Articles on Middle East

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The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces at al-Omar oil field in Deir Al Zor, Syria, at the announcement that they had ended the Islamic State’s control of land in eastern Syria, March 23, 2019. Reuters/Rodi Said

Kurds targeted in Turkish attack include thousands of female fighters who battled Islamic State

Kurdish women have fought on the front lines of military battles since the 19th century. A scholar explains the origins of Kurdistan's relative gender equality in a mostly conservative Muslim region.
Kurdish fighters in Syria say the U.S. is abandoning its allies and potentially empowering the Islamic State by withdrawing from northeastern Syria and allowing a Turkish assault, Oct. 7, 2019. AP Photo

Turkish attack on Syria endangers a remarkable democratic experiment by the Kurds

Since defending northern Syria from the Islamic State, Kurdish people have established an egalitarian society where women are equal, democracy is direct and religious freedom is guaranteed.
A lack of understanding between American and Middle-Eastern culture is a national security risk. Lightspring/shutterstock.com

Cultural studies key to national security

National security isn't just about warding off physical attacks. It's also about understanding cultural forces that drive a society to think, feel and act in certain ways, a political scientist says.
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, leading the Eid al-Fitr prayer ceremony in Tehran in early June. Iranian Supreme Leader's Office/EPA

US-Iran tensions: no route for de-escalation in sight

Donald Trump stepped back from launching US airstrikes inside Iran, but the conflict is unabated and there appears to be no way out of confrontation for now.
Navy boats from the United Arab Emirates next to the Al Marzoqah of Saudi Arabia, one of several international oil tankers attacked in the Gulf in May 2019. The Saudi government has blamed Iran for acts of sabotage. Reuters/Satish Kumar

What does the Trump administration want from Iran?

A showdown with Iran over some oil tanker attacks in the Persian Gulf could push the US into its next Mideast war, writes a scholar of military aggression.

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