US-Soldaten in Afghanistan

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12.04.2019

"Why was Arab voter turnout so low in Israel’s elections?"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/04/arab-citizens-of-israel-low-turnout-in-knesset-electio
n-2019.html

Bei den jüngsten israelischen Parlamentswahlen ist die Wahlbeteiligung arabischer Israelis erneut gesunken. Daoud Kuttab hält dies für die Folge einer zunehmenden Verzweiflung und des Vertrauensverlustes. "Botrus Mansour, director general of the Nazareth Baptist School, told Al-Monitor that even though Palestinian citizens have done well economically and their legislators have performed solidly in the Knesset, those factors have failed to boost turnout. 'Nazareth had the biggest drop in voting,' he said of the largest Arab city in Israel. 'While some intellectuals boycotted [the elections] on an ideological basis, most stayed away out of apathy and desperation.' Mansour blames political marginalization for the low turnout. 'The marginalization of Arabs and their lack of influence, despite their abilities, is a major reason for this feeling of desperation,' he said."

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09.04.2019

"US eyes bigger role for Libyan warlord as civil war looms"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/04/us-eyes-bigger-role-libya-warlord-trump-hifter.html

Die US-Regierung kann sich Jack Detsch zufolge vorstellen, General Khalifa Hafter eine führende Position in einer neuen libyschen Einheitsregierung anzubieten, um den Vormarsch der Libyschen Nationalarmee (LNA) auf Tripolis zu stoppen. "'The US doesn’t want Hifter to continue with this campaign,' a former US official told Al-Monitor. 'I think they’d like to see him in a powerful position within the security apparatus of a unified Libyan state, but they want him to be incorporated into the state via a political solution to the conflict.' (...) Despite the United States signing on to a five-country statement rebuking Hifter’s advance on Monday, experts say Washington realizes the military map may be changing faster than the administration can draw up a policy response. Alice Hunt Friend, a former Pentagon official who’s now a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the United States has displayed a 'real pragmatism' about 'tolerating' Hifter."

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05.04.2019

"The backstory to Hifter's march on Tripoli"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/04/libya-khalifa-hifter-offensive-tripoli.html

Khalifa Hifter, Anführer der Libyan National Army (LNA), hat angekündigt, in die libysche Hauptstadt Tripoli einmarschieren zu wollen. Der Libyen-Experte Jason Pack hält diese Entwicklung des Bürgerkriegs nicht für überraschend. "It is actually the tail end of a five-year process since Hifter launched Operation Dignity with the proximal aim of ridding Benghazi of jihadists and a distal aim of conquering the whole country. Does this announcement represent a fundamental change in Libya’s war or just a natural culmination? Is Hifter on the precipice of victory? As this article goes to press, the country is truly holding their collective breaths in fear of a new phase of violence in which a genuine hot war would engulf Tripoli, possibly destroying prospects of a political agreement that was supposed to be formalized and endorsed 'by the Libyan people' at an upcoming National Conference only 10 days from now. My 11 years of work in and on Libya leads me to believe that we are not on the verge of something genuinely new, but only another iteration in a long, drawn-out process."

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29.03.2019

"Syria's Kurds increasingly isolated as Arab tribes cut deals with regime"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/03/syria-kurds-isolated-arab-tribes-deals-damascus.html

Arabische Stämme in Syrien, die bisher an der Seite der Kurden mit amerikanischer Unterstützung gegen den IS gekämpft haben, seien zunehmend zu Gesprächen und Kompromissen mit Präsident Assad bereit, berichtet Amberin Zaman. "Over the past several months, a growing number of Arab tribal leaders residing in SDF-controlled areas have been reaching out to the Assad regime and cutting individual deals, according to Syrian Kurdish officials and Arab notables interviewed by Al-Monitor. In the mainly Arab town of Manbij, which is run by local allies of the US-backed SDF, the shift among the sheikhs is palpable. (...) The Kurds, who arguably are the biggest beneficiaries of US protection after beating back the jihadis and expanding the territories under their control to include the strategic Tabqa dam and oil fields in Rmeilan and Hassakah, are in the stickiest position of all. 'The US doesn’t want us to talk to the regime, but at the same time they are not offering us an alternative plan for the future; they are not willing to engage with us politically,' complained Fawza Yusuf, a senior figure in the Kurdish-led administration running the US-protected zone."

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26.03.2019

"Intel: Why Netanyahu can’t go too far in responding to Hamas rockets"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/03/netanyahu-too-far-response-hamas-rockets-gaza.html

Al-Monitor stellt fest, dass die israelische Regierung in ihrer Reaktion auf den erneuten Raketenbeschuss aus Gaza bisher darauf achte, nicht zu weit zu gehen. "A stronger response — such as bombing heavily populated areas, sending in ground forces or targeting Hamas leaders — could lead to full-scale war and mass military and civilian casualties. The goal of such an operation would have to be to topple Hamas in Gaza, with unpredictable costs. And if international uproar once again forces an end to Israeli operations before they’re complete, that would be the death knell of the Netanyahu government’s efforts to reach a long-term agreement with Hamas. Once again, the prime minister’s short-term political interests are clashing with the country’s long-term strategic plans. (...) It seems Netanyahu has decided to stick with his security advisers’ recommendations and keep talks with Hamas alive. To reduce political damage, the prime minister has taken to attacking his opponent, Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz, for failing to rein in Hamas when he was chief of staff of the army."

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20.03.2019

"Russia seeks to hold reluctant Turkey accountable in Syria"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/03/turkey-syria-russia-is-ankara-giving-up-on-idlib.html

Fehim Tastekin schreibt, dass sich die Türkei nach wie vor der russischen Forderung gegenübersehe, die Kontrolle der Idlib-Provinz an syrische Regierungstruppen zu übertragen. Der Vereinbarung vom 17. September 2018 zufolge sollte die Türkei dort eine demilitarisierte Zone schaffen, was nicht gelungen sei. "To summarize the latest situation in Idlib: Although unwillingly adhering to Russia's operations plan, Turkey still hopes HTS will be freed from the terrorist label, so a new 'terror-free' structure can take over control of Idlib and preserve the status quo until a political solution is reached. Russia still hopes Turkey will contribute to the Syrian regime's takeover of the region. Russia is paying much attention to keeping Turkey on its side while trying to sort out the Idlib mess."

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19.03.2019

"2020 Democrats vow to re-enter Iran nuclear deal"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/03/2020-democrats-vow-reenter-iran-nuclear-deal-jcpoa.htm
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Fünf Präsidentschaftskandidaten der US-Demokraten haben angekündigt, im Fall ihres Wahlsiegs das Atomabkommen mit dem Iran neu aufleben zu lassen. "Re-entry into the nuclear deal with Iran is fast becoming a litmus test for Democrats hoping to challenge President Donald Trump in 2020. No fewer than five declared candidates have told Al-Monitor over the past few weeks that they would rejoin the deal without preconditions should they win the presidency — as long as Iran continues to live up to its end of the 2015 pact. These include well-known lawmakers such as Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt. and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., who both voted for the deal in 2015, along with Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., who was elected in 2016. The trend comes as pro-deal advocacy groups are ramping up their outreach to Democrats ahead of the first primary debate in June."

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14.03.2019

"Turkey and US head to new crisis over Ankara’s S-400 purchase"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/03/turkey-usa-russia-head-to-new-crisis-over-s400-deal.ht
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Die Türkei will trotz der Warnungen aus den USA auf dem Kauf russischer S-400-Raketen bestehen und könnte das Verhältnis zum NATO-Partner damit vor neue Probleme stellen, schreibt Semih Idiz. "Many expect Turkey’s deployment of the S-400s to rekindle the debate on whether President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s Turkey belongs in the Western alliance. The ultimate decision on the S-400s rests with Erdogan, as the sole authority in Turkey today, and he appears determined to go ahead with the deal concluded with Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin. 'There is no point in discussing this anymore because we have concluded the deal with Mr. Putin and Russia,' Erdogan said in a jointly televised interview with Turkish channels last week. 'There is no turning back because such an immoral move would be unseemly. If we make an agreement, we stand by it,' he said. (...) A day before Erdogan’s comments, Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, who is NATO’s supreme allied commander and also commands US forces in Europe, told the Senate Armed Services Committee in Washington that the sale of F-35 jets to Turkey should be stopped if Ankara goes ahead with the S-400 deal. Scaparrotti pointed out that the S-400s were not interoperable with NATO systems and would pose a problem for the security of the F-35."

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11.03.2019

"Why Algerian protesters aren't satisfied with Bouteflika's latest 'concession'"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/03/algeria-president-protests-compromise-april-elections.
html

Das Zugeständnis des algerischen Präsidenten Bouteflika, auf eine fünfte Amtszeit zu verzichten, wird Simon Speakman Cordall zufolge von vielen Demonstranten als ungenügend betrachtet. "Within Algiers, few appeared willing to even consider the limited concessions offered in early March. 'The proposal is ridiculous because they are just trying to make time to find a plan,' a spokesperson for the youth-led 'No to a Fifth Term' told Al-Monitor, before rejecting the notion that any further poll would take place ahead of the next electoral round in five years. (...) 'Really, people are just looking for the rule of law,' [Jessica Northey of Coventry University] said. 'They just want the government to respect the [Algerian] Constitution they spent years writing. It’s hardly surprising that they’ve lost confidence in Bouteflika. Not just because he’s so ill or that they hardly ever see him, but because the constitution keeps getting amended to keep him in power.'"

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19.02.2019

"Two-state solution loses champion as Livni drops from race"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/02/israel-tzipi-livni-benjamin-netanyahu-tw-state-solutio
n.html

Mit der Oppositionspolitikerin Tzipi Livni habe sich die letzte wichtige Vertreterin einer Zweistaatenlösung als Kandidatin bei den israelischen Parlamentswahlen zurückgezogen, berichtet Mazal Mualem. "Livni could be described as someone who jumped from party to party in order to survive. She could even be called an opportunist for joining the Netanyahu government in 2013. But what can never be taken from her is her diplomatic agenda. More than anyone else in Israeli politics over the last few years, Livni came to be identified with the two-state solution. It’s not that Meretz or the Labor Party didn’t talk about it; she was simply its best spokesperson, particularly because she grew up in a Revisionist (right-wing) home and was so deeply entrenched in the Likud. To her credit, it must be said that she never abandoned her diplomatic vision. In many ways, she sacrificed herself for it. Politics is a brutal game, and this week Livni reached the end. But this is not just the personal saga of a rise and fall, but the end of an era in Israeli politics. A decade of Netanyahu rule have made dust of the notion that the Palestinians are legitimate partners for peace, leaving Livni without a political base. Her retirement is the final blow to her quest for a two-state solution."

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17.02.2019

"Jihadists of Idlib splitting under Turkish pressure"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/02/turkey-russia-syria-jihadist-of-idlib-splitting.html

Der türkische Journalist Fehim Tastekin erklärt das komplexe Beziehungsgeflecht der rivalisierenden Rebellenfraktionen in der Idlib-Provinz im Nordwesten Syriens. Er erwartet, dass Russland nur noch den angekündigten Abzug der US-Truppen abwarten will, um die Provinz wieder unter die Kontrolle der syrischen Regierung zu bringen. "An Idlib operation is waiting for the United States to complete its Syria withdrawal. If the United States withdraws before the end of April, an Idlib operation will be seriously on the table. Even if HTS is included in the Turkey-guided Syrian National Army (formed from factions of the Free Syrian Army) as discussed, Russia will stick to the option used in eastern Aleppo, eastern Ghouta, Daraa and Quneitra: Factions will hand over their weapons and allow the Syrian regime army to return."

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15.02.2019

"Likud's mainstreaming of West Bank annexation"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/02/israel-west-bank-sovereignty-annexation-likud-election
s.html

Eine Annexion des Westjordanlands ist in Israel Shlomi Eldar zufolge lange Zeit als "weit hergeholte und verrückte" Idee behandelt worden. Der aktuelle Wahlkampf der Likud-Partei habe allerdings dafür gesorgt, dass eine Annexion als realistische Option behandelt wird. "(...) what four years ago, on the eve of the 2015 election, was considered a crazy idea that only right-wing extremists toyed with has become mainstream in the Likud. Thus on Feb. 5 Tourism Minister Yariv Levin said the following with great confidence: 'The application of Israeli sovereignty over all of the Land of Israel is in my eyes not a question of if but how we do it and when we get to it. In my view, it should start with applying laws that have specific relevance not only for the residents themselves, but also for the territory.' (...) while Israel awaits the decision of its attorney general and wonders whether Benny Gantz, leader of Israel Resilience, stands on the left, center or right, the settlers are gaining ground on the road to the annexation of the West Bank and to determining the future of Israel for generations to come."

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10.02.2019

"Why southern Libya overwhelmingly supports Hifter"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/02/libya-haftar-south-operation-tribes-support.html

General Khalifa Hifter, der als stärkster Warlord im Osten Libyens gilt, hat seinen Einfluss im Süden des Landes militärisch ausgeweitet. Alessandra Bocchi erläutert, warum der Vorstoß bei den lokalen Stämmen auf Unterstützung getroffen ist. "Despite the complexity of Libya’s war, the key southern region — which has been lawless for almost a decade — has now seen a return to the rule of law with Hifter’s military advances in the south. In addition to the majority of the tribes, other Libyans also appear to be supportive of Hifter’s military operation, according to individuals and organizations in the area. 'We haven’t heard of kidnappings or thefts since the LNA forces took over,' a spokesperson for the Fezzan Libya Organization, a civil rights group based in Sabha, told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity. (...) Should Hifter, with the support of France, Russia and the UAE, also seize the oil revenues, it could trigger a strong reaction from the rival Tripoli government, with its sponsors of Italy, the EU and the United States, and further prolong Libya’s war. But if Hifter remains unopposed by foreign governments in his conquests, he is likely to win."

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06.02.2019

"Egyptians split as lawmakers pave way for Sisi to be 'president for life'"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/02/egypt-constitution-changes-sisi-opposition-amendments.
html

In Ägypten werden Verfassungsänderungen vorbereitet, die die Machtstellung des Militärs festigen und die potentielle Amtszeit von Präsident Sisi deutlich verlängern würden. "The suggested alteration to Article 140 of the constitution would extend presidential terms from four to six years, and changes to Article 200 would allow the military to ensure 'that the principles of the June 30 Revolution are observed,' which means preventing Islamists from ever rising to power. The amendments are being packaged with progressive changes, to make them more palatable to the public. Sisi's supporters praised the amendments, arguing that 'four years are not enough' and that the president needs 'more time to complete the development plans that he started,' while critics decried the changes as an 'Arab Spring in reverse' and 'a coup against the Egyptian Constitution.' Though the two-term limit would remain in place for future presidents, these changes would reset the clock for Sisi, allowing him two additional terms after his current one ends in 2022. Hassan Nafaa, a professor of political science at Cairo University, warned on Twitter that the changes signal 'the start of a major political battle between a people aspiring for freedom, social justice and human dignity and a ruler determined to remain president of Egypt for life.'"

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05.02.2019

"Islamic Jihad, the new lord of Gaza?"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/02/israel-egypt-gaza-strip-palestinians-hamas-islamic-jih
ad.html

Im Gazastreifen gewinne die extremistische Gruppe Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) immer mehr an Einfluss, schreibt Shlomi Eldar. Die Hamas-Führung, die Konflikte mit dem Iran vermeiden wolle, sehe sich offenbar gezwungen, den Vorgaben der PIJ zu folgen. "Who’s leading whom in the Gaza Strip? Does Hamas lord over the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), a militant movement supported by Iran, or is it the other way around? Over the past few months, Israeli security forces have noted the growing influence of the Islamic Jihad on Hamas. Seeking to avoid problems with Iran, the Hamas leadership feels it has little choice but to follow the Islamic Jihad’s dictates in their actions when dealing with Israel and Egypt."

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30.01.2019

"What is driving Ankara’s love for Nicolas Maduro?"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/01/turkey-what-is-behind-ankaras-love-for-nicolas-maduro.
html

Auch die Türkei steht in der Krise in Venezuela an der Seite von Präsident Maduro. Semih Idiz schreibt, dass dies keine ideologischen oder wirtschaftlichen Gründe habe, sondern vor allem auf die antiamerikanische Stimmung in der Türkei zurückzuführen sei. "The irony is that — under normal circumstances — Islamists and nationalists loathe the brand of socialism represented by Maduro. It is his stand against what is perceived to be 'American imperialism' that has united the left and the right in this case. The support among Turks for Venezuela’s controversial leader, therefore, has little to do with his politics, which many in Turkey also accept has dragged oil-rich Venezuela to the brink of economic disaster. It is based, instead, on what is believed to be Maduro’s heroic, David-like stand against the US Goliath. (...) The fear in government circles and among the religious and nationalist supporters of Erdogan is clearly that Washington — with support from other Western democracies — could do to Turkey in the future what they are trying to do to Venezuela today."

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25.01.2019

"Erdogan-Putin summit highlights differences over Syria"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/01/turkey-russia-syria-moscow-summit-highlights-differenc
es.html

Präsident Erdogan ist es bei seinem Besuch in Moskau Semih Idiz zufolge nicht gelungen, Präsident Putin von der Einrichtung einer türkisch kontrollierten Sicherheitszone im Norden Syriens zu überzeugen. "'This region is currently in the hands of the Kurds,' Putin said. 'Damascus must talk to the representatives of the Kurds. This dialogue will not only contribute to reconciliation in Syria, but also be to the advantage of Syria’s neighbors.' This is not music to Ankara’s ears, because such remarks show that Russia accepts the YPG and its political wing, the Democratic Union Party (PYD), as representatives of the Kurds in northern Syria. The remarks also indicate that Moscow is seeking to accommodate the Kurds. Given the weakened position of the Syrian Kurds after Trump’s decision to pull out of Syria, Russia has a good chance of succeeding in these efforts."

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18.01.2019

"Assad’s reconciliation with Arab world could upend Turkey’s plans"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/01/turkey-syria-reconciliation-arab-world-upend-ankara-pl
ans.html

Die aktuelle Rehabilitierung der syrischen Regierung in der arabischen Welt sei eine schlechte Nachricht für die Türkei, schreibt Semih Idiz. "As countries like Sudan, UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon and Tunisia line up to favor the normalization of ties with Syria — and many expect Saudi Arabia to join them eventually — Ankara could end up facing an anti-Turkish Arab bloc it never expected. Such a bloc could also complicate Turkey’s plans to enter northern Syria to clear the town of Manbij and territories east of the Euphrates River from the Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG), especially now that Damascus has declared its opposition to this incursion."

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13.01.2019

"France weighs its Syria presence, cooperation with Russia"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/01/russia-france-syria-kurds-turkey.html

Der begonnene Rückzug der USA aus Syrien habe Frankreich veranlasst, die eigene Syrienstrategie zu überdenken, berichtet Igor Delanoe. "After President Donald Trump said in December that US troops were to leave Syria 'very soon,' a French military source told Al-Monitor on condition of anonymity that this situation would create a critical problem for France’s special forces in Syria. 'It’s not only about logistics. Should they leave, we will have to figure out what to do in a relatively short lap of time.' French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on a French TV channel Jan. 10, 'France will militarily withdraw from Syria once a political agreement is reached.' This remark has significance. First, French officials rarely comment on the military presence of France in Syria as there is no legal basis for intervention in the Arab republic. Second, Le Drian, who served as defense minister under President Francois Hollande, commented on military affairs while serving as minister of foreign affairs. All this raises the question of what would happen if a political road map is set in Geneva tomorrow and if, in the meantime, the Islamic State is able to retake control of a sizable chunk of Syrian territory. Would the French troops leave anyway?"

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11.01.2019

"Intel: How the Syria pullout highlights Pentagon-Bolton tensions"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/01/intel-syria-pull-out-highlight-pentagon-bolton-tension
s.html

Der begonnene Abzug von US-Truppen aus Syrien deutet Al-Monitor zufolge darauf hin, dass es zwischen dem Pentagon und "Falken" wie dem Nationalen Sicherheitsberater John Bolton Spannungen gebe. Bolton hatte zuletzt auf recht strengen Bedingungen für einen Truppenabzug aus Syrien bestanden. "Bolton’s insistence that the United States still stop the re-emergence of the Islamic State and Iranian-backed proxies in Syria could frustrate military planners trying to interpret Trump’s withdrawal order. The circumstances could prove especially difficult, experts say, as Washington faces a partial government shutdown with acting Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan only 10 days into his new job. (...) alarm bells are ringing in the Pentagon that the new secretary might not be able to get around Bolton’s views on Syria, which are far more hawkish than Trump’s. A former US official told Al-Monitor that former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis 'had a unique level of credibility and juice' to defy Bolton, and that few people in the Defense Department have anything good to say about Bolton."

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09.01.2019

"Iranians slam new EU sanctions as JCPOA hangs in balance"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/01/iran-european-union-sanctions-reactions-assassinations
.html

Die EU hat wegen angeblicher Aktivitäten des iranischen Geheimdienstes auf europäischem Boden Sanktionen gegen Offizielle der iranischen Regierung verhängt. Auf iranischer Seite mehren sich nun Al-Monitor zufolge die Stimmen, die auf die europäischen Maßnahmen zur Rettung des Atomabkommens nicht länger warten wollen. "(...) signs of frustration are already appearing not just from the country's hard-liners. On the sidelines of his meetings with Indian officials, Zarif noted that while working with the Europeans, Iran won’t wait for them to enforce the SPV and will instead turn to what he called 'traditional partners' — namely India, China and Russia. Kayhan, a hard-line daily affiliated with the office of the supreme leader, found the EU announcement to be a validation of its previous predictions that, unlike what the Iranian government assumes, Europe will tighten the noose around Tehran's neck rather than help it enjoy the dividends promised by the JCPOA. (...) In a critical piece, moderate daily Khorasan also slammed Europeans for pushing Iran into a corner instead of accelerating the implementation of the stalled SPV. Javan, a conservative paper close to the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, likened Europe to a cow that has given Iran 'the kick rather than the milk.'"

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06.01.2019

"Saudi Arabia gets US missile defense boost despite Khashoggi uproar"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/01/saudia-arabia-us-missile-defense-boost-khashoggi.html

Trotz der zum Teil scharfen Kritik an Saudi-Arabien im US-Kongress habe das Weiße Haus eine Modernisierung saudi-arabischer Raketenabwehrsysteme im Wert von fast 200 Millionen US-Dollar bewilligt, berichtet Jack Detsch. "Under the commercial deal approved by the State Department in December, Saudi Arabia will receive $195 million in upgrades to improve its Patriot PAC-3 defenses, including a guidance system that increases its ability to intercept ballistic missiles able to evade US-made radars. (...) A State Department spokesperson told Al-Monitor on background that Trump had indicated the United States would remain a 'steadfast' partner for Saudi Arabia, despite tensions over the war in Yemen and Khashoggi’s death. (...) The deal to bolster Saudi Arabia’s missile defenses comes as leading senators sought to block other US weapons sales to the kingdom after Khashoggi’s death. In the wake of the killing, a bipartisan bill sponsored by Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, aimed to suspend all US arms sales to Riyadh except ground-based missile defenses."

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04.01.2019

"Turkish army brass at odds over military operation in Syria"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2019/01/turkey-syria-some-in-army-oppose-new-operation-against
-kurds.html

Im türkischen Militär gebe es offenbar Widerstand gegen eine neue Offensive in Syrien, berichtet Fehim Tastekin. Zwei Kommandeure seien aufgrund ihrer Einwände von ihren Posten abgelöst worden. "Deniz Zeyrek, a columnist for Sozcu and a seasoned defense and diplomacy writer, summarized their objections in three points: - The threat Turkey now faces is different from what we encountered in the Euphrates Shield and Afrin operations. The People’s Protection Units (YPG) today receives substantial support from the United States. They are better equipped and trained. - The international support Turkey received for its two earlier operations is no longer available. Both the United States and Russia are sending mixed messages. Climatic and topographic conditions could work against our goal of minimal casualties. - The United States is trying to task Turkey with a war against the Islamic State. Turkey is not required to fight IS far from its border. Until now, the top military ranks had kept quiet on their differences of opinion, but over the past days retired officers have voiced unease with the government’s Syria policy."

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29.12.2018

"Are Turkey, Syria squaring off in response to US decision?"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/12/us-troops-withdrawal-syria-opposition-turkey-military.
html

Auch Mohammed al-Khatieb erläutert mögliche Auswirkungen des angekündigten Rückzugs der USA aus Syrien auf die komplexen Machtverhältnisse und Konfliktlinien im Land. "The Syrian rebels hope the US withdrawal will speed up their movement east of the Euphrates, but at the same time, they fear losing the strategic al-Tanf area at the Syrian-Jordanian-Iraqi border triangle. This is where opposition fighters are deployed under the umbrella of the US-led international coalition against IS. (...) Turkey is trying to avoid a clash with Russia and Iran and gain more approval from them to keep the cease-fire standing in rebel-held Idlib, to proceed with forming the Syrian Constitutional Committee and most importantly to prevent a deal between the Syrian regime and the SDF — which looks to be happening now. The SDF wants to avoid losing its areas of control to the Turks and the Syrian opposition."

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19.12.2018

"US diplomats shaken by Trump decision to exit Syria"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/12/us-state-department-syria-trump-withdraw-isis-iran.htm
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US-Präsident Trump hat mit seiner Ankündigung des Truppenabzugs aus Syrien offenbar auch die eigenen Diplomaten überrascht. Eine Rücknahme der Entscheidung werde diesmal von vielen Experten ausgeschlossen, berichtet Laura Rozen. "(...) US officials, speaking not for attribution, and Syria experts who consult with the US administration said that this time they believe Trump’s decision is real, and will not be reversed by a bureaucracy that has urged him to keep US forces in Syria longer. 'This time it’s real and truly catastrophic,' a US official, speaking not for attribution, told Al-Monitor. 'The president is just done' and said 'leave.' Trump’s decision to withdraw US forces from Syria came in the wake of a phone call between him and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Friday in which Erdogan said Turkish forces could finish off IS remnants and other terrorist groups, Syria experts said."

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10.12.2018

"US erects observation posts to avert war between Turks, Syrian Kurds"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/12/us-three-observation-posts-turkey-syria-border.html

Das US-Militär habe an der syrisch-türkischen Grenze mindestens drei Beobachtungsposten errichtet, berichtet Amberin Zaman. Ziel sei offenbar, einen offenen Krieg zwischen den kurdischen Verbündeten in Syrien und dem NATO-Partner Türkei zu verhindern. "(...) the observation posts make it less likely that Turkey will risk confrontation with US forces. The presence of coalition observers also makes it harder for Turkey to claim that the YPG is the aggressor. But they won’t necessarily be around forever. Ryan noted, 'The coalition does not define an observation post as a permanent structure by military means … everything is based on revolving battlefield assessments and can change as the mission dictates.' But ultimately, it’s the commander in chief, US President Donald Trump, who calls the shots."

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03.12.2018

"Intel: Why experts are pessimistic about Yemen peace deal"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/12/intel-yemen-peace-talks-griffiths-un-houthi-saudi.html

Die Erfolgsaussichten der geplanten Friedensverhandlungen zwischen den Kriegsparteien in Jemen werden von vielen Experten offenbar skeptisch beurteilt. "Even if the peace deal succeeds, experts aren’t convinced it will last. 'Yemen has a Humpty Dumpty problem,' Gregory D. Johnsen, a former member of the UN panel of experts on Yemen, told the Associated Press. 'It’s broken and I don’t think anybody, no matter how much money they pour into the country, will be able to put it back together again — and certainly not anytime soon.'"

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29.11.2018

"Can Turkey mediate Russian-Ukrainian conflict on the Black Sea?"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/11/turkey-mediate-conflict-black-sea-russia-ukraine.html

Die neue Krise zwischen der Ukraine und Russland vor der Küste der Krim wird von den Anrainern des Schwarzen Meers mit zunehmender Sorge beobachtet, schreibt Yekaterina Chulkovskaya. Die Türkei habe angesichts der Kriegsgefahr bereits eine Vermittlung angeboten. "(...) the crisis between Russia and Ukraine could also bring some benefits for Turkey. Turkish historian Ilyas Kemaloglu believes that the situation opens huge opportunities for Ankara. 'Turkey is the only country in the region that has good relations with both Russia and Ukraine, and is also strong and active in the international arena. Ankara has a chance to prove itself in the diplomatic sphere.' Turkey is one of the few countries that has managed to keep good relations with both Russia and Ukraine after the Crimean crisis and conflict in eastern Ukraine. Ankara did its best not to take sides: Although Turkey doesn’t recognize the annexation of Crimea, at the same time it didn’t join anti-Russian sanctions."

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09.11.2018

"Intel: Why the US thinks designating Houthis as terrorists could help peace in Yemen"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/11/intel-washington-houthi-yemen-terrorism-talks.html

Die US-Regierung erwägt einem Bericht der Washington Post zufolge, die Huthi-Rebellen in Jemen offiziell als "Terrororganisation" einzustufen. "Designating the Houthis as terrorists would make it illegal for US citizens to provide money or other material support to the group. It’s not clear, however, that a movement that originated in northern Yemen in the early 1990s enjoys many Western linkages. (...) 'I think it points to an overall viewpoint that if enough pressure is applied, the Houthis will start behaving the way the US, Saudis, and others want them to,' a former UN consultant told Al-Monitor. Strategic differences: Even as the United States debates designating the Houthis, it has long taken a different approach in Afghanistan, opting not to label the Taliban as a terror group in order to salvage peace talks. (...) Some experts thought the move signals a continued US willingness to go along with Saudi policy in Yemen. 'I think it’s just [a] reflexive anti-Houthi/Iran approach, or more accurately just a copy-paste of Saudi [talking points],' one former US official told Al-Monitor. 'It has huge humanitarian consequences if true.'"

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04.11.2018

"Saudi Arabia ignores Trump administration on Yemen"

https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2018/11/saudi-arabia-ignores-trump.html

Saudi-Arabien habe den amerikanischen Aufruf zu einem neuen Waffenstillstand in Jemen nicht nur ignoriert, sondern die Luftangriffe in den letzten Tagen sogar weiter verschärft, schreibt Bruce Riedel. "(...) the Saudis have escalated their airstrikes on Sanaa and Hodeidah instead. The capital and the main port have been heavily pounded by the Saudi coalition since Pompeo and Mattis spoke. (...) The crown prince is well aware that he is the potential fall guy if his war is perceived to be a failure. The crown prince is counting on the Trump administration to stick with him given the blank check it has provided for Saudi Arabia in the last two years. The Khashoggi affair will fade away, and the president will never take serious action regarding the war. So far he has been right."

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