US versus Russia in Libya: Good versus Evil?

David Emeka Ogbogu Middle East/North Africa, World Politics

The reality of our world today is that it is essentially divided into spheres of influence; not between countries, but between America’s dispatched military assets in the form of permanent air, naval and military bases. These spheres are commonly referred to as: USSOUTHCOM; Western Hemisphere (south America and the Caribbean), USCENTCOM; Middle East, USAFRICOM; Africa, USPACOM Pacific Ocean & Asia, …

It’s Not Just Russia That Hacks Elections

David Emeka Ogbogu US

On the 10th of December, the CIA announced its its report stating that it was “highly likely” that Russia had covertly influenced the U.S. elections in favour of Donald Trump. However, what is remarkably absent from the condemnation of Russia within the West, is any reference to the fact that the US has itself influenced elections abroad, overthrown governments it …

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 …

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 …

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 …