• Middle East

    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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    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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    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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    US to Convene a Summit at UN on Stopping Extremists

    by  • September 3, 2014 • General Assembly, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East, Security Council, Uncategorized, US-UN Relations • 2 Comments
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    Samantha Power, the American ambassador to the United Nations, speaking to the media on Sept. 3, 2014.

    President Barack Obama will hold a summit late this month in the United Nations Security Council to try to counter the surging power and strength of the Islamic terrorists that have seized parts of the Middle East this summer and other violent extremists worldwide. The summit, to convene on Sept. 25, will occur during...

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    Israeli Settlements: A Timeline From 1967 to Now

    by  • July 11, 2014 • Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East • 
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    tktkt

    Here is a comprehensive, up-to-date timeline charting the nearly 47-year campaign of Israeli settlement development in territories occupied by Israel after the Six-Day War, along with a graph tracking the years and population. This timeline accompanies “The Limits of Diplomacy: Israeli Settlements” by Irwin Arieff. 1967 June 5-10: The settlements have their origins in...

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    UN Security Council Sanctions Six Terrorists Operating in Iraq and Syria

    by  • August 17, 2014 • Middle East, Peace and Security, Security Council • 
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    Mark Lyall Grant

      If there is one anarchic group that every member of the United Nations Security Council currently finds abhorrent it is the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which has seized large regions of Iraq this summer, astonishing most of the world. So, all 15 council members — including Russia and China — passed...

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    The Syrian Refugee Crisis Poses Ethical Questions for the UN and Others

    by  • July 28, 2014 • Middle East, Refugees • 
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    The Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. MILMA KETTUNEN

    Since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war in 2011, 2.9 million people have fled the country to refugee camps in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Egypt and beyond. This has not only destabilized many Middle Eastern countries, but it has also caused continuous public debates inside nongovernmental organizations and the United Nations over what the...

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    The Limits of Diplomacy: Israeli Settlements

    by  • July 10, 2014 • Middle East, Peace and Security, Security Council • 
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    A Palestinian boy climbs Israel's barrier during clashes with Israeili security forces in the West Bank.

    Many Israelis reacted with surprise and dismay when United States Secretary of State John Kerry blamed Israel’s seemingly insatiable appetite for settlements for the collapse of the latest round of Middle East peace talks. The negotiations were already on hold when Israel announced it was opening the door to yet another 700 new housing...

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