Articles on Islamic State

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Iraqi soldiers gather near the remains of wall panels and colossal statues of winged bulls that were destroyed by Islamic State militants in the Assyrian city of Nimrud, late last year. Ari Jalal/Reuters

Erasing history: why Islamic State is blowing up ancient artefacts

Islamic State has destroyed globally-significant sites in Iraq and Syria, but not as wanton acts of destruction. Instead, they are calculated political and religious attacks.
Classified documents. www.shutterstock.com

What is classified information, and who gets to decide?

A professor who once held top secret clearance explains how levels of classification work and where handling sensitive information gets tricky.
An Egyptian Muslim woman holds candles in front of the Coptic Christian Cathedral in tribute to the victims of a bomb attack in Cairo on Dec. 17, 2016. Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters

Who are the Coptic Christians?

Among the Christians of the Middle East, the largest number – some eight million or so – is of Egypt’s Copts. Here's their story.
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.
President Donald Trump after speaking at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida. AP Photo/Alex Brandon

Strikes against Syria: Did Trump need permission from Congress?

Are Trump’s missile strikes against Syria constitutional? An expert on Congress and foreign policy provides a brief history of how the separation of war powers has blurred over time.
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.

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