On March 25, Donald Trump signed an order proclaiming U.S. support for Israel’s annexation of the Golan. This act ended Washington’s opposition to any acquisition of territory by force– a principle that has been a key pillar of the global order since the United Nations was founded in 1945. Washington’s new policy on Golan may well now allow the US company Genie Energy to go ahead and plunder the oil and gas reserves that its Israeli subsidiary discovered in Golan in 2015, and Trump’s step changes the political dynamic within Syria, too.
Category Archives: Syria
Continued threat of a wider war in the Mideast, after a bellicose speech by Benjamin Netanyahu that says Iran “has a “ruthless commitment to murdering Jews.”
There are ominous signs that Donald Trump, Benjamin Netanyahu and the Saudi Crown Prince are pushing for a wider war in the Mideast. In a dangerous escalation, Israel last night attacked an Iranian military base near Syria’s capital, Damascus, using both warplanes and surface-to-surface missiles.
Israel backed al-Qaeda and the Islamic State in Syria in an effort to weaken Bashar al-Assad and Iran. The effort has failed and now Israel and Saudi Arabia are turning their attention to Lebanon where two mysterious events over the past week indicate that Hezbollah may be in Israel’s sights.
Ahmad Kabariti reports from Gaza on how the unfolding crisis in the Gulf around Qatar could move Hamas closer to Iran, or cripple the group in its power struggle with the Palestinian Authority.
The abrupt announcement that Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, UAE, Yemen, the Maldive Islands, and the eastern government in divided Libya have broken all economic and political ties with Qatar has given rise to a tsunami of conjecture, wild speculation, and most of all, to wishful thinking and doomsday worries. Richard Falk untangles the threads of the story so far what it could mean for U.S. foreign policy in the region.
Norman Finkelstein shows that Israel’s leaders provoked the Six-Day War in 1967, and the nation was not fighting for its survival.
President Donald Trump’s admission on Fox that he ordered the launch of 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles on Syria between bites of “the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake” makes it the second time he has launched a military attack during a meal.
In Lebanon, one of the countries that has been most burdened by the Syrian refugee crisis, public schools are strained to the limits. Schooldays operate on a two-shift schedule—the first half of the day is for Lebanese children (and some Syrians if space permits), and the second half is for Syrian children. Still, half of all Syrian refugee children in Lebanon don’t go to school at all.
Russia intervened in Syria to prevent ISIS from toppling the Assad government, John Kerry said on a leaked tape. And the US watched ISIS rise and thought “we could probably manage.”
“If death is my fate, I will die even in Copenhagen. Gaza is relatively safe and a more simple place to live,” says Aleppo chef Anas Qatarji, who fled war-torn Syria for the besieged Gaza Strip and moved his destroyed restaurant with him.
The foreign policy elite in Washington seems to be united on imposing a no-fly zone over Syria. But two veterans with hundreds of combat missions between them contend that Assad’s anti-aircraft capabilities are far too robust to permit such an intervention without significant losses and billions in expenditures.
A new book by New York Times reporter Robert Worth does not say what U.S. policymakers should do about Syria. But he shows how violence promotes sectarianism and lasting bitterness; and it is hard to see how he would then advocate more violence as any kind of answer.
Advocates for U.S. escalation in Syria will make a bad situation worse, warns George Washington University Professor Marc Lynch; and President Obama’s resistance to intervention may be reversed by his successor.
Millions of refugees are fleeing war and risking their lives on unequipped boats to reach European shores. In response, volunteers from all of the world are offering their aid and support to the biggest global displacement crisis since the Second World War, and Palestinians are no exception. Michaela Whitton talks with members of Humanity Crew, a Palestinian-led humanitarian organization at the forefront of the crisis.
Read an an excerpt from the new book ‘Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War’ by Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila Al-Shami. The book tells the story of how Syrians took to the streets in 2011 to demand the overthrow of Bashar al-Assad’s regime, and the political and humanitarian nightmare still unfolding today. This excerpt explores how the regime responded with overwhelming violence to the initial non-violent protests, and the choices facing grassroots activists as the revolution militarized.
As American and Russian negotiators discuss a cease fire in Syria, both countries are supporting forces carrying out atrocities in the county.
Jeff Klein reports on the horrific devastation left in the wake of the ISIS occupation of the world-famous ancient city of Palmyra and the neighboring Syrian town of Tadmor. He traveled there with a delegation that was the very first group of international civilians to view the site in the aftermath of the battle that took place there.
Sonia Grieco follows two Palestinian families who have fled Syria to Beirut’s Shatila refugee camp. “The life in the camp is tough, but at least the war is far”, says Rajaa, a recently widowed mother of two.
Jeffrey Goldberg drives the neoconservative story, in an interview with President Obama in which he repeatedly suggests that the president lost his foreign policy credibility when he failed to attack Syria in 2013.
Yonatan Shay, an official of the American Jewish Committee, seeks to paint Syrian refugees in Berlin as anti-Semitic, and as putting Jews in Europe in danger, with the obvious agenda of riding the nationalist xenophobic wave.
On December 3rd 2015 a statue was unveiled in honor of Richard “Dick” Cheney at the United States Capitol. Coincidentally, the previous day witnessed the British parliament, specifically the House of Commons, inadvertently honor Cheney in the debate on whether to extend the military intervention aimed at ISIS in Iraq into ISIS’s supposed heartland in Syria.
The crisis in Syria is still in full throttle. President Obama pretends to be a powerless bystander in Syria when in fact US policy has played an important role in creating the quagmire now playing out. For example, the events of this past weekend present a microcosm of how US policy has failed and it’s time […]
Read an excerpt from Charles Glass’s new book Syria Burning from Or Books. In it, Glass puts the failure of the Syria revolution into a broader historical context where the United States, with its European and Arab allies, have manipulated and subverted movements for change in the Middle East for decades.
The world is witnessing the largest refugee crisis since the horrors of World War II. There are close to 60 million war refugees, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, an all-time high, as people from Syria, Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, and Yemen are fleeing violence in their countries. Human rights organizations warn the Gulf states, Israel, Iran, and Russia—all of whom have taken zero refugees—along with the US, Canada, and Europe—which have taken few—are not doing enough. Ben Norton presents a guide to the refugee crisis and how every country you need to know about is responding.