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Articles by: Jordan Shilton

Saudi Crown Prince Charges Iran With “Act Of War”

Saudi Crown Prince Charges Iran With “Act Of War”

Hot on the heels of purging his main rivals for the Saudi throne, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has dramatically ratcheted up tensions in the Middle East, accusing Iran of an “act of war.” This makes clear that the consolidation of power in the hands of the most hardline, anti-Iranian faction of the Saudi royal family threatens to trigger a[Read More…]

Iraqi Seizure Of Oil-Rich Kirkuk From Kurds Risks Broader War

Iraqi Seizure Of Oil-Rich Kirkuk From Kurds Risks Broader War

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered an offensive by Iraqi army units and pro-government Shia militias Monday to capture the oil-rich city of Kirkuk and surrounding areas from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). The attack, which reportedly provoked clashes in some areas between Iraqi units and Peshmerga fighters, threatens not only to further destabilize Iraq, but could prove the trigger[Read More…]

FILE PHOTO: Damaged building are pictured during the fighting with Islamic State's fighters in the old city of  Raqqa, Syria, August 19, 2017. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

US Massacring Hundreds Of Syrian Civilians Every Week In Raqqa

The US-backed onslaught on the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa is claiming hundreds of civilian lives every week, including dozens of women and children. US aircraft and troops on the ground are deploying indiscriminate force on a civilian center where an estimated 25,000 people remained trapped and a further 270,000 have already fled. According to Airwars, which monitors air strikes by[Read More…]

US Air Strike Slaughters Over 40 Civilians In Syria

US Air Strike Slaughters Over 40 Civilians In Syria

An air strike launched by the United States on the ISIS stronghold of Raqqa in northeastern Syria Monday claimed the lives of 42 civilians, 19 of whom were children. It is the bloodiest incident thus far in a ramped-up series of strikes over the past eight days that have killed at least 167 civilians, including 59 children. The air assault[Read More…]

Iraqi Civilian Death Toll Mounts As Fighting Intensifies In Mosul

Iraqi Civilian Death Toll Mounts As Fighting Intensifies In Mosul

Fighting has intensified in Mosul over the past two weeks as Iraqi government forces, backed by US-led air strikes, have pushed forward to the Tigris River in their efforts to recapture the country’s second-largest city from Islamic State. The US-backed offensive is having a devastating impact on the civilian population, which numbered over 1 million when operations began in October.[Read More…]

Syrian War Threatens To Escalate As Turkey Accuses Damascus Of Attacking Its Troops

Syrian War Threatens To Escalate As Turkey Accuses Damascus Of Attacking Its Troops

Turkey’s Prime Minister and armed forces both accused the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad Thursday of conducting an airstrike on Turkish troops in the vicinity of al-Bab in the country’s north, resulting in three casualties. The incident threatens to escalate already sharp tensions between Ankara and Damascus into all-out war, posing the very real risk of direct clashes between the[Read More…]

Sectarian Tensions Rise In Iraq As Mosul Offensive Enters Third Week

Sectarian Tensions Rise In Iraq As Mosul Offensive Enters Third Week

Iraqi government troops entered the eastern outskirts of Mosul Monday, as the US-backed offensive launched October 17 to recapture the country’s second largest city from the Islamic State began its third week. But the advances of Iraqi government soldiers, Peshmerga fighters and Sunni and Shia militias could not conceal the fact that growing sectarian tensions are threatening to vastly intensify[Read More…]

US-Backed Islamist Rebels Launch Offensive In Syria

US-Backed Islamist Rebels Launch Offensive In Syria

US-backed Islamist rebels, dominated by the Al Qaeda-affiliated Al-Nusra Front, launched a counteroffensive against Syrian government troops Friday in Aleppo. The offensive was preceded by the indiscriminate shelling of civilian areas in government-controlled western Aleppo. Russian General Sergei Rudskoi reported that 43 civilians were killed and 96 wounded in the days prior to the offensive in rocket and mortar attacks.[Read More…]

Mosul Offensive Intensifies Regional Tensions As Turkish Soldiers Intervene In Iraq

Mosul Offensive Intensifies Regional Tensions As Turkish Soldiers Intervene In Iraq

Tensions between Turkey and Iraq heightened over the weekend as the Iraqi army and Kurdish Peshmerga forces pushed towards the Islamic State-controlled city of Mosul. US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter arrived in Ankara Friday, before traveling to Iraq for meetings in Baghdad Saturday and Irbil, the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) capital yesterday. Carter announced after meeting with Turkish President Recep[Read More…]

Mosul Offensive Threatens To Inflame Sectarian Conflicts In Iraq And Syria

Mosul Offensive Threatens To Inflame Sectarian Conflicts In Iraq And Syria

The offensive by the US-led coalition to retake Mosul continued Tuesday, as leading participants acknowledged the fighting could take months, and aid organizations issued dire warnings of the impact on the more than 1 million civilians living in Iraq’s second largest city. Since ground operations were launched at dawn on Monday by the Iraqi army, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters under the[Read More…]