Jordan’s Decision to Buy Israeli Gas Threatens National Stability

Abdel Bari Atwan

Jordan, is in the grip of a major political furore. Members of the Jordanian parliament have “woken up” after a long sleep, as one of them described the situation. Now, many politicians are threatening a vote of no-confidence in Abdallah al-Nusur’s government, which has been the longest-serving government in Jordan’s recent history. Previous administrations did not last more than a few months.

The problem is that the Jordanian

Saudi Arabia Using Opec As Political Weapon Against Iran, Russia

On Sunday, nine Arab bourses lost about $42 billion on values. The Saudi stock exchange suffered the most – losing around $15.4 billion while Qatar lost $10.3 billion dollars. The losses are as a direct result of collapse of oil prices, which have halved since June last year.

Ironically, Saudi Arabia is primarily responsible for this collapse in oil prices because it opposed any production limitation to reduce a surplus two million barrels on world markets at the time

Russia-US Collaboration on Syria Imminent?

By Abdel Bari Atwan

 Mikhail Bogdanov, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister, has been like a Diplomatic bee cross-pollinating between Damascus, Beirut and  Istanbul in his attempts to bring about a political solution to the Syrian crisis.

Bogdanov has met with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad as well as Syrian opposition leaders, a host of Turkish officials and Hassan Nasrallah, Secretary-General of Hezbollah. However, he has pointedly abstained from visiting any Gulf

Israel Develops ‘Suicide Drone’, boasts of testing on Palestinians.

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Details are emerging of a particularly amoral Israeli Arms Industry international conference held near Ben Gurion Airport just weeks after July’s bombardment of Gaza. Attendees report that Israeli autonomous weapons manufacturers boasted their products had been ‘combat tested’ on the imprisoned Palestinian population in Gaza during ‘Operation Protective Edge’ which killed 2,200.

The event was organized by the Israelis and the US

A Letter From Lebanon

By Abdel Bari Atwan

I am writing to you from Beirut which resembles, these days, a Scandinavian city as it prepares to celebrate Christmas. Certainly you would not think yourself in the capital of a country where a full-blown conflict between its army and Islamist jihadists looms. We are not talking here about the old story of Hezbollah forces engaged inside Syria with the Syrian army, but the flaming war in Iraq and Syria as the Islamic State strives to assert itself more forcefully

Why No Syrian Response To Israeli Air Attacks?

By Abdel Bari Atwan

On Sunday, Israeli planes bombed two targets inside Syria: one near Damascus, at the airport, and the other in the town of Dimas. Although they caused only minimal damage, according to official Syrian statements, we must raise certain questions about their goals, timing and the lack of a response by the Syrians.

The raid has not been confirmed by the Israeli authorities, but according to the Israeli press, the target was shipments of advanced missiles to Hezbollah

UAE Murder of US Teacher: IS Turning Its Sights to Gulf?

By Abdel Bari Atwan

Friday’s murder of American special needs teacher, Ibolya Ryan, 47, in a UAE shopping mall is out of the ordinary not only because such attacks are rare in the Gulf Kingdom but because all the evidence points to it being a politically motivated  act of terror. A significant development as the dark ink of the Islamic State seeps through the region, suggesting that this may be the first of many such attacks in the Gulf States.

Ms. Ryan was selected for slaughter

International Alliance Against Islamic State: Friends of Syria mark 2?

By Abdel Bari Atwan

Wednesday’s statement issued by the 60-member International Alliance against Islamic State reminds me of the Friends of Syria group which has met in various Arab and European capitals over the past three years.

The international alliance held a two-day meeting in Brussels and said that the military campaign against Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria was having some impact, but to root the extremists out completely would take years.

The facts

Abbas Should Stop Talking For The Palestinian People

Abdel Bari Atwan

With the exception of the small group around him in his Ramallah headquarters, no one in the Palestinian and Arab media, nor in the Israeli administration, takes Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s recent statements seriously. They know that time has shown his threats to mean nothing and that they are quickly withdrawn.

In Cairo on Saturday, Abbas won unanimous support from the Arab League foreign ministers for a proposed UN resolution which would

Saudi Arabia’s Rash Gamble on Oil Prices

Abdel Bari Atwan

Saudi Arabia has embarked on a risky adventure with its decision not to cut back on oil production to absorb the surplus on the market, currently estimated at about one million barrels. This decision means that the price of crude oil has crashed to $66 per barrel whereas the fiscal break-even point (the amount required to balance the national budget) for Saudi oil production is $98 per barrel. The decision is even more worrying for fellow OPEC members in the Middle