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 …

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 …

Chair of Defence Committee says no to airstrikes

Soumaya Hamdi UK

The Chair of the Defence Committee and Conservative MP Julian Lewis declared in today’s discussions over extending British airstrikes to Syria, that going ahead with Cameron’s motion would be ‘ineffective and potentially dangerous’. This scathing criticism of the Prime Minister’s plans for military action comes off the back of increasing concern over future implications if airstrikes over Syria were to …

Mr Cameron, your advisers on tackling extremism have got it all wrong

Sami Hamdi UK

Insisting on erroneous foreign policy decisions, exacerbated by Cameron’s invitation to Sisi to visit the UK, only further undermines the advocates for peace and democracy within the community and fuels the extremist argument that the ‘West will never allow you to decide for yourselves’. Moreover, the draconian measures being introduced to curb extremism only serves to push those on the border of extremism to extremism itself. Whilst many will proudly point to Britain’s involvement in Kosovo and Sierra Leone, these people fail to realise that the youths joining ISIS were too young to even comprehend Britain’s role in these countries. At the time of Britain’s involvement in Kosovo and Sierra Leone, these youths were not even halfway through primary school. What Theresa May and David Cameron must understand is that this is a generation whose defining points have been the Iraq war, Afghanistan, Egypt, and Syria.

As Britons leave Tunisia, where does the Mediterranean state go from here?

IIPodcast Middle East/North Africa, Tunisia

The International Interest interviews Fadil Aliriza, Visiting Fellow at the Legatum Institute. Fadil discusses the potential causes behind the rise of extremism in Tunisia, the effects of the Libyan civil war on Tunisian society, as well as the consequences for Tunisia following the Sousse attacks which claimed the lives of 38 tourists. Length: 10 minutes 33 seconds Fadil Aliriza is …

We must not abandon Tunisia

Nora Hamdi Discussion, Middle East/North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa, Tunisia, World Politics

Tunisia is of vital importance to the democratic principles that we all hold dear. It is the only country from the Arab Spring that has successfully seen a transition from dictatorship to a true democracy through free and fair elections. The country now sees genuine political debate and discussion, and the plurality of political parties is reminiscent of the freedom we enjoy in Europe. As a result, this country should be supported with all we have to offer…

How Hashd may destroy Iraq in a way ISIS never will

Sami Hamdi Iraq, Middle East/North Africa

Much has been said regarding the fall of Ramadi and the various rumours suggesting that Nouri-al-Maliki, former prime minister and current vice president, ordered the military to withdraw from the city thereby allowing ISIS to enter virtually unopposed. However the operation to liberate Ramadi threatens to open a new bloody, sectarian, and quite simply destructive chapter in the fight against …

Iraq’s instability makes for huge oil profits for all – including ISIL

Sami Hamdi Iraq, Middle East/North Africa

Since the declaration of the war on terror by George W. Bush following the horrific events of September the 11th, subsequent events such as the invasion of Iraq, the meteoric rise of Iranian influence, the Arab Spring, as well as the brutal crackdown on dissent in Syria have created the perfect haven for the thriving of terrorist groups such as …