Conversations with an Ex-Soldier of the Islamic State

Image by alexskopje via Shutterstock

by Giorgio Cafiero During May and June 2018, I met an incarcerated ex-fighter for the Islamic State (ISIS or IS) from North Africa in a Turkish “deportation center.” He had fought in major battles in Syria and Iraq beginning in… Continue Reading  

Iran Debates Ties with Russia

Ali Akbar Velayati and Vladimir Putin

by Kaveh L. Afrasiabi There is an ongoing and lively debate in Iranian media and in the parliament on the nature of Iran-Russia relations. The recent summit between Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, where both leaders… Continue Reading  

Turkey’s Last Failed Coup Still Plagues Turkey-US Alliance

Memorial to the victims of the July 15 coup attempt (Thomas Koch via Shutterstock)

by Giorgio Cafiero Since the Ottoman era, the people of Anatolia have experienced military interventions in politics that have dramatically impacted the lives of millions. Arguably, the first such coup occurred in 1876, with Sultan Abdulaziz’s ouster. Following the establishment… Continue Reading  

From Gaza to Jerusalem to Iran

March of Return (Edo Ramon via Flickr)

by Joel Beinin The Palestinian Great March of Return, which began on March 30, 2018 and continued into June, was a popular mobilization of people of the Gaza Strip initiated by politically unaligned young men and women. The campaign of… Continue Reading  

Saudi Religious Diplomacy Targets Jerusalem

Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem (Shutterstock)

by James M. Dorsey A United Arab Emirates-backed Saudi effort to wrest control from Jordan of Islam’s holy places in Jerusalem signals a sharper, more overt edge to Saudi religious diplomacy and the kingdom’s quest for regional hegemony that risks deepening… Continue Reading