Saudi Arabia, UAE and other Arab nations could join US air strikes against Isis | The Independent

Middle Eastern countries including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates could bomb the Islamic State (Isis) as part of an international coalition.

The US Secretary of State, John Kerry, has been touring the region to build a military coalition against the group, which now controls a third of Iraq and swathes of Syria.

An American official speaking in Paris, where the Foreign Secretary is among delegates from more than 30 countries and groups forming an international response to Isis, said several Arab countries had offered to join the US conducting air strikes. [Read more]

The Davutoglu I Know | War on the Rocks

Ahmet Davutoğlu, the new Turkish Prime Minister, is a memorable man for better or worse. I will never forget the first time I met him. It was 2003 and I was an impressionable Fulbright scholar studying in Ankara living in the college dorms of the Middle East Technical University. My closest Turkish friend, a fellow international relations researcher, invited me home to an iftar, or breaking of the fast, during Ramazan, which happened to coincide with Thanksgiving that year. As I missed my own family, my friend introduced me to his father, a founding member of the newly incumbent Justice and Development Party (AKP) and uncle, then-Foreign Minister Abdullah Gül, who later became President. As the only non-Turk at this traditional family celebration, everyone I talked to—including the two politicians—kept referring to “Ahmet Hocam” or “My Professor Ahmet” anytime I mentioned my interest in Turkish international relations. [Read more]

We Don’t Want to See Iran’s Full Monty | Foreign Policy

Not so long ago, the editors at Jezebel wrote a helpful guide for men entitled, “Should You Send a Lady a Dick Pic? A Guide for Men.”

As you might guess, the answer is always no. Yes, the ladies know you have one. She still doesn’t want to see it, OK?

I do not raise this issue in relation to scandals of late, but rather the issue of PMD or “possible military dimensions” — specifically, the possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear activities. You know, the secret nuclear weapons program. I sometimes hear my colleagues argue that Tehran has to come clean about its past nuclear weapons activities before we agree to any nuclear deal with Iran. [Read more]

Mideast complexities confound US coalition effort | Middle East Institute

The Middle East has confounded outsiders for years, so it is no surprise that another U.S.-led project with a straightforward goal — destroying a marauding organization of extremists — is bumping up against age-old rivalries and a nod-and-a-wink-style political culture.

U.S. secretary of state John Kerry has received backing for the principle of reversing the territorial gains of the Islamic State group in Iraq. But getting concrete assistance is another matter, and there is a whiff of lip service about the proceedings. [Read more]

Please—Let’s Not Destroy ISIS | The Daily Beast

Americans should support this mission against ISIS. One may well choose to do so warily, because, as I wrote in the wake of President Obama’s speech last week, it depends on a lot of uncontrollable variables (the Saudis behaving like good guys) against which odds are rather long. But a deeply fundamentalist nation-state in the Levant that is large and extremely wealthy would be an obvious disaster for the region and the United States a number of reasons. So we have to try to stop them.

But here’s something we’re not going to do, and I wish Obama and especially John Kerry would stop saying it. We are not going to “destroy” ISIS, to use the word Obama deployed in last week’s address (preceded by a marginally softening “ultimately”). The Islamic State will not be “crushed,” as John Kerry huffily put it in a recent tweet.  This is not possible. We all know this. We’ve been trying to destroy al Qaeda for 13 years now. We have not. We will not. And we will not destroy ISIS. We can’t destroy these outfits. They’re too nimble and slippery and amorphous, and everybody knows it. [Read more]

Yemen: Lethal Force Against Houthi Protesters | HRW

Yemeni authorities should immediately investigate the use of unnecessary lethal force against demonstrators in Sanaa on September 7 and 9, 2014. It should hold military personnel and other security forces found responsible to account. Altogether eight protesters and an ambulance driver were killed and at least 67 were wounded.

Houthis, a Zaidi Shi’a resistance group from northern Yemen, held demonstrations in Sanaa, the capital, to protest the government of President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi. The heavy-handed response by state security forces resulted in apparently unnecessary loss of life and numerous injuries to the demonstrators, Human Rights Watch said. [Read more]

 

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