Joseph Hanna

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The First Public Memorial to Lebanon's Civil War

Beit Beirut once served as a sniper’s den.<p>After Lebanon’s 15-year civil war ended in 1990, the government passed an amnesty law that protected the conflict’s participants—from warlords to snipers—from prosecution. The policy has encouraged a culture of silence around the war. Despite the efforts of …

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As Russian pilots fly home from Syria, they can look forward to triumphant welcomes. Their commander-in-chief, Vladimir Putin, is the focus of almost as much fawning adulation – even from the supposedly hostile Western media. Once again, the Russian president is being portrayed as a strategic …

The truth about Syria

<b>Rebel-held Syria (CNN) —</b> There's a sickening moment between hearing the planes and waiting for them to drop their payload. A pit forms in your stomach. You know you could die, but you also know there's no way to divine where the strike will hit.<p>On a hill overlooking Ariha, our guard Abu Youssef …

Women secretly film inside ISIS stronghold

<b>(CNN) —</b> Two Syrian women took a hidden camera through the northern Syrian city of Raqqa to document their life under ISIS rule, knowing they faced execution should they be discovered, according to CNN Swedish affiliate Expressen TV, which commissioned the video.<p>Fully covered and wearing face veils, …

Ground invasion of Syria: Did it begin today?

Most people love bad news. They also love to be afraid. I spent most of my life being disappointed, angry, and fearful, so I’m grateful for every …

Hundreds across Syria protest against Assad for the first time in years

Demonstrations take place in Aleppo, Damascus, Daraa and Homs as residents take advantage of a rare ceasefire<p>Hundreds of people took to the streets in rebel-held neighbourhoods across Syria on Friday for the first time in years, taking advantage of a rare ceasefire to take part in the first …

Middle East

Hezbollah Claims a ‘Nuclear Option’ in Tense Standoff with Israel

The threat of devastation on both sides of the Israel-Lebanon conflict is now enormous. Does that mean no more wars?<p>TEL AVIV — “Lebanon has a nuclear …

They’re still lying about the first Gulf War: How the first George Bush helped create today’s Middle East trouble

The first Gulf War was not the good one, and 25 years later, as false history hardens, we must remember why<p>There are in American life few really unassailable opinions—especially when the calendar turns its depressed pages on primary season. That’s when the circular firing squad fills the air with …

Syria Fighting Mostly Stops As Truce Takes Effect

The agreement is the first of its kind to be attempted in four years and, if it holds, would be the most successful truce of the war so far.<p>By Tom Perry and Mariam Karouny<p>BEIRUT (Reuters) - Fighting mostly stopped across western and northern Syria on Saturday and Russia halted its air raids, under …

Syria civil war: State-of-the-art technology gives President Assad’s army the edge

You can see the Syrian army’s spanking new Russian T-90 tanks lined up in their new desert livery scarcely 100 miles from Isis’s Syrian “capital” of …

Why the most dangerous group in Syria isn't ISIS

<b>(CNN) —</b> Hardly a day goes by without news of the progress being made in the war on ISIS in Iraq and Syria. In recent months, American-backed forces have secured much of the Syrian-Turkish border, recaptured Ramadi, and stemmed the flow of fighters and supplies to the terror group's capital cities …

These 7 maps explain the Middle East

Geographically, it's the region that stretches from the eastern Mediterranean and southern Turkey to the Iran-Afghan border.<p>The region, however, is far more complex than lines on a map. It can also be defined based on ethnic and religious bloodlines.<p>In the modern Middle East, the Arab world …

Report: Syrian Army Completes East Aleppo Cauldron; 800 ISIS Fighters Trapped

Islamic State fighters are commonly referred to as 'ISIS rats' on the internet. That unflattering designation may have gone from being one of mere …

Syrian army on the ISIS front line: Russian intervention called a 'blessing'

<b>Eastern Syria (CNN) —</b> Driving along a bumpy road on the eastern fringes of Syria's Hama province, dozens of government army personnel watch from hills overlooking the desert.<p>Finally we reach a fork in the road -- to the left lies Aleppo, to the right Raqqa, the self-declared capital of ISIS. In …

Syria: Letter from Aleppo

Dear Rabi,<p>You ask about Aleppo, let me tell you about the city where we grew up together.<p>We haven’t seen a good day in years. The shelling never stops, even for an hour or two. Life has changed, all the places you remember are gone: forget them, it is too painful. The bombs dropped by the regime …

Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's mother has died

Makhlouf, who married late Syrian president Hafez al-Assad in 1957, rarely appeared in public even after al-Assad became president in 1971.<p>Al-Assad ruled Syria from 1971 until his death in 2000, and shared five children with Makhlouf, Bushra, Basil, Bashar, Majed and Maher.<p>Makhlouf was born in 1930 …

Backed By Russia, Syrian Troops Advance In A Major Battle For Aleppo

With the assistance of Russian airstrikes, President Bashar Assad's forces are pressing ahead with a major offensive around the northern city of Aleppo, a development that has sent another wave of Syrian civilians seeking refugee in neighboring Turkey.<p>Aleppo was Syria's largest city and an economic …

'Fiercest clashes' as Syria regime advances with Russian support

Meeting in Luxembourg, European Union foreign ministers also said lasting peace in Syria was impossible without a transition from President Bashar al-Assad's rule.<p>Baghdad, meanwhile, said it was trying to confirm reports that Islamic State jihadist group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had been wounded …

Kurdish forces in Syria 'will attack Islamic State's Raqqa within weeks'

Span Hamo, head of the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, says contacts are under way the US-led military coalition<p>Kurdish forces in Syria expect to launch an attack on Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant's (Isil) stronghold in the north-eastern city of Raqqa within weeks, a senior commander has …

This Is a Photo of a Palestinian Who Lit Himself on Fire With a Molotov Cocktail Intended for Israeli Soldiers. Here’s How Reuters Captioned the Moment.

Pro-Israel social media users blasted a Reuters photo caption describing an image captured Tuesday showing Palestinian men after one of them caught fire while mishandling a Molotov cocktail.<p>An Agence France-Presse stringer also captured the dramatic moment, which AFP captioned in part: “The clothes …

Watch: Dramatic footage emerges of Saturday terror attack in Jerusalem's Old City

Video captures east Jerusalem man attacking Special Patrol officers when they come to ask him for identification.<p>><br>• ><p>Dramatic footage of stabbing …

The West Bank's newest city is upscale to lure affluent Palestinians

RAWABI, West Bank — Poised on a hill, new apartment buildings with bleached stone gleam in the sun in a series of cul-de-sacs lined by freshly planted trees, forming the newest city to open in the West Bank. It doesn’t adorn the Star of David like neighboring Jewish settlements below, but rather …

Benjamin Netanyahu considers using live sniper fire against stone throwers

Israeli leader asks attorney general whether it is legal to deploy the same means in East Jerusalem and Israel as the army uses in the West Bank<p>Israeli police could be allowed to open live sniper fire against stone-throwers after Benjamin Netanyahu requested advice on whether the move would be …

What Does This Boy on Hamas TV Say He Wants to Do When He Grows Up? ‘Blow Up the Jews’ to ‘Liberate’ Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque

A children’s program on a Hamas-owned television channel recently featured a boy who said he wanted to be an engineer when he grows up so that he can “blow up the Jews” and thus seize Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa mosque from Israeli control on the Temple Mount.<p>The Middle East Media Research Institute …

20 haunting photos from the September 11 attacks that Americans will always remember

On 9/11, terrorists hijacked four planes and were able to crash two of them into the World Trade Center's twin towers in New York and one into the Pentagon.<p>The remaining jet crashed in Pennsylvania when passengers overpowered the hijackers.<p>A day that started out with clear blue skies ended with a …

Why Lebanon May Be ISIS's Next Target

ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, is sometimes referred to as ISIL, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. The term Levant refers to the geographic region in the Middle East that includes Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine and Syria. If ISIS seeks to expand its would-be caliphate …

Assad's army is gaining ground in Syria

Government planes launched dozens of air strikes overnight into the morning on parts of the Sahl al-Ghab plain seized by rebels in an advance this month, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.<p>Clashes between insurgents and state forces backed by allied militias raged on …

Young Palestinians graduate from Hamas summer camp, in pictures - Telegraph

Report: ISIS Drone Downed In Iraq Was Made In Israel

Winds of change blow through Middle East

<b>The last time an old order collapsed in the Middle East it seemed obvious who should be invited to construct a new one.</b><p>When the Turkish Empire in the region disintegrated - consumed in the desert storms of the Great War - Britain and France were still, just about, major imperial powers.<p>The blood of …