Editorial: How we got to Aleppo

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

The outpouring of emotion, the shock, the horror, the repeat of those eternal empty words of ‘never again’, has dominated my personal social media feed. In fact, I could be forgiven for assuming everyone in the world is heartbroken by what has taken place, but for the few comments here and there that suggest that, somewhere, the news of Aleppo …

Why is it taking so long to solve the Syria crisis?

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

Millions of refugees, a whole host of rebel movements, constant ‘negotiations’ and regular flights to Geneva. And despite a universally recognised humanitarian crisis, the Syrian conflict appears no closer to a solution. Why? The answer is actually quite complex and requires apportioning the blame to a number of parties, including the opposition. Let’s begin there: The opposition The Syrian opposition …

Iran v Saudi Arabia: it’s politics

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

There have been a lot of articles and amazingly fascinating fact boxes on the split between Shia and Sunni Muslims, written, I’m guessing, by people who don’t know their Karbala from their Kelloggs, in an attempt to explain the dispute between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Normally, when I read an article that says something along the lines of “the people …

In-Depth: how the response to the Paris attacks made ISIS stronger

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

Painting a picture with a bloodstained brush intended to cloud and distort all inkling of mutual understanding is the business of information manipulation. The self-described Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) are not only masters of disseminating distorted messages through turning vulnerable participants into electronic proxies, but also by using human suffering to paint a particular narrative. The …

Now that the vote is over, how will UK air strikes alter the Syria scene?

Sami Hamdi Middle East/North Africa

As UK warplanes bombard ISIS positions, the aim is to place greater pressure on the terrorist organisation and limit their capabilities within Syria and abroad. With the UK joining the US, Russia, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Iran, Iraq, Australia and others in the fight against ISIS, how has it changed the dynamics in Syria? Here we assess what UK …