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Trump Puts US on Sunni Muslim Side of Bitter Sectarian War with Shias

It was crude stuff. President Trump called on 55 Muslim leaders assembled in Riyadh to drive out terrorism from their countries. He identified Iran as a despotic state and came near to calling for regime change, though Iran held a presidential election generally regarded as fair only two days previously. He denounced Hezbollah and lined …

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Trump’s Riyadh Speech: Bowing to the Saudi Regime

The bar for Donald Trump’s speech in Riyadh had been set so low that it was scraping the sand.  How much could be expected from a notorious exploiter of Islamophobia speaking to a gathering of leaders of majority Muslim countries?  Getting through the experience without causing major new damage should perhaps be considered a success.  …

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A woman holds a poster of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani during a campaign rally in Tehran, Iran, May 17, 2017. Photo: Reuters

Iran Bets Its Future on ‘Reformist’ Rouhani

In the perennial electoral battle between principlists (conservatives) and reformists, Iranian reformists have once again won handsomely. Iran’s President Hasan Rouhani was reelected in a landslide on Saturday – with at least 56.88 percent of the votes according to the latest count at time of publishing and a projected vote share of 20 million votes …

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Is the US-Russian Race for Eastern Syria Headed for a Military Confrontation?

Moscow and Damascus prepare their respective forces – and those of their allies – to initiate aggressive multi-objective battles directed towards the Syrian-Iraqi borders (and towards Deir-ezzour). These take place at the same time as the Iraqi forces initiate a battle not far from the Syrian borders, in the Iraqi western desert, as Prime Minister …

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Saudi Arabia’s Military is the World’s Biggest Waste of Money

Donald Trump just sold Saudi Arabia $350 billion worth of weapons that it can barely use. In many ways, selling the Saudi military expensive American weapons is a bit like selling a man the world’s most expensive tampon. Even if said product is the finest in the world, the buyer has no need for it …

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Trump’s Trip and Taking Sides in the Middle East

President Trump flies to Saudi Arabia with a policy trajectory that involves weighing in heavily in local Middle Eastern rivalries, so much so that there is talk not only of twelve-figure arms sales to the Saudis but even an “Arab NATO”.  To understand how misguided is such strong taking of sides in those rivalries, recall …

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FILE PHOTO: A US Air Force F-16 © Hamad I Mohammed / Reuters

US-Led Coalition Confirms Airstrike on Syrian Forces

The US forces in Syria have bombed a militia group fighting alongside the Syrian government forces in southern Syria on Thursday, the US-led coalition has confirmed. The coalition said in a statement that the Syrian forces "posed a threat" to US and partner troops at Tanf base near the Syria-Iraq-Jordan border. https://twitter.com/CJTFOIR/status/865264099244036097 "This action was …

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