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Europe, not the United States, pays the price of failure in Syria
Russian President Putin has decided that Syria is part of Russia’s near abroad, no less than Ukraine it seems, a territory where some vital national interests are at stake. He has predicted the fecklessness of Western powers well. Whether he is deploying his arsenal in Syria to fight Daesh or to bolster Assad, by moving massive military presence into Syria he has made himself the one player that counts and has put himself in a position to call the shots. He does not have a strategy to end the conflict. But he has one that he thinks will guarantee Russia’s influence in this pivotal country while the West has no strategy to confront him.
Bassma Kodmani
In Search of an Iraqi Army
In the midst of a suffocating Iraqi summer, Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi approved court-martial proceedings against several army commanders who had abandoned their posts, allowing Islamic State fighters to take over the city of Ramadi. Against a backdrop of intense fighting, increasingly complex conflict dynamics and palpable anxiety in the West regarding the best strategy to follow, this decision has come as a reminder of the deep dysfunctionality of Iraq’s military, which remains very troubled more than a year after the start of the jihadist offensive.
Myriam Benraad
Libya’s political dialogue needs more security content
The formation of a Government of National Accord (GNA) between Libya’s warring factions has been delayed once more as representatives of the General National Congress (GNC) withdrew from talks a few weeks after refusing to sign the preliminary agreement initialed by all other participants on 11 July.
Virginie Collombier
Solving the tensions in Algeria’s Ghardaia region
The violent incidents of July 2015 in the Ghardaia province of Algeria, which caused the death of over twenty citizens, were not the first of their kind and will, unfortunately, probably not be the last, if the same deep-rooted problems that caused them persist. For the fight, between the Amazigh-speaking Bani Mzab and Arab Bedouin from various branches of the Chaamba tribe, is the result of economic, social, and political tensions that have provoked intense ethnic and sectarian polarisation in a region historically known for harmonious coexistence.
Nacer Djabi
Tunisia’s challenge: combating terrorism without comprising human rights
Terrorism has hit Tunisia’s tourist industry again, this time on the beaches of Sousse. Thirty-eight dead. It comes less than three months after the Bardo Museum incident where twenty-one died. In October 2013, a young man in his twenties detonated a bomb in one of Sousse’s resort hotels, before detonating another on the beach and killing himself in the process.
Asma Nouira
The Battle for Qalamoun: Hezbollah’s Victories and the Lebanese State’s Defeat
The battle of Qalamoun, a mountainous region of Syria along the border with Lebanon, was announced by Hassan Nasrallah in February 2015. Beginning the first week of May, Nasrallah declared victory on May 16, arguing that Hezbollah intervened to liberate Lebanese land from “Takfiri fighters”.
Nayla Moussa
The Leon proposal: a new road map for Libya
On April 26, after six months of shuttle diplomacy between Libyan political factions, Bernardino Leon, the UN Special Representative and Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), proposed a draft agreement for establishing a Government of National Accord and a way forward for Libya.
Azza Kamel Maghur