• Middle East

    The Noose Tightens on Money Flows to Jihadists in Iraq and Syria

    by  • February 12, 2015 • Gender-Based Violence, Human Trafficking, Middle East, Security Council • 
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    Syria

    The Russian-sponsored resolution to fight more precisely the financing of the Islamic jihadists who control swaths of Iraq and Syria passed unanimously in the United Nations Security Council recently, expressing the entire council’s dread, at least for now, of the two main protagonists terrorizing the region — Islamic State (ISIS) and Al Nusra Front....

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    Yazidi Women in Iraq Describe ‘Unspeakable Brutality’ Under IS Rule

    by  • January 4, 2015 • Gender-Based Violence, Human Rights, Middle East, Women's Issues • 
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    Yazidi people

    The news from Syria and Iraq is most often dominated by besieged cities and airstrikes on the strongholds of the Muslim extremists of the Islamic State. What those fighters are doing to women they abduct is often hidden by the terrorizing captivity under which they are held. The daily horror of torture, rape and...

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    Palestinians Move Fast to Join the ICC as Bid for Full Statehood Fails at the UN

    by  • December 31, 2014 • ICC, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East, Security Council, US Foreign Relations • 
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    Dina Kawar, Jordan's ambassador to the United Nations, meets with the press after the Dec. 30 vote on Palestinian statehood failed in the Security Council. LOEY FELIPE/UN PHOTO

    The Palestinians’ failed proposal to formally establish a state and end the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories by late 2017 through a vote in the United Nations Security Council on Dec. 30 continued to reflect the immense influence of the United States on the Palestinians’ ability to assert themselves through the world body. The...

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    With Mali in Political Turmoil, High FGM Rates Persist

    by  • November 20, 2014 • Africa, Gender-Based Violence, Health and Population, Human Rights, Middle East, Women's Issues • 2 Comments
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    As part of a tktktk

    BAMAKO, Mali — In the primarily Francophone and Anglophone region of West Africa, Mali is said to have one of the highest rates of female genital mutilation, with about 91 percent of girls and women having undergone the circumcision — a rate that has not only stayed stubbornly high but may also be inching...

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    The Lure of Violent Extremism for Women: A Terrorism Specialist Explains

    by  • November 9, 2014 • Middle East, Peace and Security, Women's Issues • 
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    Liat Shetret

    Liat Shetret is the director of the New York office for the Global Center on Cooperative Security, a nonprofit group that helps governments and other organizations develop responses to international security issues. Shetret’s work — currently focused in Africa — focuses on community engagement in terrorism prevention, countering violent extremism, the use of Internet...

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    Syrian Women Working for Peace and Political Action

    by  • October 21, 2014 • Middle East, Peace and Security, Women's Issues • 1 Comment
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    Posters on the wall

    GAZIANTEP, Turkey — Syrian women filled the conference room and lobby of a hotel in this border city for one week in late August this year. They were the focus of a “Space for Collaboration” workshop, providing networking and training to women working on political solutions to the Syrian civil war. A majority of...

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    Islamists Systematically Destroying World Heritage Sites in Syria and Iraq

    by  • October 29, 2014 • Middle East, UN Agencies • 
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    The Syrian Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums has been assessing damage to various sites, including the ancient city of Basra, a World Heritage Site. The Omari Mosque, above, has suffered extensive damage.

    Beyond the horrific executions, the deadly assaults on Christian and Yazidi communities and the displacement of hundreds of thousands of people fleeing towns to avoid their terror, fighters of the Islamic State movement sweeping through Syria and Iraq are deliberately demolishing or damaging ancient historical sites in some of the world’s oldest towns and...

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    Will All of Syria’s Arsenal of Chemical Weapons Be Destroyed?

    by  • October 24, 2014 • Disarmament, Libya, Middle East, Security Council • 
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    Sigrid Kaag

    After an extraordinary effort from the United Nations, the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and about a half dozen countries, including the United States and Russia, 96 percent of Syria’s chemical weapons arsenal has been destroyed, acting on a UN Security Council mandate. The remaining 4 percent of the arsenal consists of...

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    Lakhdar Brahimi: When Will the US Learn From Its Mistakes in the Middle East?

    by  • September 26, 2014 • Asia, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East, US Foreign Relations • 
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    US Navy Super Hornets prepare to launch from  USS George H.W. Bush in the Arabian Gulf, to conduct strikes against the terrorist group ISIS in Syria, Sept. 22, 2014. ROBERT BURCK/US NAVY

    More than two decades of American naivety or misunderstanding of Arab and other regional societies, astonishingly poor planning and post-conflict miscalculations that undercut claims of success have left a deep mistrust and lack of confidence in the United States in the Middle East, in the view of the United Nations’ most experienced and savvy...

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    Women’s Voices Must Stay ‘Alive’ in ISIS-Controlled Regions

    by  • August 31, 2014 • Gender-Based Violence, Human Rights, Middle East • 
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    Iraqi refugees

    The extremist Sunni militant group called Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which recently declared a caliphate in parts of the Middle East, now controls an area of 13,000 square miles in Iraq and Syria. Testimonies coming out about daily life in the ISIS-controlled region depict an agenda of fear and intimidation being imposed,...

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