Russian Ambassador killed in Ankara: The implications

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

In an extraordinary development, the Russian ambassador to Ankara, Andrei Karlov, has  been shot dead whilst giving a speech at an art gallery. The shooter is reported to have shouted “this is for Aleppo”. The shooting comes as tensions simmer between Turkey and Russia over events in Syria, with President Erdogan having to perform a tactical ‘retreat’ earlier this year …

Erdogan the latest addition to a growing list of disillusioned US allies

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa, Turkey

Erdogan’s visit to Russia has drawn much debate and discussion, centering around whether it is a humbling realisation of the realities of the region after years of the former’s bravado over Syria and shooting down a Russian jet, or a political ploy to put pressure on the US following the attempted coup. Rarely are these matters black and white, and …

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 …

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 …

Russia struggles to re-align foreign policy following Iran Deal

Sami Hamdi Russia

It is well documented the role Russia and Iran respectively played in protecting the Syrian regime diplomatically and militarily. Russia used its veto to great effect, contributing to the slow international response to the Syrian crisis. For Russia, the matter was clear; NATO is not welcome on Russian borders and the US must not be allowed to install an ally …

Behind Greece-Russia Relations: An Axis of Necessity or Trojan Horse Politics?

Ahmed Ghoneim Europe, World Politics

Greece’s energy Minister announced last week that his country will be signing a document on political support for Gazprom’s Turkish Stream project at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in June. Greece will invest $2 billion in the construction of this controversial project. However the growing understanding between Greece and Russia should not be taken as unusual and indeed Athens-Moscow …