Daesh and the US Share a Goal of Disrupting the Kabul-Taliban Ceasefire and the Wider Afghan Reconciliation Process

A ceasefire declared between the Afghan government and Taliban on the eve of the Islamic celebration of Eid has been devastated by an attack on a meeting between Afghan Security Forces and Taliban representatives in Nangarhar province. Already over 20 have died in the terrorist attack. This represents a further attempt by a terrorist force- almost …

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America Denying Daesh in Central Asia will Only Strengthen the Golden Ring

The US rejected Russia’s warnings that Daesh is assembling in northern Afghanistan and getting ready to pose a threat to Central Asia. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Oleg Syromolotov drew attention to this threat during a speech in the Tajik capital of Dushanbe earlier this month at the “Countering Terrorism and Preventing Violent Extremism” two-day conference, …

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Iranians hold anti-US placards and shout slogans during a rally after Friday prayers in the capital Tehran on May 11, 2018, after President Trump withdrew the US from a nuclear accord signed in 2015. Photo: AFP

The Syria Connection to Iran, Afghanistan and China

A crucial question has been consuming policymakers in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon: Does the Trump administration have a strategic plan for the Middle East or not? Few are more apt to answer than Saadallah Zarei, dean of the Institute of Strategic Studies Andishe Sazan-e Noor in Tehran. Zarei, a soft-spoken, extremely discreet man I met …

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Syria: the War has Finished – but the War is Continuing

On February 3, in Idlib Province a Russian Su-25 attack aircraft carrying out an inspection flight in the de-escalation zone was hit by an American-made portable surface-to-air missile. Its pilot, Roman Filipov, ejected from the aircraft and landed, and started to defend himself. For some time he fired shots from his service gun and finally …

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Turkish – Kurdish War or Daesh Civil War?

A superficial reading of “Operation Olive Branch” indicates that it’s a Turkish-Kurdish war, but the details of who’s fighting make it look a lot more like a Daesh civil war in its opening stages, and that’s exactly what both Ankara and the YPG originally intended. The commencement of Turkey’s “Operation Olive Branch” has led to …

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War in Syria Rages, Resurgence of ISIS-Daesh

In early December, Putin was way premature claiming ISIS and other (US-supported) terrorists defeated in Syria. He erred in returning most Russian forces home, believing a small remaining contingent enough to help government and allied forces achieve conflict resolution, along with talks in Astana, Geneva and Sochi. Following Russia’s partial withdrawal,  ISIS is resurgent thanks to …

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The Southern Front: Why Saudi Arabia, UAE Gave US$130 Million to Africa Force

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have followed the United States in funding a five-nation armed force designed to stop the march of Islamist extremists in Africa. But why is the Sahel, a semi-arid region just south of the Sahara Desert, causing alarm? Saudi Arabia pledged US$100 million December 13 towards a special anti-terror force …

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Middle East: the Fleeting Mirages of the United States

Members of the Washington administration, who claim to govern the whole world, every day surprise everyone with their political short-sightedness. For example, United States Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson called on the pro-Iranian armed groups fighting Islamists on Iraqi territory to “return home” because the war with DAISH is coming to an end. It …

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