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If you're wondering why Saudi Arabia and Israel have united against Al-Jazeera, here's the answer

When Qatar’s Al Jazeera satellite channel has both the Saudis and the Israelis demanding its closure, it must be doing something right. To bring …

Middle East

'Everyone in Syria is bad now', says UN war crimes prosecutor as she quits post

A senior war crimes prosecutor has announced she is resigning from a United Nations panel on Syria, saying she has lost faith it will ever bring criminals to account and that “everyone is bad” now in the war-torn country.<p>Carla Del Ponte said she was quitting the three-member commission …

How Assad’s Allies Got $18 Million From the UN

The United Nations paid at least $18 million last year to companies with close ties to Bashar al-Assad, some of them run by cronies of the Syrian …

Bashar al-Assad

After Russia’s Retaliation, Embassy Workers Brace for a ‘Shock to the System’

MOSCOW — The last time the Kremlin forced a sweeping reduction of local staff at the American Embassy in Moscow, a young diplomat named Steven Pifer found himself working four days a week on arms control, as usual. But on the fifth day, he navigated the capital in a big truck to move furniture or …

News

As Syria Crumbles, Only Iran Is a Sure Winner

Six years. Half a million dead. Many millions displaced. Untold thousands tortured and killed.<p>The Syrian civil war is the worst humanitarian disaster of our young century, and would have been high on the list of the last one. But unlike the great world wars of the past, this relatively local …

Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates Pay High Price For Botched Attack On Qatar

The pampered petro-states of Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates expected a quick victory after imposing a quasi-blockade on neighboring Qatar. Past crises in relations had been peacefully resolved, but this time Qatar’s antagonists demanded its virtual surrender, particularly abandonment of an …

Trump ends covert CIA program to arm anti-Assad rebels in Syria, a move sought by Moscow

By Greg Jaffe and<p>Greg Jaffe<p>National security reporter<p>Email Bio Follow<p>Adam Entous<p>Adam Entous<p>Reporter who wrote about national security, foreign policy and intelligence.<p>Bio<p>President Trump has decided to end the CIA’s covert program to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels battling the government of …

Middle East

Iraqi soldiers' torture videos 'risk plunging country back into sectarian violence'

First came the bodies, discovered bound and blindfolded at the side of the road. Then came the photographs of young men being strung up by their wrists and whipped.<p>As the battle for the Iraqi city of Mosul neared its end, the torture and killing became more brazen and seemingly more …

On hot mic, Israeli PM raps 'crazy' EU, admits Syria strikes

BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was caught Wednesday by a live microphone railing against the European Union's …

Syrian Rebels Shoot Down Assad Warplane Near Cease-Fire Zone

Two rebel groups said they downed the plane in regime-controlled territory just days after the U.S. and Russia agreed to a ceasefire in the region.<p>Two Syrian rebel groups shot down a warplane in southern Syria on Tuesday, the groups announced in a joint statement. The shooting took place over …

Middle East

US, Qatar sign anti-terror deal to end diplomatic spat

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has announced an agreement with Qatar targeting the financing of extremist groups. The tiny Gulf country has been …

The Israeli Right Is Terrified of Peace — And Their Jerusalem Bill Proves It

The man who heads the right flank of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Israeli governing coalition, Education Minister Naftali Bennett, …

What Assad Has Won

ORAN, Algeria — The Arab springs are nearly all out of season; everywhere except in Tunisia, they are aging poorly.<p>In the beginning, after a popular uprising, it was the dictator who fled, by airplane, as did president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia in early 2011. Now it’s the opposite that is …

What are Israel's goals in West Africa?

Tel Aviv is on a charm offensive in West Africa, taking advantage of Arab absence to court ECOWAS states.<p>The presence of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at last month's Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) summit in Liberia was a clear sign of strengthened ties between …

In Syria's Raqqa, corpses left to rot in the streets

BEIRUT (Reuters) - When Abu Ahmad stepped out of his house in Raqqa after a night of heavy air strikes, he found several of his neighbors lying dead in the street.<p>FILE PHOTO: A Kurdish fighter from the People's Protection Units (YPG) looks at a smoke after an coalition airstrike in Raqqa, Syria …

Saudis are leading backers of 'extremism' in UK: report | Saudi Arabia News

Saudi Arabia is for the most part "guilty of advancing extremism" in Britain, a think-tank report has said in claims that were denied by the Saudi government.<p>"While entities from across the Gulf and Iran have been guilty of advancing extremism, those in Saudi Arabia are undoubtedly at the top of …

Saudi Arabia

Anyone who wants to be president needs to understand these 5 maps

Maps shape how we see the world.<p>But most of the maps hanging on our walls are dangerously incomplete because they emphasize political borders rather than functional connections.<p>The world has less than 500,000 kilometers of borders.<p>By comparison, it has 64 million km of highways, 4 million km of …

Knowledge Management

Al Jazeera journalists: Don't treat us like 'criminals'

Al Jazeera is fighting back against demands that the government of Qatar should close down the media network.<p>Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt have called for Qatar to shut Al Jazeera. It's one of 13 things they say Qatar must do before they'll restore diplomatic and …

Human Rights

Assad's face appears on Syrian currency for the first time as brutal conflict rumbles on

President Bashar al-Assad has appeared on the Syrian currency for the first time, his portrait printed on a new 2,000-pound banknote that went into circulation Sunday.<p>Central bank governor Duraid Durgham said the 2,000-pound note was one of several new notes printed years ago but the decision to …

Damascus rocked by suicide blast, 2 others foiled

Security forces chased three explosive-laden vehicles through Damascus Sunday, intercepting two of them at checkpoints but failing to stop the third before it exploded in the city center, killing at least eight people, state media and others reported.<p>The rare attack in the heart of Syria's capital …

21 Killed in Car Bomb Explosions in Syria’s Capital

BEIRUT, Lebanon — A series of car bomb blasts shook the Syrian capital, Damascus, early Sunday, killing 21 people and highlighting security gaps in parts of the country controlled by President Bashar al-Assad, according to an opposition monitoring group.<p>A suicide bomber blew up the car he was …

Veteran Syrian defense minister Tlass dies in Paris at 85

BEIRUT (Reuters) - Syria’s former defense minister, Mustafa Tlass, who was a close confidant of the late President Hafez al-Assad but left the country after the uprising started, died in Paris on Tuesday aged 85, relatives said.<p>Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (R) and Defence Minister Mustafa Tlass …

Donald Trump is reckless on Syria. It's his most dangerous foreign policy folly.

Trump said Obama's 'horrendous leadership' on Syria could start World War III. He's made things even worse.<p>Last year on the campaign trail, crowds roared when Donald Trump denounced his opponent as "trigger-happy" Hillary. But President Trump is rapidly incarnating the vice he condemned. Nowhere is …

64 years later, the CIA finally released details of the coup in Iran

The approximately 1,000 pages of documents also reveal for the first time the details of how the CIA attempted to call off the failing coup — only to be salvaged at the last minute by an insubordinate spy on the ground.<p>Known as Operation Ajax, the CIA plot was ultimately about oil. Western firms …

Destabilizing the Middle East (yet more)

<b>(AP Photo/Evan Vucci)</b><p>The Saudi regime is playing Donald Trump with potentially disastrous consequences<p>William D. Hartung<p>June 22, 2017 8:00am (UTC)<p>This piece originally appeared on TomDispatch.<p>At this point, it’s no great surprise when Donald Trump walks away from past statements in service to some …

Qatar crisis: The deep diplomatic tensions behind the row

<b>Sometimes the recipe for a dispute says "leave to simmer". This one has been simmering for years. But then suddenly some of the cooks increase the heat substantially and dispute boils over into full-blown crisis.</b><p>The underlying tensions between Qatar and three of her Gulf neighbours in particular …

Syrian polio outbreak hits global effort to eradicate virus

GENEVA (Reuters) - A polio outbreak has been confirmed in an area of Syria partly held by Islamic State, the first re-emergence of the virus in Syria since 2014, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and the World Health Organization said on Thursday.<p>The virus was confirmed in stools of two …

How the ISIS attack on Iran may escalate regional conflict

<b>JUDY WOODRUFF:</b><p>We return to the attacks in Iran, the implications and consequences, and the wider picture in a greatly unsettled region.<p>In a moment, …

The Arab Epics of 1967

CAIRO — To write a good story, an epic, a historical tale, you need armies, each fighting under its flag and serving its king. You need revenge and tidy endings. You need castles and walls and old stones. For romantic moments, you need beautiful landscapes. You don’t need awkward moments, silly …

US aircraft shoots down Iranian-made drone in Syria

<b>Washington (CNN) —</b> US aircraft shot down an Iranian-made drone that fired on coalition forces patrolling with partner forces in southern Syria, a coalition spokesman told reporters on Thursday.<p>This is the first time that pro-Syrian regime forces -- which the US says includes Iranian-backed Shia …