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Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

Turkey Is Finally Doing Something Useful in the Fight Against ISIL

Daniel R. DePetris | Posted 07.27.2015 | World
Daniel R. DePetris

Before the United States dispatched its F-15's and F-16's over the skies of Iraq and Syria last fall, the administration worked furiously behind the scenes to assemble an anti-ISIL coalition that would prove durable.

A Yazidi Father's Nightmare

Taban Shoresh | Posted 07.08.2015 | World
Taban Shoresh

Hadi, Yazidi and from Sinjar spent a whole day introducing us to Yazidi women who had suffered the atrocities committed by ISIS (Daesh). We arrived at the hotel, feeling emotionally drained, numb and in shock from what we'd learned.

Re-Configuring the Middle East: IS and Changing Demographics

James Dorsey | Posted 07.08.2015 | World
James Dorsey

The Syrian civil war and Iraqi sectarian conflicts involving Islamic State (IS) have had far-reaching consequences for the demographics across the region.

Akbar Shahid Ahmed

Congress Voted Against Directly Arming Iraq's Kurds. Here's What That Means For The ISIS Fight.

HuffingtonPost.com | Akbar Shahid Ahmed | Posted 07.01.2015 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama's strategy for combating the extremist Islamic State group is still evolving. But for some members of Congress on...

Washington's Way of Dealing With Hostages: More Bureaucracy

Daniel R. DePetris | Posted 06.26.2015 | Politics
Daniel R. DePetris

For Al-Qaeda affiliates around the world, holding westerners hostage and threatening to kill them if their governments don't pay for their release is big business. In fact, kidnapping is a massive windfall for terrorist organizations in general.

Yazidi Youth Protests Through His Art

Raza Rumi | Posted 06.15.2015 | World
Raza Rumi

Recently, I came across a young Ezdi, Nasser H. Kassow from Shingal (Sinjar) who is a student of English at a University in Zakho. Kassow had tweeted some of his impressionistic paintings on the state of Yazidis. As we engaged on social media, I interviewed him via Skype to know a little more about his work.

A Campaign in Saudi Arabia Challenges Young People to Rethink Their Biases

Joseph Braude | Posted 06.15.2015 | World
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Joseph Braude

A three-minute video, posted by a Saudi government-backed organization to YouTube on June 4, has garnered 150,000 views in 48 hours and sparked a discussion in the kingdom about how to stem sectarian conflict.

Mr. President, Get Your Team on the Same Page About Iraq and ISIL

Daniel R. DePetris | Posted 05.27.2015 | Politics
Daniel R. DePetris

To say that the capture of Ramadi, the provincial capital of Anbar Province, by ISIL over a week ago was an embarrassment to the Iraqi army would be a massive understatement.

Middle East and North Africa: Forcing China to Revisit Long-standing Policies

James Dorsey | Posted 05.25.2015 | World
James Dorsey

A scan of white papers on multiple foreign policy issues published by the Chinese government is glaring for one thing: the absence of a formulated, conceptual approach towards the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

Beating the Terrorist Brand -- The Need for a Political Offensive

Matt Freear | Posted 05.22.2015 | Politics
Matt Freear

It is clear that today's persistent terrorist organizations are manipulating marketing ideas like consistency, uniqueness and credibility far more effectively than we are undermining them. Often, we inadvertently help them, without realizing how they are succeeding.

An Interview with Libya's Ambassador to the United Nations

Joseph Braude | Posted 06.19.2015 | World
Joseph Braude

Joseph Braude met with Ambassador Ibrahim al-Dabbashi, the Permanent Representative of Libya to the United Nations, to discuss hopes for reconstruction and renewal of civil society and state institutions, and a culture of religious moderation and tolerance.

The Peshmerga's Leaders and the French President

Bernard-Henri Lévy | Posted 06.09.2015 | World
Bernard-Henri Lévy

A civilian war leader conferring with uniformed military leaders. The president of the world's fifth-largest power, a member of the United Nations Security Council, listening intently to the generals of a great nation that is not yet a state, offering encouragement, promising France's redoubled support. It is a weighty and potentially decisive moment.

Netanyahu and the Risky Business of 'Business as Usual'

Khaled Diab | Posted 05.25.2015 | World
Khaled Diab

Though "business as usual" is the path of least resistance on the Israeli-Arab and Israeli-Iranian axes, they are also risky enterprises as the old equilibriums shift.

New Pressures on the UN Security Council to Lift Its Arms Embargo on Libya

Joseph Braude | Posted 05.07.2015 | World
Joseph Braude

Pressures mounted on the United Nations Security Council yesterday to lift its international embargo on arms to the Libyan government. In an interview with journalist Valerio Robecco, Libyan UN ambassador Ibrahim Dabbashi said, "A time limit should be set for militias to leave the capital and a government of national united needs to be formed.

Soccer Fields: A Waystation en Route to the Islamic State

James Dorsey | Posted 05.03.2015 | World
James Dorsey

One thing the biographies of Jihadi John, the Islamic State's executioner of foreign hostages, and several of his European associates have in common is their passion for soccer and their dashed hopes of becoming professional players.

How Islamic Is The Islamic State? Not Very, Experts Say

AP | LEE KEATH and HAMZA HENDAWI | Posted 05.02.2015 | Religion

CAIRO (AP) — Three British schoolgirls believed to have gone to Syria to become "jihadi" brides. Three young men charged in New York with plotting t...

Akbar Shahid Ahmed

Pentagon Struggles To Downplay Disclosure Of ISIS War Plan

HuffingtonPost.com | Akbar Shahid Ahmed | Posted 02.28.2015 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- It could hardly have been a more perfect storm, and it was all because of a single question in a routine briefing. On Feb. 19, U.S. C...

Reading the Pictures: ISIS Attacks Iraqi Base Full of US Trainers, Ho Hum

Michael Shaw | Posted 04.27.2015 | Media
Michael Shaw

Media suppression and disavowal so the bad guys don't discover what's obvious to anybody who takes an interest vs. priming the pump of the war machine. I see.

Akbar Shahid Ahmed

Why Turkey Finally Made A Move Against ISIS

HuffingtonPost.com | Akbar Shahid Ahmed | Posted 02.23.2015 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- Turkey made its boldest move yet against the Islamic State over the weekend. It wasn't to help the U.S.-led air campaign against the...

Akbar Shahid Ahmed

How Egypt Is Harming, Not Helping, The ISIS Fight

HuffingtonPost.com | Akbar Shahid Ahmed | Posted 02.22.2015 | World

AL AOUR, Egypt -- Egypt's forceful response to the Islamic State's murder of Egyptian Christians in Libya this past weekend seemed to be a welcome add...

Akbar Shahid Ahmed

Kurds Become A 2016 Campaign Issue For Rand Paul

HuffingtonPost.com | Akbar Shahid Ahmed | Posted 02.18.2015 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is showing signs of trying to burnish his foreign policy credentials ahead of a likely run for president in 2016,...

ISIL Reminds Us Who Joins Terrorist Organizations and Why

Joe Navarro | Posted 04.13.2015 | Crime
Joe Navarro

The purpose of terrorism is, of course, to terrorize, and they are succeeding at that. Hundreds of thousands have now fled Iraq and Syria as a result of ISIL's unparalleled violence and mastery of social media. One has to ask: who would be susceptible to their recruitment?

Akbar Shahid Ahmed

Jordanian Pilot's Death Adds To Worries About U.S. Fight Against ISIS

HuffingtonPost.com | Akbar Shahid Ahmed | Posted 02.04.2015 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- The U.S.-led fight against the Islamic State became even more complicated Tuesday, after a video posted online indicated that the milita...

The U.S. Is Being Hypocritical on Hostage Exchanges

Daniel R. DePetris | Posted 03.30.2015 | World
Daniel R. DePetris

Didn't the White House negotiate with the Taliban in Afghanistan in order to gain the release of Bowe Bergdahl -- an American soldier who was held by the Haqqani Network for close to five years?

Akbar Shahid Ahmed

Saudi Succession Raises Questions For ISIS Fight

HuffingtonPost.com | Akbar Shahid Ahmed | Posted 01.24.2015 | Politics

WASHINGTON -- As power in Saudi Arabia shifted to a new monarch, King Salman, the Obama administration's praise of both Salman and his predecessor sto...