Jihadis from the West

“The romance of jihad is not that different from the romance that leftist communists had for the republican side during the Spanish Civil War” Professor Bernard Haykel of Princeton University’s Department of Near… Continue reading

Dreams of a transnational Kurdistan: Kurdish independence in Iraq and Syria

In Iraqi Kurdistan’s September 2017 referendum on independence, 92% of the population in Kurdish-held areas voted in favour of secession. Yet dreams of independence were shattered quickly. In response to the referendum’s result,… Continue reading

Winning the battle, losing the war? Trump’s strategy to fight ISIS

“So what if you win the battle against ISIS in Mosul, and lose the struggle to rebuild the Middle East?” On the campaign trail, Donald Trump presented himself as relentless in the fight… Continue reading

Plotting for the morning after: ISIS’ future after the fall of Mosul and Raqqa

“Only when Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria fall, can we begin to talk about the beginning of the end of the physical territorial state. We already have plenty of evidence, that… Continue reading

A common enemy? Yemen’s warring factions against ISIS

“[A united front against ISIS is] something the Houthis would definitely be interested in, right from the very beginning, one of their grievances was the inability of the government to protect them from extreme… Continue reading

Is Political Islam the answer? Reconstruction in the Middle East

“There is the issue of compatibility of Islam and democracy”, but in the recent past, the people of the Middle East have “spoken loudly about rejecting strongmen and have pushed out dictators.” But… Continue reading

Ain’t no mountain high: Female Human Rights Defenders’ struggle

“Feminism – I don’t know why people get so freakin’ freaked out about it. Feminism to me merely means equality for men and women. It means I have every right to have my human… Continue reading

Complicit in war crimes? Western support to Saudi Arabia’s military campaign in Yemen

“I can’t explain it, really [ that Saudi Arabia was taken off the UN list of states who violate children’s rights in conflict]. I would have personally added not just Saudi Arabia but all… Continue reading

Driven to compromise? Yemen’s pending peace

“I think the conflict has reached a point where it’s too painful for everyone, including the Saudis. […] They have found out the hard way that air bombings are not going to resolve… Continue reading

Yemen’s Civil War: root causes and fault lines

“I’m not sure … the Saudis and their allies control 80 percent [of Yemen], had they done so we would have seen an end to this conflict a long time ago.” For War and Peace Talk,… Continue reading

Up against Goliath? Killer Robots and the Military Industry

“The big difference to me is, when we were fighting against landmines … the resistance from the companies was very small. […] [Now,] The military industry is pushing this [the development of lethal autonomous weapons… Continue reading