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single most important development in the Middle East has been the end of
Syria’s civil war, which was unequivocally won by the Baath regime. Even the
hammer blows of a determined religious opposition could not destroy the
post-World War I system that created Syria, Iraq and Jordan as Arab states. But
with the announced U.S. withdrawal from Syria and the victory of the Assad
regime and its Russian and Iranian sponsors, the way could be cleared for an
explosive confrontation with Israel.
Professor Dr. Amatzia Baram
The recent outbreak of fighting
in Libya’s capital shows who are the real masters of the country – the
militias. The international community’s focus on the reconciling the feuding
governments in Tobruk and Tripoli ignores how they have already been captured
by local warlords. Until the grip of these armed groups is broken, holding
national elections is an enormous gamble.
Dr. Federica Saini Fasanotti
If we want to know what will happen to Islamic State (ISIS) after the death of its first “caliph” and the loss of Mosul and Raqqa, we must first understand what it is. There is not one ISIS, but at least four. Each will require different handling once the caliphate is shattered and scatters.
As the battle for Mosul concludes, the battle for Raqqa is entering its
initial phase. From a military perspective, the fall of these twin bastions of
Daesh was never in doubt. But tactical victories can only be turned into
long-term strategic gains if a political process is put in place. Otherwise, we
will see a “son of Daesh” and worse in Syria and Iraq.
Tension between the Mediterranean Sea’s northern and southern shores is nothing new. In fact, it is ancient, dating back well before 1830, when France colonised Algeria in an effort to suppress the piracy, slave trade and smuggling that had infested those waters for centuries, and also to satisfy commercial interests.