Congress reintroduces Syria sanctions

The House Foreign Affairs panel is expected to take up the bill promptly, but its fate is uncertain in the Senate.
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 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on March 22

Iraq’s Sunnis eye post-IS future under regional cover

Under Arab and international sponsorship, Iraq’s Sunni leaders recently attended a conference in Turkey to discuss the future of Sunnis in post-IS Iraq, with the conference sparking Shiite outrage and dissent among other Sunni officials opposed to the Turkish role in Iraq.
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 Omar Sattar on March 22

Ankara's Syrian plan falters as Moscow sets up in Afrin

Turkey's move to enlist the Russians against the Syrian Kurds is not working out, as both the United States and Russia deepen their ties with the Syrian Kurds and Operation Euphrates Shield appears to have reached the limits of its expansion.
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 Amberin Zaman for Al-Monitor on March 22

Iraq PM visits White House amid debate over post-Mosul strategy

With the liberation of Mosul in sight, the Trump administration is internally divided on what formula might bring long-term stability.
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 Laura Rozen for Al-Monitor on March 21

Is Palestinian frustration playing into Netanyahu's strategy?

With Palestinian frustration increasing over the hardships of the Israeli occupation, Israeli security experts keep warning of a violent breakout, and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu keeps ignoring the warnings.
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 Akiva Eldar on March 21

Is Assad shifting strategy on Israel?

Contrary to Israel’s typical low profile on operations in Syrian skies, Israel’s Defense Minister Avigdor Liberman warned that if Damascus fires any more missiles against IDF jets, Israel will destroy its air defense system.
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 Ben Caspit on March 20

The coming Iran-US confrontation in Iraq

With the operation to seize Mosul from the Islamic State coming to an end, it appears that Iran and the United States are on the path to a showdown in Iraq.
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 Zakiyeh Yazdanshenas for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on March 20

What’s behind Hezbollah’s safe zone project in Syria's Qalamoun?

A Hezbollah deal that is reportedly being discussed with the Syrian opposition for the repatriation of Syrian refugees into safe zones in Syria would face steep hurdles in negotiating with the Lebanese government.
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 Scott Preston for Al-Monitor on March 22

Turkey still determined to play role in final Raqqa assault

Will a Turkish-sponsored army of 50 Arab tribes actually materialize in Syria, or is Turkey just rattling its saber regarding the Raqqa offensive?
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 Fehim Taştekin on March 21

Killer's release highlights fragile Jordan-Israel 'cold peace'

The release of Jordanian Ahmed Daqamseh, who served 20 years in prison for killing seven Israeli schoolgirls in 1997, has split the public despite the enduring strength of its animosity for Israel.
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 Osama Al Sharif for Al-Monitor on March 20

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