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Why Assad's intelligence and Nusra's emir have a common history

Issue #2 2016MENA Roundup is a weekly publication containing insightful articles on politics in the M
August 17 · Issue #2 · View online
Issue #2 2016
MENA Roundup is a weekly publication containing insightful articles on politics in the Middle East, focussing on Syria and Iraq. Get in touch:

Key developments
  • The humanitarian situation in East Aleppo remains devastating. Some aid is distributed by rebel factions but there is still no urgently needed supply line.
  • The Assad regime has reportedly carried out another attack with chlorine. UN officials expressed concern. However, chlorine has been used repeatedly and apparently won’t be sanctioned.
  • Regime/Russian warplanes continued their systematic targeting of medical facilities, particularly in northern Syria. Additionally, footage proves the repeated use of cluster and incendiary bombs in residential areas.
  • Turkey’s and Iran’s foreign ministers met in Ankara, indicating some rapprochement. However, the outcome remains uncertain, as both countries pursue contrary goals in Syria.
  • The SDF finally retook the city of Manbij from the Islamic State after more than two month of fighting.
  • Jaysh al-Islam, the leading rebel faction in Eastern Ghouta, claimed there have been military advances last week after pro-Assad forces had launched an successful offensive - enabled by rebel infighting - earlier.
  • Russia deployed aircraft to an airbase in Iran, thus tightening its commitment to its strategic ally and lowering the costs of operations in Syria.
  • Heavy fighting is going on both in Aleppo and in the countryside. Rebels so far could hold their position and even gain territory.
Articles worth reading
Three reasons why Kurdish statehood remains a distant dream
Did Assad Recruit the Leader of Al-Qaeda in Syria?
Washington's Sunni Myth and the Civil Wars in Syria and Iraq
Fractured Lands: How the Arab World Came Apart
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