Turkey and IS: calculated ambivalence or uncontrollable fear?

"This counter-terrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL wherever they exist, using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground. This strategy [...] is consistent with the approach I outlined earlier this year: to use force against anyone who threatens America’s core interests, but …

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12 things you wanted to know about IS/ISIS

Tracking the events in Iraq - in the whole region, actually - might be a colossal task. Particularly so during the Summer, when it is sometimes even difficult to grasp a single headline. We all are aware about something called ISIS - or IS, as of lately - that seems to be messing around from …

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Elections that may (re)shape the Middle East in 2014

Sometimes, it seems as though the only factors which contribute to sketch the future of the Middle East, most of them I laid out in this article, are out of the control of the citizens: sectarianism, repression, foreign intervention, coups (or non-coups)... However, and even though democracy may (still) not be seen as the key …

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Hezbollah under strain

Talking about politics in Lebanon is always tantamount to wondering about the status of Hezbollah (meaning "Party of God"). Hezbollah is, at the same time, as The Economist likes to call it, a party-cum-militia, created within the Shia community and funded by Iran during the country's civil war - in 1982 - with the main …

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A glimpse of hope for Syria?

The Syrian National Coalition (SNC), the one and only body considered as representative of the Syrian opposition by the international community (despite its lacklustre state and its problems with the rebels on the ground, many of them having refused to recognise its authority and rejecting the idea of negotiations) has agreed to participate in peace talks …

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The Russian Card

Everything suggested an American attack was imminent... until Putin and his five-star Foreign Minister made magic and amazed us all by buying Assad a little more time. While never-ending debates about intervention were still invading the media and after the UK Parliament threw a bucket of cold water on the idea of a Libya-style Western-led …

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