How Trump is already shifting domestic politics in Iran

US President Donald Trump’s threats against Iran are quickly morphing from a foreign policy issue to a domestic political football in Tehran.
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 Saeid Jafari for Al-Monitor Iran Pulse on February 17

Is Erdogan promising a ghost army in Syria?

Erdogan promises to set up a “national army” in the area to be cleansed from the Islamic State in northern Syria, but with the combat assets available to him, never mind a national army, even a force to secure the cleansed area will not be easy.
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 Fehim Taştekin for Al-Monitor on February 17

Will Mosul witness a political battle post-IS?

In an interview with Al-Monitor, former governor of Ninevah province Atheel al-Nujaifi discussed post-Islamic State Ninevah, the motives behind the arrest warrants against him and the need for international assistance in the aftermath of the battle of Mosul.
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 Mustafa Saadoun on February 17

Who benefits from the appointment of Abbas’ deputy?

Following the choice of Mahmoud al-Aloul as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' deputy, a disappointed Jibril Rajoub might reunite forces with Abbas’ rival Mohammed Dahlan.
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 Shlomi Eldar on February 17

Washington quietly rebuffs Turkish delegation’s anti-YPG efforts

A high-level delegation of Turkish Foreign Ministry, military and intelligence officials has failed to persuade the United States to exclude the Syrian Kurdish People’s Protection Units from a planned offensive to liberate Raqqa.
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 Amberin Zaman for Al-Monitor on February 16

Why Arab leaders cannot replace legitimate Palestinian ones

The Trump-Netanyahu love fest that was broadcast around the world doesn’t bode well for Palestinians or for any possible peaceful breakthrough.
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 Daoud Kuttab for Al-Monitor on February 16

Will major opposition groups face off in Syria?

The new formation of Tahrir al-Sham, which is comprised of several Syrian opposition factions including Jabhat Fatah al-Sham, raises questions about the goals of this new group.
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 Haytham Mouzahem on February 17

New Tunisian electoral law raises issue of military’s role in politics

The Tunisian parliament approved a new law on municipal elections, which granted military and security members the right to vote and raised concerns that the decision threatens the institutions' neutrality.
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 Ahmed Nadhif on February 16

Palestinians work for Abbas-Trump meeting next

After positive meetings with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, the Palestinian leadership believes it is in the interest of President Donald Trump to also hear the Palestinian side of the story.
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 Shlomi Eldar on February 16

Jewish lawmakers rip Trump over two-state walkback

Jewish Democrats warn that the Israeli right's push for a one-state solution risks endangering bipartisan support for the Jewish state.
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 Julian Pecquet for Al-Monitor on February 16

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