Libya’s Chaos Offers Islamic State New Opportunities [AB Atwan in Gulf News]

  • By Abdel Bari Atwan | Special to Gulf News

  • Published: 20:00 October 26, 2014

  • Image Credit:

Thursday brought us the third anniversary of the ‘liberation of Libya’, but there were few celebrations across a nation which has been mired in blood since the revolution, torn apart by endless fighting between rival armed militias.

Muammar Gaddafi was actually executed by the armed rebels on October 20, 2011 in a manner that was barbaric, even by the new standards set by Daesh (Islamic


Libya’s Chaos Opens New Doors For Isil

By Abdel Bari Atwan

All roads in Libya today are leading in one direction – out of the country.

Libyans from the East are piling into their vehicles, loaded with all manner of belongings and heading for Egypt; those from the West are aiming for Tunisia, while the people of Misrata in the Middle of the country take to the seas in a bid to reach Malta.

It seems there are almost 2 million Libyans currently living in Egypt, and nearly 1.5 million in Tunisia; large numbers have attempted


Saudi-Iran Rivalry At Heart Of Region’s Chaos

By Abdel Bari Atwan

The rising tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran is a major cause of the problems plaguing the Middle East.

The two countries are fighting proxy wars in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon and Palestine, and people of the region are paying the price in their blood, wealth, territorial integrity and stability.

The Iranian-Saudi conflict is not new. It dates back to 1979 when the Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was overthrown.

It was later exacerbated when Tehran revealed


Erdogan And The Tricky Kurdish Card [AB Atwan in Gulf News]

  • By Abdel Bari Atwan | Special to Gulf News

  • Published: 20:00 October 16, 2014

  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: Niño Jose Heredia/©Gulf News

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appears to have stepped back from the brink of a military intervention in Kobani, the Syrian town just over the border, which the Kurds seized in 2012 and which is currently under siege from Daesh (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant). As fighters from the Syrian Kurdish Protection Units (YPG) battle it out with the well-armed,


Syria.. Iran anxieties over Turkey buffer zone

 

By Abdel Bari Atwan

It appears that the United States and its Western allies (France and the United Kingdom) have agreed to Turkish President Receb Tayyip Erdogan’s demand for a buffer zone on the  Syrian side of the lengthy Turkish-Syrian border as a pre-condition for Turkey’s involvement in the fight against Islamic State [IS].

The Pentagon admitted today that US airstrikes alone would not be sufficient to save Kobane, paving the way for ground forces to confront


Hezbollah’s attack on Israeli patrol in Lebanon may cause war

By Abdel Bari Atwan

The Lebanese Hezbollah Party is fighting fiercely to repulse an assault by the Syria-based Al-Nusrah Front on its positions in the vicinity of Brital, a town close to the Syrian border.

In an official statement, Hezbollah also claimed responsibility for detonating an explosive charge at an Israeli patrol in the Shab’a Farms border region on Tuesday that injured two Israeli soldiers.

The message that Hezbollah wants to convey to many inside and outside


Greater Chaos Envelops Syria and Iraq

By Abdel Bari Atwan

One month in, US air raids on the positions of the Islamic State inside Iraq, and more than two weeks after they began in Syria, military experts opine that the impact of these strikes is very limited. For Islamic State does not have headquarters, ministries, airports, or military bases that can be destroyed, but black flags, cars, and thousands of fighters who can easily hide among civilians in Mosul, Al-Raqqah, Dayr al-Zur, and other cities under their control.


Turkey in a foreign policy warp over ISIL [AB Atwan in Gulf News]

Having facilitated passage of weapons and funding, Ankara may now have to attack many of those same brigades

  • By Abdel Bari Atwan | Special to Gulf News

  • Published: 20:00 October 5, 2014

  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit:

I visited the Turkish government’s website the other day and was surprised to see that the Foreign Ministry statement still boasts of its ‘Zero Problems with our Neighbours’ policy.

Last Wednesday, three-quarters of Turkey’s MPs backed a motion approving the deployment


Islamic State Beckons Allies Into Disastrous Guerrilla War

By Abdel Bari Atwan

US President Barack Obama has acknowledged that he erred in assessing the threat posed by the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq; in an interview with CBC he said that the jihadist fighters who chased US troops out of Iraq into Syria had gathered to form a more powerful organization under the umbrella of the Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi and his State.

This recognition of mistakes, by the leader of the alliance which has tasked itself with eliminating Islamic State, will


America’s Real Aims In Syria

By Abdel Bari Atwan

 

America denies having requested permission from the Syrian regime to strike Islamic State, al-Nusra and Khorisan veterans’ group targets on its territory. The Syrian regime says it was ‘informed’ of the strikes slightly ahead of them. The point is it doesn’t really matter because the US is intent on proving its dominance over the region and does not, in reality, recognize the sovereignty of any Arab country, only its usefulness.