Near & Middle East

Most of the modern states of the Middle East were created as a result of agreements between the British and the French at the end of World War I. Much of the region had belonged to the Ottoman Empire for over 400 years. Since Turkey was defeated in the war, Britain and France became the chief beneficiaries of the dismemberment of Ottoman colonial holdings. (More…)

IDLIB, Syria – The bombs and missiles falling on Idlib are getting more frequent by the day.

Usually, when it’s calm, my colleagues and I make home visits to provide psychological support to individuals and families. If there is fighting in the area, we can’t move from the health centre. Recently, we had to stop working for an entire day because of the intense fighting. But we haven’t closed our operations and are trying to keep it running until the fighting stops. If God wills, this will end soon. (More…)

Ayad Saryoul has spent most of the past month in an underground shelter that he shares with his family and 40 other people. Sometimes spending 18 hours straight underground, he passes the time by counting the number of rockets and shells that fall on the besieged Eastern Ghouta suburbs of Damascus. (More…)

My mother grew up in Zimbabwe’s second city, Bulawayo when it was still colonial Rhodesia and I have spent the last decade reporting from the Middle East. (More…)

BEIRUT – Situated within mortar-range of the Syrian capital, the Eastern Ghouta region has been the main launch point for rebel attacks targeting Damascus – thus a grave threat to the government’s seat of power – since it fell to opposition forces in 2012. (More…)

BEIRUT – The Syrian war has often been cast as a sectarian conflict between a Sunni majority population and a minority Shiite ruling elite. However, sectarianism is only one component of a multi-faceted conflict that is also partially driven by socio-economic grievances, according to Fabrice Balanche, a visiting fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute. (More…)

ISTANBUL – For two years Alaa* lived in a basement in Istanbul with his mother and sister. As the sole provider for both, Alaa said he had to work as a waiter for 12 hours a day to pay rent and bills. (More…)

BEIRUT – After the United States heavily retaliated against pro-Syrian government forces advancing on an American-controlled base, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis repeated the standard justification for US action in the country: “It was self-defence. Obviously, we are not getting engaged in the Syrian civil war.” (More…)

If Foucault appeared to show enthusiasm for the Iranian passion plays and rituals during the revolution, it is perhaps because in them he saw practices of truth and ethical subjectivation that represented a more radical rejection than the ousting of the Shah; the rejection by a people not only of foreigners but of everything that had constituted, for years, for centuries, its political destiny. (More…)

BEIRUT – Hundreds of civilians have been killed in attacks on so-called de-escalation zones in Syria in January, undermining a Russian-led agreement that world powers have touted as a step toward a comprehensive cease-fire in the country. (More…)

We live at a time of uprisings. Whether it is against autocratic regimes outside of Europe, or against the asset strippers of the IMF and World Bank within it, people around the globe are banding together in a collective drive towards revolt. At the same time, the hopes of millions in the Middle East for an end to tyranny are under threat. (More…)

BEIRUT – Turkey’s latest offensive on a Kurdish enclave in northern Syria has pitted two US allies against each other and raised the risk of a confrontation between Ankara and Washington – a move that “is great for Russia”, Jonas Parello-Plesner, senior policy fellow at the Hudson Institute, told Syria Deeply. (More…)