Western countries have increasingly pinned high hopes on the Peshmerga, Iraq’s Kurdish militia, to fight against the Islamic State (IS) and prevent it from taking control of more territory. In order to counter their lack of equipment, they have decided to ship Kurds modern weaponry. This decision could have great implications on the military balance of the Middle East, especially for their neighbouring country Turkey, which has been in an armed conflict for thirty years with various Kurdish insurgent groups, including the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK).
Balkan countries have undergone an upsurge in the number of its citizens joining the ranks of the Islamic State (IS) in recent months. Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and Kosovo are in the front line of the phenomenon after several of their compatriots either died in Iraq or were arrested on their way to jihad. These events underline the reticular organisation of the Islamic State, which attracts more and more European Muslims to join the fight for the caliphate.
Twenty-nine days after the beginning of the “Protective Edge” operation launched by the Israeli Army, Tsahal, Israel has started withdrawing its soldiers from the Gaza Strip. After several failed attempts to install a ceasefire, both sides have agreed to indirect negotiations under Egyptian conditions. Israeli and Hamas delegations should start peace talks in Cairo today.
The ground offensive launched by Israel in the Gaza strip on 18 July has led to an escalation of the death toll on both Israeli and Palestinian side. So far, 28 Israeli soldiers were killed while the Palestinian death tolls steadily reaches 600. The United Nations children’s agency, Unicef declared that a third of them were children. The bombardment of the city of Shejaiya in Gaza city on Sunday 20 July led to the death of about 60 Palestinians and 13 Israeli soldiers, making it the bloodiest day since the beginning of Operation Protective Edge. United States Secretary of State John Kerry and UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon met today in Cairo, in order to reactivate the 2012 ceasefire between Israel and Hamas.
On Saturday 12 July, 46 Palestinians were killed in Gaza during raids led by the Israeli army, making it the bloodiest day since the beginning of the Operation Protective Edge on July 8th. Extensive air raids, as well as the deployment of 1,500 Israeli soldiers around Gaza have been answered by the multiplication of rockets launched by Hamas and from Lebanon in the direction of Israel. International reactions have so far failed to consistently condemn any side, while Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared that “no international pressure will prevent [Israel] from using all its power to ensure that Israeli citizens can live in peace”.
Precies een maand na het Politiek Café over de Nederlandse bijdrage aan de missie in Mali organiseerde de FMS een bijeenkomst over de revoluties in de Arabische wereld: het Politiek Café “De Arabische Lente: drie jaar later”. Hoe gaat het nu met landen als Egypte, Tunesië Libië en Syrië waar drie jaar geleden de wereld volledig op zijn kop werd gezet? Wat voor paden hebben zij ieder bewandeld? En wat kunnen wij doen om het proces van democratisering te stimuleren? Een verslag van een bijzonder interessante avond.
A few days only after the three kidnapped Israeli teenagers were found dead near the contentious city of Hebron, the body of a 17-year-old Palestinian was in his turn found on the outskirts of Jerusalem yesterday. This succession of events has increasingly strained relations in the region, leading to the largest clashes in the Occupied side of the city in years.
Militant Sunny rebels in Syria’s northern Raqqa province have hailed the change of name by Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) into Islamic State and the declaration of a new Calipahte on 29 June. After the deceleration by Islamic State spokesman Abu Mohammad al-Adnani, Sunny rebels held a parade and cheered the leader of the Islamic State, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as new Caliph. The promulgation came after the organization conquered a large part of Iraq to add to its territory.
The rapid conquest of large parts of Iraq by the radical Sunny Islamist al-Qaeda splinter group, Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), has a destabilizing effect on the entire region. ISIL fighters aim to establish a Sunny caliphate along the Iraqi-Syrian frontier, mirroring the eight century Abbasid caliphate. ISIL fighters pride themselves on their brutality and have massacred hundreds of Shiite troops, who they consider heretics. The emphasis on the Sunny – Shiite divide spikes fears for sectarian violence that could spread across the entire region
Tensions between Israel and Palestine rise as Israel deploys around 2,000 troops in southern West Bank on 14 June. Israeli military command has announced its plan to step up its military operations in the region in order to locate three abducted Israeli teens. Troops have sealed of most entrances to the city of Hebron on 15 June and increased its military presence to 2,500 troops. In the city of Ramallah a Palestinian protester was killed as Israeli troops expand their pressure on the Palestinians.