New and unexpected strains in Washington’s ties with two of its closest Middle Eastern allies -- Saudi Arabia and Turkey -- have underlined the difficult challenges the administration of President Barack Obama faces in navigating its way in the region’s increasingly treacherous and turbulent waters.
When Saudi Arabia sought the presidency of the General Assembly in a bid for U.N. glory back in 1991, the oil-rich kingdom was facing Papua New Guinea in a race to head the highest policy-making body in the organisation.
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.
International peace talks on the Syria conflict could take place next month, Syria's deputy prime minister has said.
This week the Islamic world marks one of its holiest holidays, Eid al-Adha - honouring Ibrahim’s commitment to sacrifice his first-born son to Allah. The festival involves large family gatherings, bountiful lunches and generous gift giving.
After fleeing the war three months ago, Gulnaz is headed back for Syria to bury her brother within the 24 hours Islam stipulates. But it is far from easy to take the coffin across the Syrian-Iraqi border.
Free Syrian Army fighters stand guard over the state cable company premises to avoid looting in Khan Al-Assal, a district 14 kilometres west of Aleppo. Much of the rest of the place seems a nightmarish ghost town.
A week that began with a blistering denunciation by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu of Iranian duplicity ended with diminished prospects for Israel to take direct action to address Iran's nuclear capabilities.
The prisoner is led, handcuffed and dirty, into what until last year served as a school. “A shabiha
,” said one of the anti-regime rebels in the room. “We found him two days ago at a checkpoint.”
Scorching flames from a makeshift oil refinery sting eyes and the fumes choke throats near the top of a hill in northwestern Syria, where Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters gather for fuel, coffee and phone calls as darkness falls.
On the eve of a possible – if seemingly accidental – encounter between U.S. President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani in the corridors of the U.N. Secretariat building Tuesday, speculation over the possibility of détente between Washington and Tehran has become rampant.
“Does Israel have chemical weapons too?” is the question posed by the U.S. publication Foreign Policy, citing a newly uncovered CIA document from 1983 which alleged that Israel is likely to have developed such weapons.
People run back home at dusk, just when the shooting intensifies. To Sha Mehmed the experience is familiar. He was 11 when he left his native Afghan village to settle in this small Turkish town on the border with Syria.
Just three weeks ago, Washington’s hawks, particularly of the pro-Israel neo-conservative variety, were flying high, suddenly filled with hope.
While the relentless war in Syria continuously adds to the number of refugees travelling west to Europe, Greece is fast becoming a nation they are choosing to avoid.