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Having Ousted the West, Hezbollah to Deal with the East

Having Ousted the West, Hezbollah to Deal with the East

As the civil war in Syria winds down, the regime of Bashar al Assad appears to be preparing to regain its lost influence in Lebanon. But Syria’s battlefield allies, Iran and Hezbollah, have no intention of returning to a role of subservience to Damascus in Lebanon, writes Basem Shabb   In a briefing on November...

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The Next Hezbollah-Israel War Inches Closer

The Next Hezbollah-Israel War Inches Closer

The Israelis have chosen to publicly reveal the locations of Hezbollah’s alleged missile manufacturing facilities in Lebanon, rather than simply bombing them, to avert an escalation that could lead to war and to give international diplomacy a chance. But how long are the Israelis prepared to wait as Hezbollah grows ever stronger, asks Hanin Ghaddar...

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Raqqa: The Islamic State’s One-time Capital Continues to Suffer

Raqqa: The Islamic State’s One-time Capital Continues to Suffer

The murder of a prominent Arab tribal figure in Raqqa is the latest indication that the city – which was the self-declared capital of the ISIS caliphate until October last year – remains mired in Arab-Kurdish rivalry and exploited by a host of domestic and foreign interests, writes Mona Alami following a recent trip she...

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Is a Ceasefire Possible in Yemen?

Is a Ceasefire Possible in Yemen?

The US is launching a seemingly determined effort to bring Yemen’s bloody three-and-a-half-year war to a close amid a growing international outcry over the country’s ever-worsening humanitarian plight. But are Iran and its Houthi allies ready to meet their enemies in Saudi Arabia and the UAE midway to resolve the conflict, asks Michael Knights  ...

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A Delicate Balance in Iraq

A Delicate Balance in Iraq

As he settles into his new role as president of Iraq, Barham Salih will preside over a host of challenges, including soothing Arab-Kurdish tensions and maintaining cordial relationships with Iran and the US, writes Rudan Balay.   Barham Salih, the newly elected president of Iraq, the eighth in the post-Saddam Hussein era, is a political...

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Greening the Blue Line

Greening the Blue Line

Israel has launched new accusations that Lebanon’s Hezbollah is operating observation posts along the Blue Line under the cover of an NGO, Green Without Borders, in breach of a UN resolution. But what is Hezbollah really up to, asks Nicholas Blanford   The Israeli army has again accused Lebanon’s Hezbollah organization of flouting a United...

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Is Abdul-Mahdi’s Weakness Good or Bad?

Is Abdul-Mahdi’s Weakness Good or Bad?

A colorless and unpopular figure makes for a convenient choice of prime minister in Iraq’s fractious political climate but will the country benefit, asks Hussain Abdul-Hussain   A trend has been established for the selection of Iraqi prime minister. In their bid to bloc their rivals, political heavyweights agree on whoever they think is weakest....

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Is the Yemen War Really Deadlocked? Think Again.

Is the Yemen War Really Deadlocked? Think Again.

The Saudi-led coalition is making incremental gains against the Houthis of Yemen and looks poised to seize the vital port of Hodeidah which suggests it may be making more progress than commonly thought, writes Michael Knights