Syrian Civil War

Assad Key to Any Political Solution in Syria

cc Christiaan Triebert, modified,

Had Bashar al-Assad gone into exile, the ISIS Caliphate would be based in Damascus rather than the middle of nowhere.

Blowback: Charlie Hebdo and the Contradictions of Western Policy

Charlie Hebdo Memorial France, cc Flickr Valentina Calà, modified,

John Rosenthal argues that recent Western foreign policy missteps in Libya and Syria have fueled the rise of radical Islam.

GPM Outlook 2015: War, Refugees, and Chaos in the Middle East


2015 projects to be another difficult year for the Middle East, with old vacuums widening and a few new ones opening up.

Turkey Takes Aim at the Kurds

PKK Flag Turkish Kurds cc Flickr hughes_leglise

With all eyes on Kobane, the Turkish government decided to launch on attack not on the Islamic State fighters besieging the town, but the Kurds desperate to defend it.

Briefing: The Battle for Kobane

Flag of the Islamic State, cc GlobalPanorama

The Syrian town of Kobane, also known as Ain-al-Arab, has been the site of fierce fighting between Syrian Kurds and Islamic State (ISIS) for over three weeks. Some have even come to see it as a crucible for President Obama’s military strategy, arguing that if ISIS can still make territorial gains despite US air strikes, the chances for total victory over Islamic State are pretty bleak.

Does Obama Really Want to Defeat Islamic State?

Air strikes in Syria

President Obama’s plan to destroy Islamic State is ineffective at best. Rather, NATO allies should aim towards forcing the terrorist organization to implode from within.

Threat Assessment: The Khorasan Terror Cell More Dangerous Than Islamic State?

Mushin-al-Fadhli, Khorasan

Unlike Islamic State, this new terror cell - known as ‘Khorasan’ - is far more interested in attacking targets in Europe and North America than they are in creating an Islamic Caliphate or toppling the Assad Regime.

Islamic State Online: Jihadist Propaganda 2.0

Twitter cc Andreas Eldh

Islamic State has a deep and sophisticated internet presence unlike any of the jihadist groups that came before it.

Obama’s Flawed Islamic State Strategy: From Saudi Arabia with Love

Obama Speech cc Mike Brice

President Obama’s strategy for defeating Islamic State is weak, overly ideological, and it just isn’t going to work.

Saudi Arabia & Islamic State: Between Iraq and a Hard Place

Saudi Arabia Flag - cc Nicolas Raymond

Though the Saudi government may have been amenable to the rise of ISIS back when the militant group was seen as curbing Iranian influence in the region, recent developments in Iraq have likely changed a few minds in the Kingdom.

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