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Hezbollah Signage in Baalbek, Lebanon

Hizbullah’s armed involvement in the Syrian conflict since mid-2013 took a new twist this week with reports that Israeli warplanes had bombed targets in territory held by the Syrian government near Damascus on 7 December 2014


SWAPO presidential candidate Hage Geingob won Namibia’s recent general election with a landslide 86 per cent of the vote. But is the country on the verge of becoming a one-man democracy?


Sultan Qaboos’ visit to Germany for medical reasons in July 2014 has revived concerns across Omani society for the future of the country without the ‘father of the nation.’

Saudi Flag
28.11.14 | Madawi Al-Rasheed
The Shared History of Saudi Arabia and ISIS

The participation of young Saudis in the Syrian and Iraqi conflicts is neither surprising nor an historical accident, writes Madawi Al-Rasheed.

Turkish troops follow a standard bearer carrying the Turkish flag across a muddy field, circa 1917. (Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
21.11.14 | Kristian Coates Ulrichsen
1914: The Battle for Basra

With one-third of Iraq under the control of an Islamic State bent on redrawing the map of the modern Middle East, the legacy of decisions made during and immediately after the First World War continue to cast their long shadow over the region.

14.11.14 | Paul Aarts
Jihadi Blowback in Saudi Arabia

After recent attacks on Saudi Shiites by jihadis returning home from the war in Syria, Paul Aarts asks whether Islamic State’s sectarian war might spill over into Saudi Arabia.

Michael Buerk and Mohamed Amin
22.10.14 | Suzanne Franks
Reporting the Ethiopian Famine

Thirty years since the Ethiopian famine, Suzanne Franks reflects on the significance of the news event that followed.

17.10.14 | Michael M. Gunter
Why can’t we defeat ISIS?

Michael Gunter and Nahro Zagros explain the origins of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), how they have ruthlessly explored the weaknesses of the Syrian and Iraqi states, and why they are proving so difficult to challenge.


New plans threaten to turn Kala Ghoda, Mumbai’s arts district, into a Times Square-style tourist mecca, but the arts community are unlikely to give up their slice of the city.

Peshmerga Fighters in Kirkuk
08.10.14 | Christopher M. Davidson
Understanding Kobane

Christopher Davidson looks beyond the headlines to ask: what are the broader implications of the attack on Kobane?

Screengrab from the ISIS video showing the execution of James Foley
07.10.14 | Simon Cottee
Islamic State’s Willing Executioners

Islamic State’s extreme violence cannot be explained away as ‘socially determined’ behaviour. Part of the motivation is the allure of killing itself, writes Simon Cottee.

26.09.14 | Vicken Cheterian
Turkey and the ‘Islamic State’

Turkey is notably reluctant to join a military campaign against ISIS. In fact, Ankara’s ambiguity towards the radical Islamist group has deep political as well as historical roots.