Kerry, Lavrov will meet to finalize Syria deal

US Secretary of State John Kerry will meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Geneva on Aug. 26 to try to finalize a deal on Syria that has been complicated by an escalation of fighting in Aleppo.
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 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on August 24

Uncertain future for Syrians as EU-Lebanon migration deal looms

Increasingly harsh conditions for Syrian refugees in Lebanon may present new problems for a prospective deal with the European Union.
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 Tom Rollins for Al-Monitor on August 24

Security unrest continues in Nablus

Palestinian security forces have launched a broad campaign against armed individuals in Nablus, leading to clashes resulting in the killing of five people, including two security team members. The apparent extrajudicial killing of one suspect has deeply angered Nablus residents.
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 Ahmad Melhem for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on August 24

Al-Aqsa Mosque back in the eye of the storm with renewed clashes, arrests

Various minor infractions have once again increased tensions at Al-Aqsa Mosque, where Palestinians complain that restoration work has been disrupted and Israeli visitors have exceeded agreed-upon limits.
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 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on August 24

Why did Russian use of Iranian air base stir up controversy?

Despite controversy, the secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council says Russian planes in Iran left according to a previously designated agreement.
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 Arash Karami for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on August 23

Will Turkey's military turn East or West?

After Turkey's massive military purge following the failed coup, the new leadership may push for a differing military strategy.
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 Metin Gurcan for Al-Monitor on August 23

Resetting Turkey’s Syria policy

Ankara is trying to regain its lost influence over Syria with a radical change in policy, but its past mistakes make that a difficult challenge.
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 Semih Idiz for Al-Monitor on August 23

How Erdogan spins flaws into gold

Turkish people are falling in love with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan all over again in the post-coup era despite the emergency decrees, increasing terror attacks and continuous purges.
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 Pinar Tremblay for Al-Monitor on August 23

Sunni fear grows as PMU participation in Mosul battle confirmed

Iraqi government approved officially the participation of the Popular Mobilization Units in the Mosul battle, which is supported by the United States and Iran; however, Sunni parties are afraid of this decision.
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 Mustafa Saadoun for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on August 23

Could Liberman's West Bank plan play into Hamas' hands?

Palestinians say the benefits and punishments plan introduced by Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman is doomed to fail because it seeks to replace President Mahmoud Abbas with other leading Palestinians.
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 Shlomi Eldar for Al-Monitor on August 22

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