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Iran, Hezbollah snared in Aleppo death trap

What is clear is that long battle for Aleppo has become central front in Syria’s savage war, that in days ahead, bitter fighting will escalate.

Al-Abadi announces drive to retake Falluja

Long-awaited push towards ISIS-held city of Falluja is diverting attention from growing tension between Shia factions.

Iraqi clerics losing trust of the public

Criticism is openly directed at senior clerics who were, until re­cently, considered untouchable.

US Centcom commander visits Syria’s north-east

US Centcom commander visits Syria’s north-east

Votel’s visit demonstrates US support to Syrian Kurds, whom Americans consider their only reliable ally on ground capable of coun­tering ISIS.

No surprises in new round of municipal elections

Phenomenon of grass-roots political engagement has begun to concern Hezbollah, with Nasrallah calling on people to remain loyal to his party.

Yemen talks barely holding despite UN optimism

Flowery rhetoric by UN envoy is effort to delay announcement that consultations have collapsed.

The motives behind the newly announced UK naval base in Oman

There is high demand for naval support services in, around Arabian Gulf, including from Royal Navy of Oman, as naval modernisation takes shape.

Spending cuts in GCC but reforms proceed

Austerity measures are reverberating in number of key industries but IMF says six Gulf Arab states are on right track to remedy their problems.

Palestinians cling to French peace initiative

French initiative won Palestinians’ support because it is European, multilateral, of­fers new terms.

Authorities see religious schools promoting extremism

Government says Kuttabs give students 'twist­ed' information about Islam, con­tributing to emergence of gener­ations of extremists.

Egyptian writer faces jail, triggering calls for legal reform 10

That personal views are being treated so harshly is leading to calls to change laws, end imprisonment of intellectuals, writ­ers.
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