Middle East

An election campaign poster for President Bashar al-Assad.

Assad Is Now Syria’s Best-Case Scenario

The ruthless Syrian dictator is guilty of countless war crimes—and regrettably represents his country’s least bad remaining option.

Turkish-backed Syrian fighters drive into northern Syria.

Fighting Continues in Syria Despite Cease-Fire Agreement

The tentative agreement negotiated by the United States was seen as a major victory for Ankara.

Kurdish female troops from the Syrian Democratic Forces overlook the front line.

Why is Turkey Fighting Syria’s Kurds?

Turkey’s president says Syrian Kurdish fighters are terrorists—but he’s a very unreliable narrator.

Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi of Iran meets U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger.

The Secret Origins of the U.S.-Kurdish Relationship Explain Today’s Disaster

The seeds of Washington’s abandonment of the Kurds traces back to a classified document written in the 1970s by Henry Kissinger.

Turkish-backed Syrian fighters evacuate a wounded comrade near the Syrian border.

If We Have to Choose Between Compromise and Genocide, We Will Choose Our People

The Kurds’ commander in chief explains why his forces are finally ready to partner with Assad and Putin.

Members of the Iraqi Army load suspected Islamic State jihadis into a truck as they leave the courts before going to jail south of Mosul on Dec. 6, 2016.

Iraq Confronts Its Own Prisoner’s Dilemma

New survey data shows that Iraqis are deeply divided on how to punish members of the terrorist group.

A Peshmerga soldier places a Kurdish flag near the front line with the Islamic State in Iraq.

There’s Always a Next Time to Betray the Kurds

The Kurds have no choice but to always trust the United States—and to suffer the inevitable consequences.

Turkish infantry prepare to enter Syria on the border between Turkey and Syria.

The War for Post-U.S. Syria Has Begun

As the Trump administration withdraws its troops from northern Syria, the country is becoming a regional free-for-all.

A Turkish military vehicle in the Syrian village of al-Hashisha near the border with Turkey on Sept. 24

Trump’s Capitulation to Erdogan Destroys U.S. Credibility

By abandoning America’s Kurdish partners in Syria, the White House has sent a message to allies everywhere that Washington can’t be trusted. 

A member of the Syrian Democratic Forces, backed by U.S. special operations forces, looks out from a building at the front line in Raqqa, Syria, on Oct. 16, 2017.

The United States Is Done Caring About Syria

A major new report about the Syrian war raises the question of whether Washington ever cared about it in the first place.

Newly recruited Houthi fighters chant slogans as they ride a military vehicle during a gathering in the capital Sanaa to mobilize more fighters to battlefronts to fight pro-government forces in several Yemeni cities, on Jan. 3, 2017.

Saudi Arabia’s Self-Fulfilling Houthi Prophecy

The Yemeni minority group hardly had anything to do with Iran—until the Saudis got involved.

Ten-year-old Bilal Habibulla poses with his drawing of the Id Kah Mosque in Kashgar, Xinjiang, at his home in Istanbul on April 27. The Id Kah Mosque is a symbol for the Uighur culture.

The Capital of Xinjiang Is Now in Turkey

Ethnic cleansing of Uighurs in China has forced an exodus to Istanbul—and a desperate effort to keep their culture alive.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Trump share a laugh during a cabinet meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in the Cabinet Room of the White House, July 18, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Trump Is Giving Iran More Than It Ever Dreamed of

Tehran’s retaliatory strategy was failing—until the United States started handing it a generational victory.

Egyptian protesters shout slogans as they take part in a protest calling for the removal of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Cairo's downtown on September 20, 2019.

Egypt Is Done Waiting for Liberals

A previously unknown Egyptian has started an anti-Sisi protest movement—and is opposed by government and liberal elites alike.

Displayed on a monitor, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani addresses the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Sept. 24.

Refusing to Talk With Iran Is a Mistake

Donald Trump should use the U.N. General Assembly as an opportunity to open dialogue with Mohammad Javad Zarif.

U.S. President Donald Trump exits after speaking at the U.N. General Assembly in New York City on Sept. 24.

Trump’s Iran Policy Is a Failure

Blame U.S. blunders for the worsening crisis in the region.

The flag of the Kingdom of the Yellow Mountain.

A Fictional Country Is Reigniting Real Territorial Fears

The Kingdom of the Yellow Mountain is just the latest in a long string of claimants to ungoverned territory between Egypt and Sudan.

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at the U.N. General Assembly in New York City on Sept. 25, 2018.

Trump Takes Center Stage at U.N. Summit

The U.S. president’s third UNGA address could be more toned down than before.

People march as they take part in a strike to demand action on the global climate crisis on Sept. 20 in New York City.

U.N. Summit Opens With Dire Warnings on Climate Change

The U.N. General Assembly begins today with a major climate summit. Over 100 world leaders will attend, but there’s one glaring absence.

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