Israel

Weekend Thinking: Israel-Iran

Reuters reports that both the Israeli prime minister and defense minister want to eliminate Iranian nuclear sites before U.S. elections in November. These threats seek to achieve two aims: to scare Iran into abandoning its nuclear program (a prospect which seems unlikely) and to explore the possibility of attacking Iran while Americans are preoccupied with choosing their next president. Continue reading “Weekend Thinking: Israel-Iran”

Turkey

Mohammed: Turkey’s Best Kurdish Option

Idrees Mohammed writes in a guest column for Levantine Routes

Turkey’s relationship with the Kurds is a sensitive and major longstanding political issue.  Paradoxically, Ankara is aware that it needs to better address Turkish-Kurdish ties and implement reforms, yet its inability to achieve genuine progress is a liability for Turkey’s national interests and foreign relations.  This is exemplified by Turkey’s precarious relationship with Syria. Continue reading “Mohammed: Turkey’s Best Kurdish Option”

Uncategorized

Levantine Routes Readership

Levantine Routes has reached a global audience in a short time period.  I wanted to thank all the readers and contributors who enjoy this site.  Apart from the United States, fans this past month have come predominately from Iraq, Israel, the United Kingdom, Myanmar, Australia and Lebanon.

Thank you for your continued interest!

Egypt

MB, Hamas and Hezbollah Sinai Conspiracy

The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas and Hezbollah (indirectly) blamed Israel for Sunday’s deadly terrorist attack in Sinai which left sixteen Egyptian soldiers dead.  They have not produced a shred of evidence to support their egregious claims. Continue reading “MB, Hamas and Hezbollah Sinai Conspiracy”

Syria

Assad’s Fate

Nick Ottens, a Dutch journalist and analyst at the geopolitical consulting firm Wikistrat, has a new piece in the Atlantic Sentinel in which he examines prospects for Assad’s survival and if he will seek refuge in an Alawite enclave in northwest Syria.

Apart from his own analysis, Ottens includes insights from other Middle East specialists including yours truly.

Egypt

Dajani: Morsi Beyond the Islamist Identity

Mohammed S. Dajani Daoudi writes in a guest column for Levantine Routes

For the next decade, think tanks in the United States and Europe will be analyzing why an Islamist won the Egyptian presidential elections.  To save them the trouble, I will give them the simple answer:  the Egyptian voters did not vote for Mohammed Morsi as an individual or for his election platform.  They did not watch his interviews to see where he stands on the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty, women, Christians, etc. Continue reading “Dajani: Morsi Beyond the Islamist Identity”

Egypt

More Danger in Sinai

A group of unknown Islamist jihadis are believed to be responsible for yesterday’s deadly attack in Sinai which left 16 Egyptians dead.  The Islamists allegedly entered Egypt via Gaza and were perhaps joined by other Bedouin in eastern Sinai.  Their goal was to ultimately infiltrate Israel and kill or kidnap soldiers and civilians.  Hamas for its part has denied any involvement. Continue reading “More Danger in Sinai”

Syria

Olmert: Aleppo and the Future of Syria

Josef Olmert writes in a guest column for Levantine Routes

The battle for Aleppo, Syria’s second largest city, is not “the decisive last battle” of the Syrian civil war.  The conflict is clearly leading to the removal of the current leadership from Damascus, as well as Aleppo, but not necessarily from Syria.  The Assad-Alawite –Ba’th regime is preparing the mountainous Alawite region of North-West Syria to be their last bastion, and they can fortify themselves there for a while, even if, as seems inevitable, they will lose control of the main Sunni-dominated regions. Continue reading “Olmert: Aleppo and the Future of Syria”