Civic groups press to revive Kurdish peace efforts in Turkey

After much bloodshed and destruction, a fledgling civic initiative in Turkey is seeking to bring Turks and Kurds closer to open the way for a fresh settlement effort to end the decadeslong Kurdish conflict.
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 Mahmut Bozarslan for Al-Monitor Turkey Pulse on May 26

Saudis hope to halt extremism with ‘terrorist rehab’

Saudis seek to modify the thoughts and behaviors of former members of terrorist organizations like al-Qaeda and the Islamic State via rehabilitation programs, but some worry it isn't working.
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 Fernande van Tets for Al-Monitor on May 26

US mulls how best to control pro-Iran factions in Mideast

The United States and the Gulf states seem to agree that Tehran and its allies need to be contained to keep Iran from aggressively expanding once the Islamic State is driven out of the region.
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 Adnan Abu Zeed on May 26

Israel's economic aid to PA only temporary fix

Israel is preparing to implement a series of economic concessions to the Palestinians, which some see as a step to circumvent a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
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 Adnan Abu Amer on May 26

Russia remains unconcerned by Trump's anti-Iran rhetoric

US President Donald Trump tells the Saudis what they want to hear, but Russian experts don't expect him to renege on the Iran deal.
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Chulkovskaya for Al-Monitor on May 26

Senate tones down Iran sanctions bill after input from Obama team

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee insists the bill it cleared May 25 doesn’t violate the nuclear deal.
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 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on May 25

Iraq's Sinjar heats up again as PMU closes in

The world's attention has turned back to Iraq's Sinjar as Iranian-backed Popular Mobilization Units approach during operation to liberate Mosul and Yazidi loyalties worry Turkey.
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 Amberin Zaman for Al-Monitor on May 25

'Fake news' sparks real crisis in the Gulf

Controversial statements reported by Qatar's state news agency and later attributed to a hack have revealed deep tension among members of the Gulf Cooperation Council.
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 Giorgio Cafiero for Al-Monitor on May 26

Why Iran wants 'de-escalation' zones in Syria

While the establishment of "safe zones" has never been part of Russia's or Iran’s plans, their agreement to create "de-escalation zones" at this juncture serves the interests of both countries.
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 Hamidreza Azizi for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on May 24

Disputes over Iraq's Yazidi areas lead to fears of PMU-peshmerga clash

The Popular Mobilization Units is involved in military operations in Yazidi areas of northern Iraq, angering peshmerga, who argue that the PMU is not allowed to do so by an agreement between Erbil and Baghdad.
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 Ibrahim Malazada on May 26

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