Middle East

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The Al-Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan is home to thousands of the nine million refugees displaced by the conflict in Syria. Reuters/Muhammad Hamed

Australian bombs won’t bring peace to Syria, so why do it?

Australia should keep out of the Syrian conflict. Instead, it should respect the rule of law and the peaceful resolution of disputes by promoting a diplomatic end.
Greater Australian air commitment to the campaign against Islamic State is a low-risk venture, militarily. AAP/Australian Defence

Australian planes are set to wing it over the Syrian cauldron

While symoblic, an increase in Australian firepower in the fight against Islamic State in Syria will not greatly affect the battlespace's fundamental reality.
Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adaweya Square before and after the August 14 massacre of more than 800 peaceful protesters in 2013. Wikimedia Commons/Mazidan

As Morsi faces the gallows, where are the defenders of democracy?

Two years ago, on August 14, more than 800 protesters against a coup were massacred in Cairo. A court recently upheld the death sentence for Egypt's ousted elected leader.
The use of Incirlik airbase by Turkish warplanes launching attacks across the border and its re-opening to the US Airforce reflect the domestic and international goals of Turkey’s campaign. FlickrUS Airforce

Turkey strikes back: the political ploy behind attacking both Kurdish and Islamic State forces

What prompted Turkey's punishing campaign against both Islamic State and Kurdish forces in Iraq and Syria? The explanation for this sharp reversal of policy may lie in calculations for fresh elections.
Saudi Arabia has been careful not to appear overly oppressive of groups like Islamic State for fear of antagonising its own constituents. Reuters

What’s behind Saudi Arabia’s connection to Islamic State?

Saudi citizens supporting Islamic State are not the result of a coherent plan directed by its rulers, but the overflow of a long-standing system used to maintain its domestic legitimacy.
Increased oil and gas revenues amid lifted sanctions are set to raise Iran’s economic fortunes, which ease Middle Eastern tensions. EPA/Abedin Taherkenareh/AAP Image

Energy and economic diplomacy can trump the nuclear ‘threat’ of the Iran deal

Opponents of the Iran nuclear deal say it raises the nuclear weapons threat in the region. But Middle East tensions are actually likely to ease as Iran grows richer without being shackled by sanctions.

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