November, 2016 Middle East

 Putin Syria


Al-Monitor
Putin wastes no time in Syria

Although US President-elect Donald Trump has signaled his willingness to work with Russia to end the war in Syria, Russian President Vladimir Putin is taking nothing for granted.
Trump said in an interview with The New York Times on Nov. 22, “We have to end that craziness that’s going on in Syria.” 

Shiite militias


Rekindling sectarian rivalries at a sensitive time, Iraq's parliament on Saturday voted to fully legalize state-sanctioned Shiite militias long accused of abuses against minority Sunnis, adopting a legislation that promoted them to a government force empowered to "deter" security and terror threats facing the country, like the Islamic State group.

 Turkey Iran

Burak Bekdil
A few days ago, columnist Nevşin Mengü wrote an excellent piece in this newspaper, “Iran’s Turkish question,” (HDN, Nov. 22). Ms. Mengü wrote that she was wandering around a historic caravansary outside Kashan in Iran where a young man said there was no such language as Turkish as “Turkish was a dialect of Farsi.”

 Trump Gen. Flynn


DEBKAfile Exclusive Report

Unlike most US president elects, Donald Trump is not waiting to be formally sworn into office on Jan. 20. DEBKAfile’s exclusive military and Washington sources reveal that he has already plunged unannounced into managing America’s military role in the conflicts in Syria and Iraq. 

 Israel-Jordanian-Syrian border

DEBKAfile Special Report

Israel, Jordan and Syria have embarked on secret discussions for the stabilization of their borders in southern Syria by restoring the status quo ante that reigned on the Golan prior to the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011.

Russia Middle East

 

A briefing by Anna Borshchevskaya
Anna Borshchevskaya, the Ira Weiner Fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, and a fellow at the European Foundation for Democracy, briefed the Middle East Forum in a conference call on November 3, 2016.

Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran


BY ROBERT SPENCER 

In his 2006 Regensburg address, Pope Benedict cited the 14th-century Byzantine emperor Manuel II Paleologus regarding the preaching of violence in a religion, stating:

“Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached…”

Trump  Iran


DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis 

Donald Trump's ratings soar in Iranian media too
In more than one campaign speech, President elect Donald Trump declared that his number priority was “to dismantle the disastrous deal” with Iran, which he said was “the worst deal ever” He was referring to the 2015 accord negotiated with Iran by the 5P+1 (five Permanent Security Council members plus Germany), which the Obama administration presented as putting the lid on Iran’s nuclear weapons program.

 Medvedev in Jerusalem


DEBKAfile Special Report 

Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his prime minister Dmitry Medvedev to Israel Wednesday, Nov. 9 as a gesture to mark the 25th anniversary of the resumption of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Battle for Raqqa


Author Fehim Taştekin
Following the operation launched to liberate Mosul from the Islamic State for Iraq and Syria, an expedited operation code-named Wrath of the Euphrates was initiated to liberate the IS stronghold of Raqqa in Syria. Ankara has been perceptibly upset since it became known that the Raqqa operation was initiated by the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces despite earlier optimistic predictions that Ankara, which was sidelined from the Mosul operation, would be in partnership with the United States at Raqqa.

IranTurkey Iraq


by Jonathan Spyer, The Jerusalem Post
Iran and Turkey are engaged in a contest for supremacy in northern Iraq, even as the fight against Islamic State continues.

 US promises Turkey role in Raqqa


Author Amberin Zaman

US efforts to appease Turkey over its collaboration with Syrian Kurdish-led forces to take Raqqa, the self-declared capital of the Islamic State, appeared to have yielded some progress over the weekend following an unannounced visit by Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to Ankara.

Turkish Posturing in Iraq


FRITZ LODGE The Newsletter

As Iraqi Army forces enter Mosul proper and anti-ISIS coalition forces encircle the city, the complex and bloody operation to safely wrest a city of approximately one million people from the grip of ISIS militants will continue to dominate headlines. However, for the region’s power players, the question of what comes after Mosul’s fall may be more important than the conduct of the campaign itself.

 Michel Aoun


After a 29-month presidential vacuum, Lebanese parliament elects former army commander Michel Aoun as president; under political deal, Saudi-backed Sunni Muslim leader Saad al-Hariri expected to become prime minister.

Middle East, Politics
 Clinton and Trump


DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis 
Whoever is elected US president on Nov. 8, he or she will land in the middle of a foreign policy shambles and face a pressing need to rebuild America’s fences in most parts of the world, including the war-ridden, messy Middle East. The Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and her Republican rival Donald Trump, whose approaches are so different in every respect, will both find it impossible to isolate America from the Middle East

 Chemical warfare


Alex Fishman

Analysis: Israel is facing a situation in which its potential enemies – radical Islamic states or organizations – have turned chemical weapons into legitimate warfare.
James Clapper, the American director of national intelligence, relayed a public strategic warning to countries in the Middle East last week: The United States is not really capable of influencing nuclear proliferation. We cannot help you against a nuclear enemy, and each country is on its own.

Turkish invasion Syria


Barcin Yinanc
“We never believed it was the decision of the president to shoot down the plane. We know that outside forces were involved with that decision,” said Leonid Reshetnikov, the head of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies (RISS).

Pipeline War


By Gaius Publius

Summary first: We have been at war in Syria over pipelines since 1949. This is just the next mad phase.

Pro Erdogan rally


Author Ali Bayramoglu
TranslatorSibel Utku Bila

“No issue in the Middle East can be discussed without Turkey.” So spoke Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in March 2013 as he boasted how the Justice and Development Party (AKP) had transformed Turkey from a country that “sought help from others 10 years ago” to a country that leads “an active foreign policy” and sees “the whole world” as the domain of its diplomacy.