Trump ain’t seen nothing yet, Iran to top agenda

JONATHAN MANTHORPE: International Affairs April 22, 2017 Donald Trump’s first rounds on the international putting green have not been a great success. His firing of 59 cruise missiles at a Syrian airfield after telling the Russians – and therefore the Syrians –

Battle Ends, Bloody Syrian War Grinds On

By Laila Bassam, Angus McDowall and Stephanie Nebehay  Rebel resistance in the Syrian city of Aleppo ended on Tuesday after years of fighting and months of bitter siege and bombardment that culminated in a bloody retreat, as insurgents agreed to withdraw in

Iranians close in on Aleppo, not Mecca

JONATHAN MANTHORPE: International Affairs September 10, 2016   There will be no Iranians this year among the two million Muslims who make the hajj pilgrimage to the holy sites at Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia that starts on Sunday, September 11.

Turkey’s Shock Waves Slam Middle East

JONATHAN MANTHORPE: International Affairs July 30, 2016 The fascist coup of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan – for that is what it is – has thrown a large boulder into the boiling, muddy waters of the Middle East. Turkey’s fellow Sunni Muslim

Nothing is simple about Canada’s support for Kurdish fighters

JONATHAN MANTHORPE: International Affairs February 18, 2016 There is a generation of British soldiers, civil servants and planters, now mostly dead, who swear bloodcurdling oaths at the mention of the name of Canada. They were posted to the then-British colony of Malaya

Kurdistan could be a silver lining in Middle East quagmire

The siege of Kobani has pushed to the surface some of the internal and external pressures working against the creation of a complete Kurdistan homeland, writes International Affairs columnist Jonathan Manthorpe. But if any good can come of the latest ill-conceived bombing of

On Middle East context and media

  Put events in the Middle East in context, Thoughtlines columnist Jim McNiven urges in a new column. “Iraq, Syria and Lebanon are working their way through a kind of 100-years of religious war, partially similar to that between Protestants and Catholics that

The Man Who Would be Caliph

What sets Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi apart from all other would-be Caliphs, including Osama bin Laden and his successor as al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahri, is that he is supremely qualified, writes International Affairs analyst Jonathan Manthorpe, of the current battle in Syria and Iraq. An

From Shattered Iraq, Ancient “Land of Kurds” Will Rise

The fracturing of Iraq will mean the birth of Kurdistan, and another revision of borders around  the ancient land of the Kurds, writes International Affairs analyst Jonathan Manthorpe. An excerpt of his new column: The question is not whether there will be an independent

Qatar’s Pernicious Adventures

A successful campaign to host the World Cup in 2022 was meant to be the crowning sports achievement for Qatar, writes International Affairs analyst Jonathan Manthorpe — but it is not turning out that way. An excerpt of Manthorpe’s new column: From being the