Security


Obama's anti-IS envoy: Shiites saved Iraq

President Obama's envoy praises all sides in a bid to keep the coalition together.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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, it is doubtful that the regime is ready to risk major casualties by sending ground troops to Syria.
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 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.
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 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.
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 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on February 10

Iran reacts to Saudi's 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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 Shahira Amin for Al-Monitor 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.
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 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.
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 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?
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 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.
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 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.
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 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.
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George Mikhail for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on February 8

Jabhat al-Nusra competes with IS to attract new allies

Jabhat al-Nusra launches a psychological campaign to prevent Jund al-Aqsa from joining the Islamic State and get the jihadi faction to join Jabhat al-Nusra's ranks instead.
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Translated from As-Safir (Lebanon) on February 10

Why the fall of this Syrian city raises red flags in Jordan

The fall of Sheikh Miskin near the Jordanian border has sounded alarms in the kingdom, which is working to beef up security on the border and bracing for a new wave of refugees.
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Osama Al Sharif for Al-Monitor on February 8

Undeterred by closures, Hamas still boasts of tunnel advantage

Despite setbacks, Hamas has been digging more tunnels and continues to flaunt them as a strategic weapon against Israel in propaganda videos.
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 Hazem Balousha for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on February 8

The death of the Arab Israeli dream

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Knesset member Issawi Frej of Meretz accused the government of creating an atmosphere permitting the targeting and persecution of Arabs and for ignoring the problem of violence in Arab Israeli communities.
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 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on February 8

Is Russia helping the US win in Syria?

Russian air power and Syrian forces are pounding terrorists and their allies, while taking a terrible toll on civilians; keep Turkey out of Syria.
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 Al-Monitor Week in Review on February 7

Congress gets first-hand account of war against IS

A look at the Middle East issues Congress will be addressing the week of Feb. 8.
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 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on February 7

Diplomats focus on humanitarian aid first, Syria peace talks second

After Syria peace talks in Geneva suspended, diplomats look to world powers to agree on aid access and humanitarian deliverables at a meeting of the International Syria Support Group in Munich on Feb. 11 to try to revive a diplomatic process.
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 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on February 5

Diyarbakir's soccer team gets yellow card for winning

Diyarbakir's Amedspor soccer club is paying a heavy price for making its way to the Turkish Cup quarterfinals, defeating powerful rivals along the way.
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 Kadri Gursel for Al-Monitor on February 5

Five reasons why Iran-Saudi conflict won't escalate

Despite media speculation about war between Iran and Saudi Arabia, several domestic and international factors make that prospect highly unlikely.
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Ali Omidi for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on February 5

Netanyahu’s threats recall Gaza's last war

Military preparations by Israel and Hamas in the Gaza Strip are raising speculation that a new war is on the way.
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 Rasha Abou Jalal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on February 7

Palestinians, Israelis face off on Facebook

As the armed attacks against Israelis decrease, another kind of intifada has emerged on social networking sites as Palestinians and Israelis confront each other using Twitter and Facebook.
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 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on February 8

Is Syrian regime's seizure of Sheikh Miskin a tipping point?

Aided by Russian air cover, the Syrian regime retook the strategic city of Sheikh Miskin and advanced on numerous other fronts, likely affecting the Geneva III talks.
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Mustafa al-Haj for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on February 5

Five years on, displaced Libyans languish in camps

As the fifth anniversary of Libya's revolution draws near, thousands of displaced Libyans are still living as refugees in their own country, with virtually no official recourse.
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 Mustafa Fetouri for Al-Monitor on February 5

France, Egypt push two-state solution conference

Egypt is contemplating its own initiative in order to restart Israeli-Palestinian negotiations on a two-state solution in coordination with the French Foreign Ministry’s initiative.
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 Uri Savir for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on February 7

The rise of the individual intifada

The prevailing IDF assessment by which the current wave of violence will die out has been proven wrong, with Palestinian attackers now using guns instead of knives.
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 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on February 4

Will splitting Jerusalem perpetuate occupation?

The separation plans designed to separate Jerusalem from surrounding Palestinian villages will only perpetuate the annexation of Jerusalem to Israel.
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 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on February 4

Russian air raid hits Aleppo schools

A firsthand account of an airstrike on an Aleppo school.
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 Mohammed al-Khatieb for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on February 4

Will Turkey, Russia fan flames into an inferno?

Moscow, Ankara ramp up their "he said, she said" exchanges with ever-stronger accusations.
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 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on February 4

Selfies in Syria: How one Iranian religious singer is showing his support for fighters

A famous Iranian religious singer who has a close relationship with Iran's hard-liners, says he did not intend for his controversial pictures in Syria to be published.
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 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on February 3

Turkey’s nationalist 'Gray Wolves' enter Syrian fray

Turkish ultranationalists have joined the fight in Syria as what some observers view as their government's secret weapon, one that could backfire as the group mingles with Islamists along with the Turkmens they're defending.
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 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor on February 3

UN arms Libyan women with gun-safety knowledge

Women are inordinately affected by gun violence in Libya, but UN officials hope to train them not only in firearm safety, but also to use their matriarchal positions to influence their families.
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 Christine Petré for Al-Monitor on February 3

'Tunnel arms race' heating up

Hamas is in the midst of rebuilding its tunnel network under Gaza and into Israel, while the IDF has begun work to neutralize the threat.
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 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on February 3

Diyala attacks follow old Zarqawi terror strategy

The Diyala attacks in January may have been intended to stir up a Sunni-Shiite war to drive Sunnis into the Islamic State’s arms.
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 Mustafa al-Kadhimi for Al-Monitor on February 3

New poll says Iranians like Zarif, dislike US

A University of Maryland telephone survey of Iranians finds they like their president and foreign minister and are hopeful that the nuclear deal will provide economic rewards.
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 Barbara Slavin for Al-Monitor on February 3

Will Turkey risk military confrontation with Russia?

Leading military analysts say Putin is trying to draw Ankara into a fight that could have disastrous results for Turkey.
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 Semih Idiz for Al-Monitor on February 2

How one Syrian group is helping kids get back to school

The Olive Branch Organization is building schools in war-damaged areas of Syria, realizing that without education and psychological support, children might become "time bombs" destined to lives of anger, frustration and violence.
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Mustafa al-Haj for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on February 2

Can the IDF withstand political pressure?

The Israel Defense Forces believe hope and economic opportunity are the keys to calming the current wave of Palestinian attacks, but political leaders are pressing for a military response.
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 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on February 2

Syrian opposition finally agrees to join Geneva talks

The Syrian opposition said Feb. 1 it would join the Syria peace talks in Geneva to press for an end to sieges and the shelling of civilians.
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 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on February 1

Iran rewards IRGC leaders who captured US sailors

Commanders of the IRGC received Iran's highest military medal for the detention of 10 US sailors.
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 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on February 1

Turkey’s urban war leaves thousands of Kurds without homes

Expanding clashes in Turkey’s largest Kurdish-populated city have triggered a fresh civilian exodus, with many residents fleeing their homes with only the clothes on their backs.
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 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on February 1

Turkish products break Egyptian monopoly over Gazan markets

Strengthening diplomatic ties between Turkey and Hamas means Turkish products have been flooding Gazan markets, leading some to believe the blockade on the Gaza Strip could be lifted.
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 Fadi Shafei for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on February 1

How the Islamic State is still seeping through Syria-Turkey border

Despite new security measures, including walls, Islamic State traffic through the Turkey-Syria border has not stopped.
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 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor on February 1

Turkey plans shiny new HQ for shadowy intelligence operations

Senior Turkish intelligence officers say the $140 million budgeted for their agency's new headquarters reveals there is more going on than meets the eye.
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 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on February 1

Is the US a threat to Israel?

US efforts to crack the Israeli drone encryption system have caused some to question whether or not America is still an ally of Israel.
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 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on February 1

Palestinian security torn between intifada, duty

The attack near the Beit El settlement this weekend is the second one by a Palestinian security officer, and there is immense pressure from the Palestinian street on others to join the uprising.
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 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on February 1

Congress eyes Syrian refugee threat — from Canada

A look at the Middle East issues Congress will be addressing the week of Feb. 1.
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 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on January 31

Should armed groups allied with al-Qaeda be included in Syria peace talks?

Our answer is no; Erekat’s “main priority is not to allow IS to raise its flag in Palestine”; Turkey responds to Biden with fake news.
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 Al-Monitor Week in Review on January 31

Will sanctions prompt Iran to boost missile program?

Washington’s imposition of new missile sanctions on Iran a mere day after the implementation of the nuclear deal appears to have caused a backlash.
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 Abbas Qaidaari for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on January 29

Will Syrian regime's advances on the ground strengthen their position in Geneva?

In line with its policy of closing borders and cutting off supply routes, the Syrian regime has launched an offensive on the town of Hirbnafsah on the border between Homs and Hama a few days before Geneva III.
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Khaled Atallah for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on January 29

Jabhat al-Nusra's return to Aleppo worries activists

A year and half after withdrawing from Aleppo, Jabhat al-Nusra returned, raising speculation about its intentions going forward.
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Translated from As-Safir (Lebanon) on February 3

Palestinian women increasingly targeted online

The rise in social media in the West Bank and Gaza Strip has been accompanied by an increase in cybercrime, but many women are reluctant to report it.
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 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on January 29

Who's to blame for recent kidnappings in Iraq?

Many foreign diplomats and workers have been kidnapped in Iraq by armed gangs that have been spreading in the absence of security measures, which could damage diplomatic representation.
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 Omar al-Jaffal for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on January 29

How Palestinian media contributes to cycle of incitement

Young Palestinians are being influenced by misleading video clips aired on the PA's official TV network, presenting those who attack Israelis as victims.
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 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on January 29

Iraq struggles to combat evolving terrorist threat

The Islamic State has developed a new way to conduct its terror operations, while the Iraqi government is unable to prevent security breaches.
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 Mustafa al-Kadhimi for Al-Monitor on January 31

Under pressure from Turkey, UN excludes PYD from Syria talks

Turkey has won the battle over the Syrian Kurdish nationalist Democratic Union Party by blackmailing the United States into leaving the group out of the Geneva III talks.
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 Cengiz Çandar for Al-Monitor on January 29

Meet one of Hezbollah's teen fighters

As more young Lebanese Hezbollah fighters travel to Syria, Al-Monitor spoke with one of these boys about their reasons for waging jihad and the training they go through before joining the fight.
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 Mona Alami for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on January 28

Will Israeli Palestinians join their West Bank brethren?

Discrimination and the lack of any hope for a two-state solution could push Arab-Israelis to join the uprising in the West Bank, much like the battle in 1947.
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 Uri Savir for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on January 31

Democrats launch Iran deal offensive

Pro-deal senators are touting Iran's denuclearization amid continued Republican pushback.
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 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on January 28

Turkey's military mules take their marching orders seriously

Modern armies spend millions of dollars to develop high-tech robotic systems, but none can replace mules as reliable carriers in bad weather over rough terrain.
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 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on January 27

Palestinian negotiator: Iran should stop poking its noses in Arab affairs

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat says Iran should mind its own business, and stresses the need to preserve the Palestinian Authority.
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 Aaron Magid for Al-Monitor on January 27

Will Iran deal mean more money for Hamas?

Now that sanctions have been lifted against Iran, Palestinian resistance factions in Gaza are waiting to see if Iran will restore or perhaps increase its military and financial support.
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 Ahmad Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on January 27

Why IDF favors carrots, not sticks for West Bank Palestinians

IDF experts disagree whether Israel should increase pressure on the Palestinian Authority and apply punitive measures or whether it should increase incentives to calm the situation on the ground.
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 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on January 27

Why Israel needs Turkey now more than ever

Israel and Turkey are strengthening their relations as both keep a wary eye on Iran's outreach to the world and regional countries.
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 Arad Nir for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on January 28

This is not your father's intifada

Israel's response to the current wave of terror attacks is based on the second intifada, but the opponent has changed.
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 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on January 27

Is Iran deal gateway to Israeli-Palestinian peace?

J Street aims to put $3 million behind pro-diplomacy lawmakers in 2016 election cycle.
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 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on January 26

Syria talk invites go out … who’s in and who’s out?

UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura issued invitations Jan. 26 to new Syria peace talks in Geneva beginning Jan. 29 that could last six months, while acknowledging that the relaunched peace effort is going to be uphill.
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 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on January 26

Rouhani makes up for lost time in Italy

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani is eager to bring his country back to the point it was before the sanctions.
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 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on January 26

Gaza’s milk industry turns sour

Wars with Israel have had devastating consequences for dairy factories in Gaza, but a few still survive even in the face of competition from Israel and the West Bank.
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 Hana Salah for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on January 26

Who was behind Saudi Embassy attack in Iran?

Iranian officials have announced the name of the main culprits behind the attack on the Saudi Embassy in Iran.
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 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on January 25

Are conditions right for Ocalan's return?

Some observers wonder whether negotiations between the Kurds and the Turkish government could restart with the involvement of the sidelined Kurdish leader Abdullah Ocalan.
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Translated from Radikal (Turkey) on January 28

The truth about the Saudi executions

Why the executions of cleric Nimr al-Nimr and three other Shiites in Saudi Arabia are not the result of Sunni-Shiite sectarianism as many have claimed.
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Nawaf Obaid for Al-Monitor on January 25

Why Hamas hopes to keep low profile in Saudi-Iranian tensions

In light of the escalating dispute between Iran and Saudi Arabia, Hamas has remained silent to maintain good ties with each party, as both have provided it with financial or military support.
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 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on January 25

Five years on, why do Egyptian authorities still fear January 25?

Ahead of the fifth anniversary of the January 25 Revolution, Egyptian authorities have taken tight security measures to deter any protests.
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 Ayah Aman for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on January 25

Who is Israel's 'responsible adult'?

In a society that veers right and within a party ruled by supporters of the settlers, Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon defends law, order and democracy, as an heir to the late Prime Minister Menachem Begin.
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 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on January 25

Biden calls for 'change of attitude' by Turkish government

US Vice President Joe Biden says Turkey is setting the wrong example for the region.
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 Al-Monitor Week in Review on January 24

Is Iran prepared for more Saudi surprises?

The Iranian-Saudi rivalry has turned into a direct strategic conflict. With the crisis surrounding the attack on the Saudi Embassy in Tehran contained, it is unclear whether the next crisis can be managed.
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 Hassan Ahmadian for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on January 22

Can Libya escape from terrorist grip?

With terrorism spreading in Libya and threatening Europe, Western countries moved to support the establishment of a consensus government under the Skhirat Agreement.
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Translated from Al-Khaleej (U.A.E.) on January 28

Behind Turkish checkpoints

The town of Silopi in southeastern Turkey has been devastated by monthlong clashes between the security forces and Kurdish militants, with local residents blaming both the government and the rebels for the destruction.
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 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on January 22

Are Shiites divided over what to do about Saudi Arabia?

Over the years, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of Iran and Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani of Iraq have encouraged Shiites to take opposing approaches toward Sunnis, with ramifications for Saudi Arabia.
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 Ali Mamouri for Al-Monitor on January 24

Are this week's Geneva talks on Syria doomed to fail?

Geneva III negotiations are expected to start Jan. 25 to seek a long-awaited political solution to the lingering Syrian crisis, but the parties have set preconditions and can't even agree on who should participate.
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Mustafa al-Haj for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on January 24

What’s next for Anbar?

After its liberation, Anbar seems on the verge of a new wave of internal conflicts that will inevitably hinder reconstruction and the return of refugees.
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 Omar Sattar for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on January 24

Israeli opposition leader: 'Peace will have to wait'

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Zionist Camp and opposition leader Isaac Herzog discusses his new plan to restore security while waiting for the right time to resume pursuit of a two-state solution.
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 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on January 22

Did Egyptian intelligence meddle in recent elections?

A political activist’s claim that the "For the Love of Egypt" alliance — which won many seats in the latest parliamentary elections — was established under the supervision of the intelligence services has divided Egyptians.
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 Ahmed Fouad for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on January 22

Why an Abbas departure would be bad for Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu prefers a weak Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, but at the same time needs him to stay in power.
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 Uri Savir for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on January 24

What’s next for the Syrian regime?

The Syrian regime forces, with the help of the Russian air force, have managed to take over the strategic town of Salma, thus getting closer to the Syrian-Turkish border.
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Khaled Atallah for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on January 21

Turkey breaks new ground in southeast reconstruction

Ankara will be entering potentially hazardous territory in its unprecedented plans for reconstruction in the Kurdish southeast.
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 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on January 21

Was Beirut airport threat real or political conspiracy?

Some say rumors of a potential bombing at the Beirut airport could be designed to pressure Lebanon to agree on a political settlement to elect a president.
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 Jean Aziz for Al-Monitor on January 21

Senate Democrats use Trump card to block Syrian refugees bill

The Senate defeated GOP-backed restrictions on refugee resettlement.
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 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on January 20

Khamenei condemns attack on Saudi Embassy

Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei calls the attack on the Saudi Embassy "very bad and wrong" and says thanking the United States for releasing Iranian funds would be like thanking a bully.
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 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on January 20

Is the KRG heading for bankruptcy?

Iraq’s Kurds warn that unless Washington rides to their financial rescue, they cannot sustain their fight against the Islamic State.
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 Amberin Zaman for Al-Monitor on January 20

Don't underestimate Iraqi nationalism

The anti-IS campaign in Iraq has deepened sectarian divisions between Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish regions, but despite communal and political fractures, many communities remain loyal to the Iraqi state.
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 Denise Natali for Al-Monitor on January 20

How long can Saudi Arabia afford Yemen war?

The war in Yemen may prove just as dangerously costly for Saudi Arabia, where an economic downturn threatens its political system, as for Yemen, whose economy can only start to be revived when it ends.
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 Amal Nasser for Al-Monitor on January 21

Can Iraq curb tribal disputes?

Tribal conflicts in Iraq are complicating the struggle against the Islamic State, threatening to thin the central government's security capacities.
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 Adnan Abu Zeed for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on January 20

How new Israeli settlements will lead to more violence

The United States, European Union and Palestinians have condemned an Israeli plan to build a settlement that could be the tipping point toward more violence and terror.
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 Uri Savir for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on January 20

US lets 2 Iran banks off UN sanctions list

The United States, in a confidence-building gesture with Iran, did not block a Venezuelan request to delist two Iranian banks from a UN Security Council sanctions list.
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 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on January 19

Khamenei questions US commitment to nuke deal

As implementation of the nuclear deal begins, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has warned that the United States may not live up to its obligations.
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 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on January 19

Ankara plays favorites with Iraqi, Syrian Turkmens

Ankara could face a nationalist backlash at home for favoring the Kurds over the Turkmens in Iraq.
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 Semih Idiz for Al-Monitor on January 19

Kurdish leader warns of civil war in Turkey

Turkey’s security crackdown in the Kurdish-majority southeast could spill over to the country’s west and eventually become a civil war, warns Kurdish politician Kamuran Yuksek in an interview with Al-Monitor.
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 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on January 19

Why the world questions Turkey's stance on Islamic State

Reasons are mounting to doubt Turkey's dedication to battling the Islamic State.
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 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor on January 19

Why Israel is keeping a close eye on Iran’s parliamentary elections

Some Israeli security experts view the Iran nuclear deal and lifting of sanctions with cautious optimism, and consider upcoming elections a test case to see what path the Iranian people will choose.
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 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on January 18

Assassinations, chaos cripple Yemen's Aden

Yemen's temporary capital Aden has turned into a scene of bloody operations against government, security and military officials.
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 Ahmed Alwly for Al-Monitor on January 18

Former Israeli minister calls removal of Iran sanctions a 'black day'

Former Minister Ephraim Sneh argues that the US administration was so keen to sign the nuclear deal that it ignored Iran's true nature and global aspirations.
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 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on January 18

Obama, Rouhani hail diplomacy as Americans fly home

President Barack Obama heralds his administration’s multichannel diplomacy with Iran for freeing detained Americans and implementing the nuclear deal and says there is an "opportunity" to pursue a new path with Iran.
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 Barbara Slavin on January 17

Ankara's colorful mayor declares US ambassador persona non grata

The US ambassador’s comments on respecting freedom of speech are challenged by Ankara's mayor — a shrewd social media expert — but not by the government.
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 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on January 17

Syrian endgame could begin with Aleppo

Aleppo could begin healing in Syria; Syrian armed group backed by US allies seeks caliphate; FSA leader says US “moving toward being a partner in crime” in Syria; Hagel says US Syria policy was paralyzed over "Assad must go."
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 Al-Monitor Week in Review on January 16

Iran frees five Americans as nuclear deal goes into effect

Iran has released five American prisoners including Washington Post correspondent Jason Rezaian, in an apparent swap with Iranians jailed in the United States for sanctions violations.
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 Laura Rozen on January 16

Will US retaliate against Iran for detaining sailors?

The Obama administration has repeatedly challenged Iranian restrictions on freedom of navigation. Will that continue after the nuclear deal?
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 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on January 15

Popular Turkish TV host attacked for supporting Diyarbakir teacher

In an illustration of Turkey's increasing polarization amid ongoing clashes in the southeast, Turks are split over whether popular media personality Beyaz spread "terrorist propaganda" by encouraging applause for a concerned caller from Diyarbakir.
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 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on January 18

Is a witch hunt underway against Turkish intellectuals?

Following the arrests of Turkish academics who had signed a petition in support of the Kurds in southeastern Turkey, the country is facing an unprecedented 'civil war.'
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 Cengiz Çandar for Al-Monitor on January 15

Turkey's distractions make it vulnerable

Many questions still surround the recent suicide bombing in Istanbul, but it nevertheless points up Turkey's limited understanding of IS and the country's need to develop a strategy and assets to deal with terrorism.
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 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on January 15

Can Egypt’s tourism industry get back on track after Sinai crash?

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Egypt's Tourism Minister Hisham Zazou expresses optimism that this vital sector of the country’s economy will recover.
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 Walaa Hussein for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on January 15

Terrorism tops Turkish citizens’ list of concerns in 2015

A recent survey polled Turks and found that they are not united in their perception of the identity of terror suspects in the country.
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 Riada Ašimović Akyol for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on January 18

Regime forces advance in Latakia

The recent capture of Salma in Latakia’s countryside by Syrian regime forces represents a strategic development, showing how Russia's heavy shelling has changed the equation in the conflict.
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Translated from As-Safir (Lebanon) on January 18

Hagel says Obama 'paralyzed' Syria policy around Assad ouster

Former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says President Barack Obama erred in calling for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to go and declaring a red line over Syria’s use of chemical weapons, and also compared Republican presidential candidates to a "mass gong show" and urged them to be less divisive.
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 Barbara Slavin for Al-Monitor on January 14

FSA adviser: IS cannot be eliminated without us

In an Al-Monitor interview, Osama Abu Zeid, legal adviser for the Free Syrian Army, discusses the FSA's return to the forefront in light of Russia’s military intervention in the Syrian war.
Read more»

 Mohammed al-Khatieb for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on January 15

Israeli fashion gets tactical

Business is booming for Israeli clothes manufacturers that have developed bullet- and knife-resistant fabrics and apparel, though they may not all deliver what they promise.
Read more»

 Yuval Avivi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on January 14

Was Zahran Alloush really a moderate leader?

Some have described the late Jaish al-Islam leader Zahran Alloush as a moderate leader, although his fiery anti-Shiite and anti-democracy statements indicate otherwise.
Read more»

 Ali Mamouri for Al-Monitor on January 14

State of the Union highlights Jordan’s rift with Obama

The US president directly contradicts King Abdullah’s talking point that the campaign against IS is a “third world war.”
Read more»

 Aaron Magid for Al-Monitor on January 13

Implementation date of nuclear deal to be announced within days

Nuclear negotiator Seyed Abbas Araghchi said that by Jan. 17, the date of the final implementation of the nuclear deal will be announced.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on January 13

It’s official: Sunnis joining Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has announced that 40,000 Sunnis will join the mostly Shiite Popular Mobilization Units, fueling speculation that the new balance could lead to formation of a National Guard.
Read more»

 Mustafa Saadoun for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on January 14

US sailors depart Iran

US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter credits the Kerry-Zarif channel and US-Iran diplomatic engagement for the swift release of US sailors.
Read more»

 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on January 13

Lebanon feels aftershocks of Saudi-Iran crisis

The current crisis between Saudi Arabia and Iran against the backdrop of the execution of Shiite Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr has already affected the strained relationship between Sunnis and Shiites in Lebanon, but will it reinforce Christian political ties?
Read more»

 Jean Aziz for Al-Monitor on January 13

What are the real goals behind local truces in Syria?

Opposition activists say the truces reached in several Syrian regions are a regime tool to rearrange the country's demographics.
Read more»

Mustafa al-Haj for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on January 13

The dirty war between Israel’s right-wing and left-wing NGOs

Israeli human rights nongovernmental organizations object to an investigative report by Channel 2 that accuses an activist of plotting against Palestinian land owners selling their property to Jews but stained all the NGOs in the process.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on January 13

Netanyahu offers royal welcome to new IDF submarine

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu personally welcomed Israel's fifth German-made submarine.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on January 13

Will tables turn in favor of youth in Palestine?

The new Palestinian generation leading the intifada did not wait for instructions from political leaders, who may now have to look to the youth for direction.
Read more»

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

US says Iran promised swift release of sailors

An incident in which US sailors were held by Iran in the Gulf waters comes at a particularly sensitive moment, as implementation day for last year's nuclear deal is expected within days.
Read more»

 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on January 12

Slump in oil prices wallops anti-IS coalition

Failure to pay Iraqi and Kurdish forces hampers their ability to fight, Congress warned.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on January 12

Why Iran-Saudi fallout will be costly for Moscow

The dispute between Iran and Saudi Arabia could promote instability throughout the Middle East, which will be especially problematic for Russia and its policy of not choosing sides.
Read more»

 Paul J. Saunders for Al-Monitor on January 12

Turkish-US ties face fresh turbulence over Iraq, Syria

Washington’s demand that Turkey withdraw troops from Iraq and the US alliance with Syrian Kurds are potential flashpoints in US-Turkish relations.
Read more»

 Semih Idiz for Al-Monitor on January 12

Lazzarini to place Lebanon’s needs as top priority on global agenda

The UNDP and UNSCOL plan to continue to work relentlessly to address the influx of displaced Syrians to Lebanon, while trying to ensure that their Lebanese hosts also see progress in their lives.
Read more»

Translated from As-Safir (Lebanon) on January 13

Despite IS threat, Iraqi Kurdistan tries to lure tourists

After instability brought about by IS nearly destroyed tourism in Iraqi Kurdistan, the government still hopes to benefit from years of investment in the sector.
Read more»

 Rebecca Bradshaw for Al-Monitor on January 12

Are reported Iran-Russia arms deals genuine?

Despite numerous reports of talks on various Iran-Russia arms deals, it remains unclear whether such agreements are about to actually be signed or whether they are merely a form of psychological warfare.
Read more»

 Abbas Qaidaari for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on January 12

Foreign volunteers in Kurdistan Region shift focus to medical aid

Qalubna Ma’kum, a group of foreign volunteers in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, offers the peshmerga forces medical treatment and training and is not participating in combat directly.
Read more»

 Adam Lucente for Al-Monitor on January 12

Have Israelis abandoned any hope for change?

A bitter fate awaits Israel's democracy unless the Israeli silent majority shakes off its learned helplessness.
Read more»

 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on January 12

US presidential candidates weigh in on Russia, Putin, Middle East

Al-Monitor takes the pulse of the US presidential candidates' varied stances on the Middle East crises and on Vladimir Putin and his role in international politics.
Read more»

 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on January 11

After Saudi Embassy attack in Iran, top security officials fired

President Hassan Rouhani has made a point of holding top security officials responsible for allowing the attack on the Saudi Embassy.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on January 11

Why Syria will pay for Iran-Saudi rift

Despite UN Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura's assurances to the contrary, the breakdown in ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia appears set to impact the fragile talks on Syria.
Read more»

 Saheb Sadeghi for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on January 11

Palestinian industrial parks: Boon or bondage?

The Jenin industrial project is scheduled to start operating this year, with opponents claiming that such projects are in direct conflict with the Palestinian Authority's goal of becoming a fully independent and sovereign state.
Read more»

 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on January 11

Could Iran-Saudi conflict provide Turkey 'graceful exit' from Syria?

Turkish reactions to the Jan. 2 execution of Saudi Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr are quite telling for the future of Ankara’s regional policy.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on January 11

New Mossad chief brings touch of Bond, lots of reality to the job

Yossi Cohen, the well-groomed new head of Mossad, has a challenging road ahead in adapting his agency to deal with the diverse and convoluted equations of potential threats to Israel.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on January 11

Israeli media veers right

Israeli media focused on the less significant details when covering the capture of the Tel Aviv gunman, instead of the main story concerning relations between Jews and Arabs in the country.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on January 11

Palestinians create digital museum to promote their cause

A group of Palestinian youth and historians created a digital museum to prove the historical Palestinians’ right to the land of Palestine and to challenge the Israeli narrative.
Read more»

 Rasha Abou Jalal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on January 17

Oman, stuck between Saudi Arabia and Iran

With a long history as a regional mediator and close ties with both Riyadh and Tehran, will Oman be able to cool the recent Saudi-Iranian tensions following the execution of Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr?
Read more»

 Giorgio Cafiero for Al-Monitor on January 10

The Saudi predicament

The execution of a prominent Shiite cleric jeopardizes already fragile international efforts to end the wars in Syria and Yemen.
Read more»

 Al-Monitor Week in Review on January 10

Former defense minister condemns Bibi's 'divisive' message

In an interview with Al-Monitor, former Defense Minister Shaul Mofaz insists that despite the current violence, it's time for Israel to present a new diplomatic initiative and "initiate and lead" instead of "blaming the other side."
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on January 8

Kurds on hunger strike for bodies of dead relatives

Kurdish families have launched a hunger strike to get the bodies of relatives killed while fighting with the security forces in Turkey’s conflict-ravaged southeast.
Read more»

 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on January 8

Is Hamas honing its negotiating tactics with Israel?

What are the possible motives behind Hamas’ recent revelation of a secret unit that handles captured Israeli soldiers and its release of details about freed prisoner Gilad Shalit's incarceration?
Read more»

 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on January 10

Forces fight for strategic Syrian gateway to south

The Syrian opposition incurred heavy losses during a recent regime attack on the key city of al-Shaykh Maskin, but it is already regaining ground as power quickly shifts from one side to the other.
Read more»

Khaled Atallah for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on January 8

Is Iran deal the GOP's new Obamacare?

Iran sanctions bills have always been bipartisan. Not anymore.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on January 7

What did Saudi Embassy attackers want?

Some in Iran suspect the "rogue elements" who attacked Saudi Arabia's embassy intended to sabotage the administration's foreign policy goals of improving relations with foreign countries post-nuclear deal.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on January 7

Was Syria intervention worth it for Russia?

While Moscow's military involvement in the Syria crisis has led to an increasingly important role for Russia in regional and global politics, critics wonder whether or not the costs will outweigh the benefits.
Read more»

 Paul J. Saunders for Al-Monitor on January 7

Has Turkey’s regional power grab come to an end?

Turkey is forfeiting its claims for regional supremacy by joining the Saudi-led Sunni alliance and making friendly overtures toward Israel.
Read more»

 Cengiz Çandar for Al-Monitor on January 7

Brother of executed Saudi cleric says Nimr is 'martyr against injustice'

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Mohammed al-Nimr, the brother of the Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr, who was executed by Saudi Arabia, speaks about his family’s reaction, responses inside and outside Saudi Arabia and the fate of his brother’s body.
Read more»

 Jean Aziz for Al-Monitor on January 8

Has Ankara abandoned Iraq’s Turkmens?

Shiite Turkmens of Iraq, feeling that Turkey has failed them, are fighting with Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units.
Read more»

 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor on January 7

What are the real goals of Riyadh’s new Islamic coalition?

The Saudi-led Islamic coalition was not formed to only combat IS, but also to determine the future of Sunni areas in the conflict areas in Syria and Iraq.
Read more»

 Ali Mamouri for Al-Monitor on January 7

What factors influence Palestinian pollsters?

Several question marks hover around Palestinian polling centers, some of which are funded by foreign parties with certain political agendas.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on January 8

Iraqis see fake Syrian passport as golden ticket to Europe

Iraqis are buying forged Syrian passports to try to increase their chances of winning asylum in European countries.
Read more»

 Mustafa Saadoun for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on January 11

Can Libya’s new government balance international, domestic duties?

Now that the UN and the Tobruk-based government of Libya have endorsed a new agreement to form a united government, the latter must juggle conflicting priorities both inside and outside the war-torn country.
Read more»

 Mustafa Fetouri for Al-Monitor on January 7

Netanyahu's concern for fate of PA 'too little, too late'

Over the years, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has weakened the status of the Palestinian Authority and of President Mahmoud Abbas with a variety of means — but is he now suddenly concerned that the PA might collapse?
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on January 7

Why isn't IDF razing homes of Jewish terrorists?

Family members of Jewish terrorists can rest assured that the Israeli government won't subject them to the same policy of demolitions as punishment it uses against Palestinians.
Read more»

 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on January 7

Congress sets up first showdown of the year over Iran deal

The Obama administration says it "strongly opposes" sanctions bill scheduled for an initial vote Jan. 7.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on January 6

First the Middle East, now Central Asia slipping away from Turkey

Having lost influence in the Middle East, Turkey finds itself increasingly isolated from Central Asia and the Caucasus after its dust-up with Russia in Syria.
Read more»

 Zülfikar Doğan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on January 6

What happened to the mighty Shin Bet?

Neshat Melhem, who carried out a terror attack on Jan. 1 in Tel Aviv, has managed so far to fool the Israeli security apparatus and escape the scene.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on January 6

'Normal' life under fire in Tel Aviv

Despite its security bluster, the Israeli leadership is increasingly leaving it to Israelis to defend themselves as the wave of violence penetrates the Tel Aviv "bubble."
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on January 6

Congress seeks to punish countries that fail to hinder foreign fighters

The House Foreign Affairs panel will vote this week on a plan to combat international travel by terrorists.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on January 5

The Palestinian Authority's plan to dismantle itself

The Palestinian leadership has a tentative strategy in place for the dismantlement of the Palestinian Authority and the establishment of a state under Israeli occupation.
Read more»

 Uri Savir for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on January 6

Will Yemen’s journalists fare better in 2016?

In 2015, some journalists in Yemen suffered so much harassment and abuse that they quit their jobs and fled the country.
Read more»

 Ashraf al-Falahi for Al-Monitor on January 5

Will Iran suspend hajj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia?

After Riyadh severed diplomatic relations with Tehran and suspended direct flights between the two countries, some are wondering if Iranian pilgrims will be banned.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on January 5

Saudi-Iranian crisis complicates Ankara’s regional plans

Islamists and secularists alike want Turkey to stay out of the Iranian-Saudi conflict.
Read more»

 Semih Idiz for Al-Monitor on January 5

Three faiths, three commanders

The Popular Mobilization Units, initially identified as a Shiite militia, is changing the course of the battles in Iraq with participation of Sunnis and Christians.
Read more»

 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor on January 5

The truth about Gilad Shalit's five years in captivity

A video released by Hamas appears to show that abducted Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was kept in humane conditions, yet questions remain about the motive behind the decision to release the clip.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on January 5

How will Saudi-Iranian crisis affect the region?

As relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran reach their worst levels yet following the Saudi execution of Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr, the United States, Russia and the European Union are exerting all possible efforts to avoid a spillover to other countries where these parties wield influence.
Read more»

 Ali Hashem for Al-Monitor on January 5

The Ramadi illusion

The Iraqi military's long overdue capture of Ramadi is still uncertain and will hardly be enough to defeat the Islamic State.
Read more»

 Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou for Al-Monitor on January 5

US scrambles to curb damage from Saudi-Iranian fallout

American diplomats try to salvage Syria peace efforts and avert the further deterioration of Iranian-Saudi relations after Saudi Arabia abruptly severed diplomatic relations with Iran on Jan. 3.
Read more»

 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on January 4

Candidates for president flesh out their anti-IS war plans

Republican contenders agree on only one thing: Obama’s strategy isn’t working.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on January 4

What does Khamenei think of Saudi Embassy attacks?

Iranian officials have condemned the attack on Saudi Arabia's embassy.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on January 4

On its 51st anniversary, is Fatah facing identity crisis?

The leading Palestinian movement is facing an internal challenge in terms of its identity and how to bring about national liberation.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on January 5

Netanyahu's strategy of hopelessness

Instead of reassuring the public after the recent Tel Aviv shooting, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expertly stoked the public's fears.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on January 4

Saudi executions signal royal worries

Saudi Arabia's execution of 47 people, including a poplar Shiite cleric, point to the royal family's growing concerns about the kingdom's stability.
Read more»

 Bruce Riedel for Al-Monitor on January 4

Is Turkey heading to partition?

Turkey is losing Kurdish minds and hearts at a dramatic pace — the first outcome of the war raging in the Kurdish movement’s urban strongholds amid unprecedented destruction and civilian deaths.
Read more»

 Kadri Gursel for Al-Monitor on January 4

Is Rojava’s model the awaited solution for Syrian crisis?

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Eldar Khalil, member of the governing body for the TEV-DEM, gives an overview of the Kurds’ situation in the Rojava region, a de facto autonomous region of Syria.
Read more»

 Massoud Hamed for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on January 4

HDP leader says Ankara has 'neither the power nor means' to eliminate Kurdish movement

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Selahattin Demirtas, Turkey’s top Kurdish politician, claims the Kurds in the Middle East are on an irreversible path “toward liberation and sovereignty building.”
Read more»

Irfan Aktan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on January 4

Who is sending Iraqi fighters to Syria?

Mystery continues to surround the flow of Iraqi Shiite fighters combating the Islamic State in Syria alongside the Syrian regime, while the Popular Mobilization Units denies involvement.
Read more»

 Omar al-Jaffal for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on January 4

Israeli Arabs fear stigmatization following Tel Aviv shooting

The great majority of Israeli Arabs condemns and rejects terror acts, such as the shooting on Friday at a Tel Aviv pub, but this does not prevent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from blaming them all.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on January 4

Shin Bet uncovers Jewish extremist plot to destroy state

A lengthy investigation by the Shin Bet and Israeli Police has uncovered a plot to destroy the State of Israel and led to the indictment of two "hilltop youth" suspects in the murder of the Dawabsha family.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on January 4

Are warnings about Islamic State in Palestine 'empty threats'?

In light of reports about the possible collapse of the Palestinian Authority, officials have been warning that the alternative to President Mahmoud Abbas could be the Islamic State, though not many observers seem to take the idea seriously.
Read more»

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

Is Saudi Arabia next target of Islamic State?

IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi calls for Saudi uprising against "apostate tyrants"; Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erodgan’s policies contribute to Turkey’s growing isolation in the region.
Read more»

 Al-Monitor Week in Review on January 3

Rouhani orders more missiles in response to new sanctions

Iranian officials have condemned reports that the United States will propose new sanctions against Iran for their ballistic missile program.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on December 31

Thousands of Turks stranded at Iraqi border

Thousands of people were left stranded in Iraq when Turkey closed the Habur crossing following the imposition of curfews in the nearby towns of Cizre and Silopi.
Read more»

 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on December 31

Diyarbakir's Christians suffer in margins of Turkey-PKK war

Diyarbakir's Christians, many of them ethnic Armenians, have been caught up in the violence between the Turkish security forces and the Kurdistan Workers Party.
Read more»

 Amberin Zaman for Al-Monitor on December 31

The rapid rise and fall of Turkey’s pro-Kurdish party

Selahattin Demirtas, who led the Peoples’ Democratic Party to electoral success in Turkish politics, is now presiding over its downfall.
Read more»

 Mustafa Akyol for Al-Monitor on January 4

Dismissed Fatah leader Dahlan says Abbas, Hamas lack 'serious nationalism'

Dismissed Fatah leader Mohammed Dahlan discusses the current situation in Palestine, his rift with President Mahmoud Abbas, Palestinian-Israeli negotiations and his aspiration to become president.
Read more»

 Hazem Balousha for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on January 3

PFLP rejects idea of truce with Israel

Kayed al-Ghul, a member of the PFLP’s political bureau, speaks to Al-Monitor about the movement’s goals and efforts to achieve Palestinian unity.
Read more»

 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on January 3

Besieged Madaya residents face starvation

The residents of Madaya in the western countryside of Damascus are suffering from lack of food and medical supplies as a result of the siege imposed by the Syrian regime.
Read more»

Mustafa al-Haj for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on January 3

Can FSA get back on its feet after Russian intervention?

The Free Syrian Army has been demoralized by Russia's involvement in the Syrian civil war, as its influence has tipped the conflict in favor of the regime.
Read more»

 Mona Alami for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on December 31

Palestinians fear Turkey will drop condition that Israel lift Gaza siege

Turkey has long insisted that Israel lift its siege on the Gaza Strip before Turkish-Israeli relations can be normalized, but a recent warming of ties suggests this may change.
Read more»

 Ahmad Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on December 31

Why solving Israel-Palestine conflict is still key for regional stability

The West-pragmatic Arab coalition against the Islamic State must realize that a viable Israeli-Palestinian diplomatic peace process has to be part of any regional anti-terrorist strategy.
Read more»

 Uri Savir for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on January 3

Palestinian factions rush to denounce Kuntar's assassination

Many observers believe Palestinians and Hezbollah both stand to lose more than they would gain if Gaza becomes a scene of retaliation for Samir Kuntar's slaying.
Read more»

 Moath al-Amoudi for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on December 30

Are clashes spreading to western Turkey?

If pressure on the PKK becomes too intense in the clashes in the southeast, there are signs the group might mobilize its proxies to spread violence to western Turkey.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on December 30

Iraq's Popular Mobilization Units warn against 'renewed occupation' by US

Iraqi factions, namely the Popular Mobilization Units, reject the presence of US troops on Iraqi soil, as some claim that their presence benefits the Islamic State.
Read more»

 Mustafa Saadoun for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on December 30

Palestinians learn the power of a picture

Images and videos of the situation in the West Bank and Gaza Strip shot by locals are empowering the Palestinians in their resistance to the Israeli occupation.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on December 30

51 years after its founding, where is Fatah heading?

The Fatah movement is torn between the moderate forces and those who wish to reignite a violent confrontation with Israel, 51 years after its establishment.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on December 30

Why Turkey’s beaches, hard liquor are losing allure among Iranians

The deteriorating security situation in eastern Turkey coupled with Ankara's hostile rhetoric toward Iran is decreasing the allure of Turkey's liberal beach resorts among Iranians.
Read more»

 Masoud Lavasani for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on December 29

Turkey’s foreign policy prospects for 2016 not so promising

Analysts say the AKP government has itself to blame for Turkey’s loss of prestige and influence in its region, where it has more rivals than friends today.
Read more»

 Semih Idiz for Al-Monitor on December 29

Cyberattacks reveal Turkey’s weaknesses

Computer servers in Turkey have been the targets of a major cyberattack for the past two weeks.
Read more»

 Barın Kayaoğlu for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on December 29

Saudi anti-terrorism coalition raises eyebrows in Lebanon

Saudi Arabia’s anti-terrorism Islamic coalition has sparked mixed reactions in Lebanon as some parties had no idea their country was a listed member.
Read more»

 Sami Nader for Al-Monitor on December 29

Is a new approach needed in the war on IS in Iraq?

Although achievements have been made on the ground and the Islamic State suffered setbacks, military experts believe other measures should be taken to completely eliminate the organization in Iraq.
Read more»

 Mona Alami for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on December 29

Saudi Arabia's mounting security challenges

Saudi Arabia's battle in Yemen and conflicts with Iran, coupled with the fall in the price of oil, point to a trying 2016 for the kingdom.
Read more»

 Bruce Riedel for Al-Monitor on December 28

Why Abbas should rethink Palestinian support for Islamic coalition

Some Palestinians see President Mahmoud Abbas' decision to participate in the Saudi-led Islamic coalition as a step to turn the world's attention away from their suffering under Israel’s practices.
Read more»

 Mohammed Othman for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on December 28

Turkey goes all in on drones

Ankara is rushing to manufacture unmanned aerial vehicles for economic, political and military reasons, but Turkey needs to develop a drone doctrine and consider the ethical ramifications before their use proliferates.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on December 28

War-weary Kurds return to bunkers in Cizre

Kurdish residents of a town cut off from the outside world tell Al-Monitor of their "primitive" existence in basement shelters as Turkish soldiers and police battle Kurdish militants entrenched in residential areas.
Read more»

 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on December 28

Jordan’s Syria blacklist blasted by key players

Wide criticism has already emerged of the Jordanian list of terrorist groups in Syria, and some observers believe the initiative never had a chance.
Read more»

Osama Al Sharif for Al-Monitor on December 28

'Hate wedding' video offers glimpse at Jewish terror

The viral video of the so-called hate wedding, at which guests dance with guns and stab a photo of a murdered baby, should serve as a wake-up call to the religious Zionist movement, which must confront dangerous trends in its own backyard.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on December 28

Can Oman help Saudis save face in Yemen?

Oman, the only GCC country that did not join the Saudi coalition fighting in Yemen, could help the Saudis negotiate peace there.
Read more»

 Giorgio Cafiero for Al-Monitor on December 27

Obama bemoans 'unspeakable violence' against Mideast Christians

US President Barack Obama condemns the persecution of Christians by the Islamic State.
Read more»

 Al-Monitor Week in Review on December 27

Will PKK cross swords with Ocalan?

Will PKK's imprisoned leader Abdullah Ocalan speak out amid the clashes between the Turkish security forces and Kurdish militants?
Read more»

Translated from Radikal (Turkey) on December 29

Salehi reveals new details of secret US, Iran back channel

In an extensive interview, Ali Akbar Salehi, Iran's atomic chief and former foreign minister, reveals new details of the secret back channel to the United States.
Read more»

 Mohammad Ali Shabani for Al-Monitor on December 23

Is Iran retreating from Syria?

Iranian military commanders have responded to a report from Bloomberg quoting US officials about Iran retreating from Syria.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on December 23

How much leverage does Russia have in Syria?

While the United States and Russia set aside differences to pass a UN Security Council resolution on a political process in Syria, questions remain concerning Moscow's ability to persuade Damascus to accept any future agreement.
Read more»

 Paul J. Saunders for Al-Monitor on December 24

Why are so many staying silent on the Kurdish conflict?

Kurds and Turks in the western provinces of Turkey are reluctant to raise their voices about the prolonged Kurdish conflict.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on December 23

Why Bennett is siding with the Shin Bet

HaBayit HaYehudi Chair Naftali Bennett has expressed his unequivocal support for the Shin Bet in the face of claims that it tortured the suspected murderers of the Dawabsha family.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on December 23

Netanyahu's five-pronged strategy to delay a two-state solution

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has a multi-element, comprehensive plan to thwart the threat of negotiations toward a two-state solution.
Read more»

 Uri Savir for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on December 27

UN hopes to hit 'moving target' of Syria talks by late January

UN Syria envoy Staffan de Mistura hopes to hold the first talks between representatives of the Syrian regime and opposition in almost two years in Geneva by the end of January.
Read more»

 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on December 22

What's Saudi's new Islamic coalition really up to?

Not a lot is known about Saudi Arabia's newly announced Islamic Military Alliance, leaving observers to ponder its prospects.
Read more»

 Ahmed Fouad for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on December 22

How Turkey’s foreign affairs 'strongman' left his mark

Sources say Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s close circle is keen to develop the relationship with Israel in terms of the energy dimension in the wake of the crisis with Russia.
Read more»

 Cengiz Çandar for Al-Monitor on December 22

Did Erdogan give up Gaza in return for Israeli gas?

Erdogan’s ambition for a presidential system keeps him from dropping the Gaza precondition for the settlement of sour relations with Israel, but this does not stop the two sides from cooperating on natural gas.
Read more»

 Kadri Gursel for Al-Monitor on December 23

Palestinians counter Israel's wrecking balls with fundraisers

Israel has been destroying the houses of the Palestinians who carried out armed attacks against Israelis to deter others from doing the same, but the families' friends and neighbors are reacting with even greater determination to rebuild.
Read more»

 Rasha Abou Jalal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on December 22

How will Nasrallah retaliate for death of Hezbollah leader in Syria?

Hezbollah’s Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah vowed to respond to Samir Kuntar’s assassination in Syria.
Read more»

 Ali Hashem for Al-Monitor on December 22

Will PA security turn on Israel?

Despite recommendations from military quarters that Israel strengthen the Palestinian Authority and work with it to quell the ongoing violence, Israeli officials fear attacks from the Palestinian security forces themselves.
Read more»

 Ahmad Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on December 22

Are new provinces the key to a peaceful Iraq?

Turkmen politician Torhan al-Mufti spoke to Al-Monitor about Turkmen demands and political participation as well as the possible establishment of new provinces in Iraq.
Read more»

 Saad Salloum for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on December 22

Who's to blame for deaths of children fighting in Palestine?

Palestinian children are dying in armed operations against Israeli settlers, despite calls to prevent them from getting involved in the violence.
Read more»

 Aziza Nofal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on December 27

Iraqis dive deeper into sectarianism

Regional conflicts and shifting alliances since 2003 have led many Iraqis to view every development through a sectarian lens.
Read more»

 Mustafa al-Kadhimi for Al-Monitor on December 24

The PKK's 'child terrorists'

The PKK takes full advantage of children it recruits as "child terrorists" in Turkey, pushing them to the front lines and using their arrests and deaths to stir up sympathy.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on December 21

How American weapons are ending up in the hands of IS

A recent report by Amnesty International revealed that the Islamic State’s weaponry includes weapons from dozens of countries.
Read more»

 Wilson Fache for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on December 23

Will stopping security cooperation with Israel benefit PA?

Though Palestinian demands to end security cooperation between Tel Aviv and Ramallah are growing ever louder, coordination between Israel and the PA seems stronger than ever as both sides struggle to contain the unrest.
Read more»

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

Will Hezbollah, Iran avenge the killing of Kuntar?

The killing of veteran terrorist Samir Kuntar, adopted by Hezbollah, is perceived as a blow to Iran, which supported and nurtured Kuntar over the past year.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on December 21

Is Erdogan closing Hamas' Istanbul office?

Israel has demanded that Turkey expel Hamas activist Salah Al-Arouri from Istanbul as a condition for normalizing bilateral relations.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on December 21

Erdogan says Kurdish militants will be 'annihilated'

Turkey intensifies military operations against Kurdish "self-rule" movement; what do the UN Security Council resolutions on Syria mean for Saudi-led Islamic coalition? Zarif sets red line on terrorist groups in Syria; has Netanyahu closed Israel’s Iran file?
Read more»

 Al-Monitor Week in Review on December 20

Is Saudi Arabia building an 'Islamic NATO?'

Frustrated with weak efforts from the US-led international community, Saudi Arabia has proposed an Islamic coalition in the hopes of defeating terrorism.
Read more»

Fahad Nazer for Al-Monitor on December 20

Will Turkey end up stuck between Kurds, Russia?

Observers wonder how long Turkey can juggle a cold war with Russia and a heated conflict with the PKK before the latter two join forces.
Read more»

 Kadri Gursel for Al-Monitor on December 18

Ongoing war silences Yemeni indie radio station

Tayramana FM, a product of the Arab Spring, is on indefinite hold, waiting for an end to the current war so it can re-establish the community it had built.
Read more»

 Nicole Lopez Del Carril for Al-Monitor on December 18

Has Bibi given up his battle against Iran nuke deal?

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who dedicated years to claiming that Iran was working toward a nuclear bomb, has been silent on the IAEA's decision to close its investigation into the matter due to a lack of evidence.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on December 17

What's next for Middle East peace?

The Obama administration is deliberating three options and measures to take in order to stabilize the volatile situation on the ground and set a policy platform for a future two-state solution.
Read more»

 Uri Savir for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on December 20

Should Israelis fear biometric database?

The Israeli government is likely to soon decide whether to establish a biometric database of all citizens, a move strongly opposed by cybersecurity experts and civil rights groups.
Read more»

 Yuval Avivi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on December 18

Why it's time to wake up to the occupation

The murder of the Dawabsha family was not the actual trigger of the current wave of violence, but another link in the long chain of incitement and hatred generated by the Israeli occupation.
Read more»

 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on December 17

Tunisia wins, Iran loses in US spending bill

Key US allies get a funding boost while Congress holds the line on visa waivers and Palestinian penalties.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on December 16

Turkey's blurred red line on Russia

With recent scuffles between Moscow and Ankara, further instability threatens the Middle East conflict; but will either country really push things that far?
Read more»

 Paul J. Saunders for Al-Monitor on December 16

Iran's military bulks up with new Russian tanks

Tehran plans to purchase T-90 tanks from Russia, but is it enough to strengthen the Iranian military?
Read more»

 Abbas Qaidaari for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on December 16

Rouhani announces sanctions to be removed by January

After the IAEA resolution concluding that Iran has not conducted weapons-related researched in their nuclear program since 2009, President Hassan Rouhani declared that sanctions will be removed by January.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on December 16

Why is Israel recruiting so many Jordanian workers?

Israel is recruiting hundreds of Jordanian workers and dismissing some Palestinians from their jobs, raising questions about Israel's motivation.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor on December 16

Lebanon's controversial candidate for president

Saad Hariri’s nomination of Suleiman Franjieh as president has sparked wide controversy in Lebanon and brought opposing parties together.
Read more»

 Sami Nader for Al-Monitor on December 16

Israel welcomes home suspected spy from Egypt

Released prisoner Ouda Tarabin recounts to Al-Monitor his 15 years in an Egyptian prison over accusations of spying for Israel.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on December 16

The 'neo-Palestinians'

According to Israeli experts, the profile of the ''neo-Palestinian'' attacker is that of an unemployed university graduate in his or her 20s who has no hope of building a decent life.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on December 16

How to stop Islamic State recruitment

Efforts to identify susceptible young people early can protect them from the approaches of the Islamic State.
Read more»

 Barbara Slavin for Al-Monitor on December 15

Following the money: How to prevent terrorist financing

Dismantling funding networks and cutting off the flow of money to terrorists requires immediate international agreements in spite of cultural and structural differences between countries willing to join efforts.
Read more»

 Nathalie Goulet for Al-Monitor on December 15

Ocalan silent as Kurds' fight for self-rule rages on

The Kurds fighting in Diyarbakir may end their revolt if ordered to do so by Abdullah Ocalan, but the Turkish government has not allowed the imprisoned Kurdish leader any visitors since April, perhaps calculating that the endless self-sacrifice being demanded of ordinary Kurds will turn them against the PKK.
Read more»

 Amberin Zaman for Al-Monitor on December 15

Syrian Democratic Forces set sights on IS stronghold

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Talal Silo, spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces, discussed its victories against the Islamic State and the forces' future plans.
Read more»

 Sardar Mlla Drwish for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on December 15

How to help Libya … before it’s too late

The Islamic State is gaining ground in Libya, already having seized control of Sirte, an hour's flight from southern Europe.
Read more»

 Mustafa Fetouri for Al-Monitor on December 16

How Syrian opposition bypasses Assad's communication blocks

In the opposition-controlled regions of Syria, activists have established monitoring observatories to track the regime’s movements and coordinate military and humanitarian action.
Read more»

 Asaad Hanna for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on December 16

Turkish Kurds flee 'self-rule' neighborhoods

Turkey’s mainly Kurdish southeast is sliding deeper into chaos as residents flee neighborhoods devastated from clashes between the security forces and Kurdish militants.
Read more»

 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on December 14

As both sides rattle sabers, is Turkey on verge of civil war?

Armored and aerial Turkish security forces and the PKK appear to be gearing up for a major offensive in the southeast, evacuating civilians, forbidding doctors from leaving and expanding morgues.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on December 14

Turkey’s joint front with Sunni Arabs, Kurds

Ankara is developing a joint front with the Sunni Arabs and Kurds, and refuses to withdraw its troops from the Mosul area.
Read more»

 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor on December 14

Will Syria become Russia's Vietnam?

Israel is worried that the Russian submarine now patrolling near the Syrian coast will collect intelligence data on Israel, and fears Moscow’s Syrian adventure could drag on for a long time.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on December 14

After Fayyad's visit, what's next for Hamas?

Former Prime Minister Salam Fayyad’s visit to the Gaza Strip has raised many eyebrows as to what Hamas is holding in store for its political opponents.
Read more»

 Mohammed Othman for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on December 14

Turkey misfires in Iraq

Turkey’s military deployment near Mosul provokes widespread opposition and sends Russia-Turkey ties into a further downward spiral; Turkey’s Kurds face "unrealistic prospect" for democracy; Barzani on the spot as a result of KRG alignment with Turkey; Russia slams Saudi hosting of Syrian opposition.
Read more»

 Al-Monitor Week in Review on December 13

Kerry enlists Netanyahu in congressional fight over UNESCO funding

Israel has dropped its opposition to restoring UNESCO budget despite Palestinian statehood vote.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on December 11

US presidential candidates speak out on Syria

The leading US presidential candidates have differing positions on Syria, combating the Islamic State and the admission of Syrian refugees to the United States.
Read more»

 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on December 11

Why are Israeli ministers playing political games with poor children?

Instead of reflexively blaming cuts to child benefits during the last government for growing poverty in Israel, Ministers Aryeh Deri and Moshe Kahlon should propose constructive measures and follow up on recommendations made in 2014.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on December 11

Is PA on verge of collapse?

There has been speculation that Israel is preparing to possibly dissolve the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank against the backdrop of the violent attacks against Israeli soldiers.
Read more»

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

4 ways Russia could retaliate against Turkey

Russia is mulling its limited options for dealing with Turkey without hurting itself in the process.
Read more»

 Maxim A. Suchkov for Al-Monitor on December 10

Will Iran support the intifada?

After relations took a hit from the Syrian civil war, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh has reached out to Iran for help.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on December 10

The Grinch who stole Palestinian Christmas

In light of the ongoing intifada, the municipality and Council of Churches of Ramallah decided to show solidarity by limiting manifestations of joy during the Christmas holiday season.
Read more»

 Aziza Nofal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on December 10

Is Fatah planning the intifada?

Elements within the Fatah leadership warn that they might take the lead of the violent intifada "to capture international attention" and "to influence Israeli public opinion by demonstrating that occupation has its price."
Read more»

 Uri Savir for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on December 13

Are Turkey and Iran reviving a 16th century conflict?

Turkey's Iraq policy can be traced back to its rivalry with Iran in Mesopotamia centuries ago.
Read more»

 Cengiz Çandar for Al-Monitor on December 10

With the Islamic State gone from Sinjar, Kurdish groups battle for control

After Sinjar was liberated from the Islamic State, a new conflict arose among Kurdish parties as to who should administer the area.
Read more»

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

Syrian war redraws country's economic map

The Syrian war is not only breaking apart the country’s social cohesion, but also its economic unity.
Read more»

 Mona Alami for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on December 10

Is Netanyahu the 'great gas robber'?

Appearing before the Knesset’s Economic Affairs Committee, Benjamin Netanyahu avoided answering questions before pulling out the national security card to defend the current natural gas outline.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on December 10

House panel approves peshmerga bill that Baghdad deems 'unwise and unnecessary'

The House Foreign Affairs panel voted to directly arm Kurdish forces.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on December 9

What's the one thing that Arabs, Turks and Iranians can all agree on?

Majorities in eight Muslim countries blame “corrupt, repressive and unrepresentative governments” and wrong-headed religious leaders for the rise of extremist groups such as the Islamic State.
Read more»

 Barbara Slavin for Al-Monitor on December 9

Bloodshed stokes Kurdish separatist sentiment

Ankara’s draconian security crackdowns, marked by dozens of civilian deaths, have left many Kurds wondering whether they should give up their struggle for rights and seek independence.
Read more»

Irfan Aktan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on December 9

Ankara's Mosul miscalculation

Even Turkmens are unhappy with Turkey’s moves in Mosul, and Ankara may have made a serious misjudgment.
Read more»

 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor on December 9

Who are Israel's hilltop youth?

The suspects arrested for the murder of the Dawabsha family members belong to the extremist hilltop youth, who dream of rebuilding the Kingdom of Judea and consider the Israeli state their enemy.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on December 9

Iraq's war of flags

A struggle over flags has emerged in Iraq, where the various forces fighting the Islamic State seek to promote their own identities and are desecrating the symbols of rival groups.
Read more»

 Mustafa al-Kadhimi for Al-Monitor on December 9

How Tunisia’s moderate imams are seeking to reclaim Islam from extremists

Tunisia is taking important steps to counter jihadism, but must also address the underlying causes of extremism.
Read more»

 Christine Petré for Al-Monitor on December 8

Did Erdogan threaten Iran?

Spokesman for the Hassan Rouhani administration denies that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan "threatened" Iran regarding negative media coverage.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on December 8

Why is Turkey stirring the Iraqi cauldron?

The wisdom and real motives of Turkey dispatching troops to northern Iraq is a topic of hot debate.
Read more»

 Semih Idiz for Al-Monitor on December 8

Ankara falls into Moscow's trap

Ankara is now being compelled to backtrack on its Syria policy in the face of Russian threats and sanctions, while the United States stands as one of the prime beneficiaries of the crisis.
Read more»

 Kadri Gursel for Al-Monitor on December 9

What took Israel so long to arrest Douma murder suspects?

After four months of investigation, suspects in the murder of the Dawabsha family were apprehended — but will they be convicted?
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on December 8

Is this Palestine's Arab Spring?

As the wide unrest continues in Palestine, many wonder if this uprising could be a belated Palestinian Arab Spring that will bring about change in the entire region.
Read more»

 Asmaa al-Ghoul for Al-Monitor on December 7

Arab-Kurd conflict heats up after Tuz Khormato incidents

Factions in Iraq seem more worried about staking claims to territory and power than in fighting the Islamic State, and the result could be a prolonged civil war.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Zeed for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on December 8

Turkey sticks its neck out again, this time in Iraq

Ankara’s unusually loud public acknowledgement of sending reinforcement soldiers into Iraq shows Turkey hopes to establish its own territory there.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on December 7

Palestinian peace activist speaks out on son's arrest

Palestinian peace activist Ziad Abed Sabateen recounts how his son was arrested by IDF soldiers in the middle of the night.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on December 9

What it takes to smuggle information out of IS strongholds in Syria

Media activists in Deir ez-Zor face daily death threats by the Islamic State, but the danger is not stopping many of them from documenting what is happening in the Syrian province.
Read more»

 Shelly Kittleson for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on December 7

Turkey’s red line in Syria under attack

Syrian military advances, backed by Russia, threaten Turkmen and Jabhat al-Nusra forces along the border with Turkey; Russia and Israel understand each other on Syria; Israel’s’ "small joy" in clash with EU over settlements.
Read more»

 Al-Monitor Week in Review on December 6

Congress focuses on Islamic State threat from Europe

A look at the Middle East issues Congress will be addressing the week of Dec. 7.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on December 6

Turkey takes a hit from the Russian hammer

Moscow is bringing its hammer down on Ankara following Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane late last month, crushing Erdogan’s aspirations for autonomy from the West in foreign and security policy.
Read more»

 Cengiz Çandar for Al-Monitor on December 4

The high price of Russian bombs in Syria

Russia’s use of blind aerial bombings could win the war in Syria cheaply, yet at a great cost.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on December 8

Will Israel's military intervene in the West Bank?

Palestinians question the reasoning behind calls for an Israeli "Operation Defensive Shield 2," given the lack of available targets and unclear objectives.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on December 7

You won’t believe what these Iraqi taxi drivers are using to prevent carjackings

In Iraq, organized crime is proliferating in light of lax security measures, a fragile political situation and control by the Islamic State of large swaths of territory.
Read more»

 Omar al-Jaffal for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on December 4

Will Iran play peacemaker between Russia, Turkey?

Given Tehran's ties to both countries, Iranian officials discuss the potential for Iran to mediate between Russia and Turkey.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on December 3

Will Fatah, Hamas take Egypt's road to unity?

Hamadeh Faraneh, a PNC and PCC member, revealed an Egyptian plan to achieve Palestinian unity between Fatah and Hamas, among other goals, and talks details about this in an interview with Al-Monitor.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on December 3

How the Islamic State hurts Palestinian cause

The Palestinians fear that the international preoccupation with the Islamic State threat offers the Netanyahu government a possible argument for evading serious negotiations for a two-state solution and to gain more ground with its right-wing base.
Read more»

 Uri Savir for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on December 6

Why Bibi used Paris climate talks to focus on terrorism, not environment

In Paris for the COP21 climate summit, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu devoted his talks mostly to the issue of combating terror.
Read more»

 Rina Bassist for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on December 3

Is US preparing to crack down on IRGC?

A key House panel is inching closer to slapping additional sanctions on the IRGC.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on December 2

New report confirms Iran's nuclear weapons program

In a crucial new report by the IAEA, Iran and the UN nuclear watchdog agreed to disagree about key aspects of Iran’s nuclear program.
Read more»

 Barbara Slavin for Al-Monitor on December 2

Turkey makes progress on sealing Syria border, but is it enough?

Turkey’s granting the United States access to its military bases, among other factors, has muted US frustration at slow efforts to seal a remaining stretch of the Turkish-Syrian border to foreign fighters and oil smugglers.
Read more»

 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on December 2

Why young Gazans need cement to get married

In an attempt to curb the use of cement in tunnels Hamas has been building to attack Israelis, Israel restricts the importation of cement to Gaza, limiting the possibilities for many young people in Gaza to build homes.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on December 3

Tony Blair's blunder on Middle East peace

Tony Blair’s chance to play a political role in the Palestinian issue is slipping away, as the PA refuses to accept him, President Abbas and the PLO refuse to deal with him on a personal level and Hamas has turned down all his initiatives.
Read more»

 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on December 2

Turkey’s Kurds shaken by killing of human rights lawyer

Turkey’s Kurds have united in grief over the perplexing killing of celebrated human rights lawyer Tahir Elci, whose loss some take as a sign that peace is further out of reach than ever.
Read more»

 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on December 2

Will Israel, Russia tighten coordination on Syria?

Israeli security officials debate whether Russian military involvement in Syria will change the balance of power in favor of Israeli interests or against them.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on December 2

US threatens to bypass Baghdad, arm Sunnis against IS

Congress and the Obama administration are demanding that Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi do more to combat sectarianism.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on December 1

What killing of Kurdish human rights lawyer means for Turkey

In turbulent Turkey, the voices of peace and coexistence speak out at the risk of violent retribution.
Read more»

Hande Yalnizoglu for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on December 1

Downing of Russian jet forces Ankara to turn West

Experts argue that although Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is getting support from NATO and the European Union, he can never be part of the West because his Islamist outlook prevents him from adopting Western values.
Read more»

 Semih Idiz for Al-Monitor on December 1

Will Israel's ban on the Islamic Movement lead to further restrictions?

Some observers fear that the recent ban of the Islamic Movement's northern branch might serve as a precedent for Israel to tighten the noose on its Arab citizens.
Read more»

 Aziza Nofal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on December 1

Is a truce underway in eastern Ghouta?

As the Ajnad al-Sham Islamic Union and Jaish al-Islam announced their support to a truce with the Syrian army in eastern Ghouta, the commander of the Ajnad al-Sham Islamic Union resigned, which may be a message to Zahran Alloush who is clinging to his position as commander of Jaish al-Islam.
Read more»

Translated from As-Safir (Lebanon) on December 1

Islamic State extends its tentacles into Yemen

So far, the Islamic State and al-Qaeda have not faced off militarily in Yemen, but that possibility is growing as IS escalates its violence, pushing for greater control.
Read more»

 Ashraf al-Falahi for Al-Monitor on November 30

Beirut bombing brings Lebanon's political parties together

The Nov. 12 suicide bombing in Beirut failed to sow discord among Lebanese political parties and actually seemed to bring them closer temporarily, but their disagreements run too deep to allow for sustained cooperation.
Read more»

 Sami Nader for Al-Monitor on December 1

Turkey gambles on the Turkmens

The Turkmen card Turkey is playing in Syria is likely to backfire and endanger the Turkmens.
Read more»

 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor on November 30

Israel makes it official: Another wall on the way

Palestinians are interested to see what kind of wall Israel will build along the Gaza border to discourage Hamas attacks.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on November 30

Why defeating Islamic State won't bring stability to Iraq

Competing factions have different agendas for a post-IS Iraq, paving the way for even greater conflict.
Read more»

 Ali Mamouri for Al-Monitor on November 30

Who's afraid of the 'intifada'?

The use of the expression ''wave of terror,'' rather than ''intifada,'' has created the illusion that the recent violence against Israelis will pass without the need for tangible measures to relieve the despair felt by young Palestinians.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on November 30

Why IDF is urging Israeli government to keep calm, strengthen Palestinian Authority

The IDF has learned its lesson from the previous intifada, recommending now to contain the terror incidents and try to spread calm, as called for by Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon, instead of launching a military confrontation.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on November 30

What the new UN envoy to Libya should do first

The new UN special representative to Libya, Martin Kobler, must strive to regain the trust undermined by his controversial predecessor, Bernardino Leon.
Read more»

 Mustafa Fetouri for Al-Monitor on December 2

Erdogan more isolated than ever on Syria

The Turkish president is on the defensive after Turkey’s shooting down of a Russian warplane; the Syrian war enters a more dangerous phase.
Read more»

 Al-Monitor Week in Review on November 29

Meetings between Turkish, Russian military reveal that Moscow had been warned

Turkey and Russia both seem determined to obtain the dominant position in shaping Syria's future.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on November 30

Congress threatens to shut down government over Syrian refugees

A look at the Middle East issues Congress will be addressing the week of Nov. 30.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on November 29

After shooting down Russian jet, what's next for Turkey?

The Syrian army offensive backed by Russia in the region northeast of Latakia and the downing of a Russian Su-24 by Turkey leaves many to wonder which scenario will play out in the coming weeks .
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on November 26

Egypt announces deal to reopen Rafah crossing, but when will it actually open?

Despite the fact that opening the Rafah crossing is an urgent humanitarian need for Gaza residents, it remains subject to political considerations associated with the quarreling factions: Hamas and Fatah.
Read more»

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

Is Lebanon preparing to support Russia's intervention in Syria?

When Russia asked airlines in Lebanon to change their routes for conducting military drills to ensure air traffic safety, the matter was blown out of proportion to the point that some considered Russia to have violated Lebanon’s sovereignty.
Read more»

 Jean Aziz for Al-Monitor on November 26

8 steps to peaceful two-state solution

Israeli-Palestinian-Egyptian-Jordanian security coordination is the key to any unilateral move on Israel's part.
Read more»

 Uri Savir for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on November 29

Rouhani: Jets are not toys to shoot down

While the Rouhani administration has urged restraint and emphasized the need to focus on fighting terrorism, Iranian conservatives have condemned Turkey's shooting down of a Russian jet.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor on November 25

Freed Palestinian prisoner: Swap deal with Israel is worthless if it excludes the sick

In an interview with Al-Monitor, freed Palestinian prisoner Mohammed Allan talks details about his detention and release, stressing that he would not hesitate for one moment to resume his hunger strike if the Israeli army were to put him under administrative arrest again.
Read more»

 Ahmad Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on November 25

Erdogan gobbles up power in new Turkish government

Turkey’s recently announced cabinet is stacked with loyal allies of the president, making it clear that this is the "government of Erdogan."
Read more»

 Cengiz Çandar for Al-Monitor on November 25

Who are 'Allah's lions'?

A mysterious security force has taken the lead in operations in Turkey’s Kurdish areas, raising alarm with its heavy-handed methods and seemingly religious motivation.
Read more»

 Orhan Kemal Cengiz for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on November 25

Chest-thumping pundits relish 'messing with Putin'

Jubilant reactions by pro-AKP pundits to Turkey downing a Russian jet were tempered by those of concerned AKP elites and a worried and satirical public.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on November 25

After Turkey's 'stab in the back' to Russia, will anyone support Ankara?

After it shot down a Russian fighter jet, Turkey is unlikely to get much support from its allies.
Read more»

 Semih Idiz for Al-Monitor on November 24

Will downing of Russia warplane thwart France’s efforts for broader anti-IS coalition?

Turkey’s downing of a Russian warplane threatens to complicate French efforts to bolster closer Western coordination with Moscow in combating IS.
Read more»

 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on November 24

In quest for statehood, Palestinians prepare security plans

Preparing for statehood, Palestinian officials presented detailed security plans and strategies to retired American Gen. John Allen when he came for security talks in 2013-2014 as part of the Kerry peace talks.
Read more»

 Uri Savir for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on November 25

Jerusalem's citizens stand ground despite fears

Israel's increased security presence in the Old City of Jerusalem has left some Palestinians there feeling anything but secure, so they are taking peacefully defiant measures to demonstrate their rights in the city.
Read more»

 Aziza Nofal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on November 24

How renewed Turkey-PKK conflict threatens the KRG

The stability of Iraqi Kurdistan might again be at risk after the Turkish government, led by the AKP, launched its most extensive raids against PKK positions in years.
Read more»

 Mohammed A. Salih for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on November 24

Bennett, Shaked call for military operation in West Bank

HaBayit HaYehudi's Naftali Bennett and Ayelet Shaked are hoping to score political points by calling for a wide-scale military operation in the West Bank despite security establishment assessments that a military response is not the answer to the current wave of attacks.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on November 24

Pollard and Vanunu: A tale of two spies

While criticizing the restrictions the US has imposed on released spy Jonathan Pollard and attempting to legislate state allocations for him, Israeli politicians ignore their government's restrictions on nuclear spy Mordechai Vanunu.
Read more»

 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on November 24

Will Israel build offshore nuclear power plant?

While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promotes the outline for the natural gas resource and benefits distribution, several experts promote the idea of offshore gas and civil nuclear energy plants.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on November 23

Peshmerga general: KRG political problems won't affect fight against IS

A Kurdish general calls for more ammunition, aid and NATO troops to join the peshmerga in the fight against the Islamic State in Iraqi Kurdistan.
Read more»

 Mona Alami for Al-Monitor on November 23

Why do some Turks approve of Islamic State terrorism?

Turkish football fans' disruption of moments of silence for victims of Islamic State attacks in Paris and in Turkey show support for IS and stem from the domestic and foreign policies of Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Read more»

 Kadri Gursel for Al-Monitor on November 23

How some southeast Turkey residents are struggling with mystery murders, urban warfare

Residents in the southeastern Turkish town of Silvan are angry with the state and the Kurdistan Workers Party for the destruction of their town.
Read more»

 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on November 23

How Israeli far right uses news as a tool of incitement

As Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu condemns Palestinian incitement, he should be careful about far right news sites depicting a false picture of the reality, damaging the already fragile relationship between Jews and Palestinians in Israel.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on November 23

Will battle for Aleppo determine Syria’s fate?

Syrian government forces advance despite heavy resistance; Arab leadership missing in battle against Islamic State; Erdogan differs with United States and G-20 on next steps in Syria; Israel rethinks "Shiite axis."
Read more»

 Al-Monitor Week in Review on November 22

Surrounded by war, Yemen’s students suffer

As children pay the price of war in Yemen, there is an urgent need to quickly rebuild destroyed schools and find alternative safe havens for refugees.
Read more»

 Ashraf al-Falahi for Al-Monitor on November 20

The declining relationship between Hamas, Egypt

Many issues are adding fuel to the fiery relations between Hamas and Egypt.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on

Despite Russian airstrikes, FSA continues to confront regime

Although recent Russian military strikes in Syria have provided air cover for government forces, the Free Syrian Army continues its battles against the regime.
Read more»

 Asaad Hanna for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on November 20

Yazidis wary of going back to liberated Sinjar

Liberation of the Yazidi Iraqi town Sinjar from 16 months of IS occupation delighted everyone except thousands of Yazidi refugees who have no intention of going back.
Read more»

 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on November 20

Is the Islamic State going global?

The Islamic State is now in a position to decide to go global or stay regional, following the attacks in Paris.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on November 20

Palestinian media treads fine line between empathy, support for attacks

Though the majority of Palestinians are weary of violence and concerned over a new and devastating confrontation, the general atmosphere is inching toward a full-blown intifada.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on November 20

GOP blames Obama for anti-refugee backlash

Republicans say a failed Middle East strategy has fueled "fear and panic" in the United States.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on November 19

Is the Chechen 'bogeyman' heading to Syria?

Russia is playing up similarities between its past struggles and Syria’s civil war.
Read more»

 Maxim A. Suchkov for Al-Monitor on November 19

Is defeating the Islamic State impossible?

The Islamic State's stringing together of religion, power and modernity of sorts is a tough knot to untie.
Read more»

 Ali Hashem for Al-Monitor on November 19

How the Palestinian diaspora is reacting to unrest in the West Bank

As Palestinians in the diaspora watch helplessly the current uprising in the Palestinian territories, they seek nonviolent ways to gather support to their cause.
Read more»

 Tom Rollins for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on November 23

After IS threat, Turkey’s Alevi community on alert

The Turkish police have disclosed intelligence of possible IS attacks on Alevi institutions but have yet to enforce protection measures.
Read more»

 Sibel Hurtas for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on November 19

Are the attacks in Paris connected with attacks in Israel?

The Israeli right is claiming that Israel and France are fighting against the same kind of terrorism motivated by religious fundamentalism.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on November 19

Will Iran pursue high-cost strategy in Syria?

A previously unpublished speech by an Iranian general who was killed in Syria may reveal efforts to justify Iran's growing involvement in Syria.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on November 18

In the battle against IS, where is the Arab coalition?

Arab countries claiming their opposition against the Islamic State have stood down in their battle against the self-proclaimed "Caliph Ibrahim," creating a political void in the coalition.
Read more»

 Bruce Riedel for Al-Monitor on November 18

What's the difference between habbeh and intifada?

Palestinian media and politicians have yet to agree on the terminology of the ongoing events in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on November 18

How outlawing the Islamic Movement could backfire on Israel

The decision to outlaw the northern branch of the Islamic Movement in Israel might actually strengthen its status among Palestinians there.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on November 18

Does Bibi know more than the Israeli intelligence service?

Despite recommendations by the Shin Bet to outlaw the Muslim Brotherhood, the Netanyahu government decided instead to side with the police and outlaw the northern branch of the Islamic Movement.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on November 18

Can Syrian opposition defend both Hama and Aleppo at the same time?

The Syrian opposition is stretching itself thin as it strives to protect Aleppo while also securing its progress toward Hama, where regime forces pose a serious threat.
Read more»

 Mohammed al-Khatieb for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on November 18

Democrats warn Syrian refugee ban would empower Islamic State

Congressional Democrats say discriminating against Muslims would harm war effort.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on November 17

As IS fight ramps up, Obama sees modest progress, hope for Syria diplomacy

President Barack Obama cited fragile progress in forging a Syrian diplomatic road map at international talks in Vienna that called for bringing the Syrian regime and opposition together for talks leading to a cease-fire, a new constitution in six months and new elections in 2017.
Read more»

 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on November 17

G-20 summit returns Erdogan to the world stage

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan returns to the world stage after the G-20 summit, yet it's not clear whether he will be able to rise to the occasion and change his stance domestically in order to appear less authoritarian and anti-democratic.
Read more»

 Semih Idiz for Al-Monitor on November 17

Turkey's no-fly plan grounded at G-20 summit

Despite Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's efforts to paint a picture of international support for his Syria policies, US President Barack Obama has continued to reject Turkey’s proposals for a safe zone in Syria.
Read more»

 Cengiz Çandar for Al-Monitor on November 18

Why Paris attacks will create backlash for migrants in Europe

The recent attack in Paris by the Islamic State, and claims that one of the attackers held a Syrian passport, reignited the issue of the return of Western jihadi fighters to their countries in Europe.
Read more»

 Brenda Stoter for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on November 17

Hawkish Republican candidates don’t mince words on radical Islam

While some Republican presidential candidates have been quick to declare a war on radical Islam, there has been little focus on the causes behind its rise.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on November 16

Is promoting civil society key to combating radical groups?

Propping up oppressive dictators won’t stop violence in the Middle East and beyond, and a sophisticated approach is needed to address the complex origins of terror in the region.
Read more»

 Madawi Al-Rasheed for Al-Monitor on November 17

Erdogan’s march to one-man power

A few years ago, three powerful men — Erdogan, Gulen and Ocalan — had a say in Turkey’s future, but now Erdogan has emerged as "the man” charting the country’s course.
Read more»

 Kadri Gursel for Al-Monitor on November 16

After Paris, Iran spy chief warns Tehran could be next

Iranian officials have warned about the possibility of an attack by the Islamic State.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on November 16

Senior Palestinian official refuses to give up on peace process

A senior Palestinian official has given his blessing to the current wave of protest activities against the Israeli army and settlers while clearly warning about the uprising taking a military turn.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on November 16

Paris attacks spoil AKP’s G-20 game plan

Turkey's AKP government will not be able to use the G-20 summit as an anti-Kurdish platform.
Read more»

Irfan Aktan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on November 16

Ethiopian water minister determined to continue Renaissance Dam construction

In an Al-Monitor interview in Cairo, Ethiopian Minister for Water, Irrigation and Energy Motuma Mekasa expressed his country's determination to continue construction on the Renaissance Dam despite the lack of studies on its impact.
Read more»

 Ayah Aman for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on November 17

Is it time for Israel to revisit its relationship with Sunni bloc?

With Iran fighting against IS forces, and in view of IS’ latest terrorism attacks in Egypt, Lebanon and France, the Israeli security establishment is questioning its regional security doctrine.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on November 16

Israel needs calm, not action-movie operations

Israel's political and military establishments feel the need to "do something" to appease public opinion in the face of recent violence, but the situation calls for restraint, not excessive actions like the undercover operation at a Hebron hospital.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on November 16

Jordan tasked with establishing terrorist blacklist for Syria talks

Islamic State terrorism in France and Lebanon leads to new peace plan for Syria; Hamas and Islamic Jihad seek advantage from Palestinian uprising.
Read more»

 Al-Monitor Week in Review on November 15

Paris attacks expose tensions in Turkey

Comments, both arrogant and jubilant, celebrating Paris massacre on social media rub salt into the unhealed wounds of IS attacks in Turkey.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on November 15

Congress tackles terrorism after Paris attacks

Following Friday’s terrorist attacks in Paris, this week Congress will be addressing issues related to a rise in radicalism and President Obama’s plans to increase the number of refugees admitted from war-torn countries.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on November 15

How to defeat the Islamic State

To defeat the Islamic State, the world powers need a clear-cut, unified strategy to guide the war on terrorism.
Read more»

 Riad Kahwaji for Al-Monitor on November 16

Islamic State trained Yazidi children as soldiers

When Islamic State raided Sinjar in August 2014, it set about training and indoctrinating Yazidi boys as child soldiers to fight in its ranks.
Read more»

Translated from Al-Hayat (Pan Arab) on November 13

What will control over Aleppo’s military base mean for Assad?

An expert on the situation in Syria talks to Al-Monitor about the repercussions of the Syrian army’s recent operation, where it succeeded in lifting the siege of the Kuweires military air base east of Aleppo.
Read more»

 Jean Aziz for Al-Monitor on November 15

Has the Islamic State returned to Lebanon?

Details of the twin explosions that hit Beirut’s southern suburb — Hezbollah’s stronghold — still need to be revealed, while the Islamic State has already claimed responsibility for it.
Read more»

 Ali Hashem for Al-Monitor on November 13

Are Syria’s Salafi movements witnessing a split?

The creation of Jaish al-Sham might be indicative of widening ideological fissures inside Ahrar al-Sham and other Salafi movements in Syria.
Read more»

 Mona Alami for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on November 13

Iran doubts US goals in Syria talks

Iran's deputy foreign minister for Arab and African affairs, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, said Iran will decide whether to participate in the next round of Vienna II talks on Syria after reviewing whether the United States is working behind the scenes to push its own agenda.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on November 12

Could Iraq’s Baathists help in battle against Islamic State?

The efforts to amend the Justice and Accountability Act, which uprooted Baath Party members from their government jobs, has stirred a debate among Shiites who strongly opposed these efforts.
Read more»

Translated from Al-Hayat (Pan Arab) on November 13

Kurdish infighting complicates Sinjar offensive

In the wake of a massive assault on the Islamic State for the city of Sinjar, Iraq, there is speculation about how disagreements among Kurdish factions will play out.
Read more»

 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on November 12

Lebanon continues to struggle under weight of Syrian refugee crisis

Lebanon is struggling to cope with the Syrian displacement crisis amid weak international action.
Read more»

 Jean Aziz for Al-Monitor on November 12

As European dream fades, Iraqi Kurds return home

Thousands of Kurds who fled to Europe are now seeking to return to Iraq after facing an even harsher reality there.
Read more»

 Fazel Hawramy for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on November 12

Palestinian lawmaker detained by Israeli military court

Palestinian legislator Khalida Jarrar, accused of calling for the kidnapping of Israeli soldiers, has been detained for several months now by an Israeli military court based on classified evidence, while her husband says the court has avoided examining evidence of her innocence.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on November 12

Has Syria been a military success for Iran?

Iran was willing to negotiate its nuclear situation with world powers, but it wants everyone to know it is far from ready to abandon its strategic interests in the region.
Read more»

 Abbas Qaidaari for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on November 11

'Under 50' Iranians killed in Syria

An Iranian security official has addressed several hot-button topics in the media, including the implementation of the nuclear deal and the rising Iranian death toll in Syria.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on November 11

Syrian army moves to secure South Damascus

Attack and retreat operations between the Syrian army forces and armed factions across the Syrian territories are continuing.
Read more»

Translated from As-Safir (Lebanon) on November 13

Netanyahu's gushing over Obama meeting convinces no one

Despite Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's effort to present his meeting with President Barack Obama as successful, he achieved little, and the Obama administration was considerably less enthusiastic about it.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on November 11

What is Islamic Jihad's role in the intifada?

The Islamic Jihad movement in Gaza has been organizing rallies and other nonmilitary activities to show solidarity with the intifada in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
Read more»

 Asmaa al-Ghoul for Al-Monitor on November 11

Is there any role left for PLO in determining future Palestinian-Israeli relations?

Questions arise about the PLO’s ability to implement the decisions of its Central Committee to end the security coordination with Israel.
Read more»

 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on November 11

Will G-20 Summit improve Erdogan’s international image?

Europe’s need for Turkey’s cooperation in the refugee crisis is forcing EU leaders to moderate their tone against Erdogan’s undemocratic ways.
Read more»

 Semih Idiz for Al-Monitor on November 10

Kurds in postelection Turkey: Silver lining or tough times?

The Kurdish peace process, which Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan once described as frozen but not dead, is not likely to thaw soon.
Read more»

 Cengiz Çandar for Al-Monitor on November 10

Murak’s fall hinders Syrian army’s campaign

Jund al-Aqsa took complete control of Murak in Hama’s countryside despite reports about differences with the Army of Conquest.
Read more»

Translated from As-Safir (Lebanon) on November 11

Are Israelis ready for compromise on Jerusalem?

Strategic adviser Moshe Gaon claims that much like in the days of the 2000 Camp David summit, Israelis are ready for significant compromises on the condition that they bring an end to the conflict with the Palestinians.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on November 10

Why Iran and Russia aren't as closely aligned on Syria as you might think

Despite the shared short-term goals that have currently united them on Syria, Iran and Russia's differences over Syria's future are bound to lead them into conflict.
Read more»

 Saheb Sadeghi for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on November 10

Jerusalem and Hebron: A tale of two cities

East Jerusalem and Hebron are bound by familial ties and shared solidarity from their experiences under Israeli occupation.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on November 10

Will Washington put more boots on the ground in Iraq?

The recent operation in Hawija led by the United States to release Islamic State hostages raised a debate in Iraq about the government’s powers and sovereignty over its territory.
Read more»

 Mustafa al-Kadhimi for Al-Monitor on November 10

Why the IDF is targeting yeshiva dropouts

Through Facebook and other means, the IDF is tracking ultra-Orthodox youths who lie about their enrollment in rabbinical colleges to avoid conscription.
Read more»

 Mordechai Goldman for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on November 10

Is Congress paving the way for a Christian safe zone in Iraq?

A bipartisan effort to denounce an ongoing genocide is picking up steam. That's just the first step.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on November 9

The IDF's Hebron dilemma

The IDF must face a shift in the current violence wave, where Hebron takes the lead alongside East Jerusalem, as both have a high level of daily friction between Jews and Palestinians and constant religious tension.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on November 9

The child soldiers fighting to stop the Islamic State

Iraqis are divided between supporters and opponents of the participation of young people in the war against the Islamic State.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Zeed for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on November 9

Will Hebron become 'the capital of the intifada'?

Hebron, the largest West Bank city, might be just a few steps away from conducting armed confrontations against the Israeli army.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on November 9

Officials say new Israeli rules slow aid to Palestinians

New restrictions on importing lumber jeopardize temporary housing for Palestinians who lost their homes in the 2014 war with Israel and aid agencies report delays in other imports to Gaza and the West Bank.
Read more»

 Barbara Slavin for Al-Monitor on November 8

Is Erdogan waging a war of choice against the PKK?

Erdogan and the AKP win by emphasizing the threat from Kurdish terrorism; Palestinian martyrs on the rise with intifada violence; Al-Monitor backs UNICEF education program for Syrian children.
Read more»

 Al-Monitor Week in Review on November 8

Russian involvement in Syria brings about another siege for Aleppo

The second siege of Aleppo was more than the sad tale of a once-proud Syrian city.
Read more»

Edward Dark for Al-Monitor on November 8

White House says Israel-Palestine peace 'not in the cards' for Obama

The White House says it sees little prospect for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal before Obama leaves office, and is looking to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu to bring ideas on how to prevent a one state reality when he comes to the White House Nov. 9.
Read more»

 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on November 6

Hamas' Meshaal calls for unity to support intifada

Hamas official Khaled Meshaal stresses the importance of establishing a unified Palestinian command to ensure the intifada achieves Palestinians' goals.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on November 6

Syria's 'moderate jihadis' elated by Turkish election results

The Syrian opposition wants to know what kind of support it can expect from the AKP government after the AKP won solid support in the recent election.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on November 6

New hotline offers support to Gaza’s blackmail victims

Gaza's all-female police unit has launched a campaign to offer women support and protection from emotional blackmail, a crime many are afraid to report.
Read more»

 Moath al-Amoudi for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on November 6

Congress wants to make Iran, Palestinians pay terror verdicts

Senators are weighing a slew of legislative proposals to ensure terrorism victims get compensated.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on November 5

Mystery continues over Iran's missing ambassador

The case of Ghazanfar Roknabadi, Iran's former Lebanon ambassador missing since the September hajj stampede, will be taken to the United Nations, according to Iranian officials.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on November 5

Should Israel use 54 Palestinian prisoners as bargaining chip?

Releasing the 54 Shalit deal prisoners could not only help in returning the bodies of IDF soldiers Oron Shaul and Hadar Goldin; it could also assist in calming down the current wave of violence.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on November 5

Take me back to Gaza!

The author visits Jerusalem for the second time in her life and shares her feelings when she sets foot in the city.
Read more»

 Asmaa al-Ghoul for Al-Monitor on November 5

How will Erdogan solve 'terror problem' that brought him victory?

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan may face some high-cost moves to put the terror and chaos genie back into the bottle after unleashing it to make up for his party’s June electoral failure.
Read more»

 Kadri Gursel for Al-Monitor on November 5

Envoys look to gain momentum for peace in Syria

As world powers seek to sustain momentum for Syria diplomacy amid divisions on the way forward, a former US diplomat urged moving for a cease-fire first before convening talks on Syria’s political future.
Read more»

 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on November 4

Right-wing minister and IDF clash over Israel's intel assessment

Minister Zeev Elkin accused IDF Intelligence Chief Herzi Halevi of faulty assessments, claiming that the military does not take into account incitement by the Palestinian Authority.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on November 4

The rise of 'shahada'

The concept of shahid re-emerges in the Palestinian discourse.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on November 4

Iranian olive branch offers diplomatic paradigm shift

To resolve regional crises before they become even worse, Iran and its Arab neighbors must engage in dialogue based on a new paradigm for conflict resolution.
Read more»

 Hassan Ahmadian for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on November 4

How Palestinian divisions affect the intifada

As the uprising in the Palestinian territories enters its second month, Palestinians have yet to agree on its nature, objectives and repercussions.
Read more»

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

How will Jordan's pivot to Russia pay off?

Jordan and Russia have agreed on military coordination in Syria after a long silence in Amman about Russian intervention there.
Read more»

Osama Al Sharif for Al-Monitor on November 3

Why Iraqi Christians are against the establishment of their own autonomous region

The secretary-general of the Assyrian Democratic Movement and member of the Iraqi parliament, Yonadam Kanna, speaks to Al-Monitor about the Christians’ status in Iraq, while he denied claims that they are demanding an autonomous region of their own, saying these claims are racist.
Read more»

 Mustafa Saadoun for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on November 3

How to apply the lessons from protecting Hebron to Jerusalem

The Temporary International Presence in Hebron has failed to make a major change in relations between Israelis and Palestinians, as many argue that a similar force in Jerusalem will not work unless it is given clear mandate and power to hold any violators accountable.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on November 3

Zawahri and Jerusalem

Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri, in a new audio message following a classic pattern, lauds Palestinian attacks in Jerusalem and calls on followers to attack Israel's international backers to hasten the fall of the Jewish state.
Read more»

 Bruce Riedel for Al-Monitor on November 3

Why these ultra-Orthodox Jews support the Palestinian cause

The ultra-Orthodox Neturei Karta faction would rather live under Palestinian rule, while the mainstream ultra-Orthodox community believes that the Zionist state is essential for the Jewish people’s survival.
Read more»

 Mordechai Goldman for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on November 3

IRGC head warns of 'sedition' post-nuclear deal

The head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Mohammad Ali Jafari, warned that the United States will use the post-nuclear deal climate in Iran to gain influence in the country.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on November 2

Russian, Israeli jets share Syrian skies ... for now

Russia's military involvement in Syria is testing its relations with Israel and the determination of both countries to avoid a conflict.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on November 2

How the Islamic State is looking to capitalize on Israeli-Palestinian unrest

The Islamic State's recent threats against Israel could be designed just to gain support among Palestinians.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on November 2

How will relations between Jews and Palestinians in Israel be restored?

Israelis can't rely on politicians to help repair fraught relations between Jewish and Arab citizens, because they are in part responsible for the incitement highlighted by the recent wave of stabbing attacks.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on November 2

The Russian, Iranian, Hezbollah military triangle

It seems that Russia, through its military intervention in Syria, is complementing the Iranian-Hezbollah axis there, instead of replacing it, as Hezbollah sources confirm that coordination is ongoing between Moscow, Iran and the party.
Read more»

 Ali Rizk for Al-Monitor Lebanon Pulse on November 2

Turkey’s dispiriting elections

Erdogan offers an uncertain democratic future for Turkey; Syria Contact Group avoids divisions over Assad’s fate; Iranian and Russian support pivotal in Syrian military campaign to retake Aleppo.
Read more»

 Al-Monitor Week in Review on November 1

How to get Iran to improve its human rights

The arrest of another Iranian-American dramatizes efforts by Iran’s security establishment to undercut President Hassan Rouhani but also jeopardizes economic gains from the nuclear agreement.
Read more»

 Barbara Slavin for Al-Monitor on November 2

Congress probes US, Russia face-off in Syria

A look at the Middle East issues Congress will be addressing the week of Nov. 2.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on November 1

Children’s photo exhibit brings plight of Syrian refugees to Washington

UNICEF is partnering with a Lebanese NGO to draw attention to the needs of Syria’s children.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on November 3

Nations find some common ground at tough Syria talks

Citing a sense of urgency to try to stop the Syria killing, arch rivals Iran and Saudi Arabia join 17 nations in a call to bring the Syrian parties into talks for a political transition, cease-fires and UN-monitored elections.
Read more»

 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on October 30

The Palestinian uprising's blurred lines

It is difficult to determine whether the events in the Palestinian territories are a limited and temporary uprising or a full-blown intifada.
Read more»

 Rasha Abou Jalal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on October 30

Is Israel headed to a civil war?

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has destroyed one of Israel's major achievements: the basic allegiance of Israeli Arabs with Israel, including their participation in the electoral process and their at least partial integration in the economy and in academic life.
Read more»

 Uri Savir for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on November 1

My visit to Temple Mount

With hundreds of tourists, I visited the Temple Mount, and contrary to Palestinian accusations, Israel is not trying to change the status quo but cooperates with the Waqf guards during visits at the site.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on October 30

How to bring peace to Israel

Palestinian Knesset member Ahmad Tibi talked with Al-Monitor about the latest uprising in the Palestinian territories, saying though he advocates nonviolent resistance, peace will remain elusive until Israel ends the longest occupation the world has known.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on October 30

Islamic State creeps in on Kurdish stronghold

The discovery of an Islamic State cell in Diyarbakir, Turkey’s main Kurdish city, stokes fears that the extremist group is seeking to further fuel Kurdish-Turkish ethnic tensions.
Read more»

 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on October 30

After Iranian, Russian military advances Syrian opposition suffers setback in Aleppo

Regime forces were able to retake large swathes of Aleppo’s southern countryside from the opposition, whose weaponry is insufficient in the face of Iranian and Russian ground and air support.
Read more»

 Mohammed al-Khatieb for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on October 30

Turkey reconsiders security priorities

The recent raid on Islamic State safe houses in Diyarbakir has shed light on the organization's activities in Turkey and prompted Turkey to reconsider its top security priorities.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on October 30

What's happening in Gaza's detention centers?

Al-Monitor was given exclusive access to testimonies of former female detainees who were subjected to several forms of torture, which officials deny.
Read more»

 Asmaa al-Ghoul for Al-Monitor on November 1

Lebanon's schools do double-duty to educate both Syrian, Lebanese students

The Lebanese Ministry of Education is working with international donors to increase the country’s capacity to secure education for the large number of displaced Syrian children.
Read more»

 Esperance Ghanem for Al-Monitor Lebanon Pulse on October 30

State Department nominees face grilling over Iran deal

Congressional angst over the JCPOA could spell trouble for diplomatic nominations.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on October 29

Iran enters Syria talks without preconditions

Iranian officials have entered the negotiations to find a political solution to the Syrian civil war though they will not accept conditions for President Bashar al-Assad's removal.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on October 29

Syria’s army reaches meeting point between Hama, Idlib

The Syrian military continues to advance by opening fire on all Hama’s countryside fronts in order to distract the enemy force from achieving gains on the ground.
Read more»

Translated from As-Safir (Lebanon) on October 29

Is Abadi key to resolving Kurdish conflict?

As the political divide and violent protests worsen in Iraqi Kurdistan, will Baghdad be able to keep the situation under control through peaceful means?
Read more»

 Mustafa al-Kadhimi for Al-Monitor on October 29

Will Big Brother be able to bring peace to Temple Mount?

Instead of installing cameras at the Temple Mount compound to discourage security violations, religious leaders should advocate turning the place into a global center of peace and human solidarity.
Read more»

 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on October 29

On eve of Syria peace talks, Saudi Arabia questions Russian, Iranian intentions

The United States welcomed the decision by Iran’s foreign minister to attend international talks on trying to end the Syrian war, while Saudi Arabia remained cautious.
Read more»

 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on October 28

Is Turkey setting a Kurdish trap?

In the lead-up to Turkey's Nov. 1 parliamentary elections, skeptics of the government are wondering if Ankara will resort to something "extreme" in Syria.
Read more»

 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor on October 29

Israel goes back to business as usual in post-Iran deal era

The visit of Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon this week to Washington and the upcoming visit there of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will both focus on Israeli demands for US military support.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on October 28

Syria's 'holy war'

The Russian Orthodox Church's description of Moscow's intervention in Syria as a "holy war" has created a buzz among Lebanese Christians.
Read more»

 Sami Nader for Al-Monitor on October 28

Why some Palestinian journalists struggle with when to put down the camera

Palestinian journalists covering the current events in Jerusalem and the West Bank are torn between the professionalism their jobs require and their sense of nationalism, often conveying a subjective image of the news.
Read more»

 Aziza Nofal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on October 28

Pentagon outlines its '3Rs' Islamic State strategy

Democrats and Republicans alike have misgivings about the Pentagon's push for a greater US role in Iraq and Syria.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on October 27

UNHCR head: It's time for Europe to get its act together

Outgoing UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres says it's urgent to find a political solution to the war in Syria.
Read more»

 Barbara Slavin for Al-Monitor on October 27

Iranian officials justify soldier deaths in Syria

The deputy commander of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps addresses the number of Iranian soldiers' deaths recently in Syria.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on October 27

When it comes to foreign policy, will Erdogan resort to 'wily Oriental means'?

The best-case scenario for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and the worst-case scenario for Turkey, could be the failure of possible coalition talks after the snap elections.
Read more»

 Semih Idiz for Al-Monitor on October 27

Merkel's 'indecent proposal' to Erdogan

German Chancellor Angela Merkel's impromptu visit to Istanbul on behalf of the EU was highly criticized as a desperate gift to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as Turkey's elections draw close.
Read more»

 Cengiz Çandar for Al-Monitor on October 27

Is IS easier to defeat than the PKK?

In an article in Radikal, a senior Turkish official explains Turkey's perspective in combating the Islamic State.
Read more»

Translated from Radikal (Turkey) on October 27

What it means when Israel threatens to revoke citizenship

Many Arabs fear that Israel's increasing right-wing tendency will open the way for more laws targeting Arab citizens of Israel.
Read more»

 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on October 27

After its own citizens drown, Lebanese refocus on refugee crisis

The refugee crisis in Lebanon has again made headlines with the drowning deaths of Lebanese fleeing the border region due to the Syrian war and heading for Europe.
Read more»

 Jean Aziz for Al-Monitor on October 27

NSC opens office to oversee Iran deal implementation

NSC Senior Director for non-proliferation Paul Irwin is set to head a new NSC directorate on implementation of the Iran nuclear deal.
Read more»

 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on October 26

Why Kerry is prioritizing Syria over Israeli-Palestinian peace

Calming Israeli-Palestinian tensions is seen as limited mission as US Secretary of State John Kerry embarks on a new round of international diplomacy on Syria.
Read more»

 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on October 26

Why Iran doesn't want to stay in Yemen

Despite hopes of expanded Iranian assistance, Yemen's Houthis are unlikely to receive the kind of help Tehran extends to Lebanon's Hezbollah.
Read more»

 Saeid Jafari for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on October 27

Who is behind violence against the Kurds?

Probes into a recent wave of mob violence against Kurds in Turkey suggest connivance between assailants, economic actors and the authorities.
Read more»

 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor on October 26

Yemen's decaying religious history

Historic sites are being destroyed by the civil war in Yemen’s once-peaceful city of Aden, known for its history of diversity and coexistence.
Read more»

 Ashraf al-Falahi for Al-Monitor on October 27

As popularity rises, Iran tries to control Telegram messaging app

Iranian authorities have asked Telegram messaging service to block "immoral" content.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on October 26

Is Russian intervention in Syria pushing 'moderate jihadis' toward Islamic State?

Russia's attacks on "moderate jihadi" groups appears to be pushing them to consider the possibility of uniting under the umbrella of the Islamic State.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on October 26

Is Israeli settler violence contributing to the current wave of terror?

Israeli settlers' violence toward Palestinians adds to the frustration and anger of Palestinian youth.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on October 26

No breakthrough in Syria possible without Iran

Russian foreign minister dismisses rumors of a deal on Assad ahead of Syria talks; Hezbollah takes casualties in Hama; Turkey’s headache over US support for Syrian Kurds; days of rage in Gaza.
Read more»

 Al-Monitor Week in Review on October 25

Senate to grill Kerry on Russian war in Syria

A look at the Middle East issues Congress will be addressing the week of Oct. 26.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on October 25

Clinton questions Jordan’s stability, provoking ire in Amman

Hillary Clinton’s remarks that peace between Israelis and Palestinians depends on the stability of Jordan and the future developments in Syria sparked anger and concern among Jordanians.
Read more»

 Aaron Magid for Al-Monitor on October 25

Unraveling Islamic State’s Turkish recruitment scheme

The recent Ankara bombing is being blamed on a suicide bomber unit of the Islamic State, known as Dokumacilar, recruited from Turkey’s southeastern province of Adiyaman.
Read more»

 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on October 23

What the Aleppo offensive hides

The battle for Aleppo may be a long and costly battle for Syrian regime forces due to the size of the city, the remaining large civil population and the multitude of players.
Read more»

 Mona Alami for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on October 23

Religious events in Iraq become show of force

Religious events in Iraq have come to serve as opportunities for sects to make a show of force, as tensions persist in the country.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Zeed for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on October 23

Palestinians fired in retaliation for protests

Israeli employers are dismissing Palestinian workers in settlements in the West Bank and Jerusalem, a trend with dire consequences for Israel's economy.
Read more»

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

Could Egypt be key to political solution in Syria?

The Russian air operation in Syria, the US suspension of its training program for new Syrian rebels and its rapprochement with Iran call for an Egyptian mediation to end the war in Syria.
Read more»

 Ahmed Fouad for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on October 25

US sends 'message' to Abbas with $80 million aid cut

The State Department has notified Congress that it's cutting FY 2015 assistance to the Palestinians by 22%.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on October 22

Rouhani thanks Khamenei for nuke deal 'stamp of approval'

In a letter, President Hassan Rouhani says the supreme leader's letter provided a "stamp of approval" for the nuclear deal, though others believe Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's "conditions" provide the antidote to a bad deal.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on October 22

Russian ambassador to Lebanon speaks out

Russia’s Ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Zasypkin speaks about Russia’s intervention in Syria, and its repercussions on Lebanon, while focusing on the relations with the West and the US.
Read more»

Translated from As-Safir (Lebanon) on October 22

Israel-Palestine peace process 'kidnapped by religious zealots'

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas must each separate himself from the religious parties near him, or else the conflict will escalate into unprecedented levels.
Read more»

 Uri Savir for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on October 25

Would you like your terror straight up or as a cocktail?

Turkey's Justice and Development Party hopes to boost its image by casting aspersions and creating terror conspiracies.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on October 22

What's happening on Gaza-Israeli border?

Tensions have escalated along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel, as Gazans head there daily to throw stones at Israeli soldiers, in parallel with the uprising in the West Bank and Jerusalem.
Read more»

 Asmaa al-Ghoul for Al-Monitor on October 22

Who is spreading rumors about a coup in Iraq?

A rumor about an imminent coup spread in Baghdad at the end of September, which the Iraqi government rushed to deny.
Read more»

 Omar al-Jaffal for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on October 22

The renewed blood pact between Israeli, Palestinian extremists

Israelis are reacting with hatred and racism to the current spate of violence, ignoring the destructive ramifications of the endless cycle of occupation, humiliation, hatred and violence on their own security.
Read more»

 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on October 22

Hamas tries to make nice with Egypt to focus on intifada

The Egyptian army in Sinai continues its operations against Hamas members, but the movement says it has no interest in clashing with Egypt and has turned its attention to the budding intifada in the West Bank.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on October 22

What do Israelis want more than all-inclusive Turkish holidays?

A new survey indicates that Israelis are keen to restore relations with Turkey, mainly to battle the Islamic State.
Read more»

 Arad Nir for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on October 22

Bibi's Holocaust comments muddle congressional case against Palestinian 'incitement'

Prime Minister Netanyahu accidentally undermines US lawmakers' singular focus on Abbas.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on October 21

How Turkey is planning for Assad-led transition in Syria

Ankara, still blurry, now agrees to name Bashar al-Assad ‘honorary president’ for six months.
Read more»

 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor on October 22

What drove one young Israeli Bedouin man to attack?

Bedouin leaders in Israel fear that the attack by a young Bedouin man will stigmatize the whole community and further destabilize Bedouin-Jewish relations.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on October 21

How the Syrian regime forces are attacking opposition under Russian cover

It seems the Syrian regime forces are trying to undermine the opposition’s presence on the Syrian coast, as they attacked the Free Syrian Army’s strongholds under a Russian air cover.
Read more»

 Mohammed al-Khatieb for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on October 21

Why does Hamas want third intifada?

Hamas appears ready to waive its use of armed violence to allow an intifada to gain momentum and for international recognition against Israel.
Read more»

 Hazem Balousha for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on October 21

Can Iraq meet US, Russia halfway?

As political forces have called for Russia to intervene in Iraq, as it has in Syria, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has been cautious about what steps to take regarding Russia and the United States.
Read more»

 Mustafa al-Kadhimi for Al-Monitor on October 21

Tunisia's fragile security

While the recent Nobel Peace Prize win for Tunisia's National Dialogue Quartet is cause for celebration, the country's security situation has continued to deteriorate in the years since the Arab Spring.
Read more»

 Christine Petré for Al-Monitor on October 20

Ankara’s PYD headache

There is little Turkey can do at this stage to prevent Kurdish advances in northern Syria as they receive munitions to battle the Islamic State.
Read more»

 Semih Idiz for Al-Monitor on October 20

What’s so special about Iran’s latest missile?

Just days before the nuclear agreement between Tehran and the P5+1 entered the implementation phase, Iran test-fired a new precision-guided ballistic missile.
Read more»

 Abbas Qaidaari for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on October 20

Iraqi doctors plagued by threats, extortion

Iraqi doctors are living under constant threat of death and kidnapping by tribes and gangs seeking to extort them in what some suspect is a plot to empty the country of its scientific assets.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Zeed for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on October 20

Fatah official: Palestinians have nothing to lose

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Maj. Gen. Jibril Rajoub said that Israel is responsible for the failure of the Oslo Accord and that the current unrest is a struggle against Israeli violence.
Read more»

 Mohammed Najib for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on October 20

Syrian Christian militias liberate Hasakah

Syrian Christian militia leader Ahiqar Issa talks to Al-Monitor about the reasons why Christians have taken up arms against terrorist groups in Syria.
Read more»

 Jean Aziz for Al-Monitor on October 20

Palestinians take to the streets to protest discrimination

Arab citizens of Israel are joining hands with Palestinians in the West Bank and Jerusalem, holding marches in protest of Israeli discrimination and violence as nervous Israeli forces are careful to avoid inflaming the situation further.
Read more»

 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on October 20

Will uprising bring Hamas, Fatah closer?

The unity shown by the Palestinian people on the ground in their uprising against Israeli practices can be reflected on the political scene; but will Fatah and Hamas take this opportunity to end the division?
Read more»

 Mohammed Othman for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on October 20

Feeling targeted, ultra-Orthodox take up arms

As the wave of violence continues, many ultra-Orthodox Jews are acquiring weapons for self-defense, and the country’s firing ranges and security-guard training courses are reporting a significant uptick in ultra-Orthodox participants.
Read more»

 Mordechai Goldman for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on October 20

German FM: Iran, Saudi tensions strengthen terrorists

Germany's foreign minister encourages Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani to work to reduce Iran-Saudi tensions.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on October 19

Netanyahu's partition of Jerusalem

While Israeli conservatives sanctify a united Jerusalem, many of them also support walling off some Palestinian neighborhoods that were annexed in 1967.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on October 19

What drives the new, lone-wolf attackers?

The lone-wolf attackers are "a new model stemming from total aversion toward the entire Palestinian political establishment as well as deep disappointment with the failure of the previous generation to deliver on its promises."
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on October 19

Iraqi Kurdistan's brewing crisis

In addition to Iraqi Kurdistan's struggle with the Islamic State, now it has to cope with domestic crises that may require intervention by the US and Europe.
Read more»

 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor on October 20

How Turkey is leveraging the Kurds

By threatening Syrian Kurds, Turkey is settling accounts with its ally, the United States, and trade partner Russia.
Read more»

 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor on October 19

The danger of Iraq's informants

Thousands of Iraqis were arrested based on information provided by informants and turned out to be innocent, thus raising questions about Iraq’s judiciary system and human rights policies.
Read more»

 Mustafa Saadoun for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on October 19

As unrest expands, Gaza's women rise up

Women are joining the protests against Israeli soldiers on the eastern border of Gaza City.
Read more»

 Asmaa al-Ghoul for Al-Monitor on October 19

Are we witnessing ‘Syrianization’ of Turkey?

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan claims “no difference” between Islamic State and Syrian Kurdish group backed by the United States; Syrian opposition groups reject UN talks; did Netanyahu ignore warnings about an intifada?
Read more»

 Al-Monitor Week in Review on October 18

Is the military the Achilles’ heel of the Turkish government?

After years of arrest and imprisonment, released officers of the Turkish Armed Forces seek justice and raise red flags about the future of the military.
Read more»

 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on October 18

Europe seen as wild card as Iran nuclear deal goes into effect

Critics of the nuclear agreement with Iran urge US President Barack Obama to set firm limits on international sanctions relief early on.
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 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on October 19

The rise of Persian-Arab racial tensions

The recent spate of deadly incidents involving Iranians during the hajj leads to ballooning Persian-Arab racism on the Web.
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 Saeid Jafari for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on October 16

Is Ankara putting out false information about peace rally bombings?

Despite ample intelligence warnings, the bombers of the Ankara peace rally were able to accomplish their mission, assisted not only by security failures and negligence but also by the political climate.
Read more»

 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor on October 16

Who is leading the intifada?

Two weeks into the outbreak of security clashes between Palestinians and settlers in Jerusalem, Palestinian factions have yet to step in and lead the popular uprising.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on October 18

Israeli minister: We must strengthen control over East Jerusalem

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Likud Minister Zeev Elkin called on the government to direct more resources to East Jerusalem and sanction Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Fatah if they continue their incitement against Israel.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on October 16

Why Syrian opposition rejected the UN's plan for Syria

The Syrian political and military opposition factions have shown, in a first-of-its-kind movement, unity in rejecting Staffan de Mistura’s plan to form committees that would work with both the opposition and the Syrian regime.
Read more»

 Asaad Hanna for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on October 16

Jerusalem’s intifada takes its toll

A political process that addresses the national issues of Jerusalem’s Palestinians and reaches permanent understandings of the administration of holy sites is crucially necessary in light of the ongoing wave of violence.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on October 16

Old City, new problems: Palestinian merchants lament decrease in tourist revenue

The recent attacks and demonstrations in Jerusalem have affected the economy, according to Palestinian merchants in the Old City.
Read more»

 Adam Lucente for Al-Monitor on October 16

Is it time for a surge in Syria?

A group of current and former US officials concludes that current US policy toward the Islamic State is not working, and that more needs to be done in both the diplomatic and military spheres to end the Syrian civil war.
Read more»

 Barbara Slavin for Al-Monitor on October 15

Will Palestinians choose all-out war?

The Palestinian leadership is contemplating a return to the "1948 strategy" of all-out confrontation with Israel.
Read more»

 Uri Savir for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on October 18

Terror in Turkey

Unless Turkey changes priorities, it will be more vulnerable to Islamic State attacks.
Read more»

 Cengiz Çandar for Al-Monitor on October 15

Russia rising

From its new international stage in Syria, Russia is examining its options to determine which could bring it closest to securing a place as a political powerhouse.
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 Maxim A. Suchkov for Al-Monitor on October 15

Zarif calls for talks with Saudi Arabia

Speaking with Arab media, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that Iran and Saudi Arabia have the same interests and challenges and should work together.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on October 15

Is Israel violating the Geneva Convention?

In light of the recent security escalation in Jerusalem, Israel has resumed its house demolition policy, violating international law.
Read more»

 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on October 15

Israelis fear violence on soccer fields

Despite much-publicized attacks on soccer fields, experts insist that the number of such incidents has actually diminished to the point that more women and children are attending matches.
Read more»

 Yuval Avivi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on October 16

The failure of Palestinian leadership in Israel

Once the rising star of Arab politics in Israel, over the past few days Knesset member Ayman Odeh has shown that he lacks real leadership, choosing to follow the voices that call for violence.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on October 15

How the IDF goes undercover among Palestinians

The mistaravim, Israeli soldiers disguised as Palestinians, are known for infiltrating demonstrations.
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 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on October 15

When will Lebanon get their kidnapped soldiers back?

Jabhat al-Nusra has ended negotiations on the release of Lebanese soldiers and security personnel it captured in August 2014, and the Islamic State has rejected efforts to discuss the soldiers it captured at that time.
Read more»

 Esperance Ghanem for Al-Monitor Lebanon Pulse on October 16

Does Iran even want Russia in Syria?

Despite the stepped-up Russian role in Syria, it is still not clear whether Iran views this development in a wholly positive light.
Read more»

 Abbas Qaidaari for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on October 14

IS, Jabhat al-Nusra trace Afghan battle lines in face-off against Russia

In Syria today, terrorist groups are applying lessons from the Afghanistan experience to their plans to counter Russia.
Read more»

 Ali Hashem for Al-Monitor on October 14

Once-frosty Erdogan warms up to NATO

Russia’s military intervention in Syria is forcing Turkey's president to acknowledge he needs NATO.
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 Semih Idiz for Al-Monitor on October 14

Why it's time for Israel to close Temple Mount to Jews

The Israeli government must take decisive steps to show that it has no intention of altering the status quo in regard to Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on October 14

Tunisia Nobel Peace Prize resonates across Middle East

After the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet won the Nobel Peace Prize, democracy activists drew solace as regional leaders remained silent.
Read more»

 Al-Monitor Staff for Al-Monitor on October 13

Iranian government official promises better economy after nuclear deal

An official with the Rouhani administration tells reporters that "there is no doubt" that the economy will improve after Iran's parliament approved the nuclear deal.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on October 13

PKK declares unilateral cease-fire, hopes the 10th time's a charm

Heeding calls by Kurdish politicians and civil society, the PKK announced a unilateral cease-fire ahead of the Nov. 1 elections, but Ankara continues to target the militants.
Read more»

 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on October 13

Why is Turkey's government choosing to protect itself instead of its citizens?

The Turkish government is so busy trying to protect itself, it might be neglecting to protect its citizens adequately.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on October 13

Knesset of despair

At the opening of the Knesset's winter session, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu blamed the usual suspects for the current wave of violence, but offered no indication of how to stop it.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on October 13

Will Kurdish nationalism survive amid closed borders?

Borders, economic interests and sensitivities among Kurdish political parties have always been at the origin of dissent among Kurds who, today, seem to have forgotten about their nationalist dream and are instead chasing after narrower goals.
Read more»

Translated from Al-Hayat (Pan Arab) on October 14

Egypt, Tunisia at a loss for how to deal with Libya

Relations between Tunisia and Egypt have improved, but leaders still can't agree on how to resolve the crisis in Libya.
Read more»

 Ismael El-Kholy for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on October 13

The high price for neglecting Palestinians in Israel

Growing frustration after years of discrimination and neglect is leading Israeli Arabs to identify with their West Bank brothers even as they attack their countrymen.
Read more»

 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on October 13

The 'smartphone intifada'

Social media is playing a vital role in the current Palestinian protests.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on October 13

Islamic Jihad committed to truce … as long as Israel is

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Islamic Jihad political bureau member Nafez Azzam said his movement does not condone the firing of rockets from Gaza and that Hamas and Fatah must end their internal division to spare Palestinians more suffering.
Read more»

 Mohammed Othman for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on October 13

Amnesty International accuses Kurdish YPG of war crimes

Amnesty International is accusing the autonomous Kurdish administration in northern Syria of committing war crimes.
Read more»

 Amberin Zaman for Al-Monitor on October 13

Iran's efforts to improve ties with West 'fruitless' without US

In the aftermath of the historic nuclear deal, the question arises of whether Iran's rapprochement with the West will once again be limited to improved relations with Europe.
Read more»

 Saeid Jafari for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on October 12

Despite airstrikes, is Russia still working toward political solution in Syria?

Russia appears to be considering various political resolutions to the Syrian crisis, possibly including one without Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Read more»

 Vitaly Naumkin for Al-Monitor on October 12

Arrest of Iranian teachers tests Iran-UAE relations

The arrest of Iranian teachers working in the UAE has prompted some Iranian officials to call for firmer measures against the UAE.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on October 12

Israel divided over wave of violence

While Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tries to restrain his government, tension rises within the Palestinian sector in Israel.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on October 12

Four years after Gadhafi, is Libya better off?

Libya drifts dangerously to the point of no return as Islamic militants terrorize civilians and two rival governments battle it out.
Read more»

 Mustafa Fetouri for Al-Monitor on October 12

Bibi blames everyone but himself for recent violence

The Israeli government blames incitement for a series of stabbing attacks by individual Palestinians instead of acknowledging the real reasons they are willing to take such a risk.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on October 12

Will social media spark a third intifada?

Social media campaigns encourage and intensify the recent Palestinian outbreak that no party can control unless one "thinks differently," suggests media analyst Orit Perlov.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on October 12

Jordanian palace silent on Russian intervention in Syria

Some commentators argue that Jordan's lack of comment on Russia's involvement in Syria is related to the kingdom's acceptance of Moscow's position that Syrian president Bashar al-Assad be part of a postwar transitional phase.
Read more»

Osama Al Sharif for Al-Monitor on October 12

Netanyahu weighs more aggressive action as Hamas leader backs 'intifada'

The Israeli prime minister is under pressure from the Israeli right as Israeli-Palestinian violence escalates; Syrian Kurdish leaders back Russian intervention to battle the Islamic State.
Read more»

 Al-Monitor Week in Review on October 11

US to arm Syrian Kurds, rebel groups fighting IS

The Pentagon will pause its beleaguered Syria train and equip program to instead provide arms and air support to Syrian Kurdish and Arab rebel groups already fighting the Islamic State.
Read more»

 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on October 9

What could 'harsh' Iranian reaction to Riyadh constitute?

Amid increasingly heated rhetoric between Iran and Saudi Arabia, the question arises of what a "harsh" reaction that Tehran has warned of may actually entail.
Read more»

Ali Omidi for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on October 9

Iranian general killed in Syria came back for special operation

An Iranian general recently killed in Syria had returned to Tehran nearly a year ago and went back to Syria recently to take part in a special operation.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on October 9

Russia’s Syria strikes hold both strategic, symbolic importance

Syrian rebels are holding their ground in the south, but Russia is keeping the opposition in check.
Read more»

 Mona Alami for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on October 9

Bibi looks to score political points from current wave of terror

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has addressed the public directly after the stabbing in Tel Aviv, telling Israelis that they aren't facing a new intifada and that Israel's most experienced security chiefs are capable of containing the violence.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on October 9

Syria's increasingly congested skies

In addition to warplanes over Syria, cruise missiles are now carving out airspace.
Read more»

 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on October 9

Could Saudi-Iraqi ties be key to defeating Islamic State?

As both Iraq and Saudi Arabia are threatened by the same enemy — that is, extremist groups — the two countries ought to build positive relations for the good of the region.
Read more»

 Mustafa al-Kadhimi for Al-Monitor on October 9

Hamas turns blind eye to Fatah’s military activities in Gaza

Fatah-affiliated militias are operating in Gaza to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’ displeasure and with no restrictions from Hamas, which says it welcomes every contribution to an armed resistance against Israel.
Read more»

 Rasha Abou Jalal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on October 9

Syrian Kurdish leader: Moscow wants to work with us

A senior leader in the PYD is in Washington seeking more military support and expressing ambivalence about Russia’s latest intervention.
Read more»

 Barbara Slavin for Al-Monitor on October 8

Iran key player in global war on drugs

It is time for the world to engage with Tehran to assist its war on drugs, and to acknowledge Iran as an important player in combating the global illegal drug trade.
Read more»

 Amir-Pasha Tabrizian for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on October 8

A different kind of intifada

The sustainability and longevity of the current protests in Palestine seem dependent upon the continuation of violence and whether or not people manage to stay hopeful.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on October 8

Coming days may see turning point in West Bank violence

As long as the major Palestinian organizations resist taking the lead in the current wave of violence and Israel restrains itself, it is still possible to avoid another new intifada.
Read more»

 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on October 8

Israelis do not want a leader with vision

Israelis no longer want a leader with a vision, but rather a “strong leader” who will threaten the Palestinians with harsh actions and retaliation.
Read more»

 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on October 8

Egypt's 'garbage police' look to clamp down on pollution

The Egyptian Ministry of Environment is now using garbage patrols in an effort to prevent citizens from burning rice straw and household waste, yet some question their effectiveness.
Read more»

George Mikhail for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on October 8

Congress shows renewed interest in Iranian opposition after nuclear deal

Iran hawks tout MEK as way to keep pressure on Tehran.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on October 7

Goals of Russia’s recent military action go beyond Syria

The Russian entry into the war in Syria may herald a new era of cooperation with countries such as Iran, as Moscow seeks to strengthen its international role.
Read more»

 Ali Hashem for Al-Monitor on October 7

Khamenei warns against further negotiations with US

Iran's supreme leader has once again warned about the desire of America to have an impact inside Iran.
Read more»

 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on October 7

Despite mounting violence, IDF-PA security cooperation unlikely to end

While peace negotiations between the Palestinian Authority and Israel keep hitting an impasse, it looks like security cooperation continues as usual.
Read more»

 Adnan Abu Amer for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on October 7

Who are the real targets of Russia’s Syria strikes?

Russian attacks on opposition forces belie Moscow's alleged purpose for its military intervention in Syria.
Read more»

 Mohammed al-Khatieb for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on October 7

Could Bennett threaten Netanyahu's rule over Israeli right?

HaBayit HaYehudi leader Naftali Bennett attacks Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over his reactions to the recent security escalation, demanding a firmer hand against terror.
Read more»

 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on October 7

How a small Libyan town insulated itself from surrounding chaos

The town of Bani Walid is leading Libyans by example, practicing self-governance and avoiding the armed conflicts that have become common elsewhere in the country.
Read more»

 Mustafa Fetouri for Al-Monitor on October 7

The real intifada is taking place within Israeli political right

IDF personnel estimate that the current spike of terror does not foretell a third intifada and recommend the political echelon restore calm in the West Bank.
Read more»

 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on October 7

Young guns rule their turf in Turkey

Members of the Patriotic Revolutionary Youth Movement, a youth group linked to the PKK, control the streets by force of arms in some parts of southeastern Turkey.
Read more»

 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on October 7

Senate Democrats hold up arms sales for Saudi war in Yemen

The State Department request for a bombs resupply has hit a snag amid a rising death toll.
Read more»

 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on October 7

Sisi calls on Arab countries to expand peace with Israel

Experts examine Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's proposal to include more Arab countries in peace efforts with Israel.
Read more»

 Rami Galal for Al-Monitor Egypt Pulse on October 7

Saudi prince alleges capture of Iranian military, Hezbollah in Yemen

A grandson of the late Saudi King Faisal and former senior military officer says the time has come for Saudi Arabians “to take care of ourselves” and “lead” the Middle East against regional threats.
Read more»

 Barbara Slavin for Al-Monitor on October 6

The end of Abbas, the end of moderation

Israeli politicians have labeled Mahmoud Abbas a "non-partner," but they will be hard pressed to find anyone as moderate among the future Palestinian leadership.
Read more»

 Uri Savir for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on October 7

Is the Oslo Accord at death's door?

President Mahmoud Abbas maintains that as long as Israel refuses to adhere to some stipulations agreed upon in the 1993 Oslo Accord, then the Palestinians will not be the only ones "committed" to their implementation.
Read more»

 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on October 6

Another Syrian nightmare, courtesy of the Russians

Russian operations are rattling Turkey as militants fleeing Syria infiltrate Turkey.
Read more»

 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor on October 6

Syria’s Southern Front shows signs of disintegration

As signs have emerged about the potential disintegration of the Southern Front, some members of Syrian factions have either shown their readiness to reconcile with the Syrian army, or fled to Europe to avoid getting assassinated.
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Translated from As-Safir (Lebanon) on October 8

Russian intervention throws a wrench into Turkey's Syria plans

Russian air superiority in Syria has destroyed Ankara's hopes for a safe zone in the north and "Syria without Assad."
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 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on October 6

Why Israel must protect Abbas

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has ordered his security apparatus to prevent escalation and continue cooperation with Israel, but it is uncertain how long he can hold off the desperate Palestinian street.
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 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on October 6

Does Israel really need Abbas to condemn terror acts?

While it is indeed appropriate to expect President Mahmoud Abbas to condemn recent terror acts against Israelis as a humanitarian gesture, Israel’s expectations show that we have our priorities all wrong.
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 Jacky Hugi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on October 6

Lessons from the second intifada: Will they be used in a third?

The West Bank is witnessing events that could lead to a new uprising, using new methods.
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 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on October 6

Has Obama turned his back on the Palestinians?

As Israel continues to build and expand settlements in the occupied territories, President Barack Obama appears to have reneged on the commitment he made in 2009 to resolve the Palestinian situation "with all the patience and dedication that the task requires."
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 Akiva Eldar for Al-Monitor on October 6

Russia gets back in the game

Moscow's stated plans for the Syrian crisis at the recent UN General Assembly have elicited controversial responses from the international community.
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 Sophie Pilgrim for Al-Monitor on October 5

Vlad and Yuri: How Putin is applying the lessons of Afghanistan to Syria

Russian President Vladimir Putin is using his regional allies to create "Alawistan," an enclave isolated from the rest of Syria.
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 Bruce Riedel for Al-Monitor on October 5

Palestinians look to Turkey for substance, not show

Although Turkey got its share of praise as the Palestinian flag was raised at the UN, Palestinians are still waiting for practical moves affecting their lives.
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 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor on October 5

Netanyahu loses control

Recent attacks of Israelis in Jerusalem and the West Bank also undermine Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu politically from inside his own coalition and from the right-wing opposition.
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 Mazal Mualem for Al-Monitor on October 5

Obama prepared to work with Putin to broker Syria transition

Despite widespread condemnation of Russian airstrikes in Syria, signs of progress on UN-brokered talks on a political transition; Iran’s ties with Saudi Arabia and Egypt; the trend toward counterterrorism; United States should not treat Iraq as a "weak partner."
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 Al-Monitor Week in Review on October 4

Bon Jovi rocks Tel Aviv, dedicating 'We don’t run' to their fight

In a seemingly normal evening, Israelis enjoyed a rock show by Bon Jovi, while the situation in Jerusalem and the West Bank keeps escalating, with dramatic stabbing incidents.
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 Ben Caspit for Al-Monitor on October 5

Congress to probe war in Yemen

A look at the Middle East issues Congress will be addressing the week of Oct. 5.
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 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on October 4

Saudi war in Yemen impossible to win

As Yemen's civilian casualties mount and Arab coalition forces sustain further losses, it looks increasingly likely that Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen will only lead to more destruction.
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 Madawi Al-Rasheed for Al-Monitor on October 2

Should European states transport refugees themselves?

Refugees and migrants are paying thousands of dollars to smugglers to reach Europe, so why don't European governments cut into the trade and provide the migrants safe transportation?
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 Barın Kayaoğlu for Al-Monitor on October 2

Aleppo residents celebrate Eid al-Adha, despite war

Syrians in Aleppo celebrate Eid al-Adha, despite the constant shelling by the regime forces.
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 Mohammed al-Khatieb for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on October 2

US-Iraqi relations need a reset

US-Iraqi relations have had their ups and downs since the 2003 invasion and withdrawal of US troops in 2011, and currently require a reassessment to establish a solid partnership between the two parties.
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 Mustafa al-Kadhimi for Al-Monitor on October 2

Senate bill splits Iran deal advocates

Nuclear deal skeptics seek to put the screws on Tehran without blowing up the agreement.
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 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on October 1

After Iran deal, can P5+1 tackle Syria civil war?

Major international parties continue to fumble for a solution to the Syria crisis as the plot thickens, and Russian airstrikes join the fray.
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 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on October 1

PYD leader: Russia will stop Turkey from intervening in Syria

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Al-Monitor, PYD leader Salih Muslim says Russia will prevent Turkey from intervening in Syria.
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 Amberin Zaman for Al-Monitor on October 1

Is Syria bringing Iran, Egypt together?

Egypt's seemingly shared interests with the Syrian government may provide grounds for improved relations with Iran.
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 Saeid Jafari for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on October 1

Is Turkey's military returning to politics?

There are many and varied opinions about whether the military plans to intervene in Turkey's politics.
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 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on October 1

Will struggle over Jerusalem transform into regional religious war?

Israel, the Palestinians and the United States underestimate the emotional impact of the struggle over Jerusalem on Arab public opinion, thus leaving the gate open for it to escalate to a wide-scale conflict.
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 Uri Savir for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on October 4

Abbas at UN: Palestinian flag outside, warning flag inside