Iraqi Kurdish land grabs anger Sunni Arabs

As Iraqi Kurds benefit from coalition airstrikes and take control of former IS safe havens, they are aggravating tensions with some Sunni Arab communities.
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 Denise Natali for Al-Monitor on January 29

Rockets fall on Damascus

Jaysh al-Islam began a wide-scale rocket attack on Damascus in response to the Syrian regime’s shelling of eastern Ghouta, which allegedly killed civilians.
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Mustafa al-Haj for Al-Monitor Syria Pulse on January 29

Hezbollah answers Israeli attack

Al-Monitor reports on the ground from the site of Wednesday's confrontation.
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 Ali Hashem for Al-Monitor on January 29

Israel shows restraint in Hezbollah retaliation

Hezbollah’s attack on an Israeli patrol in Lebanon’s occupied Shebaa Farms was expected to break into an all-out war on Lebanon, but sources told Al-Monitor that Israel was asked not to engage in such a war.
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 Jean Aziz for Al-Monitor on January 29

Fake bomb detectors still endanger Iraqis

Despite the exposure and imprisonment of British businessman James McCormick for selling fake bomb detectors to several countries, Iraqi security officials continue to justify the use of these devices.
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 Shukur Khilkhal for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on January 29

Summit to focus on reducing terror recruitment

Some analysts say the use of the term “violent extremists” reflects excessive political correctness and that the US government is not properly organized to prevent young people from joining jihadist groups.
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 Barbara Slavin for Al-Monitor on January 28

Living among the dead in Gaza

The Palestinian Ministry of Public Works and Housing has failed to provide housing for Gaza’s families, forcing some to live in cemeteries and beg for money.
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 Rasha Abou Jalal for Al-Monitor Palestine Pulse on January 28

Mosul deteriorates under IS occupation

Mosul has become an impoverished, broken city whose residents face great risks when they try to contact their loved ones in other Iraqi cities, fearing their Islamic State occupiers' retaliation.
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 Omar al-Jaffal for Al-Monitor Iraq Pulse on January 28

Kurdish victory in Kobani defeat for Turkish policy

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressly ruled out the northern Iraq model for Syria's Kurds.
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 Amberin Zaman for Al-Monitor on January 28

Yazidis ask Israel for help

Desperate Yazidis are reaching out to Israel, asking for understanding and assistance, especially in the military domain for their fight against the Islamic State.
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 Jacky Hugi for Al-Monitor Israel Pulse on January 28

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