Erdogan’s Syria policy hits dead end in Aleppo

Ankara anticipates worst-case scenario as Syrian government forces appear close to victory in decisive battle.
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 Al-Monitor Week in Review on December 4

Who in the GCC wants a union?

Gulf Cooperation Council states consider transforming into a union to arm themselves against Iran’s increasing dominance and the growing instability in the Middle East.
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 Giorgio Cafiero for Al-Monitor on December 4

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

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

Turkey's Sirnak now nothing but rubble

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

Why are the flames of Aleppo burning Turkey?

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

Russian-rebel talks resume as Erdogan backs down on Assad

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

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

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

Should IRGC be worried by latest Iran army promotion?

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

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

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

Shiite forces advance on Tal Afar in Mosul operation

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

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