Al Qaeda

Liberated Homs Residents Challenge Notion of “Revolution”

Al-Waer, Homs’s most populated area and the city’s last insurgent holdout, might soon achieve the truce that Hom’s Old City saw in May this year when, in an exchange deal, the insurgents left their strongholds.

Ethnic Cleansing Goes Unpunished in the ‘Land of the Pure’

It has been two years since he survived an attack on his life, but 24-year-old Quwat Haider, a member of Pakistan’s minority Hazara community, still finds it hard to narrate the events that scarred him for life.

U.S.: What Is the Greatest Threat of Them All?

This month’s stunning campaign by Sunni insurgents led by the radical Islamic State of Syria and the Levant (ISIL) against the mainly Shi’a government of Iraqi President Nouri Al-Maliki is stoking a growing debate here about the hierarchy of threats facing the United States in the Middle East and beyond.

Conflicts in Syria and Iraq Raising Fears of Contagion in Divided Lebanon

With jihadists leading a Sunni uprising against Iraq’s Shiite-dominated government, the conflicts in Syria and Iraq are beginning to reverberate across the region, raising fears of contagion in divided Lebanon where a suicide bombing took place on Friday after a period of calm.

Syrian Rebel-held Mountain Villages Preparing for Bigger Battles

In the mountains east of the coastal port of government-held Latakia, three years of regime bombardment has left swaths of blackened stumps in the mountain forests and crumbling concrete structures in Sunni villages, most of whose inhabitants support opposition forces.

Syrian Kurds Ache For A Lifeline

“We all know that Ankara and Erbil have a joint plan to evacuate the entire region," Abdurrahman Hemo, head of the Kurdish Humanitarian Aid Committee tells IPS. "They want to choke the people here until they flee en masse."

OP-ED: Russia’s Changing Islamic Insurgency

With the Kremlin’s attention fixated on Ukraine, the Caucasus Emirate, a terrorist group fighting to establish an independent Islamic state in the North Caucasus, threatens to undermine Russian domestic security in new ways.

Thorny Path Toward Syrian Peace Process

The future of the complex armed conflict in Syria, which involves religious and ethnic factors as well as pressures from neighbouring countries and the strategic interests of global powers, will begin to take shape next week at a conference known as “Geneva 2.”

Fall of Fallujah Refocuses U.S. on Iraq

Two years after the last U.S. combat soldiers left Iraq, the past week’s takeover of the western city of Fallujah by the Al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has refocused Washington’s attention on a country that it had hoped to put permanently in its rear-view mirror.

Blocking NATO to Stop Drones

Upping the ante against U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan, celebrated cricketer-turned-political leader Imran Khan has threatened to block NATO supplies to Afghanistan through Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, where his party leads a coalition government.

U.S. Labels Boko Haram, Ansaru as Terror Groups

The U.S. government has designated the Nigeria-based militant groups Boko Haram and Ansaru as terrorist organisations, prohibiting U.S. citizens from interacting or aiding the groups.

Iraq Retakes Washington Centre-Stage, Briefly

Ten and a half years after invading U.S. troops ousted President Saddam Hussein’s Baathist regime, Iraq re-emerged here this week, if only briefly, as a major foreign policy agenda item.

Pakistan Drone Story Ignored Military Opposition to Strikes

The Washington Post on Thursday reported what it presented as new evidence of a secret agreement under which Pakistani officials have long been privately supporting the U.S. drone war in the country even as they publicly criticised it.

“Terrorist Groups Are Displacing Kurdish People”

Kurdish fighters have emerged as a powerful player in the Syrian war thanks to the Yekîneyên Parastina Gel (YPG - “People's Protection Units”), a seemingly well-organised armed group which has so far proved capable of defending the territory it claims in northern Syria.

Fractured Opposition Could Derail Syria Talks

Despite U.S. and Western pressure on the opposition to take part in U.N.-sponsored talks aimed at halting the two-and-a-half-year-old Syrian civil war, most experts here believe the rebels are unlikely to show up any time soon. And even if they do, the results will be unlikely to change much of anything on the ground.

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