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Mona Alami Contradictory reports have emerged in recent weeks of a possible partial withdrawal of pro-Iran troops in Syria under the aegis of Russia, which is attempting to diffuse a dangerous escalation between Tehran and Tel Aviv. Pressure was said to be mounting between Moscow and Tehran, with a possible scuffle occurring between their forces in the region of Qusayr on the Lebanese border. While these reports appear to be widely exaggerated, they underline the tactical nature of alliance between Russia and Iran in Syria and the diverse agendas they have there, which in the longer run could lead t
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Mona Alami Hezbollah’s strong showing in the May Lebanese parliamentary elections provides numerical evidence of a decade-old shift in the balance of power in favor of Iran, the party’s regional backer. Hezbollah’s electoral gains will enable the militant group and its partners to secure a third of the parliament and possibly to achieve—with the right alliances—an absolute majority, and thus heavily influence future state decisions. Yet the Lebanese elections have been also been marked by other, more subtle trends that foreign policy makers must take into account. 
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Mohammed al-Sbitili The author of the article considers the future of Operation Karama in the event Field Marshal Khalifa Hafter departs from the Libyan political scene for one reason or another. The article also reviews possible scenarios and figures –political and military - who could succeed the National Army Commander, Field Marshal, Khalifa Hafter.  
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Dr. Saud Alsarhan The year 1979 was a seminal year in the Islamic world. Two events stand out: the Iranian Revolution successfully overthrew the secular regime of the shah and replaced it with the Shiite political Islamist regime of Ayatollah Khomeini, and the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. Fearing the presumed atheism and anti-Muslim sentiment popularly associated with communism across the Muslim world, militant groups were inspired by the Iranian revolutionary model, and a modern interpretation of jihad, or holy war, gained popularity among Muslim youth the world over. The phenomenon of the muj
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Mona Alami With the regime of president Bashar al-Assad wresting back large swaths of territory from the opposition, many experts believe the end of the Syrian conflict may be near. However, while the ideological confrontation between the opposition and the regime seems to be running its course, it is being replaced by several other significant peripheral conflicts. Does the end of the war in Syria only mean the beginning of many others?
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Mona Alami In April 2016, professor of economics Djavad Salehi-Isfahani predicted, in a telling piece published by Al-Monitor, that rising inequality in Iran could bring challenges to the government of President Hassan Rouhani. Nearly a year and half later, the Islamic Republic was shaken by unexpected government protests, despite a sharp improvement in the economic situation in 2017. These protests exposed the systemic weaknesses in the Iranian system, which, despite its bold projection of regional influence, suffers from shortages in line with other countries in the region, many of which are facin
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Mona Alami A controversial deal was reached at the end of August 2017 between Lebanon’s militant group Hezbollah (“the Party of God”) and the so-called Islamic State (ISIS), allowing for the transfer of the remnants of the terrorist group, which had been encircled by the Lebanese army after days of battle, from East Lebanon to West Syria. The propaganda that followed the surprising deal—agreed to between two archenemies—reflects Hezbollah’s dual concerns at the local level. First, the group wished to quell any dissent within its popular base concerning the justifi
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Mona Alami Pro-Iranian militias, Hezbollah supporters as well as Hezbollah, have linked the war in Syria, in Iraq, and now in Yemen to the return of Imam Mahdi (Messiah). This eschatological interpretation of the ongoing conflict by Shiite militias close to Iran falls within Tehran’s successful regional recruitment drive and its intent to create cohesive and local militias capable of facing strong opposition, outside that government’s direct regional sphere of influence.
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Mark C. Thompson A strong entrepreneurial streak runs through young Saudis, who today are becoming “incredibly open to starting up a business of their own,” according to Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Saudi Arabia 2016/17 National Report, produced by the Prince Mohammed Bin Salman College for Business and Entrepreneurship (MBSC), a business school based in the King Abdullah Economic City. There is a reason for this: the demographics of the kingdom serve as a double-edged sword, says Marc Andreessen, a prominent American entrepreneur. On the one hand, “the vast numbers o
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Saud al-Sarhan On Monday, October 27, 2017, The Levant Committee arrested several former leaders of al-Nusra Front, including Sami al-Aridi and Iyad al-Tubasi, and their Jordanian comrades linked to al-Qaeda have turned into stalkers and hidings on charges of working to establish a branch of Al-Qaeda in Syria This report presents a background of the relationship between al-Qaeda and The Levant Liberation Organization (formerly Al Nusra Front), the reasons behind these arrests, and the new
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