Articles on Middle East

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Syrian Christians and Muslims offer prayers for nuns held by rebels, at the Greek Orthodox Mariamiya Church in Damascus, Syria, in 2013. AP Photo

Syria’s forgotten pluralism and why it matters today

For many centuries, Syrian society has included people of many faiths – Sunni and Shi'i Muslims, Christians and Druze. This past is important to know to understand the present.
The future of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s reign lies with Vladimir Putin’s obstinacy and ability to withstand US pressure. Reuters/Omar Sanadiki

Explainer: the war in Syria and the possibility of removing Assad

To understand the complexities of the conflict in Syria and what might happen next, it helps to untangle the three layers of strife in the war-torn country.
Military strikes against a Syrian airforce base mark Donald Trump’s first big foreign policy test as president. Reuters/Carlos Barria

With Syria missile strikes, Trump turns from non-intervention to waging war

The US military's attack on a Syrian airforce base sets a worrying precedent of brashness and uncertainty in how the Trump administration may handle future crises in international relations.
Mosul’s residents are caught between Islamic State’s brutal violence and the amassed firepower of the Iraqi armed forces and their international backers. Reuters/Khalid Al Mousily

The tragedy of Mosul: battle against Islamic State is leading to all-too-familiar consequences

The tragedy of Mosul is that while Islamic State's territorial project in Iraq is coming to an end, it is creating new problems that exacerbate the country's existing challenges.
A family catches Mardi Gras beads during the Krewe of Thoth parade down St. Charles Avenue in 2000. Reuters

The destructive life of a Mardi Gras bead

Each Mardi Gras, 25 million pounds of beads hit the streets of New Orleans. One researcher went to the Chinese factories that make them – and spoke to the workers who believe the beads will be given to royalty.

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