Rabeaa Elabd for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on April 14

French FM speaks out on Middle East crises

Newly appointed French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault speaks to Al-Monitor about the link between Europe's migrant crisis and the Syrian conflict, saying the European Union and France must shoulder their responsibilities to help solve the Israeli-Palestinian issue.
Read more»

 Denis Simonneau for Al-Monitor on April 14

Does Israel have justification to enter West Bank's Area A?

Palestinians and Israelis disagree over the legality of the Israeli army pursuing Palestinian fugitives into Area A of the West Bank.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on April 14

OIC conference begins with Iran-Saudi spat

Iran’s foreign minister has condemned Saudi Arabia's attempts to introduce anti-Iranian resolutions ahead of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation summit in Istanbul.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on

First Turkey-backed operation against IS becomes a fiasco

Just days after Turkey-backed groups claimed victory against IS in Syria’s al-Rai, the area has fallen back under the extremist group’s control, supporting claims that cooperation with Kurdish forces is needed to defeat IS.
Read more»

 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor on April 14

Why Hamas needs a prisoner-swap deal with Israel

Hamas seems to believe the only way to battle the frustration of Gaza residents over their desperate economic situation and corrupt leadership is to announce another prisoner exchange.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on April 14

Do Israelis lack empathy for Palestinian suffering?

While Israeli Jews have always demonstrated solidarity with Jews around the world, they reject demonstrations of solidarity by Israeli Palestinians toward their brothers under occupation.
Read more»

 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on April 14

Will Iran and Russia join forces on Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict?

The renewed fighting over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region has allowed Iran to present itself as a responsible and peace-seeking actor in its northern neighborhood.
Read more»

 Hamidreza Azizi for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on April 14

Congress ponders next move as Egypt clogs its own funding pipeline

Lawmakers question US aid priorities as Cairo blocks projects.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on April 13

Cairo tries to reassure citizens and Israel amid island controversy

The announcement that Egypt would be ceding control of two disputed Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia has provoked outrage domestically and raised concerns in Israel.
Read more»

 Ayah Aman for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on April 13

Is Israel forming an alliance with Egypt and Saudi Arabia?

Israel estimates that strengthening Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and maintaining a dialogue with Saudi Arabia are key elements for the region's stability.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on April 13

Erdogan courts King Salman as new BFF

Even if Saudi King Salman Abdul-Aziz Al Saud fails to broker a rapprochement between Egypt and Turkey, he still shares many commonalities with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, not least their irritation with the US leadership.
Read more»

 Cengiz Çandar for Al-Monitor on April 13

Is Hamas open to direct negotiations with Israel?

Hamas leaders say the movement is not against negotiating directly with Israel, but is wary given Israel's failure to abide by its previous agreements with the Palestinians.
Read more»

 Moath al-Amoudi for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on April 27

Battle lines shift in northern Syria

Eyes are focused on the Syrian-Turkish border after the FSA factions and Syrian Democratic Forces launched their offensives, which points at an imminent final and decisive offensive against IS.
Read more»

 Kamal Sheikho for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on April 13

Who is to blame for Beirut’s airport security gap?

The Lebanese government rift and lack of a clear and effective policy for dealing with security gaps at the Rafik Hariri International Airport in Beirut may lead international and Arab airlines to suspend their flights to Lebanon.
Read more»

 Sami Nader for Al-Monitor on April 13

When is a terrorist a terrorist?

The Israeli public and its leaders are trapped in their thinking about who is a terrorist, and that bodes ill for peace.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on April 13

Will Congress rein in US support for Syrian Kurds?

Turkey's concerns are starting to gain traction on Capitol Hill.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on April 12

Fragile Syria cease-fire under strain

The United States and Russia are trying to salvage an increasingly fragile Syria cease-fire.
Read more»

 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on April 12

Former Iran negotiator says he would not have signed nuclear deal

As obstacles from the remaining US sanctions continue to impede European business with Iran, domestic critics have argued the nuclear deal has had no benefits.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on April 12

Turkey plays both sides in Iran, Saudi conflict

Does Turkey courting Iran and Saudi Arabia simultaneously mean Ankara is moving away from Sunni-based policies?
Read more»

 Semih Idiz for Al-Monitor on April 12

Keeping the Islamic State in check in Libya

The international community hopes the new Libya government can bring together militias in an coordinated effort against Islamic State fighters.
Read more»

 Christine Petré for Al-Monitor on April 12

Why the PKK is so interested in Mosul

The PKK is looking to join the Iraqi army and the Kurdistan Regional Government to liberate Mosul.
Read more»

 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on April 12

US, UN welcome Yemen cease-fire

US officials welcomed a Yemen truce that went into effect April 11 after quiet Saudi-Houthi negotiations had already reduced violence in the year-old conflict, and urged the parties to find a political resolution at April 18 peace talks in Kuwait.
Read more»

 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on April 11

Kerry’s comments on Iranian missiles strike nerve in Tehran

Iranian officials have rejected Secretary of State John Kerry’s suggestion of a “new arrangement” with Iran over issues such as their missile program.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on April 11

Why some in Western Sahara oppose $1 million US grant

The Obama administration is planning to approve a $1 million grant for civil society organizations in Western Sahara, but many Sahrawis have concerns about the move.
Read more»

 Habibulah Mohamed Lamin for Al-Monitor on April 11

April showers bring … growing violence in southeast Turkey?

Both the Turkish government and the Kurdistan Workers Party are feverishly preparing for expected heavy clashes in the spring.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on April 11

PKK’s last stronghold in Turkey gets support from Syria

Experts says Turkey's mainly Kurdish southeastern town of Nusaybin is a very strategic location in Ankara's fight against the PKK.
Read more»

Translated from Milliyet (Turkey) on April 13

How Hebron shooting highlights shift in Israeli society

Contrary to the first intifada, where violations of the IDF code of ethics was considered shocking, many Israelis now support soldiers who act immorally.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on April 11

The collapse of Iraq's Shiite alliance

Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr co-opts popular reform movement; Erdogan’s bid for empowered presidency linked to war with PKK; Turkey feels pressure to intensify fight against Islamic State; Backlash over Egyptian government crackdown on media.
Read more»

 Al-Monitor Week in Review on April 10

Aleppo sees cautious calm amid cease-fire

The truce agreement between opposition and government forces has allowed life to return to many areas in Syria, but many residents worry that it won't last long.
Read more»

 Mohammed al-Khatieb for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on April 8

Will US-Saudi 'special relationship' last?

Despite what many observers see as a strain in US-Saudi relations over very different if not completely opposite foreign policy postures, the two countries' shared interests remain a firm and unchanging foundation for their cooperation.
Read more»

Fahad Nazer for Al-Monitor on April 8

Syria's withering agricultural sector

Five years into the raging revolution, Syria's once-flourishing agricultural system is threatened with complete collapse.
Read more»

 Asaad Hanna for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on April 11

Can Egypt's parliament learn from Israeli Knesset?

Egyptian member of parliament Sayed Farag has sparked controversy with his call for a parliamentary delegation to visit the Knesset to discuss pending issues between the two countries and take advantage of Israel's military experience.
Read more»

 Khalid Hassan for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on April 8

Can the Islamic State be defeated without Kurds?

Turkey insists Rojava's People's Protection Units must be excluded from the fight against the Islamic State on the Menbic-Jarablus front.
Read more»

 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor on April 8

Congress ponders 'Marshall Plan' for Egypt

Lawmakers are split over whether they have a friend in Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on April 7

Private collectors fuel demand for looted Mideast antiquities

Archaeological experts say social dislocation and terrorism are increasing the ability of organized gangs to traffic artifacts to clients in Europe, Asia and the United States.
Read more»

 Barbara Slavin for Al-Monitor on April 7

Saudi-Iran rivalry spills into UN Human Rights Council

While Iran was unhappy with the renewal of Ahmed Shaheed’s mandate as special rapporteur for Iran, it appears to be even more irritated over how Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Qatar voted in favor of the measure at the UN Human Rights Council.
Read more»

 Fereshteh Sadeghi for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on April 8

Despite criticism, Rouhani calls for more international deals

President Hassan Rouhani warns that opportunities arising from the nuclear deal won't last forever and Iran must take advantage of them and engage with the world.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on April 7

Has Israeli army become defender of democracy?

In the case of the IDF soldier who shot a Palestinian assailant on the ground, it was Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot who defended categorically the army ethics and values of democracy.
Read more»

 Uri Savir for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on April 10

Saudi Arabia tilts toward India

Pakistan, after refusing to supply troops for Saudi Arabia's war against Yemen, finds the Gulf kingdom improving relations with Pakistani archenemy India.
Read more»

 Bruce Riedel for Al-Monitor on April 6

Why Egypt abstained from voting on UN sex crime resolution

Egypt believes a country could suffer far-reaching consequences under the UN resolution.
Read more»

 Ahmed Fouad for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on April 8

Why Israel needs a two-state solution

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's view of Islamic State terror as a clash of civilizations paints Israel as the "good guy," absolving it of resolving the conflict with the Palestinians.
Read more»

 Uri Savir for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on April 6

Hamas finds itself between a rock and a hard place

Hamas seems likely to accept Egypt’s demand that it sever ties with the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, even though the relationship formed the basis for its ideology.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on April 6

Egyptian Islamic Jihad founder: annihilate terror groups or they annihilate you

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Nabil Naeem, the founder and former leader of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, expresses concerns about the potential for a reconciliation between extremist groups and the state.
Read more»

 Khalid Hassan for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on April 7

IRGC rejects Obama's 'spirit' of nuclear deal

The head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps has rejected calls by the Obama administration to use the comprehensive nuclear deal banner to implement other changes, arguing that the agreement has not benefited the Iranian public.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on April 5

How Turkey seeks to kill two birds with one stone in Diyarbakir

The air of secrecy surrounding an urban renewal project in Turkey’s largest Kurdish city sparks anxiety among local residents, already stripped of their homes amid devastating clashes between Kurdish militants and the security forces.
Read more»

 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on April 5

Why Iraqi-Saudi ties are backsliding yet again

After Iraq’s foreign affairs minister defended Hezbollah, which is considered a terrorist group by the Gulf Cooperation Council and the Arab League, Gulf-Iraqi ties may worsen.
Read more»

 Mustafa Saadoun for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on April 5

Why Erdogan can't end PKK war

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s personal agenda precludes a negotiated settlement with the Kurds, and a military solution remains just as out of reach.
Read more»

 Kadri Gursel for Al-Monitor on April 5

Jordan blocks 50,000 Syrian refugees near border

Jordan cites security concerns as it blocks thousands of Syrian refugees at its border and leaves them stranded in the rocky desert.
Read more»

 Aaron Magid for Al-Monitor on April 5

Is Turkey's lax oversight keeping PKK flush with funds?

While the Turkish public is asked to mobilize against PKK terror, are the government’s efforts to curtail PKK financing and money laundering enough?
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on April 4

Military wipes its hands of Turkish politics

Rumors and denials of a possible coup by the Turkish military are a symptom of the malignant political atmosphere in the country.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on April 4

How one Palestinian with a camera rattled Israelis

Ever since he taped the incident in which an IDF soldier shot an already injured Palestinian attacker in Hebron, Imad Abu Shamsiya has been receiving death threats from extreme-right activists.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on April 4

Has the individual intifada peaked?

Collaboration between Israeli and Palestinian security forces has reduced the scale of the individual intifada.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on April 4

Syrian Kurds proceed with federal structures despite Turkish threats

Washington gets the Erdogan treatment; Syrian Kurds establish federal institutions; Hamas closes Iranian charity.
Read more»

 Al-Monitor Week in Review on April 3

How united is the GCC?

While Gulf states may all be united under the Gulf Cooperation Council name, their individual policies on foreign intervention vary greatly.
Read more»

 Madawi Al-Rasheed for Al-Monitor on April 1

Is Turkey headed for a housing bubble?

Will Turkey’s housing sector, which leads the world in price increases, continue to attract foreign investors?
Read more»

 Kerim Karakaya for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on April 1

Former IS captive: Calling it a genocide is not enough

Women who spoke to Al-Monitor about their experience being captured and held by the Islamic State say that genocide is not a strong enough label for the terror group's crimes.
Read more»

 Kamal Sheikho for Al-Monitor on April 4

Who opposes Syrian Kurdish self-rule?

Five years into the Syrian war, Syrian Kurds declare a federal region in the north of the country, which was quickly rejected by Assad’s regime and the Syrian opposition.
Read more»

 Kamal Sheikho for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on April 1

What it will cost to rebuild Iraq

The city of Ramadi recaptured from the Islamic State requires international reconstruction efforts and aid, so that its displaced residents may return and rebuild their lives.
Read more»

 Omar al-Jaffal for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on April 1

Why Netanyahu humiliated his defense minister

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is willing to pay a steep price, both politically and security-wise, as long as he is not seen losing to HaBayit HaYehudi leader Naftali Bennett in the fight over the hearts of right-wing voters.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on April 1

What sours Israel-EU relations

Israeli officials mistakenly believe that the world is coming closer to Israel in policy and values in the aftermath of the Brussels terror attacks.
Read more»

 Uri Savir for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on April 3

Will Egyptian parliament cut into the military's profit margin?

The Egyptian army’s strength may hinder any attempt at limiting its economic activities.
Read more»

 Rania Rabeaa Elabd for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on April 1

Will the Russians be able to help Lebanon get a new president?

Russia’s withdrawal from Syria and the goodwill it generated in Arab circles, may allow it to play the role of mediator in Geneva and to help Lebanon fill its presidential vacuum.
Read more»

 Sami Nader for Al-Monitor on April 3

Turkey's Erdogan openly embraces his naked ambition

President Erdogan tells potential military leaders about his goal of becoming a functioning — not symbolic — commander-in-chief.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on March 31

Rafsanjani missile tweet draws fire from Khamenei

After Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei criticized Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani for appearing to criticize Iran’s missile program, a number of analysts attacked Rafsanjani.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on March 31

Why Jordan is installing cameras at Al-Aqsa Mosque

Jordan’s plan to install surveillance cameras at the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound is raising controversy among Palestinians, as some believe Israel will take advantage of the cameras to further attack and pursue those defending the mosque's grounds.
Read more»

 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on March 31

Are Iranian missiles a shield against better relations with US?

After Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said that discourse and not missiles is the way of the future, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called such talk treasonous.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on March 30

Animals among victims of southeast Turkey clashes

Thousands of birds and domestic animals are among the victims of ongoing clashes between security forces and Kurdish rebels in southeastern Turkey, where animal rights activists risk death coming to the rescue.
Read more»

 Amberin Zaman for Al-Monitor on March 30

Is Russia leaning away from Palestine?

Russia recently described Palestinian attacks against Israelis as terrorist attacks, which might indicate a change in what Palestinians regarded as Moscow's balanced position.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on March 31

Has the US found a new friend in Iraq's Shiite militias?

Despite its earlier fears that Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units would assume a sectarian role in the liberation of Sunni areas from the Islamic State, the United States is now expressing support for the force.
Read more»

 Ali Mamouri for Al-Monitor on March 30

Why PKK shifted to urban warfare

Many people couldn’t understand why the PKK resorted to trench-barricade warfare in cities. Some say the PKK was misled by reports of its militias who claimed people were ready to join an uprising.
Read more»

 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on March 29

Is Israel reviving this 50-year-old land plan?

Recent land confiscations by the Israeli government appear to further the Allon Plan for securing permanent Israeli control of the West Bank.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on March 29

After 10 years of war, are Yemenis hopeless?

The war in Yemen has added a new group of internally displaced persons to that previously created during a decade of conflict between Houthis and the state.
Read more»

 Ahmed Alwly for Al-Monitor on March 29

How this Israeli checkpoint turns morning commute into 5-hour ordeal

The dangerous overcrowding at Checkpoint 300, through which an estimated 15,000 Palestinian workers pass daily into Israel, is a disaster in the making.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on March 30

US looks to sidestep UN on Iran missiles

Blocked at the UN Security Council, the Obama administration considers other multilateral tools.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on March 28

US 'encouraged' by momentum in Syria peace talks

As the partial Syria cease-fire holds for a month, the United States and Russia expressed cautious optimism that they have found agreement on ways to move the Syria peace process forward.
Read more»

 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on March 28

Iran optimistic after Syrian forces retake Palmyra

The recapture of Palmyra by the Syrian government has Iranian officials and media optimistic about the direction of Syria’s civil war.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on March 28

Why Turkey's high unemployment rate may mean more terror attacks

The youth unemployment rate in Turkey’s conflict-torn southeast has shot up to nearly 25% in some areas, offering fertile ground for recruitment to Kurdish and Islamist terrorist groups.
Read more»

 Zülfikar Doğan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on March 28

Will Syrian Kurdish self-rule succeed?

Syrian Kurds believe their proposed self-rule system will work in predominantly Kurdish-populated areas, but will face stiff opposition elsewhere.
Read more»

 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor on March 28

Why Israelis are defending IDF soldier who shot Palestinian attacker

A recent poll shows that most Israelis side with an IDF soldier who shot a subdued Palestinian, even though it's clear the soldier was not acting in self-defense.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on March 28

Kerry notes 'beneficial reduction' in Syrian violence

Syrian cessation of hostilities holding at one month as Islamic State loses ground; Massoud Barzani says United States is turning a “blind eye” to Syrian Kurdish ally’s links to the Kurdistan Workers Party.
Read more»

 Al-Monitor Week in Review on March 27

Is this Iranian man charged in US actually a 'hostage'?

After an Iranian man was charged in a US court for violating laws on Iran, a conservative analyst accused the United States of seeking to obtain the release of two Iranian-Americans held in Iran.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on March 27

Will Egypt-Hamas fallout hurt Palestinian reconciliation?

Hamas appears to be making an effort to repair relations with Egypt, but it’s unclear whether the road runs both ways.
Read more»

 Ismael El-Kholy for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on March 30

Where are Israeli-Palestinian security talks headed?

Discreet talks between Israeli and Palestinian security officers, aimed at reaching new understandings regarding Israel’s military activity in Palestinian cities, lead nowhere for the moment.
Read more»

 Uri Savir for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on March 27

Is Iran becoming a major regional arms producer?

If the current trajectory of arms deliveries continues, it appears that countries such as Iran, Russia and China are set to become the Middle East’s main weapons suppliers.
Read more»

 Abbas Qaidaari for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on March 24

Will Syrian Kurd self-rule trigger Turkish action?

Experts argue that Turkey might not react to the announcement of the Federal Democratic System of Rojava and Northern Syria by Syria’s Kurds, as Ankara is currently embattled with its own Kurds on the inside.
Read more»

 Mohammed A. Salih for Al-Monitor on March 24

Unemployed Iraqis join in looting of antiquities

As security chaos persists and jobless rates soar, little can be done to protect Iraq's thousands of archaeological sites from illegal excavations.
Read more»

 Wassim Bassem for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on March 28

Has there been a breakthrough in Hamas-Egypt ties?

A Hamas visit to Egypt ended on a positive note, which might push the Egyptians to stop the incitement campaign against the movement.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on March 24

How Israeli politicians are exploiting Brussels attacks

Just as he did after the attacks in Paris, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his colleagues on the Israeli right are keen to point out connections between the terrorism striking Europe and Israel's domestic security issues.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on March 24

Bosporus 'bulls' defy terrorist threat

Turkey’s financial markets have continued to rally despite a string of bloody terrorist attacks, but their festive mood could sour at a stroke.
Read more»

 Kerim Karakaya for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on March 23

Is corruption suspect's US arrest bad news for Erdogan?

The US arrest of Reza Zarrab, allegedly a key figure in Turkey’s bribery and corruption scandal, has set off alarm bells in Ankara.
Read more»

 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor on March 23

Tensions flare in Western Sahara dispute

One word used by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was all it took to reignite tensions over disputed territory in northwest Africa.
Read more»

 Habibulah Mohamed Lamin for Al-Monitor on March 24

Why this Palestinian commuter app may be destined for dead end

A new smartphone app aims to help Palestinians cross through security checkpoints, but Israel's West Bank settlements council claims that it could help Palestinians plan attacks on soldiers.
Read more»

 Ahmad Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on March 23

Why Europe must unify its intelligence networks

Israeli security experts claim that the high number of intelligence agencies and lack of cooperation in Europe hinders an efficient response to the battle against the Islamic State, which Israel's defense minister calls a "Third World War."
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on March 23

What Russia won by withdrawing from Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s drawdown of forces from Syria was carefully timed and shows Russia learned an important lesson in Afghanistan.
Read more»

 Maxim A. Suchkov for Al-Monitor on March 23

Is Israel key to solving Renaissance Dam crisis?

Ousted parliamentarian Tawfik Okasha still faces fierce criticism from his government for getting too close to Israel, in the ongoing Renaissance Dam saga — but could Egypt need Israel more than they are willing to admit?
Read more»

 Walaa Hussein for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on March 22

Is Israeli media blurring the line between news and propaganda?

The investigative report of Israeli TV Channel 2 accuses NGO Breaking the Silence of endangering IDF soldiers, without balancing its report or verifying its information properly.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on March 22

Bomb scare ends century-old run of Turkish soccer match

Turkey's postponement of a major soccer match reveals much about the country's failure to combat terror, and cancellations of other public events are likely to follow.
Read more»

 Cengiz Çandar for Al-Monitor on March 23

Massoud Barzani vows to fight corruption with same dedication as KRG has fought IS

Speaking exclusively to Al-Monitor, Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani discussed his meetings with the judiciary to launch a corruption investigation, starting with his own family and the KDP.
Read more»

 Amberin Zaman for Al-Monitor on March 22

Can Hezbollah withstand Saudis' wrath?

Hezbollah's actions are isolating Lebanon from the Arab states and exacerbating the country's already fractured and paralyzed politics.
Read more»

 Sami Nader for Al-Monitor on March 23

New campaign against face veil sparks controversy in Egypt

Mohamed Attiya, the founder of the "Ban the niqab" campaign, speaks to Al-Monitor about why he supports banning niqabs in state institutions despite the criticism the campaign has received.
Read more»

 Khalid Hassan for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on March 21

The man who stopped Bibi from attacking Iran

Former Mossad Chief Meir Dagan passed away this week at the age of 71. He was a man of fearless combat who leaves a legacy of reaching out to Israel's neighbors while promoting a regional arrangement.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on March 21

Will the Islamic State survive 2016?

The Islamic State's loss of territory has some experts predicting its demise, but are we sure?
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on March 21

How Tehran and Damascus view Russia’s latest Syria move

Regardless of the partial Russian military withdrawal, it appears that other allies of the Syrian government are holding their ground.
Read more»

 Ali Hashem for Al-Monitor on March 21

What Russia's withdrawal means for Syria conflict

Opinions vary about the repercussions and motives behind Russian President Vladimir Putin’s partial withdrawal of Russian forces from Syria.
Read more»

 Mohammed A. Salih for Al-Monitor on March 21

Erdogan takes authoritarian rule to new heights in war on PKK

Terrorist bombing in Turkey kills two Americans as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan resurrects "thought crimes" in confronting critics; Is Iran a spoiler in Palestinian politics? Israel cool to feelers from Sudan.
Read more»

 Al-Monitor Week in Review on March 20

Senate takes hard-line tack on Iran sanctions

Hawkish Republicans introduced their own bills as bipartisan alternative struggles to materialize.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on March 20

Tough days for foreigners in Turkey

Five bomb attacks in major cities over the past six months have made life difficult for foreigners living in Turkey.
Read more»

 Kerim Karakaya for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on March 20

Istanbul residents retreat from public spaces following latest attack

In the wake of the March 19 suicide attack in Istanbul, Turks are questioning why security vulnerabilities increase as police visibility and power increase.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on March 20

Are Israel's new travel measures for Gazans a blessing or a curse?

Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip are hoping Israel's decision to ease travel procedures could be a light at the end of the tunnel.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on March 21

Raqqa brigade continues to raise flag of Syrian revolution

Abu Issa, commander of Liwa Thuwar al-Raqqa, spoke to Al-Monitor about the ongoing fight against the Islamic State and being committed to the principles of the Syrian revolution.
Read more»

 Sardar Mlla Drwish for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on March 18

Will Iraq pass amnesty law that could pardon terrorists?

Iraqi political blocs have agreed to pass the general amnesty draft law, although there are concerns that terrorists might be released in accordance with it.
Read more»

 Omar Sattar for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on March 18

So IS is committing genocide. Now what?

Congress expects the secretary of State's determination to mean something.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on March 17

Are deserted streets, shops the new normal in Ankara?

Gripped by fear and panic after an unprecedented string of bombings, Ankara’s residents are shying from streets and shopping malls, hurting the local economy.
Read more»

 Sukru Kucuksahin for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on March 17

Will Israel revive its relationship with Khartoum?

Recent statements by Sudanese senior officials indicate that the country might be interested in the same kind of relations Israel has with South Sudan – especially relating to arms deals.
Read more»

 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on March 17

Will Egypt renew ties with Hamas?

After Egypt accused Hamas of assassinating its attorney-general, a Hamas delegation went to Cairo to try and patch things up with the new regime in Egypt.
Read more»

 Hazem Balousha for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on March 17

Erdogan vows to punish thought crimes

By introducing the concept of "unarmed terrorists," Turkey’s president is resurrecting the old concept of "thought crime" that he used to oppose.
Read more»

 Mustafa Akyol for Al-Monitor on March 17

Has Obama had enough of Netanyahu?

President Barack Obama strongly supports the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, but is discouraged by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's repeated refusals.
Read more»

 Uri Savir for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on March 20

Meet the Carlo

The inaccurate, poorly made Palestinian rifle used in the recent shooting attacks in Jerusalem is a cheap knockoff of an antiquated Swedish gun — a sign that the uprising is still ill-equipped and untrained.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on March 17

How the PKK is entering energy wars

The PKK has stepped up attacks on oil and gas pipelines in Turkey.
Read more»

 Ufuk Sanli for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on March 16

Is Putin trying to pressure Assad to negotiate?

Since Russia announced its partial withdrawal of troops from Syria, Iranian commentators have been scrambling to explain the "surprising" decision.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on March 16

Islamic State's Sinai branch shifts its strategy

The Egyptian military's crackdown on terrorist operations in the Sinai Peninsula force the Islamic State's Wilayat Sinai to shift some of its focus from military targets to the civilian population and local businesses.
Read more»

 Ahmed Fouad for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on March 16

Can Israel influence the 'day after' in Syria?

Israeli experts fear that the Russian pullout of Syria will provide Hezbollah with influence along the border of the Golan Heights.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on March 16

How Kurds treat Islamic State prisoners

In the Kurdish-controlled areas of Syria, special courts prosecute the Islamic State fighters captured during the battles between the organization and the People's Protection Units.
Read more»

 Kamal Sheikho for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on March 16

How terror attacks drive politics in Ankara

Turkey is increasingly becoming the scene of Rojava-inspired Kurdish resistance.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on March 16

Why Abbas turned Biden down

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas refused US Vice President Joe Biden's offer to reopen talks with Israel, convinced that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has no real intention of negotiating.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on March 16

Congress threatens to go ballistic over Russian arms sales to Iran

Lawmakers demand tough sanctions on conventional weapons violations.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on March 15

How Iran views the Russian withdrawal from Syria

Iranian media and analysts speculate on Russia's sudden decision to pull some of its troops from Syria and what this means for the fate of the cease-fire.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on March 15

Putin to Assad: Do svidaniya

Russian President Vladimir Putin is saying "do svidaniya" — goodbye — to Syria, announcing the start of a Russian military withdrawal that Putin said he hoped would bolster Syria peace talks underway in Geneva.
Read more»

 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on March 14

Is Israeli media changing its tone on sexual harassment?

Contrary to past cases of famous Israeli figures suspected of sexual harassment, in the case of Brig. Gen. Ofek Buchris, both the media and social networks are in no hurry to declare that Buchris is guilty.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on March 14

Will Hamas lose Gaza?

Fatah officials have recently threatened to retake Gaza by force, which Hamas leaders see as a step that undermines reconciliation efforts.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on March 14

The intifada of attrition

Unlike the first two intifadas, the current uprising appears unlikely to lead to political breakthroughs or the rise of a new Palestinian leadership.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on March 14

Political, economic alarm bells ringing in Jordan

Former senior government officials in Jordan are concerned about the inability to introduce economic and political reforms and about overreaching by the national intelligence agency.
Read more»

 Aaron Magid for Al-Monitor on March 14

Erdogan intensifies assault on independent media

US State Department calls on Turkey to respect "democratic values"; Israel considers Erdogan a "lost cause," sees Putin winning "on all counts."
Read more»

 Al-Monitor Week in Review on March 13

Is the EU really ready to commit to Turkey?

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is feeling his oats as he renegotiates his deal with the European Union.
Read more»

 Cengiz Çandar for Al-Monitor on March 13

The rise of Islamic State sleeper cells in Baghdad

After the recent attacks by the Islamic State around Baghdad, Iraqi security forces are struggling to track down IS cells in the Iraqi capital's outskirts.
Read more»

 Mustafa Saadoun for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on March 11

Egyptian government accuses Hamas of killing attorney general

The Egyptian interior minister made a shocking announcement by accusing Hamas of assassinating prosecutor Hisham Barakat back in the summer of 2015, further straining already fragile ties with the movement.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on March 11

How far will the Saudis go against Hezbollah?

With Saudi Arabia labeling Hezbollah a terrorist organization, a decision that was endorsed by the GCC, the kingdom hopes to legally pursue the Lebanese movement in international forums.
Read more»

 Ibrahim al-Hatlani for Al-Monitor on March 11

Will Congress pick Qatar over Israel?

To the chagrin of Israel, lawmakers of both parties want the Obama administration to go through with jet sales to Gulf countries.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on March 10

Have Israeli-Arab parties sided with Hezbollah?

Israeli Arab parties Balad and Hadash condemned the decision by the GCC to label Hezbollah as a terrorist organization, which leaves many Israelis puzzled by this decision.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on March 10

Will there be peace in Yemen?

Signs point to Saudi Arabia wanting out of its war in Yemen as Oman-mediated talks open with the Shiite Houthi rebels.
Read more»

 Bruce Riedel for Al-Monitor on March 10

Turkish military struggles to find new recruits

The Turkish Armed Forces has to overcome serious structural problems, including inadequate recruitment, before switching from a conscription-based military to a fully professional force.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on March 10

How a new website is helping Lebanese women avoid sexual harassment

Activists in Lebanon have launched a new website to help women confronted by sexual harassment and bring discussion of it into the public sphere.
Read more»

 Florence Massena for Al-Monitor Lebanon Pulse on March 10

IS fails to establish emirate in Tunisia

Leaked information notes that the Islamic State attacks in Ben Guerdane were designed to establish an emirate, impose Sharia law and enjoy the population's support.
Read more»

Translated from Business News (Tunisia) on March 17

Why some Shiites are refusing to join fight against Islamic State

Shiite fighters will not participate in the upcoming Mosul battles, as they feel the sacrifices they have made so far are not appreciated by the Sunnis.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Zeed for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on March 10

Will next round of Geneva talks determine Assad's fate?

The upcoming Geneva talks are once again under the spotlight as Syria approaches the end of the cease-fire.
Read more»

 Asaad Hanna for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on March 11

Hamas drags feet on choosing between Iran, Saudi Arabia

Since the Gulf Cooperation Council decided to label Hezbollah a terrorist organization, Hamas has remained silent and refrained from taking sides so as not to endanger its regional relations.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on March 10

Why some Palestinians believe that 'death is the solution, not the problem'

Seeing no political will to improve their circumstances, some young Palestinians appear to see killing Israelis as the only way to end the occupation and their misery.
Read more»

 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on March 10

Syria talks set to resume

UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura said he planned to resume proximity talks between the Syrian government and the opposition on a political transition starting March 14.
Read more»

 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on March 9

What's behind IAEA's change in reporting?

While critics complain that they are getting less information from the IAEA about Iran’s nuclear program after implementation of the JCPOA, a US official told Al-Monitor, “We get what we need.”
Read more»

 Barbara Slavin for Al-Monitor on March 9

Why Facebook, WhatsApp and Snapchat should cooperate with Israel

The individual intifada is being fed by online social networks, which is why it is almost impossible to stop, unless the social network giants decide to help.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on March 9

IRGC commander: We are not pulling troops from Syria

Following the firing of two ballistic missiles, an Iranian commander said that US pressure would only bring about more tests and said Iran would continue sending troops to Syria.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on March 9

Has IS established foothold in Jordan?

A raid in Irbid on a cell affiliated with the Islamic State has Jordanians on edge.
Read more»

 A correspondent in Jordan for Al-Monitor on March 9

How Syrian cease-fire has reignited spark of the revolution

During the brittle cease-fire, protesters have returned to Syria's streets to assert that the revolution continues.
Read more»

 Mohammed al-Khatieb for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on March 9

Iran missile tests fuel sanctions push in Congress

Lawmakers demand response after latest rocket launches.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on March 8

Davutoglu attempts to get back to zero problems with Iran

Analysts warn that an unpredictable harsh statement by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan could undermine Davutoglu’s efforts to gain a piece of the Iranian pie.
Read more»

 Semih Idiz for Al-Monitor on March 8

Will Egypt solve its police brutality problem?

Infuriated by recurring incidents of police brutality, Egyptians are demanding change.
Read more»

 Rami Galal for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on March 9

Will faulty dam leave Mosul in deep water?

As maintenance work continues to ensure the structure stays strong, those residing near the Mosul dam live in fear of both flood waters and the terror group.
Read more»

 Wilson Fache for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on March 8

Are Israel's Arabs losing hope for peace?

The Pew Research Center found in a survey conducted at the end of 2014 and in early 2015 that Israeli Arabs are much more religious than Jews, while most of those polled share the view that a two-state solution is slipping away.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on March 8

Hezbollah responds to GCC decision

In a speech following the GCC’s decision to label Hezbollah a terrorist organization, the movement’s leader, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, intensified his criticism of Saudi Arabia, indicating a readiness to go all the way in the confrontation.
Read more»

 Ali Rizk for Al-Monitor Lebanon Pulse on March 7

Six reasons why Iran won’t join the war in Yemen

Even if Iran considers Yemen as an opportunity to expand its influence, it views averting the crisis there at hand is more important than directly entering it.
Read more»

 Hassan Ahmadian for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on March 7

With spread of IS-like tactics, urban warfare in Turkey grows bloodier

Turkish officials believe Kurdish militants leading clashes in the southeast have learned techniques used by the Kurdish People’s Protection Units and the Islamic State in Kobani.
Read more»

 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on March 7

Libya’s militias take justice into their own hands

Libya's police say the country's justice system is collapsing, as courts often fail to prosecute crimes for fear of the suspects' affiliation with militias and armed groups continue to take matters into their own hands.
Read more»

 Mustafa Fetouri for Al-Monitor on

Why Israel needs Putin more than it needs Erdogan

Reconciliation with Turkey is stalled, possibly due to Israeli-Russian security interests regarding Syria, Lebanon and Hezbollah, as well as Russian hostility to Israeli-Turkish rapprochement.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on March 7

Why is Iraq challenging human rights reports?

Despite accounts of major human rights violations in Iraq, the government continues to deny and criticize reports by international human rights organizations.
Read more»

 Mustafa Saadoun for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on March 7

Israeli ties with Egypt may be thawing, but no 'love and warmth' just yet

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Zionist Camp Knesset member Ksenia Svetlova claims that while progress is being made, Egyptian society is still influenced by anti-Israeli discourse and not yet ready for normalization.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on March 7

Will expelling families of Palestinian attackers to Gaza stop terror?

A proposal to expel the families of Palestinians who attack Israelis to Gaza could motivate relatives remaining in the West Bank to commit revenge attacks.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on March 7

Tunisian envoy: Counterterrorism cooperation with US is new normal

Tunisian Ambassador to the United States Faycal Gouia opens up about the war in Libya, US assistance and his country’s economic needs.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on March 6

Is Israeli-Palestinian two-state solution almost dead?

Iran poised to exploit the declining fortunes of the Palestinian Authority as Israel expands West Bank settlements; Syrian government forces prepare for a showdown in Raqqa; The Washington Post refers to Jaish al-Islam as a "rebel" group; Al-Monitor Syria Timeline includes commentary from Ambassador Ryan Crocker and others.
Read more»

 Al-Monitor Week in Review on March 6

Victims still 'disappearing' from Egyptian streets

A few "fortunate" souls return from forced disappearances to recount their experiences.
Read more»

 Aya Nader for Al-Monitor on March 6

How much more can Yemen’s heritage sites take?

The ancient city of Sanaa in conflict-torn Yemen is at risk of complete destruction as its historical landmarks keep taking one blow after the other.
Read more»

 Ahmed Alwly for Al-Monitor on March 6

Erdogan's conquest of Africa

Turkey hopes that more muscular foreign policy moves in the Gulf and Africa will help neutralize increasing pressure from a Russia-led alliance.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on March 4

Who's really taking Christian homes in Iraq?

Although the Popular Mobilization Units grouping has been accused of seizing the homes of Baghdad’s Christians, the organization is leading a campaign to recover the properties.
Read more»

 Omar Sattar for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on March 4

Why is Israel detaining a clown?

Circus artists around the world are protesting the arrest and detention of Palestinian performer Mohammad Abu Sakha.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on March 4

After terrorist label, what is GCC's next move against Hezbollah?

Iranian officials and media have condemned the decision by the Gulf Cooperation Council to label the Lebanese group Hezbollah a terrorist organization and believe more anti-Hezbollah actions are on the way.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on March 3

Why canceled Arab League summit should worry Israelis

Morocco’s decision not to host the Arab League summit has unexpected implications for Israel.
Read more»

 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on March 3

House panel decries Islamic State genocide

The Foreign Affairs Committee also voted to label Syrian President Bashar al-Assad a war criminal.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on March 2

Former Iraqi Vice President Osama al-Nujaifi speaks out

Former Vice President Osama al-Nujaifi gives an interview to Al-Hayat, in which he speaks about the regionalization projects and discusses the role of Turkey in the liberation of Mosul.
Read more»

Translated from Al-Hayat (Pan Arab) on March 3

Abadi outgunned in fight to disarm tribes

The Iraqi state faces serious obstacles in its efforts to confiscate weapons from the heavily armed populace, which is much more concerned with tribal ties and customs than the rule of law.
Read more»

 Omar al-Jaffal for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on March 2

Should Israel celebrate the Iranian elections results?

Following Iranian elections, Israeli security experts are divided between those optimistic about changes in the country and those who fear its growing regional hegemony.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on March 2

Assad miffs opposition, Russians with call for elections

After announcement of a cease-fire agreement Feb. 22, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad decreed that legislative elections be held April 13 in contravention of the agreement.
Read more»

Mustafa al-Haj for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on March 4

What is stopping the liberation of Mosul?

The liberation of Mosul from the Islamic State will be a complicated task for the Iraqi forces, as several players will be involved in the operation.
Read more»

 Mona Alami for Al-Monitor on March 2

If Syria cease-fire fails, what is Plan B?

The United States said it was encouraged that the Syrian cessation of hostilities appeared to be holding, with no significant violations reported in the past day, as analysts said Russia was backing the truce because it feared a quagmire and talk of a US "Plan B."
Read more»

 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on March 1

TIMELINE: Key players reflect on US policy in Syria

In this interactive timeline, US lawmakers and former administration officials open up about their failure to prevent disaster in Syria.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on March 1

Has Erdogan confused freedom of expression with spying?

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan takes a swipe at the authority of Turkey's high court by criticizing its decision to free journalists he says are spies.
Read more»

 Cengiz Çandar for Al-Monitor on March 1

Syrian Kurdish leader calls for federal state

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Akram Hesso, the Kurdish head of Syria's Jazeera canton, spoke about the Syrian Kurds' relations with regional and international players as well as a model for federal rule in Syria.
Read more»

 Massoud Hamed for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on March 1

How much support did Turkey provide to Syrian opposition?

The Turkish prime minister claimed that Turkey has done more than Arab countries to aid the Syrian rebels, though he stopped short of providing details about Turkey's "support."
Read more»

 Semih Idiz for Al-Monitor on March 1

Iran stakes out position ahead of PA collapse

Iran's renewed interest in the occupied territories indicates that, unlike Israel, it is preparing for the possible collapse of the Palestinian Authority.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on March 1

As economic crisis continues, will Kurdish peshmerga desert?

The situation of the peshmerga forces in Iraq's Kurdistan Region is precarious in the absence of coordination with the Iraqi government and the economic crisis that has left them long unpaid.
Read more»

 Shelly Kittleson for Al-Monitor on March 3

Is the Saudi, Lebanese relationship gone for good?

In retaliation for Hezbollah’s support of the Houthis in Yemen, Saudi Arabia has launched a campaign designed to pressure Lebanon.
Read more»

 Esperance Ghanem for Al-Monitor Lebanon Pulse on March 3

Why is it so hard to reintegrate Libyan fighters into society?

Libya is working to reintegrate the young people who fought in the revolution, but the country's economic situation and social unrest pose even bigger challenges than its ongoing insecurity.
Read more»

 Christine Petré for Al-Monitor on March 1

Will current truce pave way for permanent cease-fire in Syria?

Experts on Syria say the recent cease-fire implemented in Syria is only a temporary truce that will not lead to a long-term peaceful solution to the crisis.
Read more»

 Mona Alami for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on February 29

What is Riyadh's endgame in Lebanon?

In an effort to condemn Iran, Saudi Arabia is setting its sights on Hezbollah and Lebanon.
Read more»

 Bruce Riedel for Al-Monitor on February 29

Who is TAK and why did it attack Ankara?

This story seeks to shed light on the secretive Kurdistan Freedom Falcons, or TAK, which claimed responsibility for the deadly Feb. 17 bombing in Ankara.
Read more»

 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on February 29

Is Syrian regime about to retake Raqqa?

The Syrian army has launched an unprecedented battle in Raqqa province, the stronghold of the Islamic State in Syria, and is making its way toward Tabqa city, the second-largest city in the province.
Read more»

Khaled Atallah for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on February 29

The Israeli-Egyptian love affair

Ever since the signing of the peace treaty between Israel and Egypt almost 37 years ago, Israel and Egypt have been fostering security ties, but it is the Sisi regime that brings these ties to a new, unprecedented level.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on February 29

Liberman's 10-point security program

Talking to Al-Monitor, Chairman of Yisrael Beitenu Avigdor Liberman explains his recently released "10-point program" to rein in terrorism and criticizes the government for its incompetence in defeating terrorism.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on February 29

27,000 Syrian refugees stranded near Jordanian border

A senior European diplomat has criticized Amman for leaving Syrian refugees stranded "indefinitely" near Jordanian-Syrian border.
Read more»

 Aaron Magid for Al-Monitor on February 29

Why Saudis may take on Iraq’s Shiite militias

Saudi Arabia sees Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units, formed from various Shiite militias to fight the Islamic State, as a dangerous long-term foe for the Sunni Islamic world.
Read more»

Nawaf Obaid for Al-Monitor on February 29

Is Turkey 'on the hook' regarding Syria cease-fire?

US-Russia agreement on Syria is a possible breakthrough in peace efforts; Erdogan calls US alliance with Syrian Kurds a “Great Lie.”
Read more»

 Al-Monitor Week in Review on February 27

White House: Russia ‘on the hook’ for Syria truce

The White House said Russia is ‘on the hook’ for the success of the partial Syria truce set to start Feb. 27, and cautioned that the truce is likely to take time to take hold, and will face setbacks.
Read more»

 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on February 26

Saudis increasingly frustrated with Lebanon

The Saudis, who aspire to expand their status in the Gulf, are growing ever more frustrated with Lebanon.
Read more»

 Ibrahim al-Hatlani for Al-Monitor on February 26

Will the Democratic Republic of Congo be Egypt's newest ally in dam disputes?

Cairo says it will help the Democratic Republic of Congo out with its Inga Dam hydroelectric project on the Congo River, while the Nile upstream country indicates that it supports Egypt in its dispute with Ethiopia over the Renaissance Dam.
Read more»

 Ayah Aman for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on February 28

Why did Riyadh cancel $4 billion in aid to Lebanon?

Saudi Arabia and Hezbollah provide different reasons for the cancellation of billions of dollars in aid that the Gulf state had pledged to Lebanon, until it decided otherwise on Feb. 19.
Read more»

 Madawi Al-Rasheed for Al-Monitor on February 26

After Syria intervention flop, what’s next for Erdogan?

Ankara’s latest statements show it has dropped the idea of sending regular troops to Syria, yet it is poised for new ventures to avoid a total exclusion from the Syrian equation.
Read more»

 Kadri Gursel for Al-Monitor on February 26

Aleppo residents displaced in their own country

The regime forces’ offensives and Russian airstrikes forced 200,000 to flee the northern Aleppo countryside, while civil society organizations seem unable to meet their needs.
Read more»

 Mohammed al-Khatieb for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on February 26

Russia keeps Turkish trucks parked

Russia by not renewing the Road Transport Accord that expired Feb. 1 delivered a significant blow to Turkish exports.
Read more»

 Zülfikar Doğan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on February 28

Were Iraqis really better off under Saddam?

Iraq's current security chaos appears to be inspiring a bit of nostalgia for Saddam Hussein’s days, though it is unclear who, exactly, is reminiscing.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Zeed for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on February 26

Why Egypt's doctors are losing their patience

An incident of police brutality against Egyptian doctors last month sparked furious reactions, leading the Egyptian Medical Syndicate to take unprecedented measures aimed at protecting doctors against these recurring cases.
Read more»

 Rami Galal for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on February 25

Identification of Ankara bomber muddled by faulty communication

Debate over the identity of the February suicide bomber in Ankara reveals flaws in authorities' communication.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on February 25

Is 'Iran-phobia' spreading in Turkey?

The former leader of Turkey's main opposition party raises hackles with what his critics say is sectarian rhetoric.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on February 25

Five years on, predictions by Gadhafi's son come true

Following the revolution against Moammar Gadhafi’s regime in 2011, his son, Seif al-Islam Gadhafi, made extensive predictions about Libya’s political, social and economic future — which have been proved right.
Read more»

 Mustafa Fetouri for Al-Monitor on February 28

Who's behind vote to label Muslim Brotherhood a terror group?

After the House Judiciary panel voted along party lines to force a State Department ruling, opinions remain split over the true motivation behind the step.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on February 24

Did Egypt flood tunnels at Israel's request?

Israel's energy minister sparked anger with statements he reportedly made about security cooperation between Cairo and Tel Aviv.
Read more»

 Albaraa Abdullah for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on February 24

What is Abadi doing to protect Iraq’s Christians?

The Islamic State is known for forcing Iraq's Christians out of their homes, but the terror group did not start the ugly trend.
Read more»

 Omar al-Jaffal for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on February 24

What fading oil fortunes means for Turkey's businesses

Turkish businesspeople are losing sleep over oil-producing states' deferrals of payments to international contractors and the possible loss of mega projects.
Read more»

 Ufuk Sanli for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on February 24

Will the Syrian truce survive?

As Syrian regime forces recaptured Atman, gaining control of almost all of the cities bordering the critical old international Damascus-Daraa road, talks of a truce emerged.
Read more»

Mustafa al-Haj for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on February 24

Why Israeli politicians are turning against the IDF

Senior IDF officers disagree with right-wing politicians, who call for strong measures against Palestinians.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on February 24

Why Israelis and Palestinians demonize each other

Israeli senior politicians and officials are demonizing the enemy by accusing Palestinian society of sanctifying death instead of cherishing life.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on February 24

Will IAEA be able to verify Iran's nuclear program?

The GAO warns that budget pressures and uncertain access could enable Iranian cheating.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on February 23

US, Russia reach partial Syria truce deal

The United States and Russia have reached an agreement on a cessation of hostilities in Syria, to go into effect Feb. 27, yet the plan excludes both the Islamic State and al-Qaeda-linked Jabhat al-Nusra.
Read more»

 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on February 22

'Special messages' aside, Iran's S-300 missiles still up in air

Despite the increasing regional cooperation between Iran and Russia, the Tehran-Moscow relationship is marred by distrust over the long-stalled S-300 air defense missile deal.
Read more»

 Abbas Qaidaari for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on February 22

How one Kurdish woman went from child soldier to Swedish lawmaker

Swedish parliamentarian Amineh Kakabaveh tells Al-Monitor about her remarkable journey from Kurdish guerrilla camps in Iraq’s mountains to the rostrum of European politics.
Read more»

 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on February 22

Iraq begins construction on Baghdad wall

While the central Iraqi government claims that a wall is needed around the capital for security reasons, Sunnis suspect that Baghdad is being isolated in preparation for annexation to a Shiite region.
Read more»

 Omar Sattar for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on February 22

Will Saudi Arabia pressure Jordan to join ground offensive in Syria?

There is increasing talk about a land war in Syria to combat the Islamic State, but the Jordanians thus far appear reluctant to get involved.
Read more»

 Osama Al Sharif for Al-Monitor on February 22

Right wing declares open season on IDF chief of staff

Politicians on the Israeli right seeking political advantage have attacked Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot for merely stating IDF rules of engagement.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on February 22

Does Hezbollah seek Israel’s elimination? 'Not so,' says Nasrallah

Hezbollah leader says group will not open new front against Israel; Turkey’s two-front war; battles for Aleppo “unlike any others”; Saudi military exercise provides distraction.
Read more»

 Al-Monitor Week in Review on February 21

Why did the US really bomb Libya?

Does the strike on a neighboring terrorist haven signal a new commitment to the Arab Spring’s golden child Tunisia?
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on February 19

Can Ankara's plans keep up with Syria's escalation?

The course of events in Syria offer opportunities but also new threats to Ankara, which still has to deal with structural flaws in its Syrian policy.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on February 22

Is Turkey crushing Kurdish self-rule in Syria?

Turkey seems intent on using the Feb. 17 bombing in Ankara as a pretext to crush the fledgling Kurdish self-rule in northern Syria that serves as an inspiration to its own Kurds.
Read more»

Irfan Aktan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on February 19

Why is Israel raiding Palestinian universities?

As the Israeli army continues to raid Palestinian universities, the schools hope to reveal Israel's aggression to the world.
Read more»

 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on February 19

Was last week's Ankara attack just the beginning?

The suicide bomb in Ankara on Feb. 17 was the first of its kind, and Ankara is now under pressure to make critical decisions.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on February 19

How Damascus Gate became the symbol of the intifada

Confrontations between Palestinians and Israelis at Damascus Gate have heightened the symbolic importance of the largest gate of Jerusalem's Old City.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on February 19

Why this Iraqi city is starving

Residents of Fallujah, Mosul and other Iraqi cities under the Islamic State’s control are suffering under an IS strategy calculated to turn them against their government.
Read more»

 Omar al-Jaffal for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on February 19

US presidential candidates clash over Middle East peace process

US presidential candidates are offering substantive differences when it comes to Israel policy.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on February 18

Iran struggles with border security

An IRGC commander says the elite Saberin Unit has provided Iran with security on its borders.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on February 18

Ankara attack spawns conspiracy theories

Turkey was a little too quick to identify the alleged perpetrator of the Ankara blast as a YPG-affiliated Syrian Kurd, and many observers mistrust the government's version of the story.
Read more»

 Cengiz Çandar for Al-Monitor on February 19

Are latest war games just a face-saver for Riyadh?

Saudi Arabia is hosting over 150,000 troops from 20 countries for military exercises in the northeast, but while officially aimed at deterring Iran, they could have a very different purpose.
Read more»

 Bruce Riedel for Al-Monitor on February 18

Will Israelis, Palestinians stop unilateralism?

Both the Israeli and the Palestinian side tend to favor unilateral steps instead of negotiating a compromise that the parties have been avoiding for years.
Read more»

 Uri Savir for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on February 21

Why the Damascus Gate is more important than ever

Over the past few months, East Jerusalem's Damascus Gate has become a focal point for young Palestinians seeking to kill Israeli security officers and to avenge their friends.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on February 18

Will aid deliveries to Syria help advance peace talks?

The United States said it would meet with Russia in Geneva on Feb. 19 for consultations on how to implement a Syria truce, as the United Nations said Feb. 17 that it was able to deliver 100 trucks of humanitarian aid to five besieged Syrian towns.
Read more»

 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on February 17

Can Bieber fever rescue Turkey's tourism trade?

Turkey's tourism business has checked out without paying its tab, and officials are considering enlisting US celebrities like Justin Bieber to help counteract the effects of terrorist attacks and Russian sanctions.
Read more»

 Zülfikar Doğan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on February 18

In last interview, former UN Secretary-General defends Cairo's crackdowns

In an interview with Al-Monitor a week before passing away at the age of 93, former UN Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali spoke about the challenges of ensuring full freedoms amid a precarious security situation.
Read more»

 Khalid Hassan for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on February 17

Why Jaish al-Thuwar was bombarded by Turkey

After controversy was raised over Jaish al-Thuwar, its mission and role, and following conflicting accusations of supporting the Syrian regime and IS, Jaish al-Thuwar was bombarded by Turkey, thus losing the immunity it enjoyed since its inception.
Read more»

Translated from As-Safir (Lebanon) on February 18

Why Turkey is losing hope in Syrian border town of Azaz

Turkey is engaged in two battles to keep the Azaz-Marea line open after losing the Aleppo corridor.
Read more»

 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor on February 17

Israeli air force debates purchase of F-35 fighter planes

As the Syrian, Lebanese and Turkish skies grow ever more crowded with Russian, American, British and Saudi fighter jets, Israel has decided to purchase more F-35s of its own.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on February 17

Iran MP: We’ve created artificial red lines on free speech

While official campaigning has not yet begun, Iranian candidates have begun speaking at universities.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on February 16

How Oman is helping Obama shut down Guantanamo Bay

As the primary destination for transferred Guantanamo Bay prisoners, Oman solidifies its role as a diplomatic back channel for the United States.
Read more»

 Giorgio Cafiero for Al-Monitor on February 17

Can Sisi reconcile with Egypt's youth? Does he even want to?

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi proclaimed 2016 to be the Year of the Youth, yet young people continue to be arrested and oppressed, which could result in the emergence of secret activities, especially by Islamists.
Read more»

 Mostafa Hashem Youssef for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on February 16

Turkey ups the ante in Syria

Turkey's shelling of YPG positions in Syria is not only fueling animosity between Ankara and Moscow, but is also causing fresh tensions with the United States.
Read more»

 Semih Idiz for Al-Monitor on February 16

How bragging could backfire on al-Qassam Brigades

The Hamas military wing's recent display of a tank may be something Israel could use as a pretext to justify action against Hamas and Gaza.
Read more»

 Mohammed Othman for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on February 16

Will regime keep the upper hand in Syrian conflict?

The Syrian army has gained control of the area connecting Moadamiyet al-Sham and Daraya in Rif Dimashq, though opposition figures say the siege won’t last.
Read more»

Mustafa al-Haj for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on February 16

Turkey threatens fragile Syria peace accord

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the United States is responsible for "sea of blood" in Syria as Turkey attacks Syrian Kurds; Ankara and Riyadh raise specter of ground operations in Syria.
Read more»

 Al-Monitor Week in Review on February 14

Displaced Yemenis suffer in silence in Egypt

Despite the war raging in their country, Yemen’s displaced citizens in Egypt await the day they can return.
Read more»

 Omnia Al Desoukie for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on February 12

7 things to consider before sending troops to Syria

By supporting a Saudi ground invasion of Syria, the United States would be aiding and abetting the expansion of terrorism as well as pushing Iran and Russia toward threatening the very viability of the House of Saud.
Read more»

 Seyed Hossein Mousavian for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on February 12

Can Turkey return as a player in Syria?

The siege of Aleppo and resulting refugee flow offer an opportunity for Turkey's return as a player in Syria, but realities on the ground won't make it easy.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on February 12

Will US, Russia be able to turn 'words on paper' into action in Syria?

The United States and Russia, meeting with international powers, announced that they had agreed on a plan for rapid humanitarian aid delivery to seven besieged areas in Syria and to try to work out a temporary truce to go into effect after one week.
Read more»

 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on February 12

Why some Syrian fighters transferred to Turkey vow to return

Although Ahrar al-Sham is associated with al-Qaeda, the people of Zabadani who were forced to flee to Turkey when the regime took over consider it a moderate group and continue to support it.
Read more»

 Shelly Kittleson for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on February 12

As health system collapses, disease kills more Yemenis

The blockades imposed by the warring Saudi-led Arab coalition and Houthi rebels in Yemen have caused severe medicine shortages, which in turn led to the spread of diseases.
Read more»

 Ahmed Alwly for Al-Monitor on February 15

Battle for Aleppo rages on after peace talks suspended

Faced with their toughest challenge to date, Syrian rebels are losing ground in Aleppo ahead of the Geneva III peace talks slated to resume Feb. 25.
Read more»

 Mohammed al-Khatieb for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on February 14

What Hezbollah stands to gain from Iran's nuclear deal

As the Iranian nuclear deal enters its implementation phase, analysts are discussing the repercussions of Iran’s openness to the West on Lebanese Hezbollah.
Read more»

 Ali Rizk for Al-Monitor Lebanon Pulse on February 16

Will the international war on IS reach Libya?

Despite efforts at a political solution in Libya, military intervention remains an option, in particular against Islamic State forces and funding.
Read more»

Translated from Al-Hayat (Pan Arab) on February 16

From Israeli prime minister to prisoner

The Israeli democratic system that was able to sentence former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to jail time might have lost its power to check the actions of today's serving prime minister.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on February 15

Syrian Kurds' agenda simmers on back burner

Though Syria’s Kurds have been calling for the establishment of a federal state, just like their counterparts in Iraq, their demands may never reach the international peace platforms.
Read more»

 Kamal Sheikho for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on February 12

US seeks to block sanctioned Iranian airline’s flights into Europe

The Obama administration is warning EU allies to shut out Mahan Air or risk US retaliation.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on February 11

Can Erdogan bully Turkey's armed forces into invading Syria?

Following his failure in Aleppo, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s eagerness for a military intervention in Syria is stronger than ever, but will the Turkish military acquiesce to his plans?
Read more»

 Kadri Gursel for Al-Monitor on February 11

How fighters are filtering across the Syrian-Turkish border

Turkey is handling tens of thousands of refugees trying to cross its border from Syria, but isn't sure how it will deal with the accompanying militants, their families and IS-affiliated fighters.
Read more»

 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor on February 11

Syria's Sharia courts

Sharia courts founded by armed groups in Syria are currently the sole judicial power in the areas outside the regime’s control.
Read more»

 Asaad Hanna for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on February 11

Obama's anti-IS envoy: Shiites saved Iraq

President Obama's envoy praises all sides in a bid to keep the coalition together.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on February 10

Will Kerry be able to salvage Syria peace talks?

US Secretary of State John Kerry said he was preparing to test Russian seriousness as he and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov discussed possible Syria cease-fire arrangements.
Read more»

 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on February 10

What's next for Syria?

As new talks commence on solving the Syria crisis, the international community speculates on what Russia's first move will be.
Read more»

 Vitaly Naumkin for Al-Monitor on February 10

Iran defends its support for Syria, Iraq

Iranian officials and media argue that the fight against terrorists in Syria and Iraq is in defense of Iran.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on February 10

Are the Saudis ready to fight in Syria?

With no end in sight to Saudi Arabia’s military intervention in Yemen, is Riyadh ready to risk major casualties by sending ground troops to Syria?
Read more»

 Madawi Al-Rasheed for Al-Monitor on February 10

Doctors join Turkey’s ever-growing army of 'terrorists'

Turkish policemen wounded in clashes with Kurdish militants are no longer taken to civilian hospitals in Diyarbakir following claims that local Kurdish doctors collaborate with the insurgency.
Read more»

 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on February 10

AKP generous with lip service, but Turkish soldiers need more

Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party is glorifying military "martyrdom" in an attempt to steer civilian-military relations into support for the government.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on February 10

Iran reacts to Saudis' offer of troops in Syria

Iranian officials play down Saudi statements about sending ground troops to Syria, especially as the Syrian government makes gains on the ground.
Read more»

 Ali Hashem for Al-Monitor on February 10

Israeli slip of the tongue embarrasses Egypt

The statement by Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz in regard to alleged security cooperation with Egypt angered Cairo and complicated the battle against Hamas.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on February 10

Israeli minister: After Abbas, there will be no more Palestinian Authority

Talking to Al-Monitor, Israeli Minister of Jerusalem Affairs and Immigrant Absorption Zeev Elkin predicts that once Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas steps down, the Palestinian Authority will disintegrate, lamenting that Israel has no plan to face this likelihood.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on February 10

Russia's Syria dilemma

Moscow wants a political settlement to the Syrian war, but its military support, which is resulting in regime victories on the battlefield, could threaten that outcome.
Read more»

 Paul J. Saunders for Al-Monitor on February 9

Mystery surrounds killing of Italian scholar in Egypt

Egypt risks losing Italy as a valuable international ally if the investigation into the murder of Italian graduate student Giulio Regeni is not carried out with full transparency.
Read more»

 Shahira Amin for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on February 9

Will he, won't he? Turks ponder whether Erdogan will invade Syria

The unhappy Turkish president has many factors to consider if he is contemplating military intervention in Syria.
Read more»

 Cengiz Çandar for Al-Monitor on February 9

Rouhani awards medals to nuclear negotiators

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani awarded medals to members of his Cabinet and the nuclear negotiation team.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on February 9

Why Yemen may not be heading for a split

Have southern Yemeni rebel leaders forfeited their quest to secede in exchange for positions of power or are they building political strength and biding their time?
Read more»

 Ashraf al-Falahi for Al-Monitor on February 10

Turkey gives mixed signals on Syria

Pro-Erdogan media drums support for an invasion of Syria, but military experts say this is not feasible.
Read more»

 Semih Idiz for Al-Monitor on February 9

Is Turkey doing enough to protect its Protestants?

Turkey's small Protestant community feels threatened not only by detractors, but also by the Islamic State, and lacks government protection against either.
Read more»

 Sibel Hurtas for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on February 9

Will Sudan side with Egypt in Renaissance Dam dispute?

Ambassador Mohamed Orabi, chairman of the parliamentary Foreign Relations Committee, speaks about the disputed Halayeb and Shalateen regions and the Renaissance Dam.
Read more»

 George Mikhail for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on February 8

Jabhat