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The inside story of the Saudi night of long knives

Princes, ministers and a billionaire are ‘imprisoned’ in the Riyadh Ritz-Carlton while the Saudi Arabian Army is said to be in an uproar By PEPE ESCOBAR The House of Saud’s King Salman devises an high-powered “anti-corruption” commission and appoints his son, Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, a.k.a. MBS, as …

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Demise of ISIS, new Syrian constitution and future proxy wars

Shehab Al-Makahleh  In light of the fact that ISIS will be wiped out by the end of 2017 in Syria and Iraq – as confirmed by Vladimir Shamanov, former Russian Airborne Force commander and Chairman of the State Duma’s defense committee – the Middle East will enter a …

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Iraqi leaders’ visits a prelude toward internal reconciliation, regional calculations

Shehab Al-Makahleh The visits of Iraqi officials to some Arab capitals in the past few months until recently with Iraqi Shiite cleric leader, Moqtada al-Sadr who paid a visit to Jordan on October 22, 2017 represent that Iraq is heading toward internal reconciliation before moving to playing a …

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Can Moscow Mediate Between Tehran and Riyadh?

Shehab Al-Makahleh Russian recent initiative to mediate between Iran and Saudi Arabia has come as a surprise and has left many queries about what Moscow could do in order to bridge the gap between Tehran and Riyadh. The Middle East is in a process of a geopolitical makeover …

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Jordanian-Syrian parliamentary talks, a sign of rapprochement and a prelude to further breakthrough

Shehab Al Makahleh In a rare qualitative step since the outbreak of the Syrian crisis, Jordanian Parliament Speaker Atif Al Tarawneh met with his Syrian counterpart Hamouda Al Sayegh in Saint Petersburg, where the 137th international parliamentary meeting is being held. Commenting on the Syrian conflict, Al Tarawneh …

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Iraqi PM Abadi in Saudi Arabia to forge bilateral ties

Iraqi Prime Minister Haider Al-Abadi arrived to Riyadh on Saturday to attend inaugural meeting of the Saudi-Iraqi Coordination Council, a body said to cover two countries’ cooperation in political, economic, security and cultural fields. Meanwhile, in Baghdad Saudi Oil Minister Khalid al-Falih’s met with his Iraqi counterpart Jabar al-Luaibi, …

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Political instability and unlikely allies in the Middle East

Shehab Al-Makahleh Political instability in the Middle East has driven some countries to rethink their strategic relations with other countries. Few days ago, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan paid an official visit to Iran, his regional rival, and in a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart Hassan …

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Independence or not – the hard questions for Kurdistan and Scotland

By Shehab Al-Makahleh To vote for independence or not, that is the question in Kurdistan and Scotland. Both cases are loaded with huge geopolitical implications. In Iraqi Kurdistan a non-binding referendum was held on the 25th of September, in which the Kurds were asked to decide whether to …

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Will the Houthis fulfill their word to target UAE with long range missiles?

By Shehab Al-Makahleh Many people were surprised by the unprecedented and violent threats that Abdul Malik al-Houthi, leader of Ansar Allah Al Houthi Movement, directed against the United Arab Emirates when he vowed to launch missile attacks against targets in the UAE and against Saudi oil targets. Abdul …

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