News feed

Umm Omar had not seen her youngest son, Ali, in three years before he was killed by a US-led coalition airstrike on Raqqa city. He is just one of the roughly 500 people who have reportedly been killed by coalition airstrikes on ISIS’s former Syrian stronghold since June. (More…)

In 2004, King Abdullah of Jordan warned that a “Shia Crescent” of Iranian-led movements and governments would begin to dominate the northern Middle East. His predictions were quickly echoed by regional leaders, from Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak to defensive Persian Gulf monarchs, and an American security establishment overly focused on Tehran’s influence in a number of regional capitals.  (More…)

After watching Dunkirk, you’ll likely spend some time silently processing the film. The interwoven timelines, the high pressure soundtrack and the constant threat of death can easily captivate the viewer. (More…)

It can be lonely to be a critic of Israel in Germany. Across the political spectrum most German media and all major political parties adhere to a strict consensus in defense of Israel. Even on the left, where Israel’s worst transgressions may inspire an occasional scolding, any position that questions Israel’s “right to exist“ on any grounds whatsoever is anathema. (More…)

In Damascus, war profiteers are leveraging the scarcity of burial spots in the capital to rent out graves as one would apartments, charging as much as $1,000 per year for a plot of land. (More…)

The statistics are in. One anti-racist protester, Heather Heyer, 32, is dead. One member of the International Socialist Organization is injured, as are two members of the Democratic Socialists of America. And so are at least a dozen more. (More…)

One occasionally hears it said that just when you think something is foolproof they come out with a better quality of fool. Alarming as it is, this is one of those principles so universally admitted that one hardly thinks that any gentleman (or gentlewoman) would deny it. (More…)

It’s highly unlikely that President Trump will adopt Erik Prince’s proposal to privatise the war in Afghanistan. Prince’s plan, first published as on op-ed in the Wall Street Journal in May, triggered a heated discussion that remains ongoing. The piece was especially provocative coming from the nominally reserved WSJ. (More…)

Prisons are holistic and extended social systems, a point that remains too little recognized in public discussions of prisons and imprisonment. That system includes prison staff and their families, people equally capable of social expression as prisoners and their own families. While prisoners often write of their experiences, prison wardens and guards are far more reticent. (More…)

People who have been living in a ghetto for a couple of centuries, are not able to step outside merely because the gates are thrown down, nor to efface the brands on their souls by putting off the yellow badges. The isolation imposed from without will have come to seem the law of their being. But a minority will pass, by units, into the larger, freer, stranger life amid the execrations of an ever-dwindling majority. (More…)

Ahrar al-Sham’s decision to replace its top command this week offers a glimpse at how the outgunned rebel group is adjusting to the ascendancy of al-Qaida-linked factions in Syria, and the changing nature of the insurgency against president Bashar al-Assad. (More…)

Throughout the refugee crisis, European news media has focused on Syrians, often at the expense of other significant groups of migrants. Among these are Afghans seeking asylum in the EU, who made up 15% of total applicants in 2016. Afghans were also the second largest refugee group by nationality and were the biggest before the Syrian Civil War.  (More…)