Baghdadi Dies Again Nobody has been reported killed more often than the leader of the Islamic State (IS). But even if he were, it wouldn’t make that much difference.

Baghdadi Dies Again   Nobody has been reported killed more often than the leader of the Islamic State (IS). But even if he were, it wouldn’t make that much difference.
By Abdel Bari Atwan   Nobody has died as often — according to newspapers, agencies, television channels, and web outlets – as Abu-Bakr al-Baghdadi. Scarcely a month goes by without reports circulating that the leader of the Islamic State (IS) group and self-styled    ‘Caliph’ has been killed or seriously injured in an airstrike by the 60-member coalition that has been busy bombing its twin capitals of Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria.   On Sunday, the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights run by Rami Abdurrahman, which is close to Western agencies as well as Syrian opposition groupings, reported that the IS is trying to find a... المزيد
التصنيف : ENGLISH

Murder in Ankara

Murder in Ankara
  If the Russian ambassador’s assassination was a protest against Turkey’s rapprochement with his country it is likely to back-fire By Abdel Bari Atwan     Monday’s assassination in Ankara of Russian Ambassador Andrey Karlov, and the way it was carried out, sums up the troubles facing Turkey and the region and could be a portent of things to come in the next few months.   The ambassador was shot eight times by an off-duty member of the Turkish security forces while preparing to give a speech at a cultural event. The killer repeatedly shouted ‘Allahu Akbar’ and slogans proclaiming that he was acting to exact revenge for... المزيد
التصنيف : ENGLISH

Internationalizing the Yemen War As the tables turn against Saudi Arabia in the conflict, the Americans risk being increasingly dragged in, and the Russians could follow

Internationalizing the Yemen War   As the tables turn against Saudi Arabia in the conflict, the Americans risk being increasingly dragged in, and the Russians could follow
By Abdel Bari Atwan       One year and a half after the start of the Saudi-led ‘Decisive Storm’ aerial bombing campaign, the tables are turning in Yemen. The intended targets of the assault – the Houthi Ansarallah movement and the followers of former president Ali Abdallah Saleh – have moved on from their initial survival and acclimatization stage. They have gone into decidedly offensive and escalatory mode, attacking ‘hostile’ naval vessels in the Bab al-Mandeb Straight with land-to-sea missiles, and firing long-range rockets deep into Saudi territory at a military base in Taef more than 500-km away.   These actions say two... المزيد
التصنيف : ENGLISH

Feeling Abandoned The Syrian opposition is upset that the US won’t intervene militarily. But the hawks are stirring, and things could change if Hillary becomes president.

Feeling Abandoned The Syrian opposition is upset that the US won’t intervene militarily. But the hawks are stirring, and things could change if Hillary becomes president.
By Abdel Bari Atwan   A climate of despair coupled with intense anger prevails in Syrian opposition circles these days, specifically among the array of political figures and would-be leaders who have set up shop in various Western and regional capitals under the auspices of their respective governments.   The main cause of this mood is the leaking of the conversation US Secretary of State John Kerry had with a group of Syrians in New York on the side-lines of the UN General Assembly in New York on 22 September. The intensified fighting in Aleppo and the sharp rise in tensions between the US and Russia after the collapse of the cease-fire they agreed had raised hopes... المزيد
التصنيف : ENGLISH

Controversy surrounds fully automatic corpse-washing device in Iran

Controversy surrounds fully automatic corpse-washing device in Iran
A few years ago in Iran, a fully automatic corpse-washing device raised a social debate about whether it was acceptable to give the task of washing a human body to a machine. The device was to have been made in China, which caused many to question whether it was appropriate for a machine made designed by non-Muslims to be in charge of such a sacred task.   However, Iranian news agency Mehr denied that the machines were made in China, stating that they were in fact made in the northeastern city of Mashhad.   An Iranian official was quoted by the news agency stating that Mashhad had the second highest rates of deaths after the capital city of... المزيد
التصنيف : ENGLISH

Coming Clean on Libya

Coming Clean on Libya
  The report of the UK parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee confirms that opponents of the Nato intervention in Libya were right. But is anyone learning the lessons?           By Abdel Bari Atwan                                                     Bernard-Henri L é vy became irate when asked by an interviewer recently why the 2011 Nato intervention in Libya failed to bring security or stability to the country but instead plunged it into its current state of bloody mayhem. The French    ‘philosopher’, who famously played a key role in persuading then-president Nicolas... المزيد
التصنيف : ENGLISH

Syria’s Delusional Opposition

Syria’s Delusional Opposition
By Abdel Bari Atwan   When the American talk-show host and libertarian candidate for the US presidency, Gary Johnson, was asked what he would do about Aleppo if he made it to the White House, he replied: “What is Aleppo?”   Johnson was widely panned for his response. Yet it is doubtful that many Obama administration officials – Secretary of State John Kerry and his aides included – could give a more coherent or clearer answer.   This point needs to be made in light of the collapse of expectations that the US and Russia were on the verge of concluding a deal on Syria this week. Presidents Barack  Obama and Vladimir were set to put the... المزيد
التصنيف : ENGLISH

NATO’s Libya Replay

NATO’s Libya Replay
AbdelbariAtwan   The real news from Libya last week was not the announcement by the Government of National Accord (GNA) headed by Fayez al-Sarraj that its forces had taken control of the Islamic State (IS) group’s headquarters in the Ouagadougou Conference Centre in the city of Sirte. The actual story was the majorrole played by US Special Forces, with air cover from F-16 warplanes, in this accomplishment.   The GNA is a mere fig-leaf, no more and no less. It was only brought into being in the first place to legitimize such intervention, on the ground and from the air, by US, British and French forces. Mr.Sarraj, has no say in the matter and no power, as he... المزيد
التصنيف : ENGLISH

The Grand Russo-Turkish Trade-Off?

The Grand Russo-Turkish Trade-Off?
By AbdelbariAtwan   Turkey and Russia have wasted no time in moving towards full political, military and economic normalization following Tuesday’s talks in St. Peter sburg between presidents Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Vladimir Putin.  Steps have been quickly taken to translate into practice the understandings reached during the two-hour closed-door meeting the two menheld ahead of their formal reconciliation summit. These can be expected to result, in one form or another, in an entente over the Syrian crisis andthe forming of alliances in other regions, notably the Caucasus.   According to Russian and Turkish diplomatic reports leaked to the media, the... المزيد
التصنيف : ENGLISH

Egypt Caught Napping As Netanyahu Visits Nile Countries

Egypt Caught Napping As Netanyahu Visits Nile Countries
Abdel Bari Atwan   It is unlikely that the revival of the peace process or the attempt at rescuing the two states solution represent the main purpose of Mr. Sameh Shukri, the Egyptian foreign minister’s, recent visit to Israel. Rather, it conceals the real purposes of the visit, or the main one, which is enhancing the relations and accelarating ‘normalization’ with the Israeli state and pave the way for an anticipated visit by Netanyahu to Cairo.   The above is certainly linked to Israel’s efforts to establish close relations with the countries of the Nile basin which should have set alarm bells ringing in Cairo. Netanyahu has just completed a... المزيد
التصنيف : ENGLISH