Editorial: How we got to Aleppo

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa, Opinion

The outpouring of emotion, the shock, the horror, the repeat of those eternal empty words of ‘never again’, has dominated my personal social media feed. In fact, I could be forgiven for assuming everyone in the world is heartbroken by what has taken place, but for the few comments here and there that suggest that, somewhere, the news of Aleppo …

Why is it taking so long to solve the Syria crisis?

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

Millions of refugees, a whole host of rebel movements, constant ‘negotiations’ and regular flights to Geneva. And despite a universally recognised humanitarian crisis, the Syrian conflict appears no closer to a solution. Why? The answer is actually quite complex and requires apportioning the blame to a number of parties, including the opposition. Let’s begin there: The opposition The Syrian opposition …

Iran v Saudi Arabia: it’s politics

Abu Bakr Al Shamahi Middle East/North Africa, Saudi Arabia

There have been a lot of articles and amazingly fascinating fact boxes on the split between Shia and Sunni Muslims, written, I’m guessing, by people who don’t know their Karbala from their Kelloggs, in an attempt to explain the dispute between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Normally, when I read an article that says something along the lines of “the people …

In-Depth: how the response to the Paris attacks made ISIS stronger

Ismail Qaiyim Opinion, Western Europe

Painting a picture with a bloodstained brush intended to cloud and distort all inkling of mutual understanding is the business of information manipulation. The self-described Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) are not only masters of disseminating distorted messages through turning vulnerable participants into electronic proxies, but also by using human suffering to paint a particular narrative. The …

Now that the vote is over, how will UK air strikes alter the Syria scene?

Sami Hamdi UK

As UK warplanes bombard ISIS positions, the aim is to place greater pressure on the terrorist organisation and limit their capabilities within Syria and abroad. With the UK joining the US, Russia, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran, Iraq, Australia and others in the fight against ISIS, how has it changed the dynamics in Syria? Here we assess what UK …

UK air strikes, Syrian rivers of blood, and no dam in sight

Sami Hamdi UK

The government has passed the motion permitting air strikes on ISIS positions in Syria by 397 to 223. The UK will join the US, Russia, Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and other nations already involved in Syria. The Prime Minister David Cameron delivered his argument as one of two choices; attack or wait to be attacked, a far cry from …

The UK has nothing to contribute via air strikes. Here’s why.

Sami Hamdi UK

Behind the bravado, the exaggerated Andrew Neil-esque eulogies, the inferiority complex that cries out for the need for the UK to be a major global power, and the ambitions of a Prime Minister fearful that his premiership will go down as a relative unknown in history, the reality is that there is no plan, nor an understanding of the complexities in combating not just ISIS but resolving the crisis in Syria.

Turkey shoots down a Russian jet

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa, Russia, Turkey

This morning, news broke of Turkish forces bringing down a jet which had reportedly violated Turkish air space. After a few hours, Putin confirmed that it was indeed a Russian jet and stated that the act was a ‘stab in the back’ by ‘accomplices of terror’. Putin claims that the jet never strayed from Syrian air space from which it …

Why Russia ‘had’ to intervene in Syria

Sami Hamdi Russia

Russia with its intervention in Syria in order to ‘defeat ISIS’ has no doubt upended the balance of power and comes at a time when the Assad regime needs such assistance the most following setbacks in Idlib, Homs and Aleppo, and as Iran begins to move away from Assad following the Nuclear Deal. However, Russia’s intervention should not be taken …