Category Archives: News and Views

IRAQ: facing further catastrophe?

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It is difficult to believe anything more catastrophic could befall Iraq with perhaps three million dead, between the strangulating 1990 onward embargo and the illegal 2003 invasion. Nearly five million displaced since 2003, destruction of the UNESCO Award winning education … Continue reading

Category: News and Views

Turkey faces growing terrorist backlash

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Istanbul’s historic peninsula, whose skyline is dotted with Ottoman and Byzantine architecture and which encompasses both the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia, was shaken on 12 January by a heinous terrorist attack. A Saudi-born Syrian suicide bomber, widely believed to … Continue reading

Category: News and Views

Still picking up the pieces . . .

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The Middle East is still rocking from first world war pacts made 100 years ago. The agreements that shaped the region may be forgotten in the West, but in the Middle East their significance still looms large, writes Ian Black  In an … Continue reading

Category: News and Views, Uncategorized

The Hunger Wars

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In the fall of 2012, fighters from the Free Syrian Army took over Eastern Ghouta, a semi-agricultural area about eight miles northeast of Damascus. Government forces responded by placing the area under siege, cutting off water, electricity, gas, medical assistance … Continue reading

Category: News and Views

Iran-Soviet arms deal is a game changer

Russia's President  Putin greets his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani

By Ed Blanche Iran is expected to receive the first advanced S-300 air de­fence missile systems it is buy­ing from Russia by the end of the year. The Islamic Re­public’s adversaries view the sys­tems’ deployment as a major game changer … Continue reading

Category: News and Views

Terror acts insult Islam says Grand Imam

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Terrorists cite their Islamic faith in justifying carnage. In fact, they’re insulting it. That is the assessment of  Grand Imam Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb (right), a top Sunni Muslim cleric in Egypt, who claims “terrorism has no religion or identity,” even if … Continue reading

Category: News and Views

Book review : Al Qaeda,the Islamic State and the global Jihadist movement

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Al Qaeda, the Islamic State and the global Jihadist movement What everyone needs to know By Daniel Byman published by Oxford University Press ISBN 97801902172666 Price £ 47.99 paperback On the morning of September 11, 2001, the entire world was … Continue reading

Category: News and Views

Book review: The Holy Sail

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The Holy Sail By Abdulaziz Al-Mahmoud Published by Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation ISBN 9789927101670 Price £8.99 paperback   Oblivious to the invasions, massacres and religious fanaticism that characterise the 15th century, a young girl falls in love with a noble Arabian tribal … Continue reading

Category: News and Views

This is no World War III – ISIS is still weak

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The attacks in Ankara, Sinai, Beirut and Paris, all claimed by ISIS, highlight a step change in the group’s strategy, taking its barbarism overseas and into the skies. This might suggest an increased potency but equally some argue it highlights … Continue reading

Category: News and Views

SYRIA: an economy based on war

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Despite the involvement of several world powers, there is no imminent military solution in Syria. To bomb or not to bomb? This should not be the question but sadly it is. The British Government will push for parliamentary approval to … Continue reading

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