Category Syria

Possible US-Iran Collision in Syria

Both FP and MEI’s IranObserved are reporting increased tensions between Iran and the US in Syria. Last week, US forces bombed an convoy from an Iranian backed militia operating close to a “deconfliction zone” close to the Jordanian–Iraqi–Syrian border. As Daesh continues to lose ground, while Free Syrian Army forces move North from the border with […]

Bosnia’s Struggle with Islamic Extremism

  Of the parties to the Yugoslav Civil War, Bosnia was the hardest hit. Sarajevo, the capital, was once the cosmopolitan epicenter of the Balkans. Some called it the Jerusalem of Europe, as it sits that the crossroads of Islam, Catholicism, and the Eastern Orthodox Church. In the years after the Dayton Peace Accords (the agreement bringing […]

Obama’s Slow and Steady Daesh Policy

Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter announced earlier today that US Special Operations forces killed a top Daesh official, Abdul Rahman Mustafa al Qaduli, who is also known as Hajji Imam. The operation took place early Thursday morning and was intended to capture al Qaduli alive. US forces were tracking al Qaduli for several weeks. They traveled […]

Two Things We Learned from Last Week

It was tough to narrow down to two the lessons learned from events in the Middle East last week. But there were two things that kept standing out. The first comes from testimony regarding proposed new sanctions on Iran before the Senate Banking Committee last Monday. The committee was briefed by Obama Administration officials and […]

Roger Cohen talks Memoir, Middle East Issues

What started out as a talk about his book turned into a conversation about Roger Cohen’s perspectives on the Middle East. Cohen, a New York Times columnist, was presenting his new memoir titled “The Girl from Human Street” at an event hosted by the Carnegie Endowment for Peace in Washington, DC. He described his book […]

Americans Ready to Confront ISIS, Opens Door for Iran Negotiations

The American public is becoming more willing to entertain a confrontation with ISIS, a recent poll suggests. But it could, also, provide Obama with breathing room in an effort to finalize an agreement with Iran. The poll’s author, Shibley Telhami, the Anwar Sadat Professor for Peace and Development at the University of Maryland, presented polling […]

Obama v ISIL

In a few hours, President Obama will hold a press conference laying out his strategy to handle ISIL. It comes after weeks of speculation and calls for action on daily talk shows and the internet, as well as a month long campaign to bomb ISIL targets in Iraq. It’s high time somebody steps up to […]

End of Syrian Conflict Depends on US-Iran Nuclear Negotiations

For the last three years, I’ve said, in private discussions, that the Syrian conflict won’t be solved until the US and Iran come to some sort of agreement on Iran’s nuclear program. It looks like one is just over the horizon–but also far enough away that it still may not happen. There are, however, bogey’s […]

Is the True Nature of the Battle in Syria Being Discussed?

Over the past week we’ve heard much about the battle raging in Syria, the use of chemical weapons there, and whether or not the US should get involved—although I must say much of that debate is based on two not so sound assumptions: the US is joining on the side of the rebels and whatever […]

Hesitant Support for Limited Strikes on Syria

Last week’s presumed chemical weapons attack on the rebel stronghold in the eastern Damascus suburb of Ghouta is forcing Obama’s hand. All indicators point to Assad and his forces as the culprits, but he insists otherwise. We’ll likely never know what calculus led to Assad using chemical weapons. Regardless of what it was, his actions […]

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