The Geneva Agreement and the Future of US-Iranian Relations (Part 2/2)

January 04, 2014

No immediate rapprochement is expected between the US and Iran. Hezbollah has been deeply involved in the urban fighting alongside the Syrian regime. As argued by analysts at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Hezbollah is suffering human losses which...

Land of the “Boutique Jihad”: The Foreign Fighters in Syria

November 01, 2013

The number of foreign fighters in Syria has reached an alarming level. As the Syrian Civil War rages on for a third year, it has morphed into a wider jihad by Islamist militants, both home-grown and foreign imports. Syria has become the "favorite" battleground of the so-called jihadists...

In Kurdish Syria, a Different War

September 09, 2013

Kurds are fighting jihadists for the future of Syrian Kurdistan. On August 15, a car bomb ripped through a Beirut suburb, killing 21 people. The explosion was but the latest in a wave of attacks across Lebanon throughout 2012 and 2013, that were linked to events inside Syria. The ease with...

The End of a Unified Syria

September 04, 2013

Military intervention involves serious risks of regional destabilization. The many actors stoking the long smoldering Syrian Civil War have now seen the conflict explode, following the Bashar al-Assad regime’s employment of sarin gas to stall the rebel advance in the Ghouta suburbs of...

The Alawite Question

August 22, 2013

Ensuring the protection of Alawites will expedite an end to the civil war in Syria. Syria has become a proxy war to shift the balance of power between Sunnis and Shi’ites in the Middle East. The struggle over the future of the country was not always a sectarian one; the revolution started as...

Sunni vs Shi’a: Opposition Fueled by Power Politics

August 08, 2013

The conflict between Sunnis and Shi'as is fueled by Islamists and power politics. Since it became clear in May 2013 that Hezbollah is fighting on the side of the Bashar al-Assad regime in the Syrian Civil War, there has been increasing talk about an escalating religious war between Shi'as and...

Hezbollah After Syria

July 11, 2013

The Syrian conflict has permanently altered the character and geography of Hezbollah. Hezbollah’s intervention in the Syrian Civil War has forever changed the character of the organization. Once rooted in lifting the Shi’a of Lebanon to their rightful place in the Lebanese political...

Sectarianism in the Middle East: A Letter to Josef Olmert

June 26, 2013

Not all Shi'ites support Hezbollah and not all Jews support Zionism. A response to Josef Olmert. Dear Dr. Olmert, While I appreciate your understanding of the nuances of "modern" Middle Eastern history, I believe your analysis of the region’s socio-political dynamics is overly simplistic...

The Prevalence of Sectarianism: Hezbollah and the Syrian Civil War

May 27, 2013

The civil war in Syria, despite claims to the contrary, is in its core a sectarian struggle. Josef Olmert, former Israeli peace negotiator, argues that the situation in Syria is an example of the historic Sunni-Shi'ite struggle in which Israel is not to blame. Violent civil conflict and...

Syria’s Loyalist Archipelago

May 07, 2013

Carl Anthony Wege, a renowned expert on the Levant region, decodes the complex sectarian dynamics behind the conflict in Syria and argues that the Syrian linchpin in the Shia crescent has vanished. The modern borders of Near Eastern states stretching across the Levant reflect little more than...

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