By Abdel Bari Atwan
Syrian foreign Minister Walid al-Muallem paid a surprise visit to Moscow on Monday and was greeted, upon arrival, by both President Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. What was the purpose of this visit?
We believe it has to do with the continued expansion of Islamic State (IS) which has made new gains against Assad’s Army in north west, central and southern Syria.
President Putin seems to be one of few foreign leaders to truly appreciate
Abdel Bari Atwan
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is facing times of anxiety and confusion with a wide range of problems and challenges – not least the activities of the Kurdish ‘peoples protection units’ (PPK) and the Syrian Kurdish force (YPG) in the north of Syria where they are proving the most effective military resistance to the advancing forces of the Islamic State (IS). What Erdogan fears is a demand among Turkey’s own Kurdish population for an independent
Abdel Bari Atwan
Islamic State continues to dumfound the world with a new military surge aimed at retaking Kobani, horrific massacres in Tunisia and Kuwait and an attack on a gas installation in France. A fourth attack outside IS territory seems inevitable and most Arab capitals, as well as Paris, Madrid and Rome have all raised their security status to red alert.
Paradoxically, Kuwait and Tunisia are among the most engaged states when it comes to the Syrian file having provided
On Wednesday, Secretary of the Russian Security Council Evgeny Lukyanov made a surprising appeal to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf countries telling them that they ‘should pray for Bashar al-Assad… If Assad’s regime collapses, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries will be the next targets for the Islamic State,” he said.
Lukyanov did not specify the number of ‘prayers’ or ‘rak’ahs’ which must be performed by officials in Gulf States (who
Jordan has responded via Rai al-Youm to the furore which has arisen from King Abdullah’s announcement that the country would support and arm Sunni tribes in western Iraq and eastern Syria.
Naturally, the mere announcement of the plans which were described as ‘almost complete’ was widely construed as meaning they were already underway. Furthermore they implied that the battle would be against the Islamic State since these are the areas they currently control.
Abdel Bari Atwan Special to Gulf News
The US should neither increase its troop presence in Iraq nor intervene militarily. America has twice tried — and failed — to reshape the country according to its own projects and principles; and has wasted $3 trillion (Dh11 trillion) and thousands of lives in the process. It is time for the people of Iraq to seek reconciliation and work together to rebuild their shattered country, allowing its future governance to evolve organically
The West perceives the ‘Islamic State’ (IS) as the greatest current security threat because of its relentless expansion and regular military victories in Iraq and Syria. It is remarkable that Western countries seem at a loss as to how to deal with this new titan in the ‘war on terror’. There have been more than three thousand air strikes by the US-led coalition’s warplanes but they have achieved none of their objectives and have not really challenged or weakened IS.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange
ِAbdel Bari Arwan
Wikileaks have released 61,000 leaked cables, emails and other digital communications – the first part of a promised cache of half a million other documents in its possession. Wikileaks has not revealed how it obtained the documents but it is known that the Saudi government suffered a breach of its computer networks in May and this intrusion was claimed by ‘The Yemeni Cyber Army’.
The documents are from