from The Great Debate:

World War Three may have already begun in Iraq and Syria

April 7, 2016

Soldiers take pictures as flame and smoke are seen following air bombardments during the Northern Thunder exercises, in Hafr Al-Batin, near Saudi Arabia's border with Iraq, March 10, 2016.    REUTERS/Abedullah al-Desori EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE       TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTSA6KG

Soldiers take pictures as flame and smoke are seen following air bombardments during the Northern Thunder exercises, in Hafr Al-Batin, near Saudi Arabia's border with Iraq, March 10, 2016. REUTERS/Abedullah al-Desori

from Breakingviews:

Merkel down not out after Super Sunday defeat

March 14, 2016

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

from The Great Debate:

Time for a new Sykes-Picot Agreement to fix the Middle East

March 6, 2016

Militant Islamist fighters take part in a military parade along the streets of northern Raqqa province June 30, 2014. Militant Islamist fighters held a parade in Syria's northern Raqqa province to celebrate their declaration of an Islamic "caliphate" after the group captured territory in neighbouring Iraq, a monitoring service said. The Islamic State, an al Qaeda offshoot previously known as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), posted pictures online on Sunday of people waving black flags from cars and holding guns in the air, the SITE monitoring service said.  REUTERS/Stringer (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT) - RTR3WJ9Q

Militant Islamist fighters take part in a military parade along the streets of northern Raqqa province June 30, 2014. REUTERS/Stringer

from The Great Debate:

Why the Syrian war will define the decade

March 3, 2016

Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State in Sinjar town, walk towards the Syrian border on the outskirts of Sinjar mountain near the Syrian border town of Elierbeh of Al-Hasakah Governorate in this August 11, 2014 file photo. The Islamic State, which had declared a caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria, prompted tens of thousands of Yazidis and Christians to flee for their lives during their push to within a 30-minute drive of the Kurdish regional capital Arbil.    REUTERS/Rodi Said/Files  (IRAQ - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)  ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE IS PART OF PACKAGE '30 YEARS OF REUTERS PICTURES' TO FIND ALL 56 IMAGES SEARCH '30 YEARS'

Displaced people from the minority Yazidi sect, fleeing violence from forces loyal to the Islamic State in Sinjar town, near the Syrian border town of Elierbeh of Al-Hasakah Governorate, August 11, 2014. REUTERS/Rodi Said

from The Great Debate:

The dangers lurking in the U.N.’s new plan to prevent violent extremism

February 8, 2016

Islamic State militants lead what are said to be Ethiopian Christians along a beach in Wilayat Barqa, in this still image from an undated video made available on a social media website on April 19, 2015. The video purportedly made by Islamic State and posted on social media sites on Sunday appeared to show militants shooting and beheading about 30 Ethiopian Christians in Libya. Reuters was not able to verify the authenticity of the video but the killings resemble past violence carried out by Islamic State, an ultra-hardline group which has expanded its reach from strongholds in Iraq and Syria to conflict-ridden Libya. Libyan officials were not immediately available for comment. Ethiopia said it had not been able to verify whether the people shown in the video were its citizens. REUTERS/Social Media Website via Reuters TV ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY VIDEO. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS.

Islamic State militants lead what are said to be Ethiopian Christians along a beach in Wilayat Barqa, in this still from an undated video from a social media website, April 19, 2015. REUTERS/Social Media Website via Reuters TV

from The Great Debate:

How the Saudi king benefits from a cleric’s execution

January 6, 2016

Members of the Shi'ite ulema council hold a sign for Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr who was executed along with others in Saudi Arabia, during a protest demonstration in Karachi, Pakistan, January 2, 2016. The sign reads in Urdu, "Protest, Protest, Protest, we condemn the martyring of Ayatullah Shaikh Baqar al-Nimr and other Muslims, and demand human rights organisations take notice of the inhuman incident and bring fact-finding to the public". REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro  - RTX20S7T

Members of the Shi'ite ulema council hold a sign for Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr who was executed along with others in Saudi Arabia, during a protest demonstration in Karachi, Pakistan, January 2, 2016.  REUTERS/Akhtar Soomro

from The Great Debate:

The ‘marriage of convenience’ between Saddam Hussein’s men and Islamic State

January 4, 2016

Shi'ite fighters ride vehicles in Baiji, north of Baghdad, October 16, 2015. Iraqi forces and Shi'ite militia fighters recaptured most of the country’s largest oil refinery from Islamic State militants on Thursday, security officials said. The report could not be independently confirmed because it is too dangerous for journalists to enter the battle zone around the refinery near the town of Baiji, about 190 km (120 miles) north of Baghdad.  REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani  - RTS4SKI

Shi'ite fighters ride vehicles in Baiji, north of Baghdad, October 16, 2015. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani

from The Great Debate:

The women warriors giving ISIS nightmares

December 17, 2015

Islamic State has many enemies, both around the world and in the Middle East. But there’s one group of fighters that the men of Islamic State fear more than others because, rumors say, to be killed by them doesn’t lead to martyrdom, but to an eternity in hell. These fearsome warriors are members of the Kurdish Women’s Protection Units, and in this week’s War College, we look at the role they – and other women – are playing in the war against Islamic State.

from The Great Debate:

Why Syria is the canary in the coal mine for a new era of world conflict

December 1, 2015

Islamist rebel fighters ride on a motorbike along a deserted street in Idlib city April 6, 2015. Idlib, around 30 km (20 miles) from the Turkish border is only the second provincial capital to slip from government hands after Raqqa in the east, which Islamic State has turned into its de facto capital. REUTERS/Ammar Abdullah - RTR4WA18

Islamist rebel fighters ride on a motorbike along a deserted street in Idlib city April 6, 2015. REUTERS/Ammar Abdullah

from The Great Debate:

Why the U.S. sticks with an ineffective strategy against Islamic militants

November 24, 2015
Participants: Jason Fields, Matthew Gault, Joseph Trevithick

Predator and Reaper drones hang in the sky above Pakistan, Yemen, Iraq and Syria. Mostly they observe, search for targets – and occasionally they unleash Hellfire missiles. Targets may be large gatherings of suspicious figures, convoys or training camps. They can also be private houses, and sometimes they turn out to be weddings.