Atlantic Council

MENASource

A government source announced that the eighth Friends of Yemen meeting will take place on September 24 in New York on the sideline of the United Nations General Assembly meetings. 

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The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) said on Tuesday that its launching a major aid operation to deliver supplies to more than half a million Iraqi people displaced by the fighting. A four-day airlift of tents and other goods will begin on Wednesday to Irbil from Aqaba in Jordan, followed by road convoys from Turkey and Jordan, and sea shipments from Dubai via Iran over the next ten days.

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Follow the latest in economic news and developments about the Arab transition countries.

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As President Barack Obama considers whether to provide forceful assistance to the Syrian democratic resistance forces, one of the last pillars of hope for Syria is dangerously close to falling. My city, Aleppo, just thirty-five miles from Turkey, is the largest city in Syria and it is currently under threat from both the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS, or the Islamic State) and the Assad regime. The city has 7000 years of history and serves as a symbolic center for Syria and the entire Middle East. For the last several years, it has hosted the Syrian resistance, which seeks a real democratic transition and political reform. As the city falls under siege, so does the living spark of the free Syrian resistance.

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Follow the latest in economic news and developments about the Arab transition countries. 

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A drone attack killed three suspected al-Qaeda militants on Saturday in Hadramawt. Three armed men were traveling in a vehicle along a desert stretch between Yemen and Saudi Arabia's border when the drone shot two rockets at them. All three are dead.

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Chaos rules the day in Libya. Since the elections for the House of Representatives in late June, the already unstable transition has fallen further off track.

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Nouri al-Maliki finally curved to growing pressure within Iraq and internationally on Thursday and stepped down as prime minister. In the speech, Maliki endorsed fellow Shia Haider al-Abadi which he stood next to and spoke of the grave threat from Sunni Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) militants.

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Iraq’s struggle for power ended on August 14 when Nouri al-Maliki conceded the office of the prime minister to his rival Haidar al-Abadi, a member of the same Shiite Islamist Da’awa party, who was designated by Iraq’s president earlier this week to form a government.

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Recently Ross Douthat of The New York Times posted a lengthy piece on the Times' blog entitled "Syria and the Risks of Intervention." It is perhaps the best piece of argumentation out there against the proposition (advanced here and elsewhere) that timely military support for armed Syrian nationalists "would have prevented more radical groups from getting traction in that conflict, and thus forestalled the rise of ISIS to its current bad eminence." Douthat draws heavily on the work of George Washington University's Marc Lynch, a thoughtful scholar.

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