The Houthis and War in Yemen

1. History of the movement, structure, and ideology History The movement of Ansar Allah (Supporters of Allah), also known as the Houthis, is a paramilitary group of Zaidi Shi’ites, acting in Yemen. This is one of the moderate streams of Shia Islam, which has more than 10 million followers around the world and accounts for …

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Syrian government tanks and soldiers take positions in the town of Western Ghariyah, about 15km east of the southern embattled city of Daraa. Photo: AFP/ SANA handout released on June 30, 2018.

Eagle-Meets-Bear and the Syria Tug-of-War

Ahead of the Eagle-meets-Bear Trump-Putin summit on July 16 in Helsinki, Syria-centered spin has gone into overdrive. Unknown sources have leaked what is billed as President Trump’s alleged Syria deal discussed with Jordan’s King Abdullah. Trump would “allow” Damascus, supported by Russian air power, to regain its territory along the borders of Jordan, Israel and Iraq. …

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King Salman of Saudi Arabia receives Lebanese Prime Minister, Saad Hariri, at the Royal Saudi Palace in Riyadh on 28 February (AFP)

Saudi Arabia Attempts a Political Comeback in Lebanon

After months of keeping a low profile, following the unexpected resignation of Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri and his ambiguous stay in Riyadh in November, Saudi Arabia is attempting yet again to intervene in Lebanese politics. Longstanding relations between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia suffered a serious blow following Hariri's surprise resignation while in Riyadh in …

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Is Putin Really Ready to “Ditch” Iran?

The topic of Russian actions in Syria still continues to fascinate and provoke numerous polemics. This makes senses – the issue is exceedingly important on many levels, including pragmatic and moral ones, and today I want to stick strictly to the pragmatic level and set aside, just for a while, moral/ethical/spiritual considerations. Furthermore, I will …

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Iran is Fighting Tooth and Nail for Its Positions in Iraq and Syria

The fact a couple Russian military advisors together with dozens of Syrian soldiers have recently perished in the Deir ez-Zor area indicates the United States together with its allies carries on with preparations to cast a decisive blow in southwest Syria, aimed at cutting off Iranian forces from their allies. Damascus has this far been …

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Russia Wants Iran Out of Syria. Iranians Aren’t so Happy about That

Partners in the Syrian war and arch-sceptics of Washington, Russia and Iran have come together in recent years as both countries pursue a more hands-on role in the Middle East. Yet doubts of Russia’s reliability are surfacing in Tehran, as a host of regional players begin to pick their way through tensions in southern Syria. …

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Why Did the US Sabotage President Putin’s Peace Plan for Syria?

Secretary of State Pompeo’s direct and fiery demand earlier this week that Iran withdraw from Syria overshadowed President Putin’s indirect and polite request during last week’s Sochi Summit for the same, thereby putting Syria on the spot in having to publicly deny that any such talks were ongoing in order to “save face”, though the …

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Russia Is in the Middle East to Halt the War, Not Take Part in the Iran-Israel Conflict

Frequent misconceptions surround the Russian role in the Middle East, and particularly its role in Syria. Many Syrians claim to see Russia attacking Israel or delivering to the Syrian government all its advanced weapons, technology and modern jets so these can be used against Israel’s continuous violation of its air space and invasion of its …

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